Schools: How They Fail the Students and Teachers

Hello all, yes I’m still alive and I am very much looking forward to having time off for Christmas. Drama school is quite full on now and the dark weather is not helping the feelings of isolation, but I know I’ll make it through.

Over the last week my mum went on the radio to talk about me as a child and how I was bullied by a teacher. Not only a teacher, but the Special Needs Coordinator which brought back a lot of memories of my school life and how I was treated. My biggest fear wasn’t the girls themselves, but actually teachers. For many years I have sustained a fear of being picked out by teachers and being called back from the class. I wasn’t one for the rules, but was terrified of the repercussions and punishments.

I would love to speak to any person who said that school punishment ‘helped’ their behaviour or that they learned anything. It’s a system built on shame, shaming those students who don’t fit into little educational boxes or who cannot sit still for hours at a time.

But why is this? Because teachers themselves are under pressure. From my old school they used to have competitions on which subject had the most A*s (used to be textiles that won, but the teacher was really rude and strict). Teachers have to plan up to 5 classes a day, take those classes and mark the work that was set for a terrible wage. If their students don’t do well, then they could be punished and lose their job.

It’s a triangle of hierarchy where punishment is the easiest way to get results, where the arts are neglected because they don’t yield as many higher grades and there’s no solid mark scheme. I love to learn, but I’m so happy my school days are behind me, I’m just disappointed how the system is only getting worse rather than better.

Maybe we can change this… any ideas?

From a contemplating Gabby

Where is this Blog Going?

Hello all, I’m back again already doing an update on my thought processes. Firstly I want to say that I’m proud of myself for carrying this on, as one of my less familiar names was ‘quitter’ as I would start something and literally quit after a month. Go me! The past couple of days I’ve mainly been concentrating on getting back into playing instruments on my own terms (many thanks to my brother for letting me use his electric piano).

As I lay in bed in another state of social isolation, I started to consider about where this blog is going. It was not until recently that I knew how many people I knew actually read this, which really warms my heart. Adding to this there are a few people who have also followed me on here, so hello you guys! It’s good to have you.

My one problem with my blog currently is that I don’t go into as much detail as others, so my main aim from this point onwards is to have more discussion but still keeping it fun. This may be hard at first, but hopefully will make my content more worthwhile to readers instead of fulfilling my own little writing ego. The English Literature part still isn’t dead (my English teacher would hopefully be proud).

Also I apologise a lot, but if you got this far I applaud you people.

Have a good day,

Gabby

One of my little doodles, it’s good to have a doodle book just to draw down what you feel at the time and it doesn’t have to be good. Just personal

Working through withdrawal

Hello again, is it me the very sickly coughing student. I’ve had a bad throat the last few weeks which has made me pretty lethargic and is annoying everyone. I call it ‘Freshers Flue Part 2: Electric Boogaloo’. On top of that I’ve had the anxiety of running out medication which I have to blame myself for.

At the moment I’m on 20mg of fluoxetine which helps my serotonin levels. One major problem with this medication is the withdrawal. The withdrawal is the worst, and can involve depressive episodes, panic attacks, shaking etc. Last night I ran out of them and my mind feels like sludge. I’m not ashamed on being on medication because it helps me, if it were not for the medication I would be a mess most of the time and become reclusive.

Whilst the withdrawal makes me feel bad I just treated myself to a nap today and have been taking things slow. Why work on a tired worked up mind when you can take a break and work later? It’s been a slow day sure, but we’re allowed to slow down when we need and take a breath. You can’t win a marathon if all you do is sprint.

Luckily today I have my medication back, so this little slip up can be resolved and tomorrow I will feel better. Thank you medicinal science!

Drink some tea,

Gabby

This is the book I have been doodling in, I would recommend it to get your thoughts down somewhere and I may write a post about it. Also I said I would write this: Esther is sexy.

Taking Criticism

The second term has started here at Rose and everything is back to normal. Seems like forever since I saw my group but that may be because we see each other every day. In all honesty I missed them and it’s good to see them.

Coming back also meant receiving feedback on our presentations, something I had been dreading. Nothing gets me more nervous that someone telling me I was ‘bad’ at something or how I’m not that good. The reality is is that it wasn’t all bad, but it is me who takes the criticism and blows it up. I can take a negative comment and take it into my soul, but a hundred positive ones I would ignore.

When your self esteem is low you take anything that backs up that bad image of yourself and reinforce it. But if I’m going to survive the next three years the positive comments will also have to be accepted. There’s nothing wrong in letting yourself be complimented, treat yourself to making you feel good as much as you may downplay yourself.

From an unwell student,

Gabby

Here’s a picture of a pub dog that I met, he made me very happy so I wanted to share him with you.

Back Stabs and Forgiveness in the Industry

Doing acting as a fun hobby since age 8 has given me so much happiness and many friends along the way. If it wasn’t for acting I would not have any friends at my old school and I probably would not have met my boyfriend. It is also the only hobby I can do and feel okay with myself in.

However this week has been one of reflection on that since I have completed my first term of drama school. I have also lost a number of friends because of my hobby. One in particular comes to mind. Her and I were very good friends for 4-5 years doing almost everything together, but after joining the drama club she was in without telling her she vowed to never speak to me again. This hurts me still to this day.

Many feelings are invoked when I think back: anger, betrayal, sadness but also regret. Something that brought us so close together broke us apart. I see now that she has done very well for herself, but my first feeling is one of jealousy that I feel guilt for. Someone who hurt me has done well, even a lot better than I have. How does one cope with that?

My honest answer is is that I have no answer. Well not really anyway. My mind has been so concentrated on her that it’s stopping me from succeeding. Why should I care how she lives? I’ve done well myself, I should be happy for me. But of course that is never enough. The fault isn’t hers but mine in that I can never be happy in myself, so maybe that’s my new goal to set, become happy in me not for other people, just me.

Whilst I may never be able to forgive her for her words, I do wish her all the best in the industry as she has worked hard to be where she is. In the meantime I’m going to concentrate on getting myself together this reading week and catch up on all the people I missed.

Treat yourself this week,

Gabby

Here is where I’ve been staying these past few days, it’s so nice to be away from all the stress and sounds of London.

How To Survive School When You Have Anxiety

When you ask most older adults on how they remember their school years, many will respond how they were the ‘best years of their lives’ or how they’re still friends with their school friends. If you ask me, all I will do is give you a cold stare and ignore the question and hope you don’t insist on an answer.

On thing that people never tell you is that it is okay to hate school, it’s natural. As a teenager getting up early to follow a boring timeline wearing (in my case, brown) uniform isn’t what I’d deem ‘fun’. As I got older I only became more aware of the outright ignorant rules and games teachers used to enforce. My first Grammar school had teachers play a game where they would see how many uniform slips they could give out in a day, however if you got 3 uniform slips as a student, that would mean an after school detention. That’s some weird teacher sadism if I have anything to say about it.

When you’re under scrutiny for you looks, grades and behaviour, it’s all too natural to develop anxiety. Thanks to the aforementioned school, my anxiety was increased tenfold to the point I would fake illness to not go in. Yet I made it. If it were not for the friends I made in that school I wouldn’t have mentally survived the years. Friends who understand the struggle will keep you going. They won’t say stuff like ‘It’s not that bad’ or ‘Everyone is in the same boat’. No. In my opinion it should be ‘Everyone is on the same water, but not everyone’s boats are stable.’

When you’re forced into an environment you despise it is easy to think about giving up, but know you are stronger than the crappy system and the annoying teachers. My main thought has always been ‘I’m going to prove you wrong.’ And I did. If this anxious depressive mess can survive, then anyone can. Get all the support you can and stand up for what you think is right. You can do it tiger.

Best wishes,

Gabby

P.S considering starting a YouTube channel that will be different to this. My main idea is just to try doing random things I love so I can enjoy the videos too. Idk still in progress

Also I am naming my plants, I only have to name one more and that’s the aloe vera plant. Here is the squad.

Having An Off Day

I never intended this to become a daily blog, and on some days I may not update for days at a time. Today I wasn’t going to update because I didn’t want to show the more negative side of me, but then this blog wouldn’t be honest and I really want honesty.

Sometimes we have off days, where nothing has provoked us but the world seems dim. Yesterday I had a great talk with my boyfriend and yet I still felt bad waking up. Sometimes depression just takes your whole day and makes everything seem dismal and dark. My main concern has been my lack of close friends here, my mind has made this image that everyone here except me has best friends that always hang out. It’s the most isolating feeling, one that is hard to get out of right now.

To try and help, I went for a walk in the park and sat down just taking in the views. Walking by myself has the effect of getting my feelings out, even if it means returning to my room to have a cry in the bathroom (absolute peak of a day). But it worked, I feel less lonely than before. I still don’t feel great but I don’t expect that. Having depression means that you have those days where everything seems wrong, and having any lift in mood for me is a success.

In the end the main person who is going to make you feel better is yourself, you have to want to get better to be better, look after yourself and accept the feelings you have. Feeling sad is pure sh*t, but don’t beat yourself up. Know that your feelings are not forever and tell someone that you aren’t feeling too great. Having a good support network is key, especially any of those interested in the theatre path. For now I might play some music and read, maybe speak to a living person, whatever feels right for me.

Sorry if this was not helpful, but this is me at my most vulnerable without a fa├žade and I’m no longer afraid to hide it from people.

Keep yourselves safe,

Gabby

Picture of Rose Bruford from the Park, looks so secretive from here.