Tuesday, February 28, 2006


It's been a bit of a day really.
The grade 3s and 4s were full of beans, and I had other things on my mind. Despite all good intentions, I never did quite get around to filling out my performance review sheet (errr..booklet actually) last night. So I found myself desperately trying to think of all my accomplishments and write them down in between showing children how to create a masterpiece using oil pastels.
I was a tad flushed about it all.
I knew that my PR was this afternoon and that prin would want a finished booklet. My last class might as well have had no teacher at all. I was in the corner directing children this way and that while busily adding the finishing touches to my booklet of lies...I mean accomplishments.

Actually, I've done a lot more than I get credit for. Okay, let's rephrase that. I do a shit load and prin has no idea. I wrote it all down.

In my PR she skimmed her way through the booklet (she was well pleased by my dilligence in getting one completed?? um, weren't we supposed to?) and then said.."oh yes, well, wow you're on your way aren't you? Oh, you've done a lot haven't you? You're great, you're really great". Okay yep, thanks. Prin can be a bit, err, all over the place. I really made it clear that I was a coordinator now and she seemed surprised by that. Duh, I run a whole art program on my own dealing with a budget, a big initiative, whole school assessment and whole school learning. The art buck stops with me. Then I realised, while I was talking about it that gee, I am the coordinator..shouldn't I be getting a coordinator's wage (okay, so it's still a crap wage but hey)? Well, shouldn't I? I know that level coordinators get paid more, because they deal with everything but they also have a team to manage and I don't. I didn't broach the subject with Prin but now I'm very curious. I don't know how to find out more about it without looking like I'm trying to go above my station. I don't really want to go asking people at work about it. At the same time, if I'm taking on all this extra responsibility then surely I should be getting paid for it? I just don't know if Art actually counts when they hand out the pay raises. hm.

Prin decided that although I am run off my feet with extra responsibility and learning the ropes that I could take on this movie making project that is being run in the district. It's not a competition, but a showcase of a movie (3 mins) that the students write/storyboard/direct/act/edit/create etc of which many different schools take part. Yep, sounds excellent.
I haven't used a movie camera since I was 10 and video taped myself singing along to respect while playing the air sax. dude! I wouldn't know the first thing about writing a story board and making and editing a movie. Also, I am notoriously bad with electronic equiptment. In fact, today the computer techie threatened to strangle me because somehow I had managed to deleate all the drives from my computer. How one does that is completely beyond me - he managed to get them back but he kept giving me sly looks of hatred I thought! My special gift for fucking things up should come in handy when we're using an editing programme on the computer to splice things together. joy! Furthermore, I don't know exactly where I'm going to get the time to do it.

I rang the woman who runs the project and she wouldn't even tell me how many hours were involved in making the thing (she kept trying to skip the question), but stressed that I would need time out of the classroom to gather these children together in order to make and write this thing. There is no way in hell that is going to happen. So, I'm a tad worried about doing this AND the huge artist project all at the same time - plus familiarising myself with whole school reporting and assessment in art which needs to be developed totally from the ground up this year! Did you read my star sign from yesterday? That Jonathan Cainer is always right, man.

Then I thought, since I'm on a roll I'm going to go see V.Prin about a few things. So I crept up and he just started laughing, because apparently I look very determined when I want something. He pissed himself laughing about the movie project because he knew that I had basically been bullied into it - but he said that it was a fantastic thing to do and that I should really make it a big deal etc etc. What I wanted from him though was information. I asked him directly about ex-ex and he basically said that there is no chance she's coming into the art room. Apparently everyone hates her anyway. hmmm.

I'm feeling a touch overwhelmed.

So...who wants to help me write a script and tell me all about movie making? geez.

Monday, February 27, 2006

the pot

A gave me a hug this morning when she saw me and promised to stop bullying me all the time. Sometimes a hug just makes you feel so much better, you know? You can sort of lean against another person and you're enveloped in their arms and strength and for half a second it feels like you're not so alone in the world. Yeah, I know it was just a dumb hug and it made me late for my first class, get over it mez! But really, it was nice. I want hugs everyday.

I did a lesson today with the preps that was just utter crap. I was so dissapointed in myself for coming up with it that I could scream. It didn't work. I wasn't happy with the results and now I've committed myself to it until it's finished. It's very hard feeling your way for the first time in a new subject like this. I can't really pre-empt very much at all and I realise I don't have any carry over time to finish things off or just change things around. If it's crap then everyone suffers and sometimes I'm just crap. There, I've said it.

The other day we had a retirement party for one of the guys who worked at the school. He was one of those really wonderful positive people that had a smile on his face everyday. Usually, I hate those people (I gravitate more towards the sassy people who see the funny side of life, and realise not everything has an answer) but J is one in a million. He's great. You know, he's been married 30 or so years and has bought a bunch of flowers for his wife every week that they've been married. EVERY WEEK! It's not even a big deal to him - he just says she deserves it and he loves doing it for her. Everytime I hear that my heart just melts. It's not the flowers, it's the lovely caring nature of it all. It's so romantic. Stories like that make me think that maybe not all men are a bunch of neanderthals and actually gives me hope for the future. I know this is dangerous. Anyway, J was my movie buddy. He'd ask me for a review before he went to see anything (err, because I have no life and watch movies all the time I usually had a review ready) and I'd ask for his opinions on the movies he saw that I hadn't yet seen (usually high brow affairs). Who is going to be my movie buddy now?

One person who turned up to J's roast was the ex-ex art teacher (before my time). She apparently wants to come back into the school (she took maternity leave and her time is almost up..if she wants to come back into the school they have to let her in) and I know which position she's eyeing up. She kept giving me curious looks at the party and then turning away when I tried to meet her gaze. Before it was publically known that I was offered the art role, someone at the school who is very close to ex-ex recommended her for the position. But I know that V.Prin hates ex-ex and so the idea was poo pooed straight away. But should ex-ex actually kick up a fuss then... god.

You know, a very big part of me misses being in the classroom. I love the art role but at the same time I miss being in the thick of things and having a grade to call my own. I don't know what I would do if ex-ex wanted to come back. I know that she would have to take on any role that Prin wanted her to, which could mean music teacher or classroom teacher and I know I would probably be asked first what I wanted, but I also know (from the horror stories I've heard) that ex-ex is a real artist and that she would kill her first born to be let back in the art room. This alone makes me want to punch her in the face. When cornered I will come out guns blazing - but I tend to burn bridges when I get like that.

I don't really want to change positions every fucking year. It's like contemplating moving the journal to dl (it's already up actually, ha!) but knowing I might move back to the new dx is in the back of my mind and do I really want to send you all on a wild goose chase? okay, it's nothing like that. But I guess, although I do enjoy change and newness - I thrive on it, actually, can't stand that dullness associated with being 'safe' - still, I have to think seriously about my career at some point and becoming someone who constantly moves from one place to the next is not the way to build up a reputation as a professional who fits in, or is reliable. Jack of all trades and all that. What do you think? Am I just being an idiot?

Interestingly my star sign for today - courtesy of Jonathan Cainer.

This week, most things should trundle along nicely in a safe, ordinary fashion. Little of remarkable nature will transpire. A sense of routine will help to provide comfortable reassurance. Or at least, that's the theory. If you were someone else, this might just seem credible. But since when have you managed a whole week without a drama of some kind turning up from somewhere? You'll find yourself unable to resist the urge to get involved. You'll learn something valuable, though. And at least it will stop things from being drearily easy for too long!

I have my performance review tomorrow. I hate these things. Basically teachers don't really get bonuses, or even raises. We get the governmentally alloted increment rise. This is what is known as laughable or "peanuts" to anyone who has a job that actually pays their worth. But, since when were teachers ever paid their worth? The performance review is the process by which you go through to get the increment. I know that they are a good way of checking in on your workers and making sure that things are okay with them and it also keeps people on their toes. All good. One must be challenged and happy in order to be productive - but it's become sinister in recent years. They (powers that be) want to make it harder to achieve the inrement (remember it's a pittance, seriously you would LAUGH your arse off at it) by making the steps you need to get it harder to achieve. Okay, yes this is good on a level but 'contribution' to school is done in different ways that are not on the stupid performace review guidelines. Teachers have different talents and strengths. Some are very good at being visible. Some can put up a kick arse display. Some are great at public speaking. Some can organise the shit out of anything. Some teachers are good at being a great support that allow others to shine. All are equally important in a school and contribute invaluably. I don't see how making all teachers conform to a certain *ideal* of "contribution" is going to make us better teachers. We each add our own individual talents to the pot, why suppress that? You can't make a beef casserole with only beef you know. How can you make a school with only show ponies?

*edit* since I put my star sign in, I might as well go the whole hog and do a survey eh? Don't hate me for being a dumb survey whore.

the Romantic

you chose BY - your Enneagram type is FOUR.

"I am unique"

Romantics have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.

How to Get Along with Me

* Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.
* Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.
* Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.
* Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.
* Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!

What I Like About Being a Four

* my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level
* my ability to establish warm connections with people
* admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life
* my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor
* being unique and being seen as unique by others
* having aesthetic sensibilities
* being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me

What's Hard About Being a Four

* experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair
* feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved
* feeling guilty when I disappoint people
* feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me
* expecting too much from myself and life
* fearing being abandoned
* obsessing over resentments
* longing for what I don't have

Fours as Children Often

* have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original game s
* are very sensitive
* feel that they don't fit in
* believe they are missing something that other people have
* attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.
* become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood
* feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)

Fours as Parents

* help their children become who they really are
* support their children's creativity and originality
* are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings
* are sometimes overly critical or overly protective
* are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed

Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele

The Enneagram Made Easy
Discover the 9 Types of People
HarperSanFrancisco, 1994, 161 pages

Sunday, February 26, 2006

I'm dope on the floor and I'm magic on the mic.

apparently MC Hammer has a blog at blogspot. Good god, I was considering moving to dl but now I'm going to have to rethink the whole move - you are the company you keep after all! I was 12 or 13 when U Can't Touch This came out and I remember sitting down to dinner watching The Factory or whatever-the-hell music show was on at dinner time when that song came on. My father, whose tollerance for crap waned as we moved past the 80s and into the 90s just threw down his fork and started shouting his head off (actually first my mother killed herself laughing about the pants and the waste of extra material). "This man is on drugs!!" I think were his exact words. And then the TV went off, and no more music was to be had during dinner from there on in. Great, thanks for that "Hammer".

Incidentally what the hell was going on with rap at that time? Not only did we have Hammer with his 'could stuff a watermelon down there and noone would even notice' pants (and hey, remember when he challenged Michael Jackson to a dance off? haha), but also Kris Kros (the boys who wore everything backwards, wiggida wiggida wiggida wack!) Snow (I likky boom boom down - say WHAT? - type reggae that I'm sure even HE hated) and not to mention everyone's favourite Vanilla Ice (think Eminem but with fluro outfits and an Elvis hairdo). I'm surprised that I'm not even *more* fucked up than I already am. Music in the early 90s was...well, it was scary folks. Thank god for grunge.

I've been contemplating this move a lot. Some folks have banded together to (maybe) form a new d-x from the ground up. Adding new features but keeping all the cool bits (this would be absolutely brilliant, since dx was bar none the best service out there..well except for the dumb mistakes regarding the server). I don't really know what to do now. I *was* all ready to move to dl (and I mean ready) but it's not like I want to move journals 80 thousand times in one year. But how long do I really want to wait?

I've had Juke Box Hero - Foreigner in my head for the past two days. I could think of worse songs..

Saturday, February 25, 2006

random facts

- I like assembling articles from Ikea and other assorted flat packs. Yeah, I know this is totally weird, cause noone likes doing shit like this. When the new whiteboard came for the art room I assembled it and stood back watching my handiwork. I would hammer nails and saw up pieces of wood like a champion as a kid (bloody strange). I never made anything good, but damn I loved hammering! I love seeing results.

- I hate asking people for favours or help. I'll only ever ask for something as a last resort. I learnt pretty early on that every favour has a price, and usually that price is not even worth the favour. I know this is not actually true in the scheme of things and that most people are willing to help if you ask BUT it's difficult to unlearn the sins of ones freakish childhood sometimes. I might want something desperately, but probably still won't ask. If I do happen to ask you for something, rest assurred that I am probably shitting myself about doing it and have probably contemplated suicide first.

- Going to sleep at 2am is pretty average for me. If I get to sleep at midnight, that's really bloody early. I usually crave a nap at about 4pm-ish. I hate waking up. I *loathe* the alarm and I am not a fan of "early risers". I seriously think if you go to bed by 9 or 10pm you are a total freak of nature.

- I spent a long time contemplating a Monet yesterday. I just stood there and looked at it until my next class came in. I like doing things like that. I like having the time to just think about things sometimes (not all the time mind you, I fucking hate those people that lala along in the shopping centre). I realise this is a perk of the Art job - the time to look and think. I value that a lot. Yes, I bitch 99% of the time but I know a good thing when I see it.

- I should wear my glasses more often but I don't. I hate the idea of contacts, because I actually *like* glasses. But they're a pain in the arse sometimes. My eyesight is not that bad, it's just hard to read the board/movies sometimes. Plus I need my glasses for driving so I know that when I take them into school I'll probably forget them on my desk or something (which has happened on numerous occassions). So I made the choice to be blind at school and see on the roads. I should just invest in a school pair, eh?

- I need music everyday - I have a lot of crap in my collection and I love that as much as I love the good stuff (listening to Pleasure and Pain by The Divinyls atm - you decide whether that's crap or not. heh). I spent most of my formative years listening to my walkman. I mean, I took it everywhere I went. Yeah, I'm going to be deaf by 30, I'm not one of those people who listen to their ipod on low levels either - but it's been a fun journey. On the other hand, sometimes I need complete silence.

-I can be quite shy sometimes. Not always, but sometimes, yes. I'm not really sure what brings it on as I can be quite loud and brash, even with people I don't know but then at other times I'm just ..shy. As a child I'd run and hide if anyone came to the door. I don't always answer the door, or the phone or whatever even now.

- I'm an iceberg. I don't want to be, but I am. It's all underneath the surface, you know?

dx..has totally undergone a total failure. All journal data is lost and the site is down forever. I don't know about blogspot, diaryland, livejournal. All of them too big, not quite right.. Any suggestions would be nice.
If you could find another way to totally rip out my soul, besides killing everyone I loved then I couldn't name it.
really. It's like when there's a fire and after everyone is safe the one thing you want are the photos because they are irreplaceable.
I know everyone just says, oh start again as if it's just that easy. For me, it's not just that easy. There are things I wrote that I want back.

Friday, February 24, 2006

you must be my lucky star

It hasn't been the best day. I don't know, I've just felt very fragile and ...well, like crap. Everyone seems to have a big fucking problem with me at the moment. I suppose it was inevitable, since well...this is me we're talking about. I feel it coming on from from all angles though. I hate that, it's some sort of prime operation that has been planned for the past 27 (almost 28 mind you) years and now, suddenly they've all got their act together and are firing fast.

I swear I had 5 different comments today about my lack of "fella" - 2 from teachers, one from a friend, one from a parent and one from a bloody KID! Why? because I'm bloody teflon! argh! Then they all start up with what I'm doing wrong and how it would help for me to change my whole personality. Yep, I'll take that into consideration folks. Feeling really great about myself.

Then I was basically called a bitch (okay, I called myself a bitch and noone actually disagreed with me) for refusing to do something that someone offered my services for (no, I'm not a prostitute) but that I didn't want to do. The background story on it is that A has been bullying me lately to do things I don't especially want to do and I've been saying no a lot but it's just getting tiring now. I love A, but she's only 49 and I consider that a peer, not a mother.

That was just the begining of the day, but by the end I had been pulled so many different ways. I don't know if it's a full moon or what but I was offending people just by looking at them it seems. sigh

Just before lunch time we had a power surge and all the power went off. It was hot today; stinking, boiling, hot. Being in a small enclosed space with 24 11 year olds who are all singing "morning train" by Sheena Easton because it's an inside lunchtime (too hot to go outside) and they're bored is not exactly a fun way to spend your lunchtime when you're feeling like crap.

By the time it got to the end of the day I was sweating my head off trying to put up a display when a parent walked past and made some big ordeal looking for her kids' work and being all huffy when it wasn't there. I have space for maybe 20 or so pieces and in a level of 80 that means that most of the level isn't going to have their work up. Get over it! Prin has already made it abundantly clear that I am to only put quality up and not all work is going to be of standard. That was the end for me I stood there just blinking back tears willing myself not to bawl. I hate crying at school. I've done it a few times but it's horrible to lose it in public - especially since I'm *really* not a public crier (by public, I mean in front of ANYONE). It's such a dumb thing to get upset over, I know. But it's was the straw and all that. I just couldn't win today.

Maybe I'm pms or something. Do guys ever feel like just bawling their eyes out into their pillow until everything feels okay again?

oh yeah, I was in the art room and who should walk in but the cleaner carrying my ART ROOM BUCKET! I had no idea what to say. It seemed so petty to grovel over an 89c bucket (and besides, I was chicken shit). That bastard! In true passive aggressive stance I have taken his mop, and broom and placed it outside the art room. He can go to hell if he thinks that he's storing his shit in my art room if he's going to be stealing buckets. It's on! It is ON! I have scrawled ART ROOM on all the remaining buckets with waterproof black marker.

I went and saw Match Point with bro. We both enjoyed it though it lagged a bit in some areas. I think Woody's strength has always been the way he writes conversation. I enjoy conversation in film, especially if it's witty (Kevin Smith) or thought provoking (ie: Before Sunrise/Sunset). He wasn't so much witty this time but a topic that was brought up in the movie really caught my attention.

Luck. Hard work is one thing, but in the end luck has a lot to do with how successful one is at living life. I guess this has been on my mind for a while anyway because I see people trying their heart out all the time and lesser folk win out in the end. It happens all the time. It's kind of heartbreaking. If luck had nothing to do with it then bad things wouldn't happen to good people, and it is obvious that that is not always the case. Bad things do happen to good people sometimes. Why? Luck, fate whatever. How much of your life do you really think you control and how much is just pure dumb luck?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

last dance

It's always interesting going out to coffee with E. She is one of my best friends but we are on polar opposites in our approach to most things in life. She is focused, direct and into kicking arses and taking names - while I am more uncertain, shy-ish and basically a strangeo. We both have the same idiotic sense of humour that no one else in the room ever gets though so I guess that is where we meet in the middle. It's all hand signals and in jokes. Once when we were playing "Cranium" and the answer was "DNA" she just looked at me and said "oh come on Mez, you *know* this one". Got the answer in 2 seconds after that. Why? Who knows? We're freaks, I guess.

Coffee, was a good chance to talk about the (rather disasterous) girls night we had a couple of weeks ago. There were a few problems in that men (or a certain man) become an issue between E and L. E is married but flirts. L is looking and always gets her man. S is getting married - is a champion flirter but her fiance forbids her to flirt. We've already established that I cannot "do" the scene at all so I am what you will call the world's BIGGEST DUD! Okay? established? good.

Basically E and L had issues on the night because E was flirting with a man that L liked. E said that she was just paving the way for L to come in at the last minute, but L took it as E cutting her grass (at this stage I was just drowning vodka orange and trying not to listen to the band). Since E is married, she doesn't need to flirt, right? Well, I guess it depends on who you ask (another issue entirely)

E is of the opinion that you only get the guy if you're friendly and open and that L wasn't being friendly and open so therefore she needed "help". Furthermore she argued that the guy in question was playing "The Game" (you know, that book that is making the rounds) and in doing that he was ignoring L - the prime target - which would then make him more interesting to her because he wasn't paying attention to her (or something).. The thing that I would like to stress about the situation is that L *always* gets her man because she's a hot blonde and men don't really care about the friendly and open bullshit if you're a hot blonde. I've seen her be ruthless but they still line up for more. I proposed that E wanted to flirt because she misses the thrill of the chase and that if it was realy about L then E would have made the ring more noticable. L proposed that she was pissed off by the whole situation and that E sort of ruined something that would have inevitably happened had E just stepped asside (at this stage I was eyeballing the lead singer so that he'd be put off singing).

God, girls are fucked up. I refuse to get involved with these flirting at pubs shennanigans. I can't do it. i'm crap. First of all, the whole scene is devoid of any sincerity and I cannot even contemplate anyone I haven't had a proper conversation with (sucks to be me, right?). Why is the scene so cut-throat anyway? I think I mentioned at lookingsideways that I was so fed up with the whole situation that I actually wanted to go downstairs and watch the bloody rugby. Seriously, it looked like so much more fun down there!

E and I talked a little about The Game and how easily women are manipulated. I supppose men are too. The whole book is about using clever little manipulations to attract women. Now, women (like men) are a fickle bunch and these tactics probably work, unless you are wired like me. I was woeing to E about the state of being me and struggling to fit into this kind of scene because I find it so tiresome and boring.

Things I don't like, but that other girls (like E) do seem to accept as wonderful about men.
* suits (exception: the tie has been losened, top button undone and shirt untucked - do men ever walk around like this?). I'm a bit wary of them. You can't tell anything from a suit except that all personality dissapears except in the form of a wacky tie. I fucking hate wacky ties unless worn ironically. I know that men wear suits to work. That's cool. I dig it - a suit doesn't make someone "less" lovely or anything. Just don't expect me to swoon just because a guy happens to wear one!
* pick up lines (what the hell do they mean anyway?) I have trouble accepting anyone making a comment about me who hasn't taken the time to know me. I know pubs aren't the place for girls who don't like lines so I realise this is my problem entirely. I stress, this is *not* an issue I have with men, just that pick up lines makes me immediately distrust them. I *know* that's it's hard for men and god love you if you actually have the courage to pick up chicks. I think it's a horrid business and secretly I love you for doing it, but yeah sucks to be me.
* yobboish or boarish behaviour (Some girls like it - ie: footy players! - but for me? dude, I'm a chick!).
* flashy something or other (okay, so you have a porche.. I don't particularly care if you do or don't. I'm just not actually impressed by them. So you have a lot of money? Good for you, but are you going to be home at night? Do you care about the people around you? Did you have to step on people to get where you are?).
* Treat 'em mean keep 'em keen. (okay, yes I acknowledge that this works with most women, but I can't stand it! I know it's a tactic that men use and I'm sorry it's not going to work. I simply don't have the confidence to take that on the chin. If you ignore me I immediately think you don't like me and so I just switch off).
etc etc.

E finds my little quirks about men funny. I really wish I was just like every other girl out there that accepted these things as normal (and there are a multitude of reasons why I don't) but it sure would make life a tad easier if I did. But then, on the other hand I shake my head in the general direction of girls who actually like this kind of shit.

Where do the good guys hang out anyway?

I'm going to end up with a turkey baster and a cat aren't I? Jesus christ - Or even worse, a nun. Far out, I hope the Catholics will take me back (surely, it's like the back bench at parliment house - they'll take anyone).

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


she is morphing.
olive coloured oil pastel lines drawn hard against cartridge paper represent her harsh landscape.
emerald green rubbings over fine leaf stencils for trees.
Her buildings are grey acrylic applied in long thick upward strokes
and her sky; a watercolour blue with wax resist streaky clouds.
She is a collage of National Geographic cut out people and New Idea frivolity, stuck down, drawn over, torn up and re-represented.
Her gardens; a patch of brightly coloured curled ribbon for petals and twisted jade crepe for stalks.
By mixing acrylic and PVA you can paint her black roads in thick meandering curves. They look textured and tactile.
You outline her in thick black oil pastels and then use dye to fill in the white spaces until she looks like the picture in your mind (of what she is, or should be..you never could quite reconcile the two).
You construct her sprawling outer suburban housing out of cereal boxes and picture frame corners.
Her sunset is a tissue paper montage roughly torn in a multitude of colours and stuck down onto the page
Indigo at the top, blue, purple, pink, red and orange where it meets the horizon at the bottom.

the way you see everything has changed.

school, again. sorry.

The artist has come to the school to work with the children. She has effortlessly inspired stuff in one lesson that I couldn't do in my whole career I think. I hope I learn a lot about what it takes to be an inspirational and creative teacher, because although I might be doing okay for now, I've just realised I'm nowhere near where I could be. This is good. A challenge is good.

I've been receiving a lot of praise for my display boards that are slowly going up as the weeks progress. I know that parents have been stopping to have a look and so they have become a discussion point. I wish they would come and let me know they like them though. I spend so long on them and keeping them safe that it's exhausting. It would be nice to get some personal feedback. I got quite a few of them done before our information night, but some students have work in progress that is taking a while to finish off. What I like about the art role is being able to influence the look of the school by using the kids' art work and my own. I like conceiving what a display board will look like, and I do like putting one together. It just takes a lot more hours to do than I have avaliable (in a life time heh). If the school was open 24 hours a day, I *know* that I would be here very late almost every night getting things done that are outside the general "planning" of lessons. This kind of job is a "burnout" for a personality like mine. Although I can be the most laid back person in the world. When it comes to something that everyone will see I am really pedantic and picky.

R from next door (last year) told me that I'm scarier than K (art teacher from last year) and therefore I probably shouldn't have to worry about too much stuff going missing from the art room. I questioned her use of the word scary and she laughed her arse off and said that while K watched everyone like a hawke and was extremely guarded, I am the type of person that is more easy going but would enquire about someone's motives for taking something, and while that is not altogether scary - people might not want to defent their motives to me. It's probably true! I *do* ask people what they need things for, though my motivation for that is because I'm interested in what people do in their classrooms. But, this new found scariness is awesome!

My lovely friends, I would say that I have finally reached the stage of Yoda,
except today someone stole my art room bucket.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

1, 2, 3, 4, 5..senses working overtime

Eddie Maguire

I hate him.

He is a smarmy self important COLLINGWOOD supporter (or president rather) who has somehow managed to talk himself up into a position in which he brings no skills or abilities. How on earth did he manage to get the channel 9 top job? Who did he sleep with (eww)? As if he wasn't on our television screens enough with his sexist, dogmatic, arrogant opinions how he's running a whole channel! We might as well just shoot ourselves now, all we're going to be seeing now is sport and bullshit. Oh wait, we already are - but you know what I mean.

When it comes to opportunities, wealth and success I am highly communist. I believe in the philosophy of "sharing the wealth". Monopolies are evil (I don't mean the game, though the game is somewhat confusing..and what the hell are the real rules anyway?) and Eddie Maguire is a monopoly. He's president of Collingwood (one of the biggest AFL clubs), he was host of the The Footy Show (a show that has made me woe for the state of males and mankind in this country), he hosts Who wants to be a Millionaire (I stopped watching the show because of it), whenever there is an awards ceremony he's there with bells on either hosting or participating in some way, he's on pretty much every sporting commentary box known to man, he's known as a "media personality" (the worst kind of person), he hosts those idiotic National TV IQ/National Driving tests (and made sexist jokes all the way through it) and his company supplies the footage of AFL matches to the TV. Talk about having a finger in each pie. We might as well elect him president of the world and get it over and done with.

We have a thing in this country called The Tall Poppy Syndrome, which basically means that we support the underdog. If someone gets too big for their boots we cut them down in any way possible so they're not so tall anymore. It happened to Kylie Minogue in the early 90s. We heard her crappy English wannabe accent on the logies and it was ON, and I mean ON! I don't think there was one joke spared about her being a singing budgie to madonna clone, to talentless fluff for the next 5 years. Somehow she rose above it into tight fitting hot pants, an overload of glitter and exploiting her sexuality ...but really to have such success after the roasting she got, well that's rare. Once you've been cut down in this country, you're usually limited to infomercials and bit parts on failing variety shows. I can't wait for it to happen to Eddie. Bring on the backlash!

(for other stupid Australian "celebrities" click here All of them are preferable to Eddie, mind you)

The Bali 9. I feel sorry for Renee Lawrence.
I do feel sorry for all of them but I feel sorry for her most of all. Shapelle and Michelle got an extensive media outpouring of love during their ordeal and Renee, apart from the lesbian jokes was pretty much ignored. It was stupid of them to be drug mules - I'm not condoning it. But life!? It's just not quite right.

I've been having a few weird dreams lately. I had a horrible one last night where I was asked to be a lookout at a pool where children were playing. All was going well until the walls disolved and the pool turned into a wide raging ocean, big, eerie and impossible to predict and control. The children were everywhere and I felt impotent against any disaster. I have a lot of dreams about oceans and large bodies of water.
A symbolism of:
Sex. *
That'd be about right.

*err, not sex WITH children, that would be wrong. Perhaps children means my own lost childhood. Oh god, now I'm disturbing myself.

Friday, February 17, 2006


Teaching the whole school means that I am up against *all* the good kids and *all* the bad kids. Now, some people (let's call them hippies) say that there is no such thing as a good or bad kid, just good or bad situations. Yeayeayea, trust me there are some doozies out there that you have no idea about, tree hugger.

Take JB for instance. He has every teacher in the school afraid to do yard duty and there are girls who cry when they see him. We had a staff meeting about him the other day.

He is five years old.

I'm going to come right out and say it that I think there is something seriously wrong with this child. He is either autistic, or aspergers or perhaps even schizophrenic (though I don't know if children that young can have it) - I also suggested to his teacher that he may be chanelling satan and that we should forego the assessment and just get the priest in. I'm sure my mother could get someone on the phone in about 10 minutes. The problem is, that his parents deny anything is wrong with their child.

I don't know about you, but if my kid was err...different I'd want him assessed and given the proper care - an aide in class, counselling, therapy, meds - whatever it takes. Wouldn't you? But noooo, not all parents.

JB sings, clicks, talks, yells to himself. He is unable to interact socially with any children. He is unresponsive to teacher and other adult communication. He does not listen/follow instructions/accept punishments. He usually retorts with a yelled and innapropriate response for the situation and he is just.....strange. It took me about 3 seconds of being in his presense to announce he needed an immediate psych assessment, but then I guess I've taught my fair share of kids who needed help, so I know what to look for.

In art the other day he was behaving badly - yelling at children around him, annoying them, refusing to work, scaring the other kids by staring at them etc. So I asked him to gather his things and move across the room to a solo table.


You'd think I'd asked him to murder his own mother or something. He started screaming and yelling and there was a stand off. Me v JB. I basically stared him down and insisted he come to me immediately until he came. He did so, all the while yelling that he was going to tell his teacher on me (ahah.. I actually laughed when he said this "oh good, we have SO MUCH to talk about") and that he was going to take all my money (another laugh from me). I never actually managed to calm him down completely but he calmed down considerably and before he was allowed to return back to work with the class he stared past me at the window and said (in the voice from that kid from The Shining - this is not a lie!):

"tigger is at the window and he is watching you. He is watching us!"
err, is tigger your.........special friend
"yes - he's looking in the window right now"
*I look behind me at the window..noone there. But he looks to serious about it*
"He is watching all of us to see if we hit eachother and if we do then he will be angry"
okay, well we'll have to be extra good then won't we?

I told everyone who would listen this story. I even do the scary Shining voice.
redrum. reeeedruuuuum.

I had yard duty today and when he saw me he ran up and started yelling at me.
(gee, kid I ask myself the same fucking question every day)
Then he started yelling about some mean old woman who was a witch and nasty (does he mean me?)

I guess I'm on his shit list too.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

the terrible no good very bad day

It's been a bad day. One of those terrible, no good, very bad days.Grade 5 and 6.I don't know how high school teachers do it on a daily basis, because the 5s and 6s are bad enough. ArtistCousin/RanofftoItalytobecomeaNunbutdidn'tCousin used to teach high school. The stories involved using mobile phones to distract the teacher while other covert shit went on and bullying in the yard...the students bullying the teachers that is. I can't tell you how many tears she shed about that. God. I think if faced with that situation you would see some serious Elvis shooting at the TV shit going on from me. I don't have the type of personality that easily turns around and walks away. This is exactly what you should do though.

My first class was probably the worst. I felt like I was back in first year not knowing what to do...then I looked around and realised that there were quite a few people from my very first grade in this class. They haven't changed much. A bunch of boys were mucking around and it threw the whole lesson off, so I kept the boys in for detention at recess.

I hate detention. There is really nothing worse than spending time with naughty kids, that could otherwise be better used by overloading brain with caffine. The boys came in quietly, except one (Cal, actually) who I ripped into until everyone else was just looking at the floor. I am not really a mean teacher, in fact I'm one of the so called "nice teachers" - so when I crack it then I fucking CRACK IT and it can be terrifying. So after the whip cracking, I made them all just sit there. Yep - primative shit. One particular boy decided that it would be a good idea to give me some backchat so I bit back. I was already angry and frustrated and bought into something that is rule #1 in teaching - don't ever get into an argument with children you are disciplining. In fact one should just ignore boys who are being idiotic (just like one ignores men, later on. haha, kidding folks!) . But the damage was already done. I allowed myself to get pissed off.

I moved main contender away from the others but he kept annoying the other boys and me by turning around and talking until I just went off at them all again.They had been sitting there a while when main contender suddenly yelled out that another boy had a mobile phone. I took the phone away and I saw him exchange rude guestures, so I sent the rest out and kept the two offenders in for longer. One boy wore it like a man, the main contender however used the opportunity to be an arsehole and plead innocence so I basically let him have it.

I told him that the reason he was in detention was not that he didn't finish his work, not that he didn't do a good job, but that he had broken one of the fundamental art room rules, which was to be silly and not respect the materials. He started to object but I cut him off. He was in detention because he was rude to others and rude to me. I told him not to manipulate me with his victim routine, all the reasons why he was sitting in the art room at recess instead of going outside were entirely valid and if he wanted to continue with art he would have to leave the chip on his shoulder at the door next time or I would send him back to his teacher without a second glance.The look I got was one of those "I'm going to make a shank in technology and knife you after school next week Miss" looks. But they only make me (insanely) stronger.Then I went to the prin and v.prin to tell them the story. The parents will be up to the school like a flash - His attitude and subsequent parental denial of his behaviour has a been a major problem since year 1.

A terrible, no good, very bad day

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

life as art

The week goes by quickly in the art room. There are always paint pots to refill or brush strokes to advise, ideas to conceive and behaviour to manage. I arrive early and leave late, because there is so much to organise and clean up. I am engrossed and occupied by everything around me. There is so much to learn and do and feel but I feel isolated. I work alone in the truest sense. There is no team to commiserate with and no class to woe over. I am not hounded by parents and the general school information does not always apply to me. I am an island, or rock..whatever.

I am not afraid of working alone per se. When it comes to getting things done, I am probably at my best when I can do it my way. This is mostly because I don't work to a grand plan. When I was putting up my displays I had many people offering their hand to help put them up, but I had to refuse them all. I probably spent 3 full work days overtime just putting up the display and this time could have been reduced had I accepted help. But I couldn't. I had to refuse the help because I had no idea how the displays were going to look until I stood in front of the empty boards, looked at my materials and visualised the end result. I am not the girl who will ever be able to give you a comprehensive list. I cannot tell you exactly how things will be. Blind faith is how I work. Trust me, it'll work... Not so good in a team.

But I love the team. I love gathering ideas, letting off steam and engaging in the social aspect of teamwork. I like people barging into my classroom all day and telling me they are going to kill a someone real soon. I like sharing stories with people who will listen and reciprocate. Teachers need other teachers. Noone else gets the hilarity and pain of being one. They can try, but it's useless - people who are not teachers usually find teachers really fucking boring (and we are - we are TOTALLY one track minded). I have recounted stories to "normal" people who have looked at me blankly and then told the same stories to teachers only to have them crying with laughter. And this is something I don't have on a constant basis now.. like I did before.

All my communications with others are limited to recess and lunch time. Ducking next door for a quick bitch is not an option anymore and I miss that. There are other fulfilling things that I gain, but this one little thing..I'm having a hard time dealing with.

I need to conquer this.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

got VD?

Well, did you read the "Messages of Love" in todays paper? Did ya? Did ya? I don't like the idea of writing a message in the paper to someone you already see every bloody day. Why don't you say it or demonstrate it instead? Having said that I love the messages from secret admirers and other assorted goodies that you find hidden in amoungst the cliched rubbish that usually grace these pages. These are the types of messages I love to read inbetween sick bay duty (honestly, how many lumps on the head can there be in one school?) and my cup of crap instant coffee.

To the One Security Guard
I saw last year. I can't forget the
way you looked at me and I looked
at you.
I hope the day will come when we can finally meet.
- From an Admirer


You rock my world. Happy Valentines Day
Love your groupie,
Sweet Cherry Pie xx

hm, disturbing.

For my Bloop Bloop
Loving you always
Your Bleep Bleep xxx

Terms of endearment can be lovely but if anyone ever called me their bloop bloop I would seriously tear off their testicles. They obviously don't need them anymore anyway.

For all the days you make me smile
I love you
Love Mum Mum xx

Call of the day went to J, who said "oh god, they're just sad sad".

Have I told you today
that I think you're amazing?
You're amazing - Your Yowie


I would like to live by your side
and die in your ams.
I love you. Rob.

Jodi, run for the hills. Rob is psychotic and has a death wish involving you being framed for his murder.

My Darling Pet Spaz
Happy Valentine's Day
Love now and forever - Wally.

Love your work Wally.

Love at first sight
Love always and forever
-Love Greg XO

Oh Greggy, how I love you... oh wait.. oh ... oh

I adore you so much you are
always in my thoughts. My love
for you is so deep I know you are
the one I want to go through time with.
Love - Ken

Okay, Ken need to dump whoever this other imposter of a mez is and come to me. Now.

The Chrissie lights have faded.
The doggies have been barking.
Let's cheer things up a bit with a jolly good f***
dinner tonight, 7.30pm
I love you forever - Slyman.


You are my Batman, I am your
Catwoman. Prrrr!!!!! Meow!!!
- RR2

either they are on drugs or they have an amazing sex life!

We Love You
Happy Valentine's Day
Love Forever - Suzi and Gizelle

.... lucky bastard.

We had a good laugh reading them in the paper while the boys sat around uncomfortably teasing us about secretly wanting messages in the paper.

A message in the paper is a nice thing (well except for the vomit worthy ones) but it's just nicer to be told everyday, isn't it? I have been termed by many a person a 'cynic' when it comes to love, but that's because I tend to say things just to see the reaction I'll get. Okay, yes I am a cynic but the opposite is true also. I am unforunately much, much worse than any cynic. I am a romantic idealist. This is the worst kind of girl, I know. It means things must be perfect. This has little to do with money or cars or whatever the hell everyone is going for these days. It just means that the feeling has to be right..no perfect. I'd rather not have anything than have something that is lacking in some way. Yes, the pedestal is high and once you fall, there's no getting back up there again. I am *far* *far* from perfect myself. I know.

I am an incurable romantic, really. I love all that crap like wild flowers and picnics and kisses in the rain, chivalry and Knights on white steeds rescuing damsels. I can't think of anything more special than the right boy, a whirlwind romance, a family and being in love forever and ever and ever. I'm not however an idiot (well..). I can smell insincerity from a mile away and who wants that? What the hell is the point of flowers on Valentine's Day when every other day is taken for granted?

...don't tell anyone else I'm a romantic. I have a rep to protect.

Monday, February 13, 2006

house of words

It's sort of like moving into the beach house for a while. The crockery doesn't match, the furniture is faded and holey, the stove doesn't work and there is a dusty, stale smell that requires an airing to dissipate.

But you make do with what you can. You tell yourself the crockery is eclectic and bohemian, the furniture is well loved..not utter shit, and the house can air while you walk to the shops for your fish and chip dinner.

But, it doesn't quite feel like home, does it? Home is where the walls whisper your secrets back to you and this place doesn't know your well enough to do that yet. Can you adjust, you wonder?

I have posted them flippantly, effortlessly, angrily and spitefully. I have been amused by them, challenged, heartbroken and dismissed them as trite. I have loved, learned, laughed, enjoyed, dreamed, decided and truly lived through them. I have had my best and worst days with those flippant little inconsequential written words of mine.

So what happens when you built a house of words and it all falls down taking you with it?