Jane Ballot

Being me in the world

Tuesday 28th April

Can you get so close to something and manage your expectations so well that you cease to be able to see the picture from outside? Is it possible to become so narrowly set in your own, prosaic, everyday ways that you cannot stand outside and even be a little objective?

It was Michael’s house plays tonight. Obviously, I am biased towards Mike specifically and his house in general. I am also, however, always interested in school theatre and quite fond of it, actually – despite the invariable times when sitting through another school / house play is just taxing, dreary and actually annoying.

I am also a teacher and understand the amount of courage and passion it takes for young people to get up on a stage and present themselves to their peers and a close school audience.

I have also been involved with school theatre for many years.

There are ways to handle feedback on school theatre endeavours – and harshly criticising one play for a good ten minutes, without acknowledging even one thing that worked, is simply not the way these things are done.

Either I literally know nothing about school theatre, or the adjudicator/s of the play/s need a little perspective and some lessons in how to approach giving balanced criticism.

People learn through being built, in all ways, not from being – literally – shot down in flames.

Then, in a totally different circumstance, there are those people who never learn, of course. They will have their own understanding of something and no amount of communication (both verbal and written) will help to change that to a more realistic / accurate picture.

Sometimes I truly do not understand people!

Today, it seems, was one of those days.

Dani and I are off to Roodeplaat tomorrow for SA Schools. There is so much to get together and so much more to organise than I have already been doing that I could feel quite overwhelmed. I am studiously avoiding allowing things to pile up on top of me, though. At least, I am trying to avoid that.

What with all of this going on, I was not surprised to notice that the chemo taste had returned. I am more and more convinced that the taste is somehow related to stress and activity. I have noticed that physical activity can bring it on, which has not, of course, deterred me from running or paddling.  After today, I am fairly sure that stress has something to do with awakening that particular sensitivity.

After all the travelling of the last few weeks and the accompanying logistical nightmares and catching up I have had to do, I am not that surprised that the taste has chosen to return.

SA Schools will be hectic, what with going to early meetings, making sure all the girls are in the pounds at the right time, cheering for the team in general and for Dani in particular (like a good, diligent mother). I think, though, that once everything has begun, that it will also be familiar and relaxing in its own way.

Fun in the sun – and a great way to take my mind off horrible tastes and other discomforts 🙂


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