Today we willingly drove in expanding circles around the site of the school we will visit tomorrow. Morning tea was had as a simple picnic at Hanging Rock. I have to say I was disappointed in the eponymous rock itself though the jumbled mount it is a part of is certainly very impressive.
Lunch at an Ash Wednesday memorial park. We have three main areas we are looking at living in longer term. All centered around schools family or both and a complex mix of proximity to a capital, land price, local culture, etc. So far nothing has ruled this district out, though the ever present fire risk is a real concern. There are some promising blocks and interesting artistic townships to choose from.
Tomorrow after an appointment of unknown length at the school here we will begin the long drive home.
A good but expensive day. On basis of getting to see a cousin and being able to make two important purchases we ventured into Melbourne instead of exploring the local area today.
We have a new high chair for F. The same model as his big brother’s a Stokke Trip Trap* (links at the bottom of the post as I am writing on mobile) which is an excellent and adjustable chair. Purchased for a bargain off gumtree.
The second, also a chair, is an Ikea Markus office chair. I have been working in either a folding plastic or an ancient vinyl dining chair since we moved to Cobar and it has been doing my back in. N is in the same situation but unfortunately the chair she liked best was not in stock.
It being IKEA we didn’t get out completely unscathed but we avoided a flat pack argument and the worst of the self assembly mental conditions on offer. Ate cardboard fish and chips and were in and out in under three hours. A family record.
This evening we watched ‘Source Code’ and ‘Hardcore Henry’ both interesting in different ways.
We left at half six and arrived in Riddles Creek just after 5 this afternoon. I am not looking forward to the return trip when we will not be able to depart until after our appointment with the school at midday.
Planning on exploring tthe local area over the next two days, perhaps some bush walking, perhaps a trip to Ikea, maybe even check out some land.
I survived bullying. I was called gay from late year five until I left high school and went to Tafe in the city at the end of grade 10.
It didn’t matter that I wasn’t gay, not even slightly. It didn’t matter that family members and family friends were gay and I didn’t have issue with it. The label stuck, provoked a reaction and haunted me for years. The staff mostly didn’t get involved. Close friends wouldn’t hang out with me within sight of school peers. School was a pretty unrelenting misery, I have but a handful of good memories or lasting friendships from that time, barely any which were from within my actual year level. It was a dark and depressing period and it marked me for decades to come. Distrust of authority, body image issues, loneliness and trust issues as well as an overwhelmingly negative view of academia are among the lasting effects I have dealt with and I believe largely overcome.
I have been thinking about posting on the topic for some time. My high school cohort is going to celebrate a twenty year anniversary of a year twelve I didn’t attend this year. I didn’t attend the ten year and I have no compulsion to attend this one. I have mentally forgiven my antagonists but I have no desire or need to see what has become of them.
The announcement that thirteen year old Tyrone Unsworth committed suicide after a campaign of bullying based on his supposed sexuality touched a nerve. It is deeply sad and disappointing that people are still dying for who they love in supposedly progressive societies the world over. I believe his death could have been averted if people had stood up for him, challenged his antagonists and demanded better from them. The school will doubtless have to audit its monitoring and management procedures. I hope that among their responses is the introduction of the Safe Schools Program
There will be a lot of baying for blood from “concerned citizens” targeting the alleged bullies families and the alleged oblivious staff of the school. This is deeply unhelpful. Believe me when I say that there was a time when I wanted to see violence visited upon my antagonists. I and the thousands of other bullying victims around the world understood, to our shame, a little of what drove the Columbine boys to their awful end. Every authoritarian punishment based response to bullying I have observed has backfired, often badly. I have seen restorative justice both succeed and fail to deal with victimisation of students peers. In fact the only actually successful anti bullying technique I have ever encountered is the ‘Method of Shared Concern‘. Blaming and hating on the perpetrators doesn’t help the victims, it just makes the perps better at hiding their crimes.
Programs which normalise acceptance, compassion and community are the strongest weapons we have against bullying and the bigotry and medieval morality of an outspoken group of religious fundamentalists should not be permitted to get in the way of their implementation.
Homework and preparation for the big drive.
Tomorrow morning we embark on a four day expedition to visit Candlebark and explore the surrounding suburbs.
A day with a 3/4 class and this afternoon the town Christmas parade. Which is by far, the most well attended Cobar community event we have so far been to. L won best dressed in his age group with a Santa outfit including including a cotton wool beard he crafted himself. It is nice to see everyone coming together and celebrating and the atmosphere was certainly friendly. Having now worked extensively at both local primary schools I can barely step out of the house for being accosted by children and this was certainly the case today.
Editing and attempting animation this evening.
I have been looking at purchasing a couple of ‘Zen Pencils’ posters for my classrooms. I have used Gavin Aung Than’s comics in a whole variety of different lessons and there are a couple I would particularly like to make space for in future classrooms. Unfortunately one of my favourite and most frequently used quotes doesn’t appear to be available in poster form. I’m planning on getting the ‘Science All Stars‘ and the ‘Declaration of Rights‘ ones anyway. Though they are not cheap as the store is in USD.
I have been booked in for a day next week to do handover and orientation with the public school’s still quite shiny and new 3D printer. I am not yet sure if I will have a class of my own or the TRS (everyday relief position) but work is pretty much guaranteed for 2017, which is a great relief. Time to brush up on my 3D modelling skills and start rebuilding my classroom resources.
After mixed success leading guided meditation with a year 6 class today. I have resolved to have another go at daily meditation starting tonight. Headspace is my guide of choice (and what I used in class).
An altogether exhausting day, compounded by a very rough last night means I am to bed directly.
I did whip up this first take on a channel header for Ytube before dinner.
A nice find while looking for resources to demonstrate good poster design this morning:
Some YTube side sound editing is still processing, so if there is no music yet don’t be alarmed. Video of gauntlet, shins and codpiece are likely a week or so away.
Started planning to rename my ytube channel to something other than just my real name and grabbed ‘Liatach’ because I really don’t have any other name that is as genuinely unique. Thinking I may even try my hand at a video intro animation. Nothing to cheesy mind 15 seconds maximum I think. Lens flares are cool right?
A family bbq and episode 8 of Westworld have left me at 11pm so I’m calling it a night here.
This afternoon I’ve planted out a bunch of seedlings and tinkered with a few panels of the new fence. I aim to paint some before bed. Last night I completed two sketch cards and I’m trying to keep momentum.
I had a 7:45 call in, which is very late, for a day with a three/ four class with no run sheet, my favourite kind of relief day actually. It means I can be something altogether and completely different. I can treat them as my own class for a day and expand the students horizons of what learning at school can be like. Today after a brief introduction we did writing on demand about which skills we would prioritise developing and how. I have been using diy.org as a good example of how complex skills can be mastered by a process of discovery. We spent reading groups reading from a selection of one act plays and poetry books grabbed at the last minute from the library. Later I took them to the computer lab for an Hour of Code and in the afternoon we did a drawing lesson in which stick figures were banned and star figures were introduced.
An idea occurred to me during a numeracy activity that I should formalise my thoughts on the way a few different maths concepts like area and perimeter are taught in the form of instructional video Vlog entries.
It is Westworld night but N is down with a headache, hopefully only dehydration. It is getting so hot here after a year of summer a bit more Scottish weather would be lovely.
The Glenfinnan Monument as viewed from the lookout for the much more famous Glenfinnan viaduct on a wet July/August day.
Painting again tonight. Currently working on sketch cards, that is, draft copies that demonstrate layout and vision for the evolution and terrain cards. As I’ve been really struggling to produce finished pieces to a standard that I am happy with. Partially lack of practise, partially distraction. There remains quite a few unsketched cards so I am working my way back in by finishing little things.
Last night a deep and meaningful with family took precedence over posting. A little work on L’s costume, a spot of fencing and gardening have eaten up the weekend. We have three new garden beds laid and not a moment to soon as our next crop of seedlings are desperate for planting. We are also looking forward to the return of our hens from the farm. Which is waiting only on the completion of the new dividing fence.
The foam armour is coming together and I have another progress video almost ready for publishing. My editing process is rapidly becoming more streamlined.
A couple of exhausting days with kindergartens and year one’s later and I’ve had to take some early nights. Managed to sort through a significant portion of my travel photos selecting a set for printing. I have also just finished editing 3+ hours of video down to 6 minutes which is included below.
Swapping to painting for the rest of the evening now.