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Robert Pickering - Assistant Teacher 2013/14

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Robert Pickering spent the year 2013/14 as our our well-appreciated assistant teacher at our school. The interviewers were Isabella Erhardt (8A), Sophia Hödl (8A) and Matthias Hochsteiner (8B). Isabella: “Ok. First of all, can you tell us about your life? Where were you born? Do you have any siblings? “

Rob: “Alright. I was born in Grimsby, which is in the Northeast of England, but I grew up in Nottingham, and I have two siblings actually. An older brother, he’s thirty years old and married, and a younger sister, she’s… oh, I nearly forgot! She’s turning 23 today!”

Sophia: “You nearly forgot?”

Rob: “Yeah. I’ll have to call her later – hope I’ll remember it.”

Isabella: “Yeah, you should make sure not to forget. Anyways, where did you study?”

Rob: “I went to London, and studied French & English literature at the London King’s College. I specialised in medieval literature, so, you know, all these Arthur and Camelot stories.”

Sophia: “And you told us before that you went to France, right?”

Rob: “Yes. I went to Paris for my third year in College. Do you know Erasmus? Well, every university has links with other universities and this European program allows you to go to other universities in Europe and study there for a year. I went to the Institut d'études politiques. I took all kinds of different courses there, for example law, international relations, economics, psychology, and a course that was called ‘Espace mondial’, which literally means ‘Global Spaces’. We didn’t really do anything in that class, except talk about globalization and well, politics, but yeah. It was a nice year.”

Isabella: “So why did you decide to become an assisting teacher here in Austria?”

Rob: “Well, I wanted to become a teacher, but I figured that by the time I would finish my teaching degree at university I’d be thirty already, so I tried to find a faster way, and if you have 3 years of practical teaching, so-called ‘direct teacher training’, you can get your license quicker. That’s why I’m doing this.”

Matthias: “And how do you like Austria?”

Rob: “Oh, it’s nice. People are friendly, and I love being here, but… I’m so tired of all the snow - I despise it! I’m used to a lot of rain, but not all this snowing. I’m just so sick of being ill. I want to it to be spring, because I heard that spring in Austria is really nice, so I want to see it.”

Isabella: “How about food here?”

Rob: “It’s different. I think it’s very good winter food, you know, it’s stodgy and filling with all those Knödels and potatoes. A lot of starch, but very good anyway.”

Matthias: “And do you also go out some nights?”

Rob: “Yeah, I do, but it’s weird sometimes, because I meet students from my classes, and they want me to drink with them and talk, and it’s kind of awkward. But anyways, what about you guys? What do you want to do after graduating?”

Isabella: “I’m not sure… I haven’t decided on what to study yet. All I want to do for now is to pass the Matura, and then maybe take a gap year.”

Rob: “And what about you?”

Sophia: “I’m going to study Political Science and English in Vienna. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Matthias: “Yes, and I want to go to Graz and study Engineering and Economics at the University of Technology.”

Rob: “A friend of mine actually lived in Graz for 2 years, and she really loved it. I want to go there too. It’s supposed to be a really nice university city, isn’t it?

Matthias: “Yeah, it’s a really nice city. But before I’ll go there to study, I’m going on Summer Splash.”

Rob: “Oh, yeah. I heard about that. But what do you do there? Just party the whole week? What about other hotel guests?”

Matthias: “The whole hotel is booked for three weeks, and there are only people our age. The bars are open 24 hours and there are concerts too. You just have fun and party with your friends. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Rob: “Are you guys going as well?”

Isabella: “No. Sophia and I decided to go InterRailing for a month.”

Rob: “Oh, really? I did that too. Where do you plan on going?”

Sophia: “We’re not completely sure yet, but we want to go to Berlin, Amsterdam, Brussel, Paris, and Rom. Maybe some more cities on the way. We haven’t decided yet.”

Rob: “Sounds nice. I’m sure you’ll love it. InterRailing is awesome.”

Isabella: “Yeah, thanks. It’ll be awesome, for sure. Alright, thanks for talking to us.”

Rob: “No problem at all.”


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