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Education Misconceptions...

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Working with Children...

In the past couple of weeks I've had the benefit and pleasure of working with a few classes of children, doing information presentations. The first was with a group of three 5/6 classes and the second with a group of three 3/4 classes. It was great to be able to talk about what it is like to live with a disability, how compassion and consideration work, and of course, what it is like to have a dog guide.

The kids are full of questions and there are some really thought provoking questions in there like 'How do I help a blind person?' and 'When did you realise you were blind?'

Kids are so open and curious. They all loved coming up and petting Harlem after the talk and loved telling me about their dogs. There were a few who were a bit shy or afraid of dogs and it was good for them to be able to have a go at petting a calm dog. Harlem absolutely had a ball. His tail wagged so much I half expected it to fall off in the end.

Kids make a great audience, they laugh on cue …

Giving...

Giving, it's not hard.

It doesn't have to be material giving.

I've been thinking that I need to give more.

I need to give more presence. I often find myself trying to do several things at once. Sometimes that soothes the restlessness in me. In the long run, though, it's a selfish habit. Giving something your full attention is a sign of respect for the thing or person who has your attention at that moment. It shows that this exercise, or this person is important. That they come first in that moment. It means you are more likely to remember what you've done and said, and with people, what the other people have said. I've read that listening should be hearing the other person, not preparing your next response. I'm guilty of spending the gaps between one thing I say, and the next thing I say, preparing my response instead of really listening to what is being said to me. I need to work on giving more presence.

Giving patience is another one. Patience and its cou…

Thank goodness!

Ah, the relief!

Yesterday's crisis has been resolved. Paypal made a mistake and charged me twice for something, and rectified the problem yesterday afternoon! Which is just as well because the high school bills started rolling in last night.

Luey came home and told us one of the music department administrators had told him we hadn't paid for his music tuition this year and that we couldn't pay next year's tuition until we had paid this year's tuition. Well, first of all, we have already submitted and been given a receipt for half of next year's payment - that was the money which was unexpectedly withdrawn from my account last month, putting me $500 in the red in my own budget. Secondly, we were pretty sure we'd paid the tuition. Finally, why on earth wasn't the administrator contacting us directly?

As it turned out an invoice did turn up in the mail yesterday afternoon, and that stated that of the $450 tuition fee we'd paid $425, so we actually only…

Shame...

The shame is mine.

A month or so ago, I forgot about an upcoming payment and ended up $500 short. Since then, I've been playing catch up. This last week, I mistakenly paid the rent into a utility account. I was able to get it refunded, which would take a few days. This meant my account showed two different figures. One was the amount sitting in the account that was unavailable to me, the other was the amount that was available. For some reason, I thought the amount which was unavailable was in credit - this is not a mistake I usually make. Most of it, in fact, was in debit. So, I went ahead and borrowed from Peter to pay Paul on a few things I really did not need.

This morning I received a big shock when I looked at my bank account and found the money sitting in there as unavailable had been cleared and suddenly my available money was over $500 less than I was expecting. On top of this, I had the debit from the other account which I'd been 'borrowing' against the money…

Anniversary...

Today is Dave and my anniversary.

We've been together for 21 years.
We've been living together for 20 years.
We've been married for 19 years.

Yeah, it all happened on the same date, which is convenient when it comes to remembering these things.

Or so you might think.

As it turns out, this morning I forgot, and I think it's safe to say Dave forgot as well. Is this what happens after 19-21 years? Do we just forget? I'm not fussed about it, we never did much in the way of celebrating our anniversary. For a few years there we would go out to dinner, but it was really not a big deal (okay, it was in as much as going out, by ourselves, with NO kids, and eating - sometimes - at a restaurant, with tableclothes, was kind of a big deal - just not in an anniversary kind of way).

I was going to organise a vow renewal for our 10th anniversary, but as it turned out, Ari was two and a half weeks old when that came around, so nothing got done. Next year will be our 20th, and I fee…

It's off to conference I go!

After a lot of to and fro, I'm headed off to the AAWP conference again. I didn't go last year. I was discouraged from going. That still riles me up. I expected, as part of my degree, I would be encouraged to present. Then again, I also expected I would be encouraged to write up my research for journals - to put myself out into the big, bad, world of peer review and have my writing critiqued. Furthermore, I expected I would be trained in teaching so that I could learn to head up a class, which would later serve to disseminate my research in a live setting and explain it to people who were still learning at a basic level.

I expected too much, it seems.

So, here I am, doing it on my own. I am forced to write journal articles with no guidance, support, or encouragement. I have to present at conferences that I have have to keep myself accountable for applying to present at, even though it will not go towards my attaining a degree. I still haven't managed to get myself in front …