are we jettisoning our children into solitary confinement?

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During the recent state elections I confirmed that my students are an excellent barometer for what the community is thinking. I asked them what they thought of the State’s Premier, and the Opposition Leader. I did this knowing full well that they would be parroting what they heard adults saying. They all hated the Premier, and were more favourable on the Opposition Leader. Election Day, the Premier lost his seat in the state’s parliament, but his government appear to have lost the election, though it is hanging on a knife’s edge with vote counting still taking place.

This week, I asked them if they ate dinner with their family at the table each night, or did they all take a plate and sit in front of the television. I was not anticipating their answers.

The majority of the students said that they actually took their meal and returned to their rooms to continue doing whatever they had been doing, such as playing on their computers.

That struck me as incredibly sad. These children are away from their families all day, and yet they are not even coming together in a central place to be together.

When our children were at school, we always ate together at the table, and some of the conversations were memorable. Since they have flown the coup as adults, Mr FD and I have fallen into the habit of taking our plate and watching the evening news together, which we debate hotly. We are still communicating.

These children are functioning on a minimum of parental time, and that saddens me. No wonder we are having to teach this year’s, year seven and eight students to say please and thank you, for a start!

Another place we used to be with our children was driving to and from school. Now I see the students riding in their family cars with earphones firmly inserted in their ears. If we aren’t careful, they even hide them in their hair and use them in class!

Are parents too exhausted from modern life to go the traditional mile with their children? Why are we jettisoning our children into a solitary confinement? Where are parents finding the joy in their parenting?

The Young Person’s Guide to Life : Living Beyond Your Means

piggy iou

Or, How to Work Hard to Be Poor:

  1. Get an arts degree so that you end up being a barista.
  2. Become a teacher and get underpaid for the work you do.
  3. Borrow from everyone you know.
  4. Apply for every credit card you find for the maximum they will allow you to have.
  5. Max out those credit cards every month
  6. Buy a house when interest rates are really high and lock in that interest rate so that when rates fall, yours doesn’t.
  7. Have a child. Have several children.
  8. Give your child full access to your credit card
  9. Tell your child you will pay for their education and forget to point out that the offer is good for only one university degree.
  10. Tell your child, they will always have a home with you, no matter what.
  11. Start your own business.
  12. Keep up with the Joneses… and the Smiths and the Browns.
  1. Offer to be a bridesmaid for all your friends.
  2. Have your hair styled at an inner city salon.
  3. When looking for a venue or a caterer, tell them upfront that it is for a wedding.
  4. Tell yourself that you are really going to enjoy your vacation trip, because you deserve it.
  5. Think that “stuff” will make you happy.
  6. Buy clothes before you shed the weight.
  7. Host Christmas.
  8. Go to the dentist.
  9. In Australia, think that your private health insurance will cover all your medical expenses.
  10. Be a teacher in a religious school because they will always be asking you to support some charity or other. Every day.
  11. Expect to eat healthy food at every meal.
  12. Take the family out to a nice restaurant.
  13. Leave your Christmas shopping to the last minute.
  14. Offer to buy the first round of drinks.
  15. Throw a party for your one year old.
  16. Retire
  17. Outlive your retirement fund.
  18. Require regular medication, multiple medications.
  19. Own a dog.

Why do people say Australia is upside down, down under?

australian world map

Australia is not upside down. A little racist, bigoted and intolerant at times, but never upside down. Unless, it is 4am on a Saturday morning when all the pubs have had to close, and the drunks fall out into the gutters. Then things might be upside down.

If you look on a map, Australia is pointing the same way as all the other continents. The writing on the map is the same way too, thus proving my case (well, it does in my world)

It anyone is upside down, it is the “northern” half, because who celebrates the New Year last? Don’t argue, just nod your head in agreement and make out I know what I am talking about.

I think I can feel the blood rushing to my head…

If people with one arm go to get their nails done, do they pay half price?

Flamingo glitter sunnies

I ask this because I have one eye. I do not get my glasses for half price.

I always ask, but they tell me they have to make the lens appear the same and so the price is not lower.

There is always the option to wear a monocle, I suppose, but I fear that as it is “out of the ordinary” and not mass produced these days, it might be even more expensive than a pair of glasses. One must not be different in this mass produced world. Well, not if one is poor!

Why do we call it a “pair” of glasses when they are joined as one? Or a pair of trousers, when they are one? Pair of gloves, pair of shoes, that makes sense. Pair of glasses, no.

So many questions, so little life.

If history repeats itself

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Maybe, not the dinosaur, but…

I would “shirt front” a few kings, politicians and popes and tell them to “leave the girls alone”. Mary Magdalene was not a prostitute, thank you very much, and if Henry VIII wanted to poke around and then fester into a stinky mess then what was sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander! Off with his head!

I would make sure Australia’s education system was a federal one with no state interference and therefore uniform across the nation. Education would not be political, at all.

Parents would stop blaming teachers for their own bad parenting.

I would drown Rupert Murdoch at birth. How could such a wonderful woman such as Dame Elizabeth Murdoch have given birth to that manipulative creature?

Party politics would be outlawed everywhere, and “real” democracy maintained. Death to back room deals and faceless power men.

Arnold Schwarzenegger would be made to be the husband that Maria Shriver deserves.

Oprah wouldn’t be allowed to become so fixated on “stuff” and Martha would make it cool to make a mistake.

Reading would remain as popular as running around in exercise gear trying to look like a sixteen old, is now.

Makeup would never have been invented, nor would the word “skinny”.

Sugar and salt would be “sometimes” foods.

Happiness would be viewed as internal, not external to ourselves.

The world’s favourite colour would be blue.

Religion would not be based on punishment and reward, and difference would be exalted.

I would be boss of the world and loved by all. It would be a good world.

It would be a great world,


one better than the preppers; or thinking outside the food store

steampunk 2

We were discussing what his character would do in a post-apololyptic world, when Colleague said that when everyone was rushing to ransack supermarkets for food, he would ransack a pharmacy and take all the meal replacement supplements and protein bars.

When I thought about it, I realised the brilliance of his thinking.

Could you carry a month’s worth of baked beans in your backpack? Probably not, but you could carry 90 drink sachets, or 90 protein bars in a backpack. While the preppers are anchored to their static food hoard, Backpack To Go Colleague would have the freedom to flee if necessary.

Of course, it does depend on a water supply, or at least some type of liquid for the sachet, but unless all the water is evaporated, or you are living in the desert, water is obtainable. There are plenty of small camping purification systems that could part of the backpack survival kit.

Team Beans or Team sachets, which way would you go?

steampunk 1

What Will Life Be Like In 100 Years?



A few homes in the early 1960s had this "glass garage" so you could view your large automobile from your deck or patio.

A few homes in the early 1960s had this “glass garage” so you could view your large automobile from your deck or patio.

Better, I hope.

Do you think every generation hopes that? Does anyone ever think the present is perfect?

I hope we do find the cure for cancer. That everyone gets to live a happy, healthy, productive life until they are 100, when we just die in our sleep one night.

Peace? Not sure it is in the human DNA not to need to hate someone, or need to dominate someone or something. We don’t seem to learn from our mistakes, or to leave others alone, so I am not confident there will be world peace.

Families? What a  “family” will be is difficult to imagine. I guess mush along the same lines. I suspect we might go back to more multigenerational families all living together. Finances might instigate this one, but I think we need the help of all generations to raise our young, we need our herd, and so the desire to live far from our family may decrease. Technology allowing us to work from distant places might facilitate this as well.

Libraries and Librarians. Bit tired of the media telling me that libraries and librarians are facing distinction. Like all things and professions, we will evolve. As long as there is information we will need someone to assist us with it. More information = more need of support. We aren’t born knowing how to search or use information, so I see a place for us.

Books. The physical shape of the book technology, be it hardcover, or ebook or audio, doesn’t matter, in my opinion. What matters is that people READ, and use their imaginations. I would like to think hard copy will still be available, as we use different skills to read from the page as to reading online which is more skimming. Books came about due to a major shift in technology, so technology is not the enemy, a lack of reading is the enemy.

Education. I hope it doesn’t look like it does now. Old model. I suspect kids will link in from home more. Perhaps drop into community centres where teachers and Learning Labs will be available. Maybe even 24/7. More doing, discovering, setting own learning goals. Teachers won’t need to be subject experts, but provide social and emotional support as children learn.


Do you think it would be worth being here in 100 years?