Friday, February 24, 2012

Here's what I've been thinking about

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about.

Today: three children, three parties. Two at the same time. Two at the same place but at different times. Diva is still selling Playboy jewellery.

The children’s news. Clancy did a power point presentation on Bolivia’s Laws of Mother Nature. Matilda is going to do a presentation on where mobile phones and ipads come from (Congo,China). I’m glad to see this story now has some traction. Lots of FB posts, and GetUp has a petition. Matilda has an article published in the hardcopy version of New Moon Girls, about how animals are treated in food production. I’ll put up a link when I find it online.

The children complaining that I no longer come running every time they get hurt, or that they cry. I guess I’ve got used to the fact that they’ll probably live, and I need to push on with making dinner. Clancy has asked me to come and comfort her whenever she runs to her room in a huff, because that’s what mums on tv would do. (And, she needs the attention.)

Shopping for high schools. Lots of open days at schools. I’m thinking that shopping for high school is an exercise in family branding. “We consider ourselves... THIS type of family.” I resent the expectation that we shop for a school. We are given the impression that we choose, but really the schools do the choosing. Our local public school is fine. I don’t know what I’d do if it wasn’t fine. I’d like to think we’d join and help make it fine. Sure, Matilda will be applying for a place at a selective school. She’s the kind of student selective school are for. She’s decided against auditioning for the performing arts school. If she doesn’t get in to selective, she goes to the local public. I’m considering us to be quite French in going to the local public school.

Mamapalooza. Now it is only Vee and I organising, with Tap Gallery, and some help from Joan. If anyone else wants to come on board, you’re very welcome.

Work. I’ve had two days at my new job - storyteller/performer using puppets and props at a library. The program is for clients with disabilities. I’m thrilled to be paid to work, and the work fits into the school day. The show is for two small groups: children in primary school - they are mostly in wheelchairs - and a group of adults, who are more interactive with the story. My only reservation is me running out of ideas. I need to do more research and collect resources. Yesterday I popped into the community centre where I was on the management committee for the last few years. The manager offered me the job of running the supported playgroup one morning a week. That’s a yes. And now my friend has told me about a job at another school during school hours one day a week running the uniform shop. I’ll apply, but, as for all the little jobs, I need to let people know that I’ll be unable to work when I have teaching pracs for uni. That’s a disruption.

Uni. This time last week I was ahead. Now I’m behind.

Ethics. Wow. I made my submission to the inquiry - I pieced together things I’d already said here. Really, the whole thing is discrimination. Part of me is hoping that the inquiry is successful in repealing the legislation that permitted the teaching of ethics in the SRE timelsot. Then we can have inquiries into the curricula taught by all the scripture groups, and get on with getting SRE out of public schools. Give teaching time back to school teachers. And wouldn’t that free up a lot of volunteers for other jobs, like helping children to read!

The Gonski Report. Lets just get on with funding schools properly and fairly. In my studies last year I read a lot of about the complicated way schools are funded. My concern with the Gonski report is the part about no school will be funded less. That is a clause from earlier funding reform that exacerbated the inequality. Redistribution of resources to those with greatest need should involve some schools being funded less. End of.

Kevin and Julia. Silly me. When I heard Rudd resign I thought, ‘oh good, now he’ll just quietly go away.’ But no. A leadership challenge. Why would he want to lead a party that doesn’t want to work with him? That’s madness. Really, it’s playing out like a David Williamson play set in a bowling club. Can’t we just skip to the part of the story where Penny Wong and Malcolm Turnbull are party leaders??

Rachel Cusk. I’ve been reading her books since I became a mum. Her husband stopped work as a lawyer to look after their children so she could write. Now they’ve broken up. She’s written about it. In this piece from The Guardian she describes the pain of the separation, her surprise at realising that her husband hates her, and how her situation has challenged her idea of herself as an feminist. The subtext, for me, is again about the challenges of being an artist and a mother. The comments here are 99% negative.

I’m still trying to get used to the new routines for the new school year and fitting everything in. And in between everything and always needing to be done, grocery shopping, food preparation, washing up, washing clothes and putting them away. Ah, life.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

It's only been a month in the system, but I'm pretty unconvinced individual families can make a substantial difference to the public high school. Input into teacher effectiveness and curriculum choice would be a start. OK. I say input but I mean parent control :) This is where being a customer of a school comes in handy I guess, having money as leverage. If a private school parent is unhappy with a school, they can withdraw their resources in the shape of their fees.

Yay! for the New Moon piece. We'd love to read it!

Boo hiss to the Rudd stuff; I too am not part of the 'Australian people' who seem to think it's all one big reality TV show.

This is why our public high schools need a healthy dose of courses like philosophy, logic and critical thinking...

Grr...sorry if this is a bad mood comment, up with vomiting child last night!