Sunday going down

home 2

The rain has been pouring down for the last couple of hours, and the fire is lit. Our family are all home, Petite Fille tucked up in her bed.

It’s Sunday night, so no hope of a cosy sleep in, but it is a pupil free day, so that is about as much as can be hoped for. Five days of work and then two weeks of semester break. Almost there.

 

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teaching : damned if you do and dammed if you don’t

Fickle FInger of FateSitting before the mirror at the hair salon yesterday, the face looking back at me was tired. Exhausted. Its been a busy six months; Petite Fille and her parents living with us and I am trying to create and innovate at work more. It all means that I fall asleep most nights before I really want to, but I am too exhausted to continue.

This week I am trying to get a Makerspace off the ground. Not a token space with colouring in and cardboard, but a makerspace with technology. It feels like I am pushing a boulder up a mountain, as I fear our admin doesn’t have a mindset for technological innovation, and on the odd occasions they do, they centre it towards the males. As a woman, I have a double trail to blaze.

The guys aren’t really interested in taking up STEM, and I am, but I am older and a female, and so that almost makes me invisible to administration. Being knowledgeable and passionate is not always enough. They also like to build silos of responsibility and I am an outlier who cuts across supposed boundaries. However, at the same time, they are quick to criticise if you do nothing. Damned if you do and dammed if you don’t . Or just damned!

For the sake of what I believe in, and for the sake of my students I am willing to be damned, but it is all so exhausting.

Just pucker and toot

dog 1

Three year old Petite Fille’s one ambition in life is to whistle. We spend quite a bit of time trying to whistle. I naturally amaze her with my whistling repotoire, especially my rendition of “Home on the Range.”

Being a Flamingo Dancer, a junior one perhaps, but one none the less, Petite Fille, does not allow a lack of technique to hold her back. Instead, she makes her own sound that registers more like a train toot which she follows with an announcement  that she is whistling to inform those within hearing know that they are being treated to a a musical wonderment.

Mostly, she whistles when she wants to call Augie Dog. So she toot toots and says “I am whistling”.

And Augie Dog comes.

That dog will leave his lying position; he does a lot of lying around, a bit like Mr FD his constant companion. Anyway, he actually gets up, the dog, not Mr FD, only food and the need to pee motivates MR FD to move. As I was saying, the dog will get up and join Petite Fille as if he really was called.

I suppose he is being called, just in toddler speak. I guess animals and children speak a language we adults have long forgotten – things don’t have to be perfect, to be perfect.

batter up

man ray 1936

Some poor surfer guy has died after being mauled by a shark, and the usual platitude one hears “oh but at least he died doing what he loved!” has been uttered again. As if!

Do you really think he is standing outside the pearly gates, thanking the Big Whatever for cutting his life short by at least 7 decades but at least letting him go while do something he really enjoyed? Do you think he enjoyed the moment the shark ate his leg? I am not thinking his last thoughts were that he was really glad he got out of bed that morning and went down to the water.

Mr FD used to have this annoying habit when he heard some old person died he would say “Well, at least he had a good innings.” I beg your pardon? I let it go by for a decade or two, but one day I turned to Mr FD and I said that if he didn’t stop saying that pathetic and inadequate phrase that I would make sure that the day he is told his days are numbered that I was going to pat him on the hand and utter “well, you’ve had a good innings, dear” Now push off.

Then I added that I would feed him to the dog.

Now his stock comment is “Oh dear, that is too young to die.”

He is obviously hoping I don’t kill anytime soon.

you know what I mean

nothing new

I’ve got to that stage in life when I look at some little upstart who has schmoozed his way into a position of power and when he looks at me, waiting for me to gush over him, all I can think is “I wear pyjamas older than you.”

And those pyjamas are kind and gentle, and empathetic. You, you little bottom dweller who have risen from the detritus of life, are only in that position because of ambition and because you spawned children and now need a larger income to send them to ballet classes and tennis lessons and to buy saxophones that they will hurrumph into three times before that saxophone is abandoned in the laundry until a cat gives birth to six kittens inside it and that reminds you that you meant to list it on ebay and now wonder if you will get extra for if you included cat placenta as a value added enticement. “Get you cat placenta and pucker up for the blow!”

Anyway, I am over playing the game. Leadership is not a position, it is something that you do. Lead me, show me the goods and then maybe you might get some interest. In the meantime, I will be over here in my pyjamas, filling my glass.

A week in the life of a teacher librarian

edutech 1

The conference was great, well, elements were great, others were hoohum, as all conferences are, but on the whole I found much to ponder and reflect upon.

The first day I was like a honey pot around which a couple of colleagues form other schools swarmed around. Possessing a magnetic personality can be such a burden at times. The second day I was solo all day, as we followed different conference streams, and these days I prefer that.

My motel room with its city views was a room overlooking a building site, on a bust inner city road. The footpath to the motel was blocked and so I had to walk a block out of my way to circumvent the building site to reach the motel at the end of the day which impressed me not, but I broke the budget and ordered a glass of wine along with my room service dinner.

edutech 6

city views!

The next morning, suitcase in hand I decided not to walk back to the convention centre and so asked for a taxi. A very polite driver who almost drove us in front of a bus and then in his haste almost reversed over a woman walking across the motel drive way. The short drive was less eventful but did feel longer than it should have!

Day to was in the ballroom

Day Two started in the ballroom

My major grump was about the little things that can make a conference less of a positive experience – not enough food at some breaks,  a lack of seats to sit upon when eating, and surfaces to rest a glass or cup during a meal too. The food was all finger or fork food, but as you had to leave the food area with drink and food, if you couldn’t claim one of the few standing tables or rare seats well then you were in for a juggling act. I twittered my annoyance at having to sit on the floor, more than once.

might be a floor seat, but damn my shoes look great

might be a floor seat, but damn my shoes look great

I am becoming more and more angry about the lack of creativity and innovation in my school, and if I had the flexibility might consider branching into something new, but I am in my late fifties now, and the main bread winner and so I am rather constrained in my possibilities. It’s bubbling around in my consciousness now, the need to create and innovate is growing, and so I may just increase my environment scanning. I’ve never been afraid of career change, but I am realistic that being in my last fifties, well, in Australia that means possibilities are not plentiful. Ageism is alive and flourishing sadly.

Garbed in her trusty scarf and socks, Flamingo Dancer goes forth to fight ignorance and information overload everywhere!

Garbed in her trusty scarf and socks, Flamingo Dancer goes forth to fight ignorance and information overload everywhere!

On the home front, Daughter 1 celebrated a birthday and Petite Fille and I baked a chocolate cherry cake. It was delicious even if I do say so myself.

Peppercorn

Peppercorn goes to ground!

Peppercorn, who turns six months this coming week is crawling! That baby can certainly work a rug, and loves nothing better than to roll and crawl about the floor. I think she gets very frustrated by the constraints of her baby body! She reminds me of her mother as a baby so much – very determined and already setting her own achievement goals. I miss them dreadfully since they returned to home.

Another three or four weeks until Petite Fille and her parents will return to their own home, renovations complete. I guess life will return to normal, though I am not sure I will recognise normal anymore!