Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Bible

We are all aware that I LOVE books!  Okay, so the best book of all is, in my opinion, the Bible.  There are so many different versions of it that it is almost impossible to say that you didn't know, that you didn't understand.  I am so grateful that I have had access to a Bible everyday of my life.  I have more than one, a privilege that I think many of us sometimes take for granted.  

While, I have much to say on the matter, I am going to keep it brief.  I love my Bible.  It is the one book that can be opened over and over everyday for thousands of lifetimes and still be fresh and relevant to the reader.  There is a reason that The Holy Bible was once the world's number one best seller for decades.  Believe what you will, and you will, but my Bible is a light in my darkness.  This lovely book which comes in many shapes, sizes, formats and languages; teaches, comforts, guides, reassures, corrects, instructs, blesses and tells stories.  I am so privileged to live in a country where I can have more than one Bible.  I am so privileged to have people in my life who read the Bible to me when I was a child and even more people who help to understand the message this text offers.  I am so privileged.  

Thank you Father God for Your Word! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Year 9 Metamorphosis

It seems that (in Queensland at least) year 9 is the age where students begin the year as fairly reasonable kids and gradually (by the end of term 1) morph into the most feral creatures you can imagine: 14 year olds!!

They argue, they whinge, they complain and they chat.  They worry and yell and cry and they have finally grasped sarcasm (much to the chagrin of their teachers and parents).  Parents who say they get barely a grunt out of their fourteen year old, should wear an invisibility cloak and sit up the back of the classroom for a day.  They will certainly be reassured that their child has not lost the ability to communicate.  Whether or not this is an intelligent level of communication is yet to be proven.  They do manage to interact with each other and they are quite adept at irritating their teachers, so perhaps they are capable of more. 

There is a tell tale sign of a teacher who has just finished attempting to  educate a group of these ferals.  Head banging!  That is (if I can invite you into the staff room for just a moment) the year 9 teacher on a break will enter the room head for the nearest blank bit of wall and start banging their head against it.  If a wall is not available they may choose to use their desk.  In some extreme cases, this head banging is also accompanied by tears and/or a muttered swear word or two.  This is an important ritual for the year 9 teacher to complete after each lesson in order to vent the frustration of spending time with 14 year olds.  A pat on the back, or a piece of chocolate will usually calm down the year nine teacher with relative ease.  If these basic remedies prove unsuccessful, there are other options.  You could try, prayer and medication (no that is not a typo).  Alternatively some choose to go down the route of addictive chemical intake such as coffee or other caffeine based beverages, alcohol or tobacco... be warned; these vices will stay with you well into your retirement!  

Now that we have a better understanding of "feral metamorphosis," it might be helpful to begin studying a possible cure or even preventative measure.  Most educators and even doctors believe that the year 9 "virus" eventually wears off, with a little patience and perhaps a lot of love!  It is also believed that this feralisation of the teenage population is unpreventable.  Some think that home school can (in some cases) prevent the illness from taking over the child, as it is aggravated by continued contact with other 14 year olds.  However, as with any viral infection, we must proceed with caution.  "Feral 14 year old" if not allowed to run its course can lead to more difficult diseases later on.  Symptoms of a caged "feral" can include, running away from adults, swearing without cause or discrimination, using illicit drugs (such as those used by misguided year 9 teachers), becoming attracted to the opposite (or sometimes the same) sex, failing grades and an over attentiveness to banal technology.  It is noteworthy that some of these symptoms may arise within pre-teen students and even "late-bloomers."  Again, proceed with caution at this stage.  

Some teachers assert that on a case by case basis and in specific situations, a feralised 14 year old can be tamed.  This takes experience and as a result some of these teachers have not actually tamed their students, but have in fact, lowered their standards of a "tamed feral."  They are correct in their belief that a small number of 14 year olds seem to have an immunity to the illness, while others are able to control their behaviour for small amounts of time (usually no more than a few hours). However, it is important not to let one's guard down when dealing with these feisty creatures.  Legend has it, they can turn at any moment!

In case you haven't worked it out... I met my year 9 class yesterday!   

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mr 10 year old... AKA number 1

Today Mr 10 year old turned 11.  So I suppose I should stop calling him Mr TYO!   Okay, so I was just (about an hour ago) on the phone with Mr 11 and we had a great chat about.. wait for it... BOOKS!!!  Can you believe it?  My 11 y.o. nephew actually started and continued to engage in a conversation with his (daggy old) Aunty about books. We talked about cool books, boring books, books he would like to borrow from me, books he would like to buy, authors and where to find reading material on the internet.  Then his father discovered him sitting in front of the computer talking on the phone- (unbeknownst to me) the birthday boy had lost his computer privileges- and our conversation came to a swift halt.

Anyway, I was over the moon that my nephew wants to read and that he is willing to tell me (sometimes brutally) honestly what he thinks of a book.  I soon discover if my latest gifts (usually books) are "cool" or "boring!" In my eyes, this is awesome because the only way I will get better at book buying and my "real job" is to have a "spy" on the inside!

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Kiddo!  and thanks for the website link, I found heaps of cool stuff and even some (daggy old) Teacher stuff!  ; D  she's a great Australian author of children's picture books, young adult fiction and non-fiction for everyone, if you can't find a Jackie French book that you like, then there is no hope for you at all (lol)!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

So Far This Week

While my little story may seem a little "Rainman".... I am not ASD... well I haven't been officially diagnosed!  So this week, I have managed to jam my hand in the shower door, walk into my bed, kick my toe on a door jamb, hit my head on a number of objects, trip over an electrical chord, drop my pencil case, scratch a child or two, catch my finger in a door that was slamming, burn my knee on an oven tray and lose my private health card!
I might add that all of these were accidents.  The children have forgiven me... and compared to the things that I have had thrown at me by kids (i.e. jumpers, pencils, rulers, erasers, chairs) a tiny accidental scratch is nothing!!!

However, my finger, my knee, my head and my hand are having difficulty forgiving me.  In fact they all got together the other night and decided it was time I have a laughing fit and hurt two of my ribs... nice of them huh?

Anyway, that is all I have to say on the matter.  Although, you may want to be careful. I will be in public a good seven or eight times next week and clearly... I'm dangerous!

;) Be thankful I haven't told you what I really got up to this week!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Seasons of Love/ RENT

Here's a song that will get in your head!!! But "Seasons of Love" has always been somewhat of a favourite of mine, I like the theme I suppose.
So, that's Friday for you!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Another List of Thank you

Things I am thankful for today

1. Good friends
2. My awesome hair dresser
3. My bed!!!
4. Air Conditioning!
5. Clean, Cold, Refreshing Drinking Water!
6. Shoes: New ones would be nice, but what I have is holding out and I am very grateful for that. 
7. Chocolate!
8. My church family.
9. Pain Medication. 
10. Ice packs.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One Size Fits All

I hate this phrase!  There are very few things in this world that I hate but this phrase is definitely one of them.  I hate this phrase with a passion!!!

You might be wondering why I would hate this particular phrase with so much fervour.  I will tell you why. I hate this phrase because, it is a lie!!! Not only in the context of clothing, in which the tag saying "One Size Fits All" is the biggest, nastiest, down right meanest lie ever in the history of the world!  However, regardless of the context in which it is used, this great big lie is always a lie.

An example of this, would be pedagogy (the methodology of teaching).  No single strategy or teaching style will work for every student, in every classroom in every decade.  Every child is different, so is every adult learner for that matter.  We all learn and think and understand in different ways.  Some of us like to listen, others need to see a picture or diagram while still others need to have constant kinaesthetic (movement) stimulation.  Some people don't truly understand something until they have read about it, experienced it and then been expected to explain it to some one else.  But then, for some, a simple sketch, or analogy and the concept is crystal clear.  Pedagogy/ Teaching, must not be planned out in a way that excludes these types of learning.  Effective teachers do not assume that all students will understand by participating in the same activity.  When a teacher steps into the classroom, they will be ineffective if they stick to the "One Size Fits All" approach.

Relationships are another part of life when flexibility is important.  Hollywood would have us believe that there is a classic fairytale method of falling in love.  We know that certainly isn't the case.  Psychologists tell us that communication, honesty, true compatability and a shared belief in core issues are the keys to healthy relationships.  Others would argue that none of that matters and any healthy relationship (whether it's with a partner, friend or relative) takes hard work.  Most old married couples will tell you that a long lasting and healthy relationship takes a great sense of humour, a close bond of friendship and more than a pinch of patience.  My belief is that consideration and respect is a vital part of building and maintaining a good relationship with anyone.  If we respect each other and ourselves while considering each others needs, we can get on with practically anyone.  Some would argue that a healthy relationship is a choice: you choose not to cheat on your partner, you choose not to call your mother names when she says you've gained weight, you choose not to gossip about your best friend, in everything you say and do, you can choose.  Of course, I will admit (not often, so appreciate this), that I could be incorrect about my "respect" theory.  In fact, if I'm being honest, I don't think that there is a "one size fits all" formula for the healthy relationships we all wish we had.  We all need to make mistakes and learn from them and figure it out the best way that we can.  Our differences in personality, size, shape, intelligence and beliefs are just a few reasons why the "one size fits all" fairytale of love does not apply.  

In my humble opinion, I feel I have said plenty to convince you, but just in case you aren't persuaded... because I am right and I will not stop until you admit it... I have one more argument.  The notion that "one size fits all" is contradicted in the very way that we live our lives in the 21st century, that is the rapidly growing use of technology.  These days our technology comes "custom built" or with applications that we can choose to "add on" or download according to our interests.  This proves that ICT manufacturers (at least) have realised that people want a personal, individualised gadget.  They know that not everyone wants a music player and a camera included in their phone.  They know that some people like to play games on their ipad while others just want it for communication and document creation.  They know that some people like a basic model while others want all the bells and whistles.  They know that one size does not fit every customer

Therefore, take a stand people!  No more "one size fits all."  If you see it on a clothing tag, out of pure principle, don't buy the clothes.  If you hear someone say it, set them straight, tell them they are wrong.  We need to start a revolution.  People need to see, that I'm right and that's all there is to it!  Everyone should feel empowered to bravely embrace their difference.  Be proud that you don't fit "the mould."  Remember that people are lying to you.  Join the ones who know the truth..."One Size Fits All" is a LIE!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Missing Something...?

The sunlight continued to bore down on the trees below.  Green turned brown before their very eyes.  No one knew where to go.  No one knew how to solve this mystery.  Set in front of them, the empty well loomed with their demise.  But where?  how? why? Only one previous twilight proved existence of this one true need.  Now it eluded them, nowhere close held the key.  They could be sure of nothing.  The journey, blurred before, now seemed invisible.  Without this resource, they were helpless, stuck, soon to be surrounded by enemies.  Every side would be blocked.  However, pilfering this position would be entirely futile to both friend or foe.  Even so, impossible odds, inexperience combined with innocent young, brought grief and loss upon them.  Where would be the sweet rest which Nikuko promised them? For it would not be here! Doubt rippled through the tired minds of her followers.  Why were they fixed in position? Why didn't they run? She promised. 

Suddenly, huge vessels surrounded the soldiers, the children cowered in their mothers' skirts.  Guns, knives, swords, bows, then men, dropped to the ground in clouds of dust.  "It is finished," whispered his wife.  When, from one vessel, sounded the song of redemption.  They were rescued!  Nikuko, correctly predicted their coming.  The Colonel spoke, "it is true then.  Our rescue is timely, for the well brings forth no more."    

"Indeed,"  replied his redeemer.  Then, turning to the crowd he rejoiced, "Friends, we surely found the world of Eden.  It's rivers flow freely, midst forests, providing plenty of food for our people.  Come. We must move swiftly, before the enemy returns."  

"It is written, the world of Eden will be found, then the enemy lost."

The Colonel divided them between the vessels. Joining his wife, he spoke with much joy, "We will live in this desert no longer.  We move on, to the riverside of Eden where we will find our true fulfilment.  Kikuko will reign for evermore.  Our crops will prosper ten fold.  Our children will grow, then go forth to rebuild.   Kikuko's children will study her guide and continue to rule over our new home for centuries to come! Surely our future is bright!"

Okay, now you have read the story.... something is missing.  Something very important.  It is quite small and seemingly insignificant, but to the budding writer, the blank page becomes far more forboding, when this tiny tool is no longer at their disposal.  So... can you guess?  What is it?  What is this whole story (minus this little paragraph) missing?  Worked it out yet?

This was written during a writer's block exercise.  There are a few tricks of the trade that I've picked up along the way; one of which, is to write something (anything) with one simple rule.... you must delete a single vowel from your vocabulary.  Therefore in the entire paragraph/ letter/ story, the chosen vowel will not appear, not even once.  So now all you have to do, is figure out which vowel was deleted.  

Sunday, March 20, 2011

a-z 1

One of Tony Ryan's Thinking Keys, is the alphakey.  This requires "students" to make an a-z list of words that relate to the current topic of study.  In this case, I decided to think of the one thing I know the most about and I got started.  I did it in under ten I wouldn't put a great deal of stock in the overriding theme.  Whatever you think it might be.  


Saturday, March 19, 2011

A funny story... unfortunately not my own

A man feared his wife Peg wasn’t hearing as well as she used to and he thought she might need a hearing aid. Not quite sure how to approach her, he called the family Doctor to discuss the problem.
The Doctor told him there is a simple informal test the husband could perform to give the Doctor a better idea about her hearing loss..
‘Here’s what you do,’ said the Doctor, ’stand about 20 metres away from her, and in a normal conversational speaking tone see if she hears you.  If not, go to 15 metres, then 10 metres, and so on until you get a response.’
That evening, the wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he was In the den.  He says to himself, ‘I’m about 20 metres away, let’s see what happens.’ Then in a normal tone he asks, ‘Honey, what’s for dinner?’
No response.
So the husband moves closer to the kitchen, about 15 metres from his wife and repeats, ‘Peg, what’s for dinner?’
Still no response.
Next he moves into the dining room where he is about 10 metres from his wife and asks, ‘Honey, what’s for dinner?’
Again he gets no response.
So, he walks up to the kitchen door, about 5 metres away. ‘Honey, what’s for dinner?’ Again there is no response.
So he walks right up behind her.  ‘Peg, what’s for dinner?’
‘Frank, for the FOURTH BLOODY time, CHICKEN!’

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It seems I told a lie

I know I said that I wasn't going to post anything for a week or so BUT it is Thursday which means Thank You Day!  I have been reminded recently of how important it is to be thankful for the little things, and to show that appreciation to others.  It's also helpful when things aren't going so well, to remember what is good about your life... even if it seems insignificant.  So today, I actually have a list.

Things I am thankful for today, Thursday 17 March 2011

  1. I live in a house that has hot  running water, air conditioning and locks on the doors.
  2. I have a bed to sleep in and clothes and shoes to wear.  
  3. I have the coolest house mate/ land lady (hehehe) ever!!!!
  4. My parents love me, are close by and still alive.
  5. I have some amazing children in my life... my nephews and niece, my students and the kids at church.
  6. I have some lovely teenagers and young adults in my life... and I have learned from them.
  7. While I wouldn't say I have my health... I can function in most cases (sort of) on my own.  
  8. I have a job ready and waiting for me as soon as I am able to take it.
  9. I have worked alongside some very kind, polite, intelligent people (some of them are only one of those things but that's ok), and I have learned a great deal from them.  
  10. There is food in our pantry, money in my bank account and Nan is still willing to loan me $50 every now and then!  

BTW Happy St Patrick's Day!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What's the Secret?... 7 years later!

 NB: You might want to read the other post entitled What's the Secret? before this one.  

Well, it is now 2011.  Not 2004.  I will never throw away my writing or my other work from the past because it reminds me of who and what I was... once upon a time.  I liked reading my literary essay, I enjoyed the optimism in the author's voice.  I know the author was me, but she seems a stranger to me now.  Seven years is not that long in the grand scheme of things.  Many 70 year olds would say that 7 years is but a short time.  What lessons of significance could you learn in only 7 years? How could your past self (only 7 years younger) be a stranger?  Well, hold on tight, because here goes.

2004 M was a university student, who had a plan!  She was engaged to be married.  She was a leader among the young people of her church.  She was much, much thinner!!!! She loved like she would never be hurt and trusted as if she would never be betrayed.  She was certain that in a very short time she would have a class of her own and be a real, honest to goodness teacher.  M, loved her parents and surprisingly enough got on with them most of the time.  She was unwell, but she didn't let it stop her from doing the things she loved.  She was growing and learning all the time.  She was impatient and restless.

2011 M is another story entirely.  She is a teacher on medical leave.  She is divorced from her husband who is now remarried.  She has been betrayed and rejected.  M spent 4 years supply teaching, tutoring, contract teaching and volunteering before she got her very own class (and more).  She lived (for a year or so) in her parents' backyard, but now lives with a friend.  She knows what grief really means.  She sees children in a different light.  She feels constant pain.  She is grateful, but disappointed.  She is lonely, but does not want company.  She is confused.

While these two women may seem to be very different.  I am sure you can see their similarities.  There is something else that remains to bind them.

This one truth is stronger in me than ever before and it will continue to be so.  I am a child of the most high GOD.  I love Him and know that He will not betray or reject me.  I know that He has a beautiful plan for my life.  I still believe that happiness is a choice, however, it is a much more difficult path to tread.  I also believe that grieving and sadness are necessary to healing a soul, just like rest and rehabilitation are necessary to healing a body.  No apologies, I am very intelligent, but my heart often disagrees with my mind.

I believe that tears and despair can run alongside joy and peace.  As a child, I begged for patience, not realising that the only way GOD gives us a virtue is to place us in situations that require it.  I have learned patience through years of lessons... God is still teaching me how to wait.  While I can not see it, I know there is a long road ahead.

Everything 2004 Me wrote was true.  Naive as it may sound to the more seasoned traveller, it is based on research and a great deal of thought.  However, as 2011 me has learned... in most cases, the cargo is never what we expected.  

Saturday, March 12, 2011

What's the Secret?

This post will be a bit longer than usual.  It will probably be my last for a week or so... you see, I have writer's block.  I need a chance to push past my writing policeman and allow the words to flow from my mind to my fingers to the keyboard.  Anyway... I wrote this literary essay while at university.  The intended audience was Australian University Students.  Please note, this was written in 2004, so a few of the references may be "out dated" however this does not render them insignificant! 

What's the Secret?

I recently stumbled across a study of American and South Korean University students claiming that money can't buy happiness (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, February 2003).  Apparently, our esteemed colleagues placed money at the bottom of their list of things that make them happy.  This made me wonder.  When one considers all the conversations on campus about money, I don't know if we follow their way of thinking.  Phrases like, "I will buy my textbooks after I have paid the rent!" and "I will feel a whole lot better when I get paid," fill the cafeterias and libraries of university campuses all over Australia.  After all, we're all here so that we can get better jobs,  faster cars and bigger pay packets, aren't we?  When we eventually graduate, get our faster cars and our bigger pay packets, will we really be happy?  Will we reach that level of true contentment?

If this Study is correct in its findings and money is not the answer, then what are we all striving for? The question has plagued us for centuries.  What is the secret of happiness? Ever since Adam accepted the forbidden fruit from his mate we have been wandering in the desert, in an attempt to rediscover Eden.  The history of Greek Philosophy shows that the concept of happiness was the centre of speculation and many disputes among ancient philosophers.  Thousands of years later, not much has changed.  One only needs to "google it" to find literally millions of websites that promise to reveal the secret of happiness (for a price).  Books have been written, films and talk shows have been produced, all attempting to help us along in the pursuit of happiness.  The industry of self-help is a multi million dollar one.  However, in the thousands of years that man has walked the Earth, we have not yet found our Eden.  I'm not saying that our search is futile, far from it, in fact.  They say that you shouldn't wait for your ship to come in, you should go out to meet it.  So; which port do you head for?

The quest for the "possession" port is a common one and maybe some people find their bliss in the abundance of all things material.  According to this study, all experiences either fulfil or forfeit a psychological or physical need.  It could be argued that having enough money to satisfy all your physical needs and even some of your psychological ones would bring you happiness.  But, while it is most likely that we are going to be unhappy when we don't have enough money to pay the bills, having money doesn't result in our jumping for joy.  US students listed autonomy as the number one feeling that makes them happy.  This all seems to make sense.  When I can make my own decisions and don't have to do what my parents or my boss tell me to do, I'm happy.  However, so many of us are still on the quest for lasting happiness, setting goals of fast cars, big houses and truckloads of money.  As they say, whoever has the gold makes the rules.  Money is power.  Therefore, we aim for the fast cars, the big houses and most importantly the big pay cheque in order to have the power to make our own decisions.  When we "bring home the bacon" we feel like we have achieved something.  But how many millionaires out there are slaves to their work? They do not have to worry about how they are going to pay the rent or the phone bill, but what about the living part of life?  They choose career instead of family and while they have the "package" they may be eating alone.  While money is power and power seems to be one of those needs that we have to fulfil to be happy, money is certainly not happiness.

The "love" port is another one often visited.  The third need on the students' list is healthy relationships.  When your boyfriend says he loves you, your mum isn't nagging you and your best friend likes your haircut, you're happy.  Savage Garden sang it best; "I believe that family is more important than silver or gold."  If someone loves you, nothing else matters.  Think about it.  All those warm fuzzies that we get are usually a result of someone loving us.  Family and friends are important.  They are the support network.  Money can be a nice reward for the hard day at work, but wouldn't you rather a massage from your partner, or Mum's home made hot chocolate.  Having someone to come home to and share it with, the happy and the sad, is more important than the bank balance.  Money can't give you a cuddle.  Unfortunately, this quest for love is often one that leads to more heartbreak than we need.  Everyone has been touched by relationship breakdowns, the end of the road for that particular source of joy.  While the warm fuzzies are coming in at the "love" port, when the ship sails all is eventually wrecked.  Love is not the answer.  Although, hearing "I love you" and having someone to come home to can contribute to making us happy.  Of course, if you don't feel good about yourself, it doesn't matter how good that hot chocolate is, it probably won't help.  Money isn't happiness and neither is love.

The 'competence' port is probably the place where we will all find that our "cup runneth over." The second and fourth psychological needs on the US students' list were competence and self-esteem.  Perhaps these are the most important.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort."  Regardless of how rich you are, or who loves you, if you don't love yourself you won't be happy.  It's as simple as that.  So how do you love yourself?  When you complete an assignment and receive a top mark relief turns to joy.  When you lose those last five kilograms and the size ten dress fits, you revel in the feeling of 'thin.'  When you realise your dream of becoming a teacher, engineer, doctor or architect you celebrate.  You're happy because you worked hard and now you have this amazing sense of achievement.  You feel good about yourself and the work you have done.  We know that money is not the answer and love can be a quick fix.  Therefore it is the way you feel inside that makes you happy.

What about the days when you discover you have gained 5 kilograms, you failed the assignment, mum is out of town or your partner decides to leave.  How do you maintain that feeling of inner peace?  The true contentment that we are all seeking can be found in the moments of elation, achievement, love and wealth but it is also available during the times of sorrow and loneliness.  Dr Collins, a psychologist from London Medical Centre asserts that, "We can all be happy in a heart beat if we make the decision to be so."  Apparently, happiness is a choice.  You can choose to hate yourself because you are a size 12 or you can accept it.  You can choose to be depressed because you don't have a boyfriend or you can enjoy meeting new people.  You can dream about the one hundred thousand a year or you can be satisfied with a minimum wage.

I've come to the conclusion that Happiness is a personal decision.  It is a combination of health, wealth, love and achievement, combined with an acceptance of circumstances.  Some people won't be happy unless they have the fast car, the big house and an abundant cash flow.  Some people will find that their family is the source of their happiness.  Other people will find that only hard work and achievement will bring them joy.  However in this day and age all of these can be fragile.  The secret to true contentment is choosing to be happy with who you are and what you have.  It doesn't matter which port you go to, or what ship you find there, what really matters is what you do with the cargo.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


"Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Estaire did.  Only she did it backwards and in high heels!"

International Women's Day

This week the world celebrated Women's Day.  A day that is supposed to celebrate the opportunities that are available for women today.  A day to acknowledge the many women who paved the way for younger generations of women.  We sometimes forget how lucky we are to choose our own husband/ partner, vote in elections and preach in churches.  We are no longer property to be passed from our fathers to our husbands.  We are no longer considered too meek and emotional to have a sensible opinion about politics.  The mothers, and indeed wives, of our greatest leaders have finally been acknowledged for their love and devotion to their children and husbands.  

I am taking this opportunity to thank all the women in my life.  Young, Old and somewhere in between: you have all contributed somehow.  My identity has been shaped by you; my mother, grandmothers, aunties, sister, girlfriends, teachers, youth leaders, physio, doctor, co-workers and students.  You have all taught me something.  When to speak up and when to be silent.  When to stay and when to go.  How to smile when you want to cry.  How to pray in every circumstance.  How to care.  But especially to be thankful that I have a career, I went to university, I can vote and I am an equal to everyone else in the eyes of my God.  They taught me that God loves His Daughters!

I thank God for the women in my life.  The ones that have come and gone.  The ones that are still here.  The ones who are yet to come.  Lord, my sisters and I am truly blessed! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Ultimate Fairy Bread

Also known as an m&m sandwich this is an excellent food for when you aren't counting calories!  It's best reserved for celebrations and late night silliness.

You will need:

  • 2 slices of fresh, white bread
  • Margarine or Butter 
  • Plain m&m's.

  1. Spread a thin layer of margarine or butter on to both slices of bread.
  2. Make a layer (or two) of m&m's on one slice of bread.
  3. Place the second slice of bread on top of the m&m's.  
  4. Cut diagonally across the corners of the sandwich so that there are two triangle shaped sandwiches, or cut into square shapes if desired.  
  5. It is important to keep the crusts on the sandwich, they act as a seal and prevent m&m's from falling out.  Serves 1-2 people.
Variation: different types of bread could be used, or different m&m varieties depending on taste.  

WARNING: This "silly food" is not for the faint hearted, or children.  We recommend this delightful dish only be served to those aged 15-60 years.


Random Photo Collage

A few weeks ago, I just started taking photos of stuff, just whatever I saw
really. Here is a collage of the result. Question it. Tell a story
with it. Wonder why they give crazy people cameras. Do whatever you
want. :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dear "Patient",

Your medical team believes you to be a very intelligent and informed patient.  When you are given conflicting advice, we recommend that you take the opportunity to make an informed decision. You are capable and quite welcome to further research your condition if you feel so strongly about our care plan.

No one has asked the question you refer to, because we already know the answer.  You already know the answer too and it is unlikely that you would answer us truthfully.  We know because we see it in your face, your eyes, your posture.  We hear it, in your voice, your tone, your words, your groans and sighs.

As stated earlier, you are an intelligent person and I am sure you know why none of your medical team take "your burden" home.  We see hundreds of patients, if we took their pain and despair home with us, we would be no good to our patients, families, friends or even ourselves.

I do hope that I have sufficiently answered all your concerns.  Please be aware that if you are disappointed with your Care Plan, I would be happy to discuss it with you at our next appointment.

See you in three weeks.

Yours Sincerely,
Dr Sanders. Ma ABC, DEF G ph.D

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's Been Said....

"Hello Mrs Cooper, I think I broke your son."
            -- Penny, TBBT

"I'm not crazy.. my mother had me tested."
                  --Sheldon Cooper, TBBT

"Undomesticated Equines could not remove me."
                     --Teal'c, Stargate SG-1

"KMN"... just guess what it stands for!

"Suck it up, Princess!"

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Dear Dr Sanders,

Screw You! As if there aren't enough people in my life telling me what to do... and you send me to this guy who apparently knows everything there is to know about my "condition" and about me.  This guy who reckons he knows what I'm thinking.  
You know what... you are all idiots! 
None of you know how I feel.  None of you have sleepless nights because of this.  None of you even pretend to take my burden home with you and actually care about the person I am.  None of you have ever really asked the important question! The question that is in the back of everyone's head.  
You haven't answered any questions either.  Did you ever consider going into politics?... you would be real good at it!  The way you and your little friends with your framed certificates go skating around questions is phenomenal.  While we are on the subject of "certificates" and "magic little letters after ones name."  I've got those too, pal. I know how to go to a framing store, just like the kid in the 5th grade who framed his "Student of the Week" certificate.  Grow up!  I'm not impressed by a piece of paper.

One last thing.... do you think you lot could talk to each other please? Because one of you tells me to "rest" and the other tells me to exercise an hour a day.  Another tells me to drink plenty of fluid and keep eating... while another tells me to decrease my portion sizes.  Then you tell me it doesn't matter what I eat.  One tells me to tell my family and friends how I'm feeling, and my family and friends stop talking to me.  Another tells me I should withdraw, while another says to participate at all costs.  Just try to agree on something.  Anything.  Just one thing.  Please? That's all I'm asking for! 

Wait a did agree on at least one thing...You all agree on your opinion of me. 

OK People

The comments are gone!

Friday, March 4, 2011

2011 TROPFEST winner!

This Video was sent to me by the BFF, and it gave me a giggle.... I also thought it was really clever.  It is unusual for me to think that something created by someone else is clever!  Enjoy :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Blurred Boundaries of Fact and Fiction..Part 2

BTW It is very important that you read Part 1 or you really won't get what I am about to say!

Every Author must choose between...
1. writing their deepest darkest secrets and the absolute truth; then living in hope that others will insist it is exaggerated and imagined... in other words, no one believes you.
2. writing pure fiction and allowing readers to believe that the author has lived a far more exciting, sordid, interesting, humorous and adventurous life as opposed to a run of the mill existence.

Truth be told... the line between fiction and non-fiction is blurred or at best thin. The setting of any narrative is a created version of reality.  All readers bring background knowledge (or lack of) and personal experience to their "reading" of a text.  Readers and even writers do this whether they intend to or not.  Every person who chooses to engage with any text sees it through their own eyes.  Their perspective is shaped by their identity, which (as intelligent people know), is characterised by; family, culture, language, economics, society, media, experience, illness, location, other texts and the list goes on.  

Draw the line in the sand if you must, but even fictional texts have an element of truth.

I've never looked so good!

A very intelligent young man drew this lovely picture of me.  He saw my drawing and told me I was "doing it wrong!"   "Here, I'll show you," he said.  I have to say, I love my hair style, which was added as he said, "I'm going to give you crazy hair!"  This delightful student always manages to give me a smile!

He has a physical disability which cause slow degeneration of muscle strength, eventually he will be wheel chair bound.  However, I am thankful for the opportunity God has given me to be a part of this kid's life.  He has certainly taught me a lesson or two about positivity! :D

Everybody's Favourite Teacher!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Blurred Boundaries of Fact and Fiction

"When you write fiction, people are forever insisting its really autobiographical; when you write autobiography, they accuse you of making it up."
Janette Turner-Hospital

Most people probably haven't heard of this woman.  She is an obscure, but talented, Australian author.  Her words ring true to me, which is the very reason I felt the need to share them with you.  The BFF and I had a rather intriguing conversation along the same lines earlier this year.  It was a discussion about whether my blog was pure fact, pure fiction or something in between.  People assume that every story, poem and commentary on A Great Title is my own... is all about me and my life.  They choose to believe that my writing is a reflection of how I am feeling and describes events that happened to me.  

Whatever happened to imagination?! 

Bear in mind, that when you read this blog, you will learn some of what I feel, and experience. However, you will also read the words of other authors (usually ones that are better than me) and I will always acknowledge them.  More often than not... you will be transported into an imaginary world, one that exists only in my special, pretty, little head!  
Let's think logically about this... do real people photograph their stuffed animals... and write limericks about them? I don't think so!

In this case, whether each post is fact or fiction is something you have to decide for yourself.  I will tell you now.... you will never learn everything about me simply by reading this blog!

PS I have more to say on this matter... but will save it for another time when I am trying to avoid doing the dishes

New Phrase

On occasion I like to visit a website known as Urban Dictionary.  The website has new words and phrases that are used often OR it tells of the "slang definition" of words that have been part of our vocabulary for centuries.  Some may scoff, but language is not stagnant, while people still speak it, it will develop and grow.  Language (especially the English language) is expanding and becoming more and more complicated as the need for additions to our vocabulary arise.  For example, 20 years ago: ipods, iphones, facebook, camera phones, bluetooth, ipads, text messages, were not words in our vocabulary, because they didn't even exist.  Many of the words in Urban Dictionary have come into greater use because of the ever-increasing technology in our world.  The fact that kids know how to look up the meaning of a word on the internet but not in a paper dictionary proves my point! Anyway, I hope you have cause to use this phrase one day.  Reading via an electronic device, is also a different experience that I believe we all must have at least once!

2176 up1580 down

An eBook that is exciting to read and hard to put down.
While reading Neil deGrass Tyson's Autobiography on my Amazon Kindle and his personal account of the events of September 11th 2001 I found the eBook to be a real page clicker as I became absorbed in the story.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mashing March

Happy March 1st 2011 ladies and gentlemen!

The regular visitors to A Great Title will notice lots of changes this month.  I am scaling back the blog content and changing some of the presentation and design elements.  So during March, come by and check out the new stuff and please excuse the "under construction" view that you may experience over the coming 31 days.  As always, I will be sharing with you my favourite things, saying thank you, discovering new words and phrases and writing every genre of which I am capable.  There will be pictures, bad jokes, quotes, videos, slide shows, poems, book reviews, short stories, essays and a glimpse of my general nuttiness.

By the way, if you like or don't like a particular change, or you have a polite suggestion for the new look, let me know... that is why "reaction buttons" and "comment" sections exist.  Otherwise, they just take up space.

Hhhhmmmm, maybe that will be the first thing to go!