Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sunday morning on Chapel

It was one of those unusually quiet mornings on Chapel. I sip my coffee with quiet contemplation, savouring the bitterness and waiting for it to wake me up. I sigh with the morning, or it sighs with me - the traffic drifts by in waves with engines roaring and then disappearing into the distance. I watch the figure slumped against the shop window across the road. It doesn't move.

I put my coffee down and reach into my bag to put on my glasses and squint. He doesn't move. I stare through gaps in the traffic at the people walking past him, stepping over his lifeless legs, glancing briefly and then walking on. Person after person in their designer sunglasses and polished manicures ignore him. I should do something, call someone, be a hero, do the right thing. I reach for my phone and ...hesitate.

At the same time as my internal crisis rages a young girl, a better girl than I, walks by and stops. She stares down at the man for a moment and walks into the shop to get help. Another young woman emerges with her, a customer service tag clearly identifying her as a shop girl. She looks around nervously. Another day, another body. It is Sunday morning on Chapel after all.

A girl crossing the road at this exact moment sees shop girl and girl huddled together and holds up her phone like a beacon of light as she hurries on towards them. After assessing the problem, she dials and speaks to someone. Young girl, shop girl and mobile girl all look down at the body slumped against the shop window. It hasn't moved at all. Perhaps there is still someone left in there. Then again, perhaps not.

Neither of the three girls is game to touch him. Shop girl leans in close than then pulls away. Young girl does the same and mobile girl looks around for the ambulance she has just called. Where are they?

Hero walks by; he is wearing Havaianas and work man shorts. This is either a man of many talents or a complete poseur. What Seems to be the matter girls? I imagine him asking. He, too peers closely at the body slumped in the window and suddenly pulls away. Perhaps there is an odour, or something equally offensive about the lifeless man. Hero scratches his head and looks at his companions. The others have already done their bit and he needs to up the ante. He leans down and yells hey! down at the guy. Nothing. Not a twitch. He gingerly leans in closer and closer until he is kneeling on the floor. He puts the man into the recovery position. Surely there is a life in there left to save.

They wait. Traffic begins to back up on Chapel as people in their cars slow to catch a glimpse of the show. I watch their rubbernecking, twisted heads and wide eyes as they struggle between a good view of the man and keeping an eye on the road. The sun beats down on the man in the recovery position. A homeless guy with all his worldly goods in tow has stopped in to have a look too. He speaks to the crowd gathered before moving off down the street in a slow shuffle.

The ambulance arrives without fanfare.

The boys get out of their vehicle and they walk towards the man. There is no rushing or yelling, everything is calm and measured. One ambulance guy leans in closely and says something to the man on the floor. Nothing. He reaches out a hand and does something I can't see through the cars in the traffic. The man stirs and awakes. I can feel the relief from here. The man gets up, stumbles and slurs something at the paramedics. He walks into the traffic and towards my side of the road but heads the other way. The boys look at each other scratching their heads and shrugging their shoulders. All in a days work, I guess.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

T for one

Nat tagged me with coming up with 10 songs starting with the letter T. I created some rules for myself because I knew that there would be a few favourites (150 favourites actually)
1) I immediately ruled out all songs starting with "The"
2) If I had done a song for Musical Monday previously I couldn't include it in this list.
3) I had to be able to find it on Radio.blog.club.

These rules knocked out a lot of contenders and so with these provisos in place I give you my list of ten T songs (in no particular order).

1) Today - Smashing Pumpkins

I love this for the passionate lyrics mostly. Pink ribbon skies that never forget. I love that. That's exactly what they are.

2) This Woman's Work - Kate Bush

There are a few songs I would put into world's saddest songs category. This one always has me blubbering just a tiny bit. I adore Kate Bush. I love her wacko dancing, her unusual voice..everything. She is one of my early memories. A poster with wild hair and red lips on my cousin's wardrobe. From that perspective, when I grew up, I wanted to be the girl on the wardrobe.

3) Try A Little Tenderness - Otis Redding.

Honest to God, I was going to do a whole Musical Monday on this song alone anyway. I first heard this song when it was performed so passionately in the movie Pretty in Pink when Duckie serenades Andi. If someone serenaded me like that I swear to God I would worship them. Duckie was one of a kind - and he had strong lips (love a man with strong lips!). But the song, I just fell in love with it and replayed that bit over and over until the tape got fuzzy. A few weeks later I rang up the radio station and requested it. The guy got all huffy on the phone We don't play THAT song here. Well, they should. Everyone should.

4) Town Called Malice - The Jam

How can you have a T list without Town Called Malice? Quite frankly a perfect song in my eyes. I love the beat, I love the words, I love the melody. Hell, you can even dance to it (albeit looking rather like you're on drugs).

5) Teardrops - Womack and Womack

How about this for a blast from the past? When this song came out in the 80s I distinctly remember making fun of it. Now? I absolutely adore it. It's soulful and it's sung beautifully. The last shining beacon of RnB before it all went to shit. I like my RnB soulful not sexed up and on steroids like it was in the 90s/naughties.

6) This Charming Man - The Smiths

I got into The Smiths at exactly the right kind of depressing time. Uni student - check. Wearing black - check. Philosophising about the state of the world - check. Life is pain - check. God love Morrissey. I don't know if I would have enjoyed wallowing so much without him. I just adore The Smiths. I adore this song - it's beautiful for the whimsical melancholy of the lyrics coupled with an oh so perfect beat.

7) Taxman - The Beatles

Old timers to the journal will already know my Beatles story. There is a Musical Monday to follow, but suffice to say that this is one of my all time favourite Beatles' songs. It featured on the very first album that was all mine - Rock and Roll Music Volume II - The Beatles (it was a compilation tape). It was a Christmas present gone wrong. I never asked for The Beatles. What kind of wacko 8 year old would? I asked for Cindy Lauper. I love Cindy, but boy am I glad I got The Beatles instead. Completely shaped my musical tastes. I was obsessed with that album. Taxman featured and so, it's been a favourite of mine since as long as I can remember.

8) Take to the Sky - Tori Amos

For Tori non-fans. This song doesn't have any screeching on it. I promise. Now go listen. It's a b-side from her Winter single. This is probably my favourite single. All the songs on it are fabulous and this one - Take to the Sky, I adopted as my own personal mantra. You know how everyone should have a personal mantra in the form of a song? This is one of mine.

okay, I lied - there's a bit of operatic screeching on it. Oh, go on, you love it!

9) Take Five - Dave Brubeck

This song will forever remind me of fresh Turkish Delight and afternoon tea on a sunny Sunday afternoon while sharing stories with my best friends as the light streamed in through the kitchen window. It was the day I really discovered Jazz. Never looked back. An amazing piece of music.

10) Teardrops - Massive Attack

Melancholy, thoughtful, beautiful. I don't know how anyone can listen to this song without floating away into the clouds. I'm always disappointed when it's over. It's just gorgeous. The video clip too, is wonderful.

[T-songs done as Musical Mondays - To Her Door (Paul Kelly), Teenage Riot (Sonic Youth), The Mercy Seat (Nick Cave), The Vagabond (Air), Tyrone (Erykah Badu), Terrible Lie (NIN), Thriller (Michael Jackson - album)]

[Honorable mentions (aka, I wish the list let me have more than ten) - Total Eclipse of the Heart (Bonnie Tyler), Tu Sonrisa (Elvis Crespo), Throw Your Arms Around Me (Hunters and Collectors), There's No Other Way (Blur), The Deadwood Stage (Doris Day), The River Rise (Mark Lanegan), The World Seems Difficult (Mental as Anything), Trampled Underfoot (Led Zepp), The Dam At Otter Creek (Live), Teenage Whore (Hole), Talk about the Blues (John Spencer Blues Explosion), Time is on My Side (The Rolling Stones), Tiny Dancer (Elton John), Tainted Love (Soft Cell), Tracks of My tears (Smokey Robinson and The Miracles), The Day I tried to Live (Soundgarden), Tick (Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs), Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart (Stone Temple Pilots), Temptation (new order), The Message (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five)]

EDIT - since it's the meme issue - Stolen from Scorpy

1. Height?
5ft4 (I think)

2. Have you ever smoked heroin?
um, no.

3. Do you own a gun?
no! christ, I ain't Starsky and Hutch!

4. Who would you let eat crackers in your bed?
Bed is for many things..and eating might be one of those things. So..if you're sticking around you get to eat in the bed.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
I'm one of those people that research my symptoms before going to the doctor. Worst patient EVER.

6. What do you think of hot dogs?
They are nature's greatest food!

7. What's your favourite Christmas song?
um, O Holy Night, Carol of the Bells, ....anything by Bony M *hangs head in shame*

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
who has time for drinks? I'm always running late!

9. Is your bathroom clean?

10. Can you do push ups?

11. What's your favorite piece of jewelry?
I don't really wear a whole heap of jewelry. Maybe one of my many pairs of earrings. I love earrings.

12. Do you like painkillers?

This is the weirdest question ever. I wouldn't consider them a friend. I usually only take them if I have a headache. Headaches are my kryptonite!

13. What is your secret weapon to lure in the opposite sex?
lips, they're pretty squishy.

14. Do you have A.D.D.?
No I have the opposite of it - whatever that is.

15. What's your name?

16. Middle Name?
Iris? (I don't have a middle name).

17. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment?
reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally don't want to get up.
Need the loo
I want a hug.

18. Name the last 3 things you bought:
grocery shopping
movie ticket

19. Who is your favorite visual artist?
Dave McKean, Van Gogh, Dali...

20. You're stuck on a deserted island with two other people, who would you want to be stranded with?
One of those freaks who know a whole lot about catching fish
The love of my life (hahaha)

21. You've won a major award and have thanked your family, who else would you thank?

My friends? I dunno.

22. Current worry?
Too many things. Myself probably.

23. Current hate?
Getting up.

24. Favorite place to be?
People watching while sipping my coffee in Melbourne

25. How did you bring in the New year?
with friends.

26. Where would you like to go?
Egypt, Paris, South America, Canada, Croatia, US (I have simple tastes. lol)

27. Do you own slippers?
Yes, but I rarely wear them. It looks like I have muppets on my feet when I do,

28. What shirt are you wearing?
PJ - singlet top.

29. Do you burn or tan?

30. Favorite color(s)?
in the red family.

31. Would you be a pirate?
Only if I could be one of those land pirates. I don't have sea legs and I certainly don't have a sea stomach.

32. Are you gay?

33. What songs do you sing in the shower?
My next musical monday. stay tuned. I've been singing it everywhere.

34. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?
I thought someone would come and kidnap my family while I was sleeping.
Also, Satan - I secretly watched The Exorcist when I was about 8. It fucked me up BIG TIME!

35. What's in your pockets right now?
I don't have pockets.

36. Where are you?

37. Best bed sheets as a child?
I never had novelty bedsheets. I loved my soft comfy flanny ones.

38. Worst injury you've ever had?
Twisted ankle when trying to learn a dance off the tele.

39. You're on a trip around the world and have to select five landmarks to visit, what would you pick?
The Pyramids, Great Wall, Uluru, Broadway, Graceland (hey cityscapes count as a landmark. I love cities. I also must see Graceland before I die).

40. How many TVs do you have in your house?

41. Who is your loudest friend?


42. Who is your quietest friend?

43. Does someone have a crush on you?
ha! Only in my head.

44. Do u wish on shooting stars?
yes, I wish on everything.

45. What is your favorite book?
oh god, I have too many. Jane Eyre is one of them.

46. What is your favorite candy?
my best friend, chocolate.

47. What song do/did you want played at your wedding?
I dunno.

48. What song do you want played at your funeral?
Marianne - Tori Amos or Don't rain on my parade - Bab Streisand.

(you might think it rather disturbing I've thought of funeral songs but wedding songs involve someone else as well)

49. What were you doing at 12AM last night?
thinking. Don't you just hate that?

50. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?

okay, no more memes

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Friday, February 23, 2007

cinema under the stars on a balmy night.

The sun had already disappeared behind the buildings by the time we got there. This is the last pretty place left during this drought I sighed as I lowered myself down onto the grass. The lawns were filling up quickly, some families with their children in tow, a couple of lone spectators, girlfriends toasting the summer and couples snuggling into the crooks of each others necks. I notice the little knowing smiles on their faces. I look around at all of us, brightly animated, relaxed and happy. From above we must look like a giant patchwork quilt of colour.

E is swatting at her legs - the mosquitoes a menacing beast. L is busying herself with preparing the food and I am looking out over the wave of people around me. A group of men sharing a slab of beer. A couple smiling at each other. A father, rocking his young daughter to sleep in his arms. He looks at her adoringly. My eyes notice a young woman directly in front of me sitting alone on a picnic rug. Her lipstick is freshly applied and hair looks immaculate. She is a vision... waiting to be viewed. She rearranges the cheese platter a thousand times while looking at her watch, then at her phone and then out towards the entrance. I follow her gaze, hoping to see a man rushing, late, anxious - but there is nothing but more families and giggling girls.

The sky darkens into a hue of mauve, indigo and pink. People are settling into their rugs, lazily picking at their dips and crackers. E is talking about her new pup and L is offering sound advice to stop the night time whining. I am scratching the back of my legs. Stupid prickly grass. The girl with the shiny hair stares at her phone intently. She picks it up to make a call. Frown, hushed whisper, Where are you? But you said.. She hangs up and looks down at her cheese platter. She wipes at her eye - it is a fleeting movement - quick, embarrassed, frustrated. She turns away and looks at the sky.

This brightly coloured patchwork quilt of people are now shadowy silhouettes against the dusky sky and sad girl with the immaculate hair and lipstick looks so alone on her rug for two. A couple of bats fly overhead at the botanical gardens - the last remaining few of a colony relocated elsewhere.

The movie starts and I am staring at sad girl. I would have left by now whispers E. I'd be digging into the food and watching the movie offers L. I'm not sure of what I'd do if I was Sad girl. I think I would have started to cry, but pretended I wasn't.

The opening song has settled the children and there is a strange hush over the crowd as they watch, enthralled by the action on the large screen. Then suddenly from nowhere, there he is - bespectacled and casual. Sad girl looks up and the sadness disappears. I can almost see the lights of electricity dancing around her hair with excitement. He plonks down beside her and gives her a kiss on the cheek. She beams up at him. He will never know how sad she felt when she thought he wouldn't come.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Gone with the Quote

I'm feeling a little 'under the fire' at work at the moment. I haven't been in the art room teaching art. I've been in the classroom teaching English, Maths and other assorted goodies. This is a temporary change while our school undergoes student testing. I've loved being in the classroom, and felt like my creativity has returned. It's funny that while teaching art I've felt that my own creativity has been stifled but while in the classroom my fight instincts are switched on and I'm constantly challenged to be on my toes, thinking of new ways to make old ideas exciting. In art - everything is pretty much already exciting. I mean how much do you really have to work to make red paint exciting? It's bloody red paint! It's slimy, it's colourful, it's messy and it's sloppy. What's not to love?

The stifled creativity that I've felt in the art room however is made up for by the fact that I am basically my own boss. I decide, plan and execute my program. I pick out the materials. I decide on the displays. I get to say which work goes up and which work doesn't. I get to be as organised or as disorganised as I like and fuck 'em if they don't agree. This freedom is wonderful. I love it. That is, I've loved it until now. Until one particular teacher has decided that she'd like to plan an extension art program for talented children.

This particular teacher is a senior teacher and well respected. She's also a friend. I don't always agree with her professional opinion - that is when it comes to what is considered talent in art. She'd like to work with me to plan an extension art group. I've been thinking of doing the same anyway, so that's no problem. But the issue is that I want to choose who goes into the group and I want to plan what goes on in the group. I know that S's idea of who goes into the group will be a little different from mine. She will pick talented artists (based on my wide recommendations) but her proviso is that their IQ needs to be high as well (since that's the point of her program). I, on the other hand would like to see children who don't get a go in anything else BUT who are also talented at art to do the program. I don't want to choose on IQ. I also don't want to be a strong arm when it comes to this... I feel a bit pressured to create a program now that is going to make the powers that be happy, when all I've been doing for the last year are things that make me and the students happy.

I don't like this feeling.

Readers of cbg will be aware of my little flirtation with public bathroom graffiti. For those that haven't seen cbg, I saw a message the other day on a toilet door that said "you are loved beyond your capability to even comprehend". I thought it was an interesting message for me to have read and wondered if anyone else had seen the message on that day and felt a little like looking over their shoulder, just like I did. I already know that roughly 99% of people who read this journal think that fate or messages or any of that stuff is bullshit, so I won't ask you what you think. But sometimes I wonder whether the universe gives a little tap. Why? I don't know.

In other news, quotegirl!

choir master - Okay kids, I want you to stand up straight and tall and sing the National Anthem - you all know the words to that, right?
8 year old - would you like me to sing it vebratto or Deep vebratto?
choir master - uh..just your normal voice will do...
hahaha, the kid was being serious too

#1 - So, S have you been doing your Pelvic Floor Exercises
me - oh shit, do we have to start talking about this?
S - How do you know you're even doing them right?
me - just stick a squeeze toy up there and if you get a noise out of it then you know you're doing it right.
S, #1, F - ....
I sure know how to stop traffic

Fashion Cousin - He texted me "I'm stressed at work. I need some space". What does that mean?
me - doesn't sound so good...
Fashion Cousin - if he wanted to break up, would he have just said so?
me - um, I dunno maybe but something tells me that men are only forward when it comes to football ...and beer.
What an arse - seriously, TEXT MESSAGE? bah!

C - the only bad thing about getting flowers is playing it up for the guy. They're only flowers but you have to stand there for just a little longer than you want to - admiring, cause if you don't you'll never get them again!
oops, that convo was supposed to be for girls only

C.O - I know this family that had a child called Luke. Then they were granted custody of their niece whose name is Leia. Earlier this year they had a baby and wanted to keep up the star wars theme so they named it Ben.
Me - Freak alert!
H - you think that's bad. I know someone who named their child Philippa Condon.
Me - ....oh. my. god no way!
H - I also know someone called Richard Coch.
Parent's are cruel.

sly stallone.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

could he make a picture and get them all to fit?

In my world there are a few main types of art.
-That which tells a story
-That which allows you to tell the story
-That which is the story.

In visual art I totally reject the claim that abstract art is not art. That kind of claim is ignorant. Sorry, if you are one of those people who believe abstract to be "lesser than", but you're narrow minded. Abstract art allows the viewer to tell the story, to re-interpret, to invent and to dive in. Abstract art is not always my cup of tea, but it's important.

That art which tells the story is different to abstract. The art which tells a story has it all planned out from the word go - it's a straight forward narrative, and there is certainly merit in that. It might be a historical account, a dance or a slice of the madness within. It allows the viewer to sit back and ponder the life and times of what was happening when the art was created. It's also important.

Then there is that which is the story itself. This is the piece of elusive art that captures by controversy, or by titillation, or because it's simply famous - and fame breeds fame. Also important, people respond to it.

Music is the same. Sometimes I don't want the lyrics, because I want to make my own story up, and sometimes I just want a bit of fame-whore pop to get senseless too - but sometimes I want to be told a story. For me there are a few wonderful storytellers through music out there - Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell... so many more. But in recent years Paul Kelly has really captured my imagination. He reminds me of being young and having a story read to me. He reminds me of being a bit bewildered and excited by something which takes me outside of myself and also for reminding me of the things that are intrinsically me, maybe just because I'm Australian. When I think of Paul Kelly, I think of Melbourne and her stories nestled in the spaces between buildings and drifting along the power lines of the outer suburbs and then outwards again into the wide deserted landscape of the 'country'.

When it was Australia day I wanted to write about how being Australian is really only ever defined by the stories we tell. I got caught up in other things - but I really believe that our stories are all we really ever have. It's what this country was founded upon - Dreamtime stories and dances and myths and song and...art. Then stories of settlers and their struggle with the land and the stories of immigrants and their young families, of exclusion, sadness, wisdom and triumph. Now, the stories we tell are the ones which feature everyday maladies of being young, or old, in love or ...just reality.

That's what I like about Paul Kelly. He has a story to tell - and it feels real. This song is one of my favourites. I always wonder what happens next...

To Her Door - Paul Kelly

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

wonderings on a Sunday morning.

** There certainly seems to be a wealth of strong opinion on our PM John Howard's comments about political candidate Barak Obama's plan to take troops out of Iraq by 2008. Should Australians be weighing into American politics? I in no way shape or form align myself politically with John Howard but I do believe that when it comes to Iraq, it's something that concerns us too. Australian politics doesn't affect the American way of life in the same way that American politics affects us. I loved Barak's retort that if Australia is so passionate about it, why don't we send more troops in? Ha, indeed!

I've seen clips from US News and current affairs shows which ridicule the move. Fine. I have no problem with that, however Australians will remember in 2004 when US President GW Bush argued that Labour Leader Mark Latham's promise to take Australian troops our of Iraq was "disastrous". Then, to add to the debate, senator John Kerry also put his two cents in about Mark Latham as well! Talk about a bunch of hypocrites! It's okay for them to weigh into our politics but not for us to do the same to them? Apparently so. In any case - what do you think? Should opinions about other countries' elections be made known from leaders in countries which are seemingly not 'involved'?

** Meanwhile in slightly weirder news wacko Queenslander (Townsville) Shane Knuth has proposed a Cane Toad Bounty to clean up Australia. Yes, apparently since environmental science hasn't yet got rid of the pests, Knuth believes that the answer to cleaning up our cane toad problem should be left in the hands of young Australians - who under this new idea will be paid to "collect" (read: bludgeon) cane toads by the bag full. How much is a cane toad worth I hear you ask? About 40cents each, baby! Let's get cracking! I remember in the 80s it was all the rage to collect alumminium drink cans, squash 'em down and then get paid a buck per kilo. Cane toad squashing is a much more lucrative money making venture than can collecting. Of course it's messier, and there's all that poison in their glands but hey...FORTY CENTS!!

QLDers who read this blog: Is Townsville by any chance considered the "Tasmania" of QLD?

**In the weirdest news of all, check this out. That's right, dating by natural selection! That is only SUPER RICH guys (200K + - the salary needs to go up the older you are - financial data needs to be submitted) are paired with only STUNNING women (photo submitted and beauty is judged). Could this work?

"They" say that men are visual creatures - but this dating idea also has the added factor that says that men can be as visual as they want but if you earn an average, or even high average or ever super average wage then you can forget it. Only if you're a MILLIONAIRE do you get to partake in the bounty of female beauty - otherwise shut yer trap. Interesting. Do I think this is a bit on the disgusting side? Um, yes - it's horrific. What do you think? Can it work? What about the rest of us schmoes?

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

distant thunder rumble...

This is your street today. You can feel the warmth of the smooth black bitumen through the soles of your shoes as you stand waiting for the light to turn green. You lean slightly against the pole and watch the jaywalkers brave the traffic under clouds of charcoal - threatening to burst for two days now.

It feels like there is a small hesitation in the evening before the light finally turns green. Like time stops momentarily, a split of a split of a second, but you notice it. You're not sure what it means. Then you feel like you're being gently pulled by an invisible string down this small street. Feet have no choice but to keep up. Tar, and gravel intercepted by occasional sections of cobblestones make up the road beneath you. Melbourne, once upon a time, you think.

The weather is like a thick blanket - hot and suffocating, but there is something in the air that smells like change. The sun fights its way through the heavy clouds making everything look slightly silver. The sharp triangular peaks of the old buildings glisten under the glare of the sun and the tree leaves look slightly glittery - a celluloid moment. It is not unique though, everything has always been slightly celluloid to you, ever since you can remember. A little twinkle where it shouldn't be, a soundtrack softly whistling in the background, imagined perfect dialogue and always the most brilliant cinematography. Your imagination has always teased you. Reality has finally caught up for a tiny moment, so it seems.

The loud merriment of a group of young people slash through your daydream and you move aside to allow them to pass. They walk arm in arm or hands animated, with hair in loose bunches caught in coloured hair clasps and fabric bags across their shoulders as they make their way towards the university. You miss the simplicity of no adult expectations and of being completely self indulgent. The clouds seem to crack as a distant rumble sounds. You allow the invisible string to pull at your thoughts...


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

cynical post about VD.

I've seen this on a couple of blogs - thought I might do it in view of valentines day.

Your Five Variable Love Profile

Propensity for Monogamy:

Your propensity for monogamy is high.
You find it easy to be devoted and loyal to one person.
And in return, you expect the same from who you love.
Any sign of straying, and you'll end things.

Experience Level:

Your experience level is medium.
You probably have had a couple significant loves.
And you may have even had your heart broken.
But you haven't really dated a wide variety of people.


Your dominance is medium.
You tend to be the one with more power.
You aren't a total control freak in relationships..
But of course you don't mind getting you way!


Your cynicism is low.
You are an eternal optimist when it comes to love and romance.
No matter how many times you've been hurt - you're never bitter.
You believe in one true love, your perfect soulmate.
And if you haven't found true love yet, you know you will soon.


Your independence is high.
You don't need to be in love, and sometimes you don't even want love.
Having your own life is very important for you...
Even more important than having a relationship.
The Five Variable Love Test

hm, some is spot on and some isn't*

I'm not going to write about the commercialisation of Valentine's Day or how people over romanticise an event that really should be demonstrated every day if you're with someone you love.

I'm not going to write how eye-rollingly difficult it is to keep my mouth shut when I hear men complaining how much money they *have* to spend on their girlfriends. If they had any idea how much time, money and pain (ripping the hair out from the roots fucking hurts) we spend on looking good for them but also doing things for them that are never appreciated they'd www.zipit.com and buy the necklace or roses or whatever - god knows any romantic gesture will get much appreciated! Also, if you've forgotten an anniversary or a birthday you've got this one day to make it up to the woman you love!

I'm not going to write about how women just sit back and expect to be serenaded in expensive ways when in fact they too could be a little romantic as well. That shouldn't be what it's about at all!

I ain't going to make a point about how if you don't actually have a partner you start looking around at all those people who do and then you come to that stinking realisation that every freak in the world but you has a boyfriend. Like the religious education teacher who snorts when she laughs and wears orthopedic shoes even though she's only 40 has someone. And the lady in the office who is mean to everyone has someone. And that woman with the mullet who is a relief teacher has a special someone. And um, you don't.

Hell, I won't even dare to mention what a kick in the nads this whole event is for singletons who after the first few 'ohhhh, that's lovely you're going out to dinner tonight' just want to scream and run into the woods and spread mud all over our naked bodies and run free far far away from society and all its trappings... err, maybe not that last bit but close enough. The whole day is a big sucky slap in the face if you don't have that special person to share it with.

hm, guess I don't have too much to write about eh?

*I guess that bit about being 'optimistic in romance' from that meme I posted was right on the money!


I did however want to turn this into a useful post. I found an idea at Smart at Love about that! She suggests that one should throw away the list of deal breakers that you have in a relationship and instead focus on what you bring to a relationship - good and bad. I thought the idea was interesting.

The “Good Qualities I Bring to a Relationship” list
* Loving - really, yes.
* Listening - anything.
* monogamous - I will not flirt with your best friend or your father.
* am a sexual person and willing to try many new things ;)
* am intelligent (when I want to be ;)).
* love a good talk - about so many different things. Politics, the weather, pop culture, you - I'm interested and inquisitive. Yeah, I'm actually interested in you.
* You could pretty much tell me anything about your past and I will process it and move on. I am not a judgmental person when it comes to the people I care about. That is not to say that I won't say that I disagree with you or won't tell you that you're an idiot because if you have been I will make my opinion known, but this is never done in full judgment. If I care about you I will always see you for the good things you are and take the bad things on - be it friend or lover. Seriously, try me. I have been told things by friends that never got to be heard by anyone else because they knew they could tell me anything. I won't desert someone because they have a less than stellar past. I might make fun of you for it though :) And okay, having said that - if you're a rapist/child molester I will not be able to be your friend.
* never stay mad for more than 10 minutes and do not hold a grudge EXCEPT if you cheat on me, after which I will not only leave you but you can also consider me your bitter enemy (oops wait this was supposed to be the good list wasn't it?)
* I'm loyal in that will back you up and support you and us.
* Will adore you - utterly. If I didn't I wouldn't be with you.
* sincere.
* am passionate.
* am totally into the wrestle.
* If I think you really love me then I'll be optimistic, delightful and wonderful.
* I am a great friend. I want to be your friend!
* generous, in many different ways.
* am independent but love time together to be "together".
* love laughing and am not always serious or a stick in the mud.
* can see the funny side of pretty much everything.
* will see both sides of the argument most of the time.
* am straightforward - will not try to manipulate the situation and mostly will fight a fair fight.
* am honest.
* am spontaneous! I wasn't sure whether to put this here or not but to me it's a positive thing. I'm totally up for the last minute trip to Spain. I could soooooooo do that! Really- I keep my passport on my bedside table! I have ideas and love the idea of just doing them without piss farting around with the details.

The “Not-So-Good Qualities I Bring to a Relationship” list
* jealous - yes, sorry if you flirt with other people then you cannot give me the 'but I was juuuuust flirting' line.
* temper - I'm fiery and will 'react' especially when provoked - but always short lived.
* sometimes like to do the provoking - this can be good or bad depending on how 'strong' you are. If you win, I'll be your kitten (most days). If you lose, I win forever. okay? I actually would like you to win.
* can be stubborn.
* am not one of those people that plans ahead and gets everything done on time or will even have dinner cooked always precisely when it should be. I don't do things like clockwork and this tends to drive organised people around the bend!
* insecure - I do have self esteem issues and trust issues. I will totally put my life in your hands if I know you have my back, but if there is any doubt at all I won't even put one gain of sand worth of trust in you. And no, I'm not secure in myself or my talents or any of that. I realise this is unattractive to people.
* I can be cynical and criticise.
* will give you the 'teacher look' when am unimpressed and be sarcastic. This can come off as patronising - but is a reflex (teacher look is anyway).
* moody at times.
* I will challenge you (is this good or bad? - maybe a little of both). Bottom line, if I don't agree with you I'll challenge you on it - flat out. Sometimes people don't want to be challenged. Well, tough.
* I have things I don't like talking about (no I don't have an reckless past or anything) and I haven't met anyone who can tease those things out of me and am not sure I even want them to be. It is difficult for me to 'open up'.
* sometimes I'll say things without really thinking them out properly and lash out in an immature manner just to 'get you'.
* I'm indecisive. I realise this is infuriating for everyone involved!
* I pretty much live on instinct - so have been known to fly off the handle.
* I can be impatient. I want things done yesterday - except if they're done by me. I can take as long as I want (this also makes me a hypocrite).
* I am sometimes unreasonable and childish. I have been known to pout and give evil sideways glances.

So there you have it. The mixed bag of me.

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Monday, February 12, 2007


I was tagged by Jay to do this "Six Weird Things" meme. I don't think these things are very weird - but I must be one of those really normal people that just doesn't do weird stuff. That's the story I'm sticking to anyway.

And no, I'm not going to post "the rules" because I ain't tagging anyone so there, hmph!

1) I talk to myself. I do it a lot. It helps me center my thoughts without having to bother anyone else. Yes, it's a bit on the crazy side and I have been caught numerous times doing it. Yep, that's a TAD embarrassing. I always get caught thinking about funny things in my head too and laughing my arse off loudly even though no one else is around. CUCKOO!!

2) I MUST wash my hair everyday. Even if I'm at home all day. I'm not one of those people that get up and say 'hey I can go one more day without washing my hair' or I'll go for a walk and then I'll wash up. Nope. Even if I go for a walk or whatever I HAVE to have a shower first with a hair wash. I feel grimy otherwise.

3) I very rarely listen to music on the stereo at home. I listen on the ipod or on the car stereo. I like to feel like I'm right inside the music.

4) I'm obsessively clean and organised in the art room/classroom (was described a meticulous the other day) but everywhere else I actually like the 'lived in' look (read: messy and disorganised).

5) I'm absolutely terrified of the dentist. I mean, hand shaking when I dial the number. I'm talking; hyperventilating when I get the letter telling me it's time for my appointment. Terrified in the driving up to the carpark, walking to the door and not being able to open it, turning away and driving home. I've asked to be put under general anesthetic in order to deal with a filling. I was deadly serious about that. They said no.

6) It's 7am at the moment, my clock radio says it's 7.45am. I should already be in the shower and getting ready to go! I set my alarm for 6.30am (which is actually 5.45am). The reason why I set my clock radio 45mins later than it actually is, is to scare me into waking up on time. I am notoriously a last minute girl. I will wait until the last possible moment before I start getting ready. I'm also a snoozer. I could get by on snoozing all day long actually. I am always running out the door with a bit of bread hanging out of my mouth (no time to toast it) and slightly wet hair. I think of people who are naturally early risers as "freaks" - can't help it. It's more because I'm jealous though.

And now the Musical Monday. This is just one of the songs I've been listening to on high rotation for the last couple of weeks. There's nothing like a bit of funk to totally turn a day from drab to fab. I first heard of Funkadelic through #1's older brother who was a super saxophone player and was totally into funk and blues. This was all especially hilarious because the family was extremely straight laced. I'd be on the phone to #1 and suddenly we couldn't talk anymore because her bro would blast the music and start playing along. I checked out Funkadelic and liked it alot. #1's bro is now an oncologist but you know..a funky one. I absolutely recommend this song, it's fun, lively, funky and danceable!

Flashlight - Funkadelic

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

the wedding waltz

Holding hands in a circle, a chain linked and strong but fluid, not stoic. Someone new enters and the link breaks to allow them in, again it closes. A smile, a wink, a knowing glance is shared and the dance continues, around at a frenzied pace. Another bond broken suddenly when two more hands slide in between the clasps and then another and another. The chain grows longer until the circle has no choice but to be broken and so it is - and the dance is lead in towards the centre. It swirls inwards like a pattern on a snail shell and curls around on itself like an twirling, vigorous whirlpool.

Around we all go interlocked hands all clasping, rough skin on smooth, sweaty palms on dry until there are circles within circles of people all laughing and singing and stepping in unison. Never mind a wrong foot, just hold on and keep going. At this delirious point you can't tell where the chain begins or ends and it doesn't matter.

This is a different kind of wedding waltz, a shared moment rather than private. It says that marriage is something that you share with the people who are important to you. Where it might be suffocating, breathless, sweaty and crowded it also promises to be uplifting, supported. Always there will be someone willing to clasp your hand, support your dance and hold on, come what may, until the very end.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

stapling them to the wall and throwing darts

I decided to beat prin to the punch this year by getting some displays up early for our parent information night next week (we had another parent night last week too, I have no idea why they can't just combine them). Last year in my first year of teaching art Prin decided to suddenly spring btw the whole school needs to be decorated by you two days before the night. This year I am on my game. Oh yes! Of course since the school is doing a lot of pre-testing at the moment I haven't actually taken the whole school for art yet. I have no art work to put up at all. I've gotten around this by putting up only photos. In order to fill up the mammoth sized boards though I've had to take a hell of a lot of photos. It's been very fiddly and expensive but it's the only thing I can think of that will tide me over until the art program officially starts.

Instead of teaching art I've been back in the classroom subbing for their teacher who is doing pre-testing. It's actually been a lot of fun being back in the classroom. Having one grade exclusively for a few days in a row seems like such a luxury to me now. You can follow up on discipline properly, you can carry work over and there's a hell of a lot more control and downtime. I think I'd like to move back into the classroom in a couple of years. Maybe even next year. I love battling with them through their learning difficulties. I want to teach them to write perfect sentences and how to use different strategies to add. Then again...I love the freedom the art program affords me. I love the excitement in the kids when we learn something new in art and I love the lack of parents being aggro.

I had a taste of it in the classroom this week. Since we are officially only 8 days back the kids are still being tested for reading/writing/maths. Typically what happens with children's reading is that over the holidays they lose a bit of practice and so when tested teachers will find that they move down a couple of levels. This is VERY short lived and the kids are back on track very quickly. In the classroom I was in, the teacher hadn't tested reading yet so for one week she put all kids back one level so they could get used to reading again and then when she tests them next week they will be on their correct levels. Of course I had a bazillion anxious parents in with me complaining that their children were not progressing in this class. I wanted to shoult, we're EIGHT DAYS IN, go take a valium! But somehow managed to channel the spirit of Mother Theresa and was serene and sweet instead.

Kids get stressed when parents are obsessed about their progress. I caught a 7 year old BAWLING her eyes out in the corridor the other day. When I asked her what the matter was she could hardly speak for all the gasping and crying. I'm n-n-not s-s-sma-a-a-art enou-u-ugh! she eventually said. Talk about heartbreaking. I know this child very well. I taught her two years ago and she didn't match up to her peers academically. I wanted her to stay down but her parents wanted to move her up - so she did. The next year the gap between her and her peers widened even more. The damage has already been done. She feels dumb. Never mind that she's a beautiful kid, great artist and great dancer. None of that counts...even though it should.

It's a tragedy for which both teachers and parents are to blame. Kids have way too much pressure on them to succeed in Literacy and Numeracy. Schools put pressure on them because results count these days (I mean they're even talking about paying teachers according to the results they get - ridiculous!). And parents put pressure on their kids by being obsessed with reading scores and how much homework they're getting and their successes in school. Parents compare results in the yard and so kids compare each other in the classroom too. The whole thing depresses me a lot.

Maybe I do want to stay in the art room.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Pigs in Space

Dude, what the fuck?

Everyone has heard this story, right? Psychotic female Astronaut has a crush on Major Nelson. Psychotic Astronaut suspects that another girl (aka: clueless victim) might also be a chance with Major Nelson. Psycho Astronaut drives half way across the country wearing a trench coat disguise and nappies so that she can either kidnap/kill or "have a talk" (according to her statement) to the woman about this "situation". Psycho sprays clueless victim in the face with pepper spray, Clueless Victim gets away and Psycho is found a little while later stuffing black gloves, a folding knife with a 10-centimetre blade, rubber tubing and rubbish bags into the bin. Major Nelson is probably living it up dancing with Jeannie in her bottle or something while all this is going on - none the wiser.

I almost drove off the road laughing when I heard this one. Nappies? Knives? um...NAPPIES?

Is it just me or are girls the masters of making arseholes of themselves when it comes to men? Some will gouge out the eyes of any woman in their way and play dirty if it gets them what they want. I have always found that in a situation where there are two girls vying for the attention of one man it ends up being mostly about the relationship between the two girls rather than the guy. For one of those girls doing the vying, you could probably replace that guy with any slob stumbling out of a pub at 2am and they'd still fight tooth and nail. The other girl however might actually really like the guy and is caught up in the "competition" of it all even though they never intended it to be like that. It can be horrible if you're the girl who actually likes the guy and not really in it for the competition - that much is true.

I know that I can't stomach that kind of 'dirty play' for a guy. I have been known to step back in situations that I thought might develop into a competition because it's just too big a headache to live through just for *certain guy* who gets to sit back and watch it all unfold without doing anything at all (can't stand that) - only to find that the "winner" loses interest within a few days (or a night) because they were only ever in it for the win anyway. Games. Pride. Jealousy. These are the downsides of the male/female dating world. Games.

The way I see it: At some point the game has to stop for someone to win - and after that point the game is over. Finito, Fin, Adios muchachos. Both people can't win in a game. Both can win in a relationship though. There may be game like elements going on when dating but at some point but there comes a point in every relationship like every mature life where you have to cut the shit, grow the hell up and be prepared to stop playing and start bloody well living. I know there are a kazillion people that disagree with me on this one though - god knows I'm friends with most of them!

But this example of Psycho Astronaut is interesting. Obviously a woman driving halfway across the country in a nappy isn't ever going to be appealing to any man who isn't planning on being a guest on The Jerry Springer Show - but how much fight is acceptable and appealing? Or is it that the guy wants to do the chasing when it comes to matters of the heart?

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

life questions

* Blogger has decided to give me a little push into "new blogger". So when I next log in I'll be shiny and new. Buuuuuuut, since I am a glass half empty kind of girl I suggest you go right ahead to my profile (link at bottom of page) and memorise my email address just in case it all goes to shit and I can't log in anymore (like I've heard so many horror stories about). If you want you can contact me personally to find out where I am if things go wrong (too many of you guys don't have email addies so I can't even look you up!). Apart from that - wish me luck. I'll probably give it a go in a couple of days.

* I was reading an article about how there is a man shortage in Melbourne from ages 19-39. They said that if women wanted their odds to improve in the man sense we needed to move to suburbs that have need for man muscle (haha). Sorry to say..the suburbs listed sounded a bit dodgy (as in safety) - tell me a single woman is going to pack up and move to Sale or Hoppers Crossing? Err..sorry to anyone who lives there.

But it stands to reason that if there are a lot of single women then of course there must be a lot of single men as well, no? Is it men or is it women who are deciding not to get married? Since pretty much all my friends are married and are starting that baby crusade thing this whole article seems very foreign to me. I mean, of course there IS ME that is a prime example of this but I might just be a social leper anyway. So, what's the deal? Do women really want to remain single or do men? And why are defacto couples considered 'single' anyway? Any woman in a defacto relationship is very much describing herself as taken but men still hang on to the title 'single' like it's going out of fashion. Why is that? Defacto is the same thing as married these days - even law wise.

* For the past couple of weeks there have been late night Rocky movies on TV. It brings back memories of me taping my eyes over with scotch tape and doing Sly Stallone impressions for anyone that would take the time to watch. Yeah, some girls twirl, twirl, twirl - others do Rocky impressions. Gee, perhaps I *should* move to Sale, it might be the only chance I have left. The latest Rocky movie to hit the tele is Rocky IV (you know, the one where he fights the Russian). Has there ever been a more evil character ever invented in a movie than "the Russian"? He's so stoic, a murderer and...kind of MEAN. Gee, when it comes to 'political messages concerning the cold war' in movies the Americans really don't beat around the bush do they? Ooooee. Also in other life altering questions; has there ever been a more idiotic sport than boxing? I don't understand why anyone would get involved in it OR watch it for entertainment.

*Musical Monday: No big story. I just really love the song Cannonball by The Breeders. Is there anyone cooler than Kim Deal? I've done a Pixies MM before and I'll do one again. I still think of this song as contemporary but when I looked it up I realised that it's already 14 years old. 14 YEARS! Do you ever get the feeling that time gets harder and harder to keep up with the older you get? I have a feeling I'm always going to be 19 in my head. I hope you love the song as much as I do. I think it's timeless, fun, melodic and messy. Don't you just love that in a song?

Cannonball - The Breeders

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

the forced rose situation.

Last night bro and I went for dinner at our favourite (if not rather dodgy - health inspector wise) Vietnamese restaurant. Don't you just hate it when you think you have this special and unique relationship with your waiter but then on a busy night you realise that actually, he has the same friendly, easygoing and 'special' relationship with ALL his customers? What a slut!

Anyway, half way through dinner one of those ladies selling roses came into the restaurant with her basket and tried to palm off her roses. Bro refused to buy one for me! hmph!

Bro: I hate that shit! They publically pressure you to buy a rose. If you don't you look like a cheap arse.
Me: I know! But it's clever. If you were on a date if you don't buy a rose you do look a bit cheap!
Bro: ...And if you do buy it you look like you were forced into buying a rose
Me: "you weren't romantic enough to give be flowers before this lady came around?"
Bro: Exactly, forced rose situation.
Me: But you know, on a date situation how can you say no? Would you buy a rose for your date?
Bro: That depends on the date...
Me: Explain.
Well if it was a first date then yes but if we were married or whatever, years down the track then probably not because you don't really need to.
...so wait, if you're married to her isn't she MORE special?
Well, doesn't the special lady deserve a rose?
If you're married you probably have a joint understanding that the rose lady is a freak and there shall be no rose buying
..have you asked?
have you actually had a conversation before dinner that there shall be no rose buying?
no, it's just a general understanding
Yeeeaaaaaaah, good luck with that.
Even if they HATE the forced rose, if you don't buy the rose then it's like 'why the hell didn't I get a rose of some kind at some point during this date?'
But if you do then you look like you didn't make enough effort to get flowers before, or if you're married it highlights how you never buy flowers anymore?
That is fucked up. You hate the rose lady as much as I do
Yep, I hate that crap. I don't even want a rose from the rose lady! It wouldn't affect how I saw my date as a person. But, still there would be a little part of me that would think.."hey, why are't I good enough for a rose?" EVEN THOUGH I don't actually want one.
That is just dumb!
Yeah well, suck it up bitch. You're just going to have to be romantic, some way, somehow, some day or else you suck!!

Later, while walking back to the car

Bro: Would you rather a forced rose or a broken flower picked by hand?
Me: Flower picked by hand - even if it's a daisy - but I would rather that than store bought ones anyway.
...and if they're harder to get, like he has to climb a fence then it's even better?
yep, you got it
Yeah, now that actually makes sense.
....so what do guys get. Where's our rose?

You get NOT to give birth.
...yeah well, okay.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007


I was witness to the most fucked up conversation ever today. Was it about the war on terror? No. Was it about abortion? Nope. How about religion? That one always gets the plebs fired up doesn't it? No Sir. Well what was it about then?

Dog birthday parties.

People are having birthday parties for their dogs. Did you know about this?

DOGS - as in humble and faithful PET.

Yes, we're talking invites handed out to the other dog owners in the neighbourhood for their dog, dog food cakes, dog treats, balloons, music, games, presents - you name it. Folks, these are not child parties we're talking about - it's dogs. You know the animal that lives in the kennel and sniffs crotch and eats vomit? Yeah, that one. I have an adverse reaction to people who dress their dogs up (I saw a corgi the other day who was wearing a leather vest - probably more expensive than my whole outfit) let alone have dog parties.

I had no idea what to say when I heard E, L, C and Ez were talking about all this. At first I nervously laughed and buried my nose in my iced-coffee. Then when they got onto My dog is turning 1 next month - let's do it! and I couldn't help myself and practically yelled at them for being FREAKS OF NATURE!

Okay, I know that there are a few dog lovers out there but my general opinion on the matter is that dogs don't need birthday parties. Maybe give them a bone or something to celebrate or an extra hug - sing 'em happy birthday or something. But they don't need their "dog friends" to come over and celebrate. They don't need clothes. They don't need to be dressed up like ducks. They don't need to be carried instead of walked. They don't need to be married to another dog. They don't need to wear wigs. They don't need to be the ring-bearer at your wedding! They don't need to live in your handbag. They don't need jewelery. They don't need to eat from the fucking table. They don't need to drink evian instead of tap water. And guess what freako, your dog will never need novelty sunglasses or nappies! NEVER! Who the fuck do you think you are anyway, Oprah? THEY ARE DOGS, NOT PEOPLE! YOU MIGHT LOVE THEM LIKE THEY ARE PEOPLE BUT ACTUALLY YOU ARE DELUDED. THEY ARE PETS, NOT PEOPLE!!!

They need a pack leader who loves them for being a dog, not for being a human. Cuddle them until your heart is content but don't be a fucking idiot about it for FUCKS SAKE!!! I'm so fired up! ARGH.


the school entry

School is in. Talk about hitting a girl over the head with a sledgehammer. Kids are tiring - I thought I was going to somehow *ease* back into it with some nothing much lessons before I hit 'em with the paints but I've realised that it isn't what they can handle, more what I can handle - which sorry to say isn't very much. I've gone soft and am left huddling in the corner after every lesson silently rocking while I sip on my 1st (okay 5th) coffee of the day.

Apart from that there are a few teething problems. The specialist team has decided that we are going to crack whips this year. Since all of us teach different subject areas we do our own rewards and consequences system. Firstly there is an individual points system where if individual kids work well they are rewarded accordingly. That's fine. We also work on a points system across the school in whole class form (teamwork) so we award points for the whole grade and then the points accumulate throughout the term and when they reach a certain amount the whole class gets some sort of reward (like a free dress day or whatever). The problem is that the way we award points in art is inconsistent with how we award it in PE. Mine happens to be a simple process. Five points up for grabs. Five major rules - each worth a point. Break the rules and you don't get that point. The specialist team has always worked with 5 points as long as I've been at the school.

Five points is a pretty big deal - or rather it should be a pretty big deal. Meanwhile the music teacher has been known to give 15 points for no outlined reason. Why would they be happy with working their arses off for 5 in art when they are getting 15 for doing shit all in another class? Meanwhile, because I have a point system like I do if they break all rules they simply don't get any points at all. I've given 1 point and Zero points for grades that have been little bastards before and I think it's a fair call - they know the rules and if they break them I will not give them points and I'll keep them in or whatever consequence my policy allows. When I brought it up with the Italian teacher in terms of keeping things consistent he was shocked that I would deny them at least 2 points - the lowest he's ever given is 2 points and he can actually count those times on one hand.

Personally I don't see what the point of having rules is if you don't actually bother to enforce them? Why have 5 points if you can't have 1? I'm all for fucking their shit up Joe Pesci style if need be. He isn't. Meanwhile the music teacher gives them extra points for no reason and the PE teacher doesn't have a plan for rewards it at all. The problem is that I think that we all need to do the same thing - but (and this is where I get stubborn) I think the way we do it should be my way because my way makes sense. They agree that my way makes most sense but they also think that we're all individual teachers with individual styles and we should all do it our own way. How can we be taken seriously if we are not consistent with our discipline? Have I eaten the crazy cake? I'm not denying the kids rewards I'm just being very straightforward with my system. If they get the points they know exactly why. If they don't they fucking well know exactly why. I tell them straight up: You got the working hard, cleaning up, lining up and teamwork point but we didn't get the listening point today because you were all calling out instead of putting your hand up - next time if you do the right thing you'll get the point - That's 4 points for you today - next time I'm sure we'll get five if you work on the listening. What's so difficult to understand here?

Meanwhile, in the land of consequences for bad behaviour we've devised a book that we record who/what/when/where/why in about children's behaviour during class. We have a certain amount of 'chances' per lesson before the name goes in. If the name goes in then the classroom teacher knows about it - they can follow it up and we have a long term record of children who are always mucking around. If certain children get their name in the book more than twice then it's call the parents in for fucking up their shit up Joe Pesci style, time. We all agree that this is good. Classroom teachers agree that this is good. VPrin and Prin agree that this is good. We all decided to tell the children on the first day what was up!

Today I had my first art classes and I told the children about our rewards system and then I told them about the book. Some kids did that thing where they had their hands over their mouths in OMG-style. They get it. I also made these really snazzy reward certificates for GOOD work to demonstrate that children who do the right thing are going to be taking home something that they can show their parents to demonstrate how OMG-special they were in art today. They were rapt and all sat up straight immediately (teehee). I thought that was successful - they worked well. Did the Italian teacher tell his classes about the naughty book and work to scare the living shit out of them? No. Fucking hell! We talked about this!

Maybe I'm being too pigheaded about this? Everyone wants to be consistent but everyone only wants to be consistent THEIR way (including me). Going our own way isn't working (kids don't see us as a unified front) and being consistent seems impossible if people aren't going to use the rewards and consequences as outlined. Are we doomed?