Griffith: Day 1

Teaching in Griffith

On Saturday the 20th of May, I accidentally awoke a whole hour and a half before my 5:00am alarm. This is likely to be the first of many mistakes and learning experiences.

I’m currently sitting in my hotel room in Griffith, contemplating that I’ll be spending the next month here – it seems a very foreign thought to someone who has never lived out of home, or travelled for more than two weeks away from family. Naturally I had a bit of an ‘adjustment period’ yesterday (read: listening to my ipod and having a good cry) thinking about the rather troubled family situation I’d left behind in Sydney, and hoping they could cope without me to reconcile their differences.

Aside from that minor drama, life in Griffith seems to be lovely. I had the joy of meeting the lady I bought my bicycle off yesterday, and her generosity in dropping it direct to my hotel and offering me free services (her brother is a mechanic) felt like a warm country town welcome. I say this because I’ve spent time rurally before, and there’s a definite warmth and community that comes with many small towns.

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Above: My lovely ‘new’ bike.

After getting to ride the bike around town a little, I was feeling more at home. I don’t have my licence yet, so I’m used to riding around Sydney. I took off somewhat unsteadily along the main street, hoping their EB games was still open. My birthday was the 19th and a new game I was rather keen on had come out the day of my leaving – as the morning had been so early, I was left with little opportunity to purchase it.

I passed a group of children practising tapping sticks (forgive me if there is an Indigenous word for them I’ve overlooked here). Griffith seems to have an abundance of Aboriginal art, and plenty of autumnal trees – certainly a lovely place to be this time of year.

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An aeroplane at what I believe was an RSL. 

I passed this beautiful plane on my way to the big shopping centre in town. Since I’ve brought along a nice new camera, I’m hopeful to get a few more quality photos of it. All the pictures from this outing were from my phone, as I was too sleep deprived to learn to drive my camera.

The shopping mall was much like the kind of shopping mall you find anywhere – somewhat out of place in the ambience of a rural setting. I didn’t spend too much time there, as there are plenty of malls in Sydney that I dislike just as much (although I work in one). I made haste and discovered that I could in fact purchase the game – you can see below how that eventuated.

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Probably the most homely moment of the trip so far. 

Before I tie this post off, I should mention that the rest of this series will be dedicated to documenting my time as a prac teacher at a high school in Griffith (naturally I’ll have to refrain from specifying which one). I’m more nervous than excited at this point, as all the energy I had in the weeks leading up to this has been whisked away by the the reality of being far from home and the requirement of responsibility and self-sufficiency. In any case, we’ll see how things go together I suppose. Whatever happens, I’m hoping to approach it with a calm and open mind.

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