Back in the school yard


Being accused of something you didn’t do is a lonely place to be. People can offer sympathy but it isn’t them. It’s a lonely journey.

No progress. The children haven’t rescinded their lies, and the union can’t supply a lawyer until next Wednesday afternoon, so everything is in holding pattern.

I won’t say too much, but it has been communicated that Administration supports me. I am the sacrificial lamb, however.

Every time someone asks me me how I am feeling I answer truthfully, “not well” and “lonely”.

Why would anyone stay a teacher after having this rubbish thrown at them? These are the experiences that change your perspective on things. Why do children have think they can use laws that are required to protect real victims, to their own evil ends?

I know their names now, there are three girls. One is in a class I supervise for free reading one period a fortnight. Ever since I met her I have felt an evilness about her, as though my sixth sense was on alert. Now I know. Just think what she might accuse a male teacher of doing! A male teacher could end up in jail!

I asked Mr FD if he was going to care for me when I was starling raving mad, and he said that he already is…

You know the saying, fall down eight times, get up nine? Well, I think this might be my tenth fall.



Weapons of mean destruction.

stand of flamingo

Let me see, how can I describe today? &#()!&#*^!#^%%$$!!!!!! Shit.

An as yet unnamed African Australian student has made an allegation that I made a racist comment to her. Did not happen. 

I did ask her and a large group of her friends not to enter the library due to their behaviour in the previous morning break, as I expected a repeat of their aggressive behaviour.

In the earlier break one had given me the fingers when I broke up an act of aggression towards an Anglo Australian student. When I had called to the group to stop so that I could identify the student and send her to detention the group ran out of the Library. I didn’t get a clear view of her face, as I had been standing behind her, when she made the gesture.

I was stunned, to stay the least, when I received an official email requesting me to attend a meeting with the Principal and one of his deputies. I WAS VERY ANGRY.

I have informed them that I won’t be attending without a union representative, and that I require more detail to prepare my defence of these false allegations.

It is an occupational hazard for a teacher, being accused of things we do not do. Apart from that one incident, I have had no interaction with those students previously, so it is not like I have a bad relationship with them – I don’t have any connection to them at all.

I have told the Principal that I consider this libel and slander. I would have liked to have said a lot more, but of course one must be professional. A 12 year old can make such false allegations, a total lie, and I have to jump through hoops. I AM SOOOOOO ANGRY.

I want a verbal and written apology.

They ‘aint seen nothing yet…

Drunken fruit season approaching


I had tucked up the drunken dried fruits for the night, with the intention of mixing the Christmas cake on the morrow when I received that phone call alerting us to the knowledge that my Mother was in an ambulance. So life being life, those fruits got to imbibe the Napoleon brandy for an entire week until I could return to the kitchen.

The recipe evolves every year. This year in a salute to the sugar less family members I used rice syrup instead of brown sugar. The proof will indeed be in the mixing.

I am still trying to reconcile my brain with the knowledge that the organic rice syrup  was a product of Belgium. In all my fantasies I have never imagined the Belgians: Flemish, Walloons or German, as rice growers; but who am I to argue with a food label? Should I ever travel to Belgium I shall waste time looking for them toiling in the rice paddies.

This year, as the family will be split between east and west Australian coasts I will endeavour, family dramas allowing, to bake a second dried fruit cake to transport to Perth. We shall partake as we hopefully also toast the safe arrival of Peppercorn Flamingo Dancer, due Boxing Day.

Terrible season for a birthday, but fear not, as long as Granny Flamingo Dancer is able, she will ensure a birthday worth celebrating. No one present for both occasions – no fair.

Christmas is going to be a drunken affair this year, as I gifting dessert fruits in various alcoholic syrups as my office gifts. Nothing that cannot be used short term, or requires long term storage is my mantra these days. It must also be something I would be happy to receive myself – the ultimate good taste test!

Maybe the world would be a jollier place if we steeped all our foods in alcohol. Grumpy Cat might not be required to communicate for us. I wonder if a red or a white would go best with porridge?

To blueprint or not to blueprint; that became the question.


I was going to write about “my blueprint for living”. The first thing I was going to cite was “First do no harm” , but my children may not agree that my parenting did no harm; so I scrapped that idea.

Then I was going to write “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” but as I want to beat most people I meet to death with a stick, that was obviously not a goer either.

Tread the earth lightly? I have size ten (AU) feet, maybe that tread is not so light.

Seems I don’t actually have a blueprint for living, and maybe that explains a lot about my life.

Weekend Wandering

Tamborine Mt 2

Wandered to Tamborine Mt, in the Gold Coast hinterland this day. Tried to take in the view, but had forgotten the temperature distance to our Village and so felt the cold wind biting without jackets. Still, it was pretty impressive, grey clouds and all.

Tamborine Mt 5

Mr FD declared the need for a hot drink so we stopped by Le Chile Cafe where he added a plate of Mexican meatballs to his drink order.

Tambourine Mt 3

I settled for a “Portuguese inspired caramel pastry” that I wish I could remember the name of, but looked more like an almond biscuit with caramel filling. Delicious!

Tamborine Mt 4

A far better day than the previous five!

Tamborine Mt

And yes, I was waiting for the annoying children who insisted on rolling about and getting in my photo, to fall off the mountain side. One must live in hope …

Welcome to the Insanity Library

reading 1

Odd week done. It was a seesawing week, during which Minerva and I often thought we had lost the last threads of our sanity.

Minerva is so proud of our Library and on Monday celebrated having all the couches steam cleaned, only for me to discover on Wednesday that a student had slashed the back of one of those couches. She was so upset, she took it so personally, that I thought she was going to cry. Poor Minerva can never quite understand why some students just can’t value the nice things we try to provide them.

A number of my students decided that they would ignore my request for them to email me their completed task, so I sat down that afternoon and emailed every one of their parents, sometimes both parents if I had two addresses. Probably about eight parents. Three acknowledged my email by morning. One parent printed the email off and “waved it under my nose when I got home” reported one girl. They all sent me their task by end of the last class this week.

I also made an appointment to sit down with our Principal to talk about my work load. All those hidden duties the Library gets loaded with, including picking up the slack for other teachers. He was very sympathetic and is looking into what we can change for the 2016 school year. I hold some hope, but also expect that the sinister Deputy will turn it back on me and double the load. Life is too often like that. Deputy is a mean piece of work; sarcastic and vindictive.

Six weeks until the summer vacation break!

These people are going to look after you when you are old…

doorMy students could not grip the fact that you can be a Christian but not a Catholic, but if you are a Catholic you are automatically a Christian by association.

No, it is not that they are devote Catholics and can not imagine any other world view. In fact, most of them follow no religion, though at a Catholic school.

I explained that to be a Christian one just had to believe in a Christian God; one could be a Protestant for example, or not follow any particular creed, but believe in God. To be a Catholic meant that you automatically believed in a Christian God.

It was too abstract for their low level of comprehension.

I went home and drank tonight. Not because they don’t follow a religion, it is just how far behind they are and how resistant they are to any assistance to progress them.

Not sure if it is time for me to surrender and move on, or not.

Fill it up, Sam.

Are you aware that some children have never read Harry Potter? The end of the world must be nigh!

cull 1

I culled books today. It was a bloody scene.

Culling library books is a very emotive action, as most observers are horrified with the thought of books going to that great library in the sky. We wend ours to a book farm…

I have used data to make the decision on what to cull. If it hasn’t been borrowed in five years, it is gone.

No one wants to buy a sad, yellowed book, so it is better to clear the shelf space, and thankfully until now we have had a reasonable budget, and place fresh, attractive books that have some chance of being read on the shelf.

Occasionally, we throw out a well loved but aged copy and replace with a fresh cover to attract fresh readers. We did that recently with our Harry Potter titles. As unbelievable as it is we have students in year 7 and 8 who have never read Harry Potter, some have not watched the movies either. These are students born in 2003 and 2004, after all!

Books go to our art department for up cycling into artworks, others are donated to a charity that moves them to schools in New Guinea, where they only have a very limited shelf life due to the humidity and lack of air conditioning. If they can’t use the books in their libraries they are turned into bricks for building. Very few go from the shelf to the bin.

So we chose today to start the cull, as it was a pupil free day, and many teachers were away at panel meetings. Once Minerva had deleted the titles from the system she took them straight out the back to the compacts room where we keep the textbooks, hidden from sight, to await despatch to their various destinations.

I culled all day, except for an hour when I went to some professional development in blocking kids access to youtube and iTunes when I want them to focus – I am so looking forward to tomorrow. The power of blocking media, a teacher’s joy!

The down side is I culled all day and I am only up to COL in Fiction!

This is not a joke, it really happens! There's this book I saw on my Grandmother's shelf 37 years ago and it was blue - do you have it?

This is not a joke, it really happens! There’s this book I saw on my Grandmother’s shelf 37 years ago and it was blue – do you have it?