Monday, June 28, 2010


Upon entering the Walker's kitchen and discovering the intrepid two, Samuel Walker and Lachlan Skinner, hard at work making pikelets for our community dinner dessert last evening...

Me:          Ahh, it's lovely to see you boys cooking for everyone. If you keep going
               at this rate, you boys will be worth marrying someday.
Samuel:   I am already worth marrying... I am practically housewifely!


Sunday, June 27, 2010

what my Year 10 boys told me...

In class this afternoon no girls showed up. Only seven boys. And they smelled bad. They were 'completing their writing tasks'.

"Sorry I've been away, Miss. I was in Japan at a BMX championship. I am now officially the best BMX rider in the world."

"I saw you on Saturday night Miss... did you see someone pop their head out of a car and say 'G'day'? 'Cause that was me."

"I was a janitor at a university and I used to solve maths problems left on the board. Some people call me the Einstein of the world... others like to call me fat."

"I'm the biggest computer hacker in the world, Miss. And if you dob on me I will lay you out because I am a black belt in karate as well... and yes I would hit a woman because I had gender reassignment surgery and now I am a woman."

"Did you know I'm a hobo now miss? I got kicked out of home on the weekend... you don't want to know what happened. I got into a fight with someone and killed the cat."

"Did you know that Aden is straight, Miss?"

"Tell me where you live Miss and I'll drive past and do a burn out. But don't tell the cops my license plate, Miss. If you do, I'll burn your house down. No, I wont. I'm not crazy enough to do that. And if your house burns down don't tell the cops I said that. I'm in enough trouble with them already."

Some of the other things they told me don't bear repeating. They live in a different world to mine. I don't think I'll tell them where I live just yet.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

why old people are afraid of young people in groups

Last night I walked into the local watering hole of a small but select group of ageing Broken Hillians. They sat around a long table, taking up most of the space in the small barroom in the South Australian. As I entered the little pub they all turned towards me. I frantically scoured the space before me looking for my friends. Not seeing them I sat down.

A man with a moustache looked at me slowly, and asked me how I was doing this evening. It was intimidating. My voice cracked as I replied, "Fine thanks." I had to walk through them to search the back of the bar. It turned out to be empty. Then I had to walk back past that intimidating group all sitting around sipping their drinks... Ahhh they all belonged there and I didn't. It was SCARY.

I later found out we were meeting everyone at the Southern Cross, not the South Australian.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Last night we went to our local friendly drain with candles and blankets and sang reverberantly into the darkness and into one another's hearts. Some hearts were tired and hurting, some shy, some joyful and exhuberant. All were lifted by the beautiful noises. And the Heart of our own was there, even though we may not have remembered it completely*.

We went in honour of our new friend and honorary Broken Hillian - Annie - who has been with us for the last week. With her smiling open face and her earnest desire to serve and meet the needs of others she has been a fun companion and contributor, and we all (especially David Rozali!) feel that she fits into our community beautifully.

Annie writes songs like it's a natural part of human life (maybe it is).

Though I am finding it difficult to live up to the sentiment in this one, I do love it and feel inspired...

i wish i was robin hood
fighting the rich for the poor
and doing a bit of good

* incidentally I wish I could remember the fact that the heart of my own is present with me without pause, and get the good of it in all situations... and more importantly GIVE the good of it to others

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

cry... cry to him

Yesterday I prayed, asking God to disturb me in the depths of who I am so that I could be changed, broadened deepened. Why would I pray such a prayer? Certainly not thinking too intelligently about what that might mean in practical terms. I mean, if there is an actual god of the universe who creates, loves and helps, but trusts and waits for me to be ready and willing to move further into the mysteries of my own humanity.... then presumably He is waiting for me to ask him to do such things, and will take me at my word when I do.

So yesterday was surprising. And difficult. I found different things in me that I didn't know were there. Scary things. And I am choosing to trust.

cry, cry to him who is good, for he sees you through all the gloom, and he is with you. Fear not , for he goes before you. The lord is a strong tower, those who run to him are safe. Where will my help come from? My help will come from him, maker of heaven and earth, father and protector. He guards your footsteps...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

generation alphabet

I'm not sure if it is a generational thing or if I am just a little dense. I showed the following graph to my Year Nine students, hoping to baffle them as much as I had been (it took me about ten minutes to figure out what it was all about)....
see my friend Spindleshanks' blog for original and larger version.

Of course they all figured it out in under 2 minutes and handed it back to me, very self satisfied and happy to point out how culturally savvy I was NOT.

In other news, the load of marking and reports due before going to Strath this weekend is making me amazed that I am even writing this post. Is it possible that I am doing it in the two minute gap between periods 3 & 4? Noooooooo.............

Friday, June 4, 2010


i’m walking a tightrope
the ground not far below
holding my  father's hand

(I know I’m unco
but it isn’t far to go
and I know
it wont hurt too bad if I fall)

swiftly, abruptly
the ground falls
away forthwith
in the course of a moment
I’m out…
over a cliff!

grip tighter
heart falter
pale-face, whiter
headspace alter

feet swing
from side to side
The arc is WIDE

(almost forget I’m holding His hand)
(insert deafening roar)


He's holding my hand
I’m in high trouble....

Sure as hope
(and if i'm smart)
I will not let go!

Oil Pastels

make me happy...

This week I have been playing with oil pastels and they are brightening up my life. I have been making some posters for my classroom. In today's class I asked my Year 11 students to join me, creating some colourful posters of poetic techniques. My theory is that, seeing as they don't keep the notes I photocopy or get them to copy off the board (their work is often still lying on the desk or ground after they have left the classroom), maybe if they spend time creating something beautiful they will remember it that way.

Today we moved all the desks together and they played with pastels. One girl said, "It feels like kindergarten, Miss." She was smiling. Kindergarten was possibly the last time she actually enjoyed school :(

In other news I was writing 'onomatopoeia' on the board and I mispelled it. One boy from my class corrected me.

"Miss, isn't it 'p-o-e-i-a'?"
"Ash, how do you know that?"
"You taught us that song the other day, 'Onomato had a farm, p-o-e-i-a'!"
(He didn't sing it - that would have really made my day!)

Well, needless to say I was pretty stoked.

Here is a photo of the wall after we were finished

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Wednesday walking

Today we did sport - my sport this term is walking. I like it. It gets you out in the world and moving quickly. And it gives you a chance to chat with kids, which can be fun. Today I almost felt like I was one of the Year Seven boys, gambolling along - challenging them to a races, annoying them and poking them in the back to get them moving a bit faster. Year Seven boys are the most physical of human beings - wrestling, poking and annoying one another incessantly :).

I made the acquaintance of a new Year Nine girl today. Here's how it went.

Me:      Oh hello. What's your name?
Girl:      (snarky) Why do you want to know?
Me:      (a bit shocked) oh, I was just interested to meet you
Girl:      (slightly less snarky, but still a bit snarky) My name's...
Me:      Do you like walking?
Girl:     (full of renewed snarkiness) Miss, you're not telling those other girls off, why are you always picking on me?
Me:     I've never seen you before in my life.

I also had conversation with a boy I didn't know. It went something like this...

Kate: OK boys, move over to the side of the road
Boy:  We are on the side of the road Miss.
Kate: No worries, but can you move over more to the side.
Boy: We are on the side of the road  Miss.
Kate: Well you need to come over closer to the kerb, in case a car comes along.
Boy: No cars ever come along here Miss.
Kate: Well move to the side just in case?
Boy: We are on the side of the road Miss.
Kate: Please stop arguing with me and 'be cooperative'.*
Boy: I'm not arguing with you Miss.
Kate: You are contradicting everything I say.
Boy: No I'm not Miss.
Kate: Have you ever seen the Monty Python argument scene?
Boy: I don't watch Monty Python Miss.
Kate: Well you sound like the fellow in that.
Boy: No I don't Miss. (- he didn't actually say this one but I imagined hm saying it anyway ;)

Well despite the aggro - I did enjoy bing outside and walking fast. It invigorated me and for that I am very grateful.

Man 1     Didn't.
Man 2    Yes I did.
Man 1    Didn't.
Man 2    Yes I did!!
Man 1    Look, this isn't an argument.
Man 2    Yes it is.
Man 1    No it isn't, it's just contradiction.
Man 2    No it isn't.
Man 1    Yes it is.
Man 2    It is not.
Man 1    It is. You just contradicted me.
Man 2    No I didn't.
Man 1    Ooh, you did!
Man 2    No, no, no, no, no.
Man 1    You did, just then.
Man 2    No, nonsense!
Man 1    Oh, look this is futile.
Man 2    No it isn't.
Man 1    I came here for a good argument.
Man 2    No you didn't, you came here for an argument.
Man 1    Well, an argument's not the same as contradiction.
Man 2    It can be.
Man 1    No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements to establish a definite proposition.
Man 2    No it isn't.
Man 1    Yes it is. It isn't just contradiction.
Man 2    Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
Man 1    But it isn't just saying 'No it isn't'.
Man 2    Yes it is.
Man 1    No it isn't, Argument is an intellectual process ... contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says.
Man 2    No it isn't.
Man 1    Yes it is.
Man 2    Not at all.
Man 1    Now look!
Man 2    (pressing the bell on his desk) That's it. Good morning.
Man 1    But I was just getting interested. 

extract taken from

* 'be cooperative' : Positive Behaviour for Learning. Students are supposed to respond when we ask them to cooperate. It is a better thing to ask for than obedience.