The Garden is nearly ready for winter
The prompt this week was a photo. I could write so much more!
It must be magic, there could be no other explanation, thought the young girl as she rounded the corner. There, in front of her, was the witches house, hidden from view as usual by the overgrown bushes in the front garden. Mum had said not to be silly, it was just an old lady who couldn’t manage so well any more, but there it was, the proof she’d been looking for. Pink smoke was coming from the chimney, and that didn’t happen to normal peoples’ houses. No, she decided, it must be magic.
But what, she wondered, was the spell?
Brett Robinson joins us this year following a successful, seven year, pro career in the ECHL over in North America. The 30 year old Canadian forward has played for Coach Chuck Weber in the past, and jumped at the opportunity to join him in Coventry this year. Averaging almost a point per game last season the play maker is looking forward to the challenges that this season will bring.
He explained how he made the decision to join the club. “I played seven years pro in North America and a dream of mine was always to play in Europe at some point. My wife and I were ready to maybe move to Europe, it’s a big change but we were excited. I got an email from Chuck just as my season was ending and he was looking for me to come over. I’ve played for him before so it was a pretty easy decision for me and my wife.”
He continued, “Moving to an English speaking country was a huge bonus. We looked at other places as well, but England has a lot to offer – not just the rain! For my wife it was important, sometimes when we are on the road she is by herself, so that’s definitely a bonus.”
Of course, the chance to play in the Continental Cup was an additional draw for Robinson. “The tournament style is new to me, from what I hear the Continental Cup is a huge opportunity for us. It’s exciting to be able to travel and go to another country as well. We expect to do really well there and hopefully we’ll get to travel again and get to go somewhere else. That would be pretty cool.”
“I didn’t know much about Coventry before I arrived”, he explained. “James Pease had told me a bit about the city. I know that it’s very historical with lots of cool buildings that have been around forever, and others that have been destroyed. I know it’s got a lot of landmarks. I did know that it was very close to London and to a lot of cool little towns. My wife and I are looking forward to travelling – that’s something that obviously was an attraction for us.”
The hockey world is so small, that even coming to the UK you can pretty much guarantee that you have played with (or against) someone on your team before. Brett said, “To be honest, this year is probably my first year that I don’t personally know someone on the team. (Kevin Noble, who he played with at college, had not arrived at the time of the interview). That was a bit different because the hockey community is so small. I do know guys who have played with others that I know, and there’s a couple that I’ve played against, but I didn’t know one guy personally so that was a bit of a change. So far we’ve got along great, it’s a really good group of guys.”
Looking wider, across the Elite League, there are players that he knows well. “Across the league there a quite a few guys that I went to college with and played with for a couple of years. I got very close with them, I’m looking forward playing against them, and beating them!” he laughed. “There are guys I’ve played against my whole pro career in North America, who have also made the switch to the UK, there are a lot of good players in this league now. It’s exciting for us and it’s going to be a tough season. There’s a couple of guys I went to college with who have played over here (including Scott Champagne and Cullen Eddy) so I spoke to them – they said how great the travel was and how well they have been treated. I also spoke to Benn Olsen, as I used to play with him, and got the inside scoop as to how the players were treated.” Brett has also played on teams with Mike McLean and Adam Henrich.
Robinson discussed how the first week of being in Coventry had gone. “Training is tough. I played for Chuck in 2010 and that was a long time ago. I don’t remember it being as tough as it is now, maybe because I’m a bit older! Right now we are on the ice at 8.30am, so we’re here at the rink at 7.30am. I’m still adjusting to the time shift and I’m not getting the best sleep. We’re doing tough training on ice, followed by a two hour work out in the afternoon and we’ve also had things on every evening. I’m very tired, but you take the beating now and it starts to ease off as the season gets going. I’m a little sore, but we’re all building towards the first regular season game. It’s tough now, but it will be worth it. I’m really excited for the season.”
There’s a whole lot of things that you aren’t told about before you decide to move into special.
Having been back in an SLD/PMLD school for just about three weeks now, here are the things that remind me how different it is to being in MLD.
We sing on a daily basis. Be it the school song, counting songs in maths, awareness songs in phse, along with the music cues for the start of each lesson or even – as happened today for some strange reason – the whole class staff singing the theme tune to ‘The Wombles’
Every week, without fail, you battle to support your class to change into their swimming kit, have a splash in the pool, shower as independently as possible and then change back (getting damp pupils into uniform isn’t fun) in the space of an hour, while trying to have meaningful time with each of them. There are never enough pairs of hands!
3) Master of everything
Way back when I first moved to special teaching, I voiced concerns that I didn’t know how to teach PE or cooking…My class, however, are my class and I teach them everything. The headteacher I was talking too replied ‘You know more than your class’! I’m still not convinced at certain points, I’m sure they are better than me on iPads.
4) Going out
It is expected, timetabled in fact, that you take your class into the community on a weekly basis. For some this will be the park, for others a trip to a supermarket or a cafe. At the moment, my class are choosing to go to the park, I think that might change with the weather.