Thursday, March 31, 2011


Here I am, day 2 of my teaching rounds and I am exhausted.  I have so much work to do it's really scary.  Technically I'm meant to be observing classes at the moment, but one of my mentors has so much faith with me that she is allowing me to run with a unit.  It's actually pretty special considering that the students I have are those who are in what is called "enhancement" classes.  These are the children that for some unknown reason (or maybe too many reasons) have slipped through the educational net that is out there.  

When I began my journey to become a teacher I naively thought that bad students (in relation to education) was due to bad teachers, teaching practices or just not caring about the individual child.  That may be true for some, but it's sadly not the case for many.  Attitude, home life, peer groups - these are all contributors to the whole.  I mentioned my mentor earlier...well, the one thing I can say about her is she is brilliant.  She is supportive, direct, understanding, disciplined...and that's not just her attitude to me but to all who she interacts with.  I'm also lucky enough that she is a Year level Co-ordinator.  Therefore I am seeing a lot more of school dynamics than just a classroom, yard duties & standard year level meetings.  

Funnily enough my other Co-ordinator doesn't quite inspire me.  I get the feeling I'm just there so he doesn't have to actually do some classes...on the other hand, I'm taking advantage of his main stream class of Year 11 History.  I have yet to meet these students - in fact tomorrow is my first session with them.  Fingers crossed!!!  Particularly when you consider I haven't done any modern History in, since high school actually.

So, that's me for today....  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

ARRC2011 - the good bits, the bad bits; the hello's & the goodbyes

Okay, so for all of you who had no idea, I was this weekend in Bondi at the Australian Romance Readers Convention.  This is a fantastic opportunity for readers of the genre to participate in discussions about the genre's trends, expectations, pros & cons.  Even better it's an opportunity to explore the genre by interacting with like minded people & AUTHORS!!!!  Yep, these bloody brilliant people actually give a damn about their 'fans'.  

So, the convention, well since I'm the anal person I am at times I'll start with the good bits & then follow through the points as my title says:

The Good Bits
New friends!  For me this was not just new friendly readers, but authors too.  I had a squee moment with Lexxie Couper whilst enjoying a drink on Friday evening...scary to think that she actually gets the way my brain works!  Other fabulous mentions in my opinion were Rhian Cahill, Heather Boyd & Jess Dee.  Funnily enough they are also all Australian authors.

Free Books!  Yep, I have well & truly overloaded the car with the amount of books I've dragged back with me...Fi(my sister) & Mum also helped themselves out.

Panels! These discussed specific sub-genres but really were just an area for us to be let in on the joke...there were some serious questions but on the whole it wasn't a boring lecture.

Lots of room!  There was plenty of room to spread ourselves out for the convention - this really is a blessing considering the 130 people that were attending.

The Bad Bits
Price!  Bondi is very expensive.  We were at a 4 1/2 star hotel which in my opinion was more like a 3 star.  There was no free internet except in the business centre & that was from the whole 2 computers that was there & then there was a sign that said "Please limit your use to 25 minutes".  Next there was the fact that breakfast was a whopping $33. I have no problem paying for hotel breakfasts except that the breakfasts were very ordinary.

Food!  The food at the hotel was terrible.  I had something that was supposedly a chicken curry for lunch which tasted like boiled chicken in a watery bit of sauce that may have had a spice in there but really required me adding butter & lots of salt & pepper.  It really didn't get better from there - average is about the best I can give the attempts at cuisine from this hotel.  Pretty sad when you consider the delights of culinary cuisine Sydney has to offer and that all other Accor groups have met wonderful standards without calling themselves 4 1/2 stars.  I'm a picky bitch I know but hell, I've travelled & I know the difference between the star ratings!

Service!  I was appalled that I had to ask 3 times for my sister's bed to be made up, extra towels given because, uh duh there were 3 of us staying in the room, and had asked for a paper each day & had to go get them myself!  Sadly the Swiss Grand Hotel in Bondi is a flop and misleading when stating it's rating. Drop the star rating to a 3 & adjust the prices accordingly, and voila you have an honest interpretation.

The Hello's
It was fabulous to meet Nalini Singh - particularly after conversing with her last year for my thesis.  Mum was almost wetting herself in meeting one of her all time favourite authors Cindy Gerard & of course I don't know who was more tongue tied - mum or Jess Dee when they were introduced to each other!  Jess still can't believe that my mother reads her books and mum was just so excited to meet an author she really admires.  I was touched and delighted to be part of conversations with Lex Couper, Rhian Cahill & Heather Boyd.  These ladies ROCK!!!

The Goodbyes
It was ambivalent to say goodbye to so many friends....because really that is what happens at these conventions we become friends.  More gifts were given out & then it suddenly was the end...we were saying "see you next time".  The Organising Committee well & truly deserved kudos - they were well and truly, in the words of Julia Quinn SPLENDID!

So, that was my weekend...well there was a lot more of course but these ruminations have exceeded anyone's attention span.  Till next time, Huggles!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Well after leaving promptly at 4.30am this morning we made it to Bateman's Bay in record time.  I was feeling a little tired just before Lakes Entrance but soon perked up and continued the drive.  As we got near Bega Mum & I reminisced on how the last time we travelled up this way we were going to stop at a pub for dinner.  Now, you'd think that a town the size of Bega would have counter meals at least until 7pm wouldn't you...well, like us you'd be dead wrong!  in fact the nicest thing I can say about the town is you get through it pretty quick & that they're now looking at building a bypass - thank God!!!! Today we saw the town in daylight...grungy & we were detoured because of flooding...I could be mean here and make some comments re: the flooding, but I'll leave it to your imagination.  There are some really gorgeous towns as you drive around & some that should be ashamed...

So, now I'm sitting down opposite the water; the sun is shining brightly here and the temperature is mid 20's...apparently you Melbournites will be annoyed at that as Dad said it's currently raining there.  Well, to annoy you even more, the forecast for this weekend here is sunny & staying in the mid-20's.  

So, the breeze is lovely and fresh - there isn't too much traffic noise annoying my serenity & i feel just like the Kernigans at Bonnie Doon....

Have a great day all and I'll write soon....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Brand Spanking New....

Here we are nearing the end of March 2011...well and truly a year since my last posting. So, here it is - a brand new looking Blog and my New Year's resolution to actually post more than once or twice a year!

This year I'm pursuing my Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary). This year has presented many challenges already. If I thought that Honours was a challenge then obviously teaching is going to be a, nope...that's just another 'think happy thoughts' line. It is unfortunate for me to contemplate such thoughts but this is my forum for airing all sorts of things and this is one of them - education theory is BORING. The specialisms are great (although often constrained by the 6 way tug of war curriculum guidelines) and I'm really looking forward to teaching students that anything can be challenged to be a part of literature. At the moment I'm quite tempted to buy some graphic novels on Shakespeare to re-enthuse 14/15 & 16 year olds.

In the next few weeks I have many things I'll be posting about: ARRC2011 where I'll be discussing my thesis from last year, my first round of placements at Hampton Park Secondary College & spending more time with my new baby - a crazy kitten I've named Lucifer ( a fallen angel he most definitely is!)

So, stay tuned...