Bad hair life

orange 1

I must be feeling a little snarky. Actually, I know that I am feeling snarky. Too much social media lately, mainly because I am brain exhausted and seeking to veg out and social media is a mindless filler. Well, most of the time, sometimes there is incredible information on Facebook or whatever and that is what keeps me checking in.

The snarky bit relates to those stupid memes where some dead celebrity os credited with saying someone deep and meaningful which is just not true. Also, the memes where it is declared that pain makes us a better person or appreciate the good times. Bollocks. Pain is neither character building or life enhancing. It just hurts and hopefully we survive it and get on with the rest of our life. Pain is not destiny.

Thursday afternoon, while the hairdresser was cutting my hair, she disappeared for a few minutes. She had cut her finger trimming the previous client’s hair and the band aid was inadequate for the stream os blood. The fresh band aid was soon stained with blood, but she kept on snipping. Lovely. I felt sorry for her, but, well you know, it was my hair!

My doctor is still fine tuning my blood pressure medication. Actually, I think he has lost the plot, but time will prove that to him. I have to monitor my blood pressure twice a day, at home. The sheet of paper I was using filled, so one night I grabbed the first thing I found on my bedside table – a tissue box. Do you think I need to transcribe it before my next visit? I just used the last tissue, so they could file the empty box.

Oh, the other thing that I am testy about, is the number of people pushing iPad apps for children, small children. Literacy and numeracy do not grow from an app. Children need good old fashioned play and adults reading to them, and that gives them the best start in the world. Conversation with their parents, experiences in the real world; not an app pushing a duck around a screen. Technology is why our kids have lost literacy skills. Don’t fall for it, people. Rise up and reclaim your child’s creativity!

Flying to Perth on Saturday for a play date with Peppercorn. My sister asked last Sunday if I had packed my suitcase! I beg your pardon? It is a six day visit to my daughter, who owns a washing machine, in a city. How much packing do I need? It is not an African safari with Dr. Livingstone. No, I am not a trial packer.

Son has completed his second master’s degree and this week is trialling with an IT company in the city. It appears that in I.T you don’t interview for jobs, so much as work with them for a couple of days. I don’t know which is more pressure – a interview or a  trial. SIL though had to have a series of interviews and a psych test, which had to be repeated because the software malfunctioned for his recent new position. That is cruel. Anyway, send the white light people that Son gets a full time position (and it doesn’t get outsourced to India!). Mr FD and I would really like to be empty nesters; though I think Son can work form home a couple of days a week with this position!. The other days are smack bang in the central business district, so maybe he will need country down time!

The last thing on my snark list for today is that I need to get my drivers permit renewed. Last time I could do a tick and flick online, reuse the existing photo. Okay, it showed dark hair and I am now grey but it is me, damn it. This time, because I have one sighted eye, I have to go to an optometrist and a doctor for eye tests. I have had one eye since 1976 and I have never had to do this much before. Why now? Money grab I guess, and as the optometrist will bill my medical insurance and the doctor the government, one can see how health costs are blowing out. Of course I could “pretend” no eye issues, but then if I had an accident I hate to think of the legal mess I would be in. So, two days of my precious holidays taken up with jumping through hoops for the nanny state.

Well, unloading on you has been most therapeutic; thank you. Just one question, are you feeling snark now? Snarkiness loves company, even introverted snarks.

 

the modern way

Shaun Tan

Daughter One has flown to the other side of the country,  the west coast of Australia, to visit with her sister, Daughter Two and finally meet new niece,  Peppercorn.

I was at work when an email arrived from D1 telling me she was downstairs enjoying a solo coffee while waiting for D2 and Peppercorn to wake up.

Seconds later, an email from D2 with a photo of a smiling Peppercorn wishing me a happy Monday.

Microseconds, another email from D1 saying she wished D2 would wake up.

Mother (me) five hours away by plane on the east coast, emails back and tells her D2 and Peppercorn are awake. Family reunited.

Scary isn’t it.

 

nothing stays the same for evermore, or will you trust your child to a driverless car?

Roger Wilkerson, The Suburban Legend

Chatting with Daughter1 on the telephone (landline, how quaint) I asked what Petite Fille was up to, as I could hear various play noises in the background.

Daughter launched into a rather long explanation of how they needed new saucepans and how they had used some free points towards buying a set of saucepans etc. etc. While I was happy for Daughter to have new saucepans, nothing she said appeared to relate to Petite Fille’s present occupation.

“Lovely dear, but what is Petite Fille doing, right now?”

“Oh, she is sitting in the box.”

Like all imaginative two year olds she was sitting in the now empty saucepan box and “driving” it around her play world. I believe she had even improvised a steering wheel.

Writing this, it has caused me to wonder what will children of the future do, when all cars are driverless and we merely sit and wait to be delivered? Will they sit in their pretend back set updating their social media instead of brooooomm brooooooming, honking horns and steering with plastic plates and round objects, madly?

Will Mums doing the school pick up be made redundant, as parents will simply send a driverless car to school for their child? Perhaps a robot will ask children “What happened at school, today” to receive the “Nothing” reply that Mums traditionally receive.

fog, photos and body parts, as well as a long distance lesson

foggy morning

Heavy fog blanketed most of my drive to work this morning, but the day opened up into a summery day, except this is suppose to be autumn in Australia.  The weather man declares a cold change is coming, but I don’t think 29C days are building an argument for him!

Staff photo went well. I got to stand in the second row for the staff photo – ground level more importantly. I was prepared to refuse to climb their scaffolding this year – I have depth perception issues due to only having one eye, and I am finally at an age when I feel confident enough to say “no way am I doing that!” However, I didn’t have to. I did refuse to remove my glasses though. My glasses tint up in the sunshine and so I look as though I am wearing sunnies in the photo, big deal. The photo is going to languish at the bottom of someone’s closet until it goes into the bin anyway!

Home Class photo was accomplished as well. We had everyone turn up a. to school and b. from various classes at the appointed time (my home class has students from years 10,11 and 12). There was one young man who kept making silly faces and so they kept taking more photos until the rest of the cohort was ready to punch him and then he became serious.

One of my seniors said that during his individual senior photo “the photographer dude touched my dick!” Not sure if he was serious, I asked if he wanted me to talk to someone about it, but he replied no. I suspect it was an accidental and very fleeting brush at some stage in the photo process, if that, and a rather large exaggeration in the retelling. What surprised me more was a student using the word “dick” in a conversation with a female teacher, an older female teacher. How times have changed.

Then again, I heard one year 8 student call another year 8 student the “c” word in the library the other day – and when I reprimanded him, he couldn’t understand, amongst other things, why the word is disrespectful towards women!

Tomorrow is parent teacher student interviews. I have none so I get meet and greet for an hour on the door. I always seem to get meet and greet, but hey, no complaints from me!

The other amazing thing today, well not really amazing, but a reminder of what a great time we live in, was that I spent 90 minutes involved in a webinar with an IT person situated on the west coast of the USA. She was able to speak to over 70 librarians spread across Australia and take us through a tutorial where we could ask questions as we went. No, not the first time I have participated in a webinar, but isn’t it great to think how global education is now? It must be great to be student these days, compared to the days when all we had for research was a set of encyclopaedia – if we were lucky!

Yes, apparently, tomorrow is another school day.

tea legs

are we jettisoning our children into solitary confinement?

house 1

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?

I have decided to be happy because it is good for my health… and the expected lifespan of those about me!

calm

Over recent years I have really worked on controlling feelings of anxiety that I experience from time to time, sometimes so intensely that the feelings become physical. I think I am the umpteenth generation in an anxiety ridden family.

Some six or seven years ago, I did a short course in relaxation and meditation. From time to time I would utilise those rudimentary skills in trying to survive anxious moments, days, weeks, months! More times that not the relief I experienced was hard won and fleeting, for it is not easy to quieten the internal voices of anxiety.

Surprisingly, since moving to the country and gaining a degree of peace and serenity, I have turned to meditation on a more regular basis. Often it is just to quieten my mind at the end of a long day, and I practice it lying in my bed, quite happy to fall asleep mid-meditation.

During the recent holidays, now jut a fleeting memory alas, in the spare time I had, I endeavoured to be more disciplined in approaching my daily mediation practice. Over the years I have found that I need a spoken meditation, a voice to centre me and take me through the process. This is probably because, despite the passage of time, I am still quite a novice.

By chance I came across an app for meditation called, Headspace. Now let me clear this is not a paid or endorsed advertisement for Headspace. I have found that it is working for me, and perhaps it might be of use to one other person out there, who knows. The first 10 days were free and after that it is a paid subscription. As I write this, I am up to day 12, or phase two of the program and yes, I have paid for a subscription. My health is worth it.

I find American accents really annoying in meditation, and also female voices, so I am happy to say that so far, the narrator is a male, with a British accent. Well, I hear it as British, and so it meets my needs.There are sometimes short introductory animations that assist me in zoning in, so another plus in my case.

Once or twice my brain has been racing, or my body has been in such a tight anxiety state that the initial 10 minute meditation just didn’t cut it with me. On those occasions I have actually completed two consecutive sessions and felt all the better for it. Phase two have fifteen minute sessions and already I feel a positive impact.

The breathing techniques are great and can be used at ant time. I have used them when needing to be very still during a scan, when in pain, angry, and before medical procedures.  When I need to slow and find my happy place is when they work best.

Now I know meditation doesn’t work for everyone. I have one friend who suffers form severe depression and any form of meditation actually sends her right into high anxiety. All I know, is that in my personal experience, it assists me to find some peace in each day.

Something to meditate upon, perhaps?