Truth to tell: self professed National Treasure

nena von

I am a self professed National Treasure, but maybe those who interviewed me on Monday differ in their opinion. They rang two of my referees yesterday, which caused a bit of excitement, but absolute silence today, so I am thinking they are of the ilk that checks every applicant’s references as part of their process; not just the front runner. My son suggested that as they have gone through at least 3 librarians in 6 years that may not be working for them!

Oh well, if they do not choose me, I will soldier on. 6 more days of students. Most will drop off from Friday and we will have very small numbers next week, so the end of the year is in sight. Poor Minerva physically returned 700 textbooks today and moved them to the compactus in the textbook room. On her journey home she sent me a text saying she was stopping to buy painkillers and alcohol. I blame her not. She’s a trooper.

More important things to think about than job disappointments. Baby Peppercorn may arrive sooner rather than later as monitoring shows the placenta is struggling to do its job, so Peppercorn may be on Santa’s Christmas list this year. I fly over in 10 days so may be there for the birth! I shall mind my place and stay in the background if I am. It is Daugher2 and Mr D2’s moment, not for me to crash. Boy or Girl, what is your bet?

I have imbibed a cold vodka and orange, so feeling rather sanguine about life and jobs at the moment. It’s not as though I don’t have a job! If I am to stay, I just need to think about a new action plan to handle things next year. Find my happy place.

But not today. Tomorrow is another day.


a work in process

vibesI think the interview went well. We met for about 45 minutes and I actually had a series of questions and semi interviewed them at the end. I can’t do anything about my age, and the fact that I am not a member of their particular religion, but then most of their students wouldn’t be either!

The usual, “we have number of people to interview” but they said they would make a decision mid to late week. Of course those timelines mean nothing as it always takes longer than one expects.

We laughed together, and I always thing that is a good thing. No negative vibes, also good.

We shall see.


Thanks for the well wishes – you are a wonderfully supportive group, and much appreciated.


Another crazy week in a crazy world; or perhaps I should say, another week, another student complaint. So over students’ total self centred sense of entitlement at the cost of others. Many mothers on my stick list for making their kids so co-dependent and pathetic. Teachers are people too!

We farewelled our senior class on Friday. I was particularly fond of my home class’s group of seniorsand will miss them. One came in with her Mum before the ceremony to give me a gift and it was a tough moment. I want so much for that young lady – happiness and success and oh, everything.

It was a 38C day as we piled into an undercover area for the ceremony. Adolescent boys are smelly things at the best of times, but third day of heat in a row and the area was ripe. I always take my folding paper fan with me and this day it was used more to waft the aroma away, than to cool. At times the fanning was frantic! I don’t want to smell your sweaty hair.

Mr FD has to stay a third week with his Uncle on the Farm, who like too many old people will not cooperate when the family are trying to source support for them. Everyone is working to keep him in his own home; which is not easy when he is on a farm and a distance from services, and to maintain his dignity, but the damn fool won’t cooperate and he is aided and abetted by some very self-seeking people. Mr FD’s sister has arrived to assist now.

Missing his dog and his own home, I sent Mr FD a couple of photos to remember us by.

View from our front door

View from our front door


The one and only Augie Dog

The one and only Augie Dog

And of course…

His wife.....hahhahahahahahaha

His wife…..hahhahahahahahaha

HIs dog wrecked my night’s sleep. He woke me about three a.m. whining, so I took him out to his patch, but I think he just wanted to chase cane toads. When we went back to bed he was agitated and it was only after I sat on the side of the bed and stroked his head for awhile that he calmed down. I went back to sleep, but I don’t know what Augie did. He may have whined, he may have partied, he may have thought deep and meaningful thoughts, but he left me alone until 8am.

When I stirred from my nightmare, and it was nightmare for the Deputy Principal was in my dream, I had a headache. We were in my parents’ house and I had about 30 naughty students with me who needed to be sent to RTC but the DP was telling me how peaceful my parents’s house was, despite my protestations that we had sold my parents home. We all know that he would cut his tongue out before saying the word “peaceful” so it was total terror. Who is this monster I am with?

Today is predicted to be 39C. Yesterday was 38C. The breeze feels like a furnace. My school office is air conditioned, but not the library so it is miserable the moment I walk through my office door. Our house has many levels of cooling so I am ensconced for the day. Hand me my “orange juice” Jeeves.

On the positive side, I have been offered an interview for the TL job 9 minutes from home! Monday 4pm QLD time, so have power thoughts for me . You work out the time difference and if it is in the middle of the night your time I expect you to rise, walk to your window and face Australia. No, that is not the floor, you are down under, not us. You are behind us, unless you are a New Zealander and we won’t make the NZ  joke that is begging to be made there

10 school days until Summer Vacation! Minerva made me a little calendar to count the days, The Big Whatever Bless Her Soul. That woman can read my soul, and she guessed I had applied for another job. If I do go, she is the real regret I will have leaving that library. We are peas in a pod, but she is a better person than I. I guess, we shall see what we shall see.


I’m calling yoooooouuuuu

baby doll

I lost a large part of the night to Nelson Eddie calling Jeanette McDonald – a solo bird calling in search of a mate; an Australian Love Call, so to speak. Nelson was lucky that I could neither pin which tree he was serenading from and that my throwing arm is not what it was (if it ever was!); or stones may have flown. Instead, I lay awake envision him in someone’s Sunday stew pot.

Sunday morning, I felt like I was hungover without any previous enjoyment. Tired and emotional, I wrote what I hope is my final word on the student issue – still unresolved, and no doubt will remain so as the students are not willing to be honest. Of course, the fact that they caused mayhem in the library and made a rude finger gesture towards me has been lost in all the pretend issues, but I refuse to give them more power and so will no longer sign anything. My parting comment is that they have learnt behaviour that works for them and now they will use it towards other teachers.  I am finished.

baking 1

So, what to do when I am feeling tired and emotional? Bake a second dried fruit Christmas Cake. It emptied the Brandy bottle! This cake will fly with me to Perth. I was allowed to use brown sugar in the second cake, instead of the rice syrup that Daughter 1 asked for in my first baking. Daughter2 is of the mind that Christmas cakes should not be messed with, a child after my own heart. The texture and taste were superior in my mind, but the proof will be in the eating.

Mr FD calls nightly. Poor Uncle has real mind and body issues, and it appears that the family has to set in place the power of attorney to protect his interests. He’s 91 and has faired well until the last couple of years, but this year in particular he has declined. The problem is he lives alone, having never married. He had a farm manager couple who assist him, but you can’t allow the manager to run the properties without oversight. So this week, Mr FD and his cousin will be visiting the lawyer and the health authorities to gather help and support for Uncle. Even though Uncle has set all this in place, he will be very difficult to gain cooperation from.

The problem when they slip in and out of dementia is that they don’t consider there is anything wrong with them. We have been through this too many times now, with both my parents; Mr FD’s to a lesser degree and now Uncle. Expertise in a field we don’t desire.

Petite Fille, hopefully is coming to visit next weekend. If the weather is hot, I will roll out the water slide for her, and we shall slide down our hill under the sprays. Now that’s something to look forward too!

My cathedral

In need of restoration from the work week, I stood on our patio and soaked in the elements of a private cathedral, our garden. Filled with scents, colours and bird song, it is more religion to me than any man made structure of bricks and mortar, or declaration of man.

Augie Dog by my side, relaxed under the influence of our garden, sank,  stretching out, as the magic of nature entwined us. Restored us.

Saturday morning, the rains have come. Mr FD is away, caring for his old Uncle who can no longer be left alone, and yet will not accept help. I feel sorry for Uncle, who is suffering the loss of his life to dementia, but also for Mr FD who has to deal with resistant, anger and denial every minute he is trying to assist Uncle.

Another tough week. School is more like a war zone these days. Students kick holes in walls, and another of our couches has been cut. Teachers with decades of experience working with children have declared this present cohort of students, particularly the years 7 and 8, as some of the most destructive and ill-behaved of their careers. Not a proud branding.

New gardens were constructed to soften and beautify the grounds and just days into the plantings, students are not only crashing through the gardens, but actively pulling the plants out. Why would they even bother? What unruly anger is within these young people? Such self centred, disrespect.

Parents who do not respect, are growing children who do not respect. Then add the ingredient of the influence of social media and young people feeling the pressure to out perform, one up, to achieve constant attention. Self absorbed is their middle name. Mobile phones in school are weapons of destruction.

My personal battle was added to this week. A male student who was asked not to enter the library as we had no space left and as he had stated he didn’t need to use the library for study or assessment, he merely wanted to “chill out”. Within minutes he was on the mobile phone to his mother declaring he was barred from the Library. Returning from class I was informed Mummy had rang to complain. Of course her precious son had told the truth!

Mothers, do not enter into every issue your child has. Let them own their own behaviour, suffer their own consequences and learn resilience. The energy that these selfish student mistruths suck from teachers, means that students who have real issues, urgent needs, sometimes life and death issues, have to wait longer for assistance. Remember the mantra, “Don’t sweat the small stuff?” Well, apply it to your children and let us do our real jobs. Do your job as parent.

Then maybe I can enjoy my cathedral for its beauty and no just for its healing.