Saturday, 8 December 2007
Well, there are a few professions where you usually wear a uniform: Queen's Counsel, Doctors, nurses, etc. They all have respected jobs, although tend to wear their uniforms over their regular clothes ('cept surgeons).
Although most jobs where you have to wear a uniform are not professions per se: They're traditionally trades or services*. There is a school of thought (a ha ha) that teaching is a skill a.k.a trade, so maybe we can find our place in that set... Sooo, lesseeee...
Painters wear white overalls, foresters wear green I think, carpenters wear light brown, the SES wear white, Firemen wear yellow (or black and yellow), ambos wear blue, I assume plumbers wear the regular dark blue, I don't know what sparkies wear. So what does that leave?
I'm thinking... when you graduate education your hood colour is emerald, but that's already taken by foresters. Well, magenta is for the Arts, but currently unclaimed in the rainbow of overalls (and teaching really is an art** too) - so what about a range in that colour? Purple for preschool teachers, Pink for Primary, Scarlet for Secondary and Red for Tertiary. Yarr!! Wiggle me up!
OR How 'bout we just wear our academic robes? Dude!! How much would I love to be teaching plastic-straw construction in that?!! Or Octopus!
OR how about we just stick with the current dress code: dressing professionally and appropriately.
Clean, un-torn clothes that don't show too much cleavage or leg, generally cover your shoulders (out of courtesy for various cultures) and sensible footwear for whatever you're doing.
*But then there's this whole other thing that a profession is simply a field where you continuously learn and have a professional collegiate community - There are very few skilled jobs that don't fit that bill these days.
** Mind you, its quite an applied science, with some nursing, social work, law and engineering chucked in.
Friday, 7 December 2007
Cheers, World. Cheers
"With a charismatic, self-assured guy like Pete pulling the strings, we might even see a female elected president one of these days," said Nathan Roth, an analyst at the Cato Institute. "Finally, the feminist movement has a face that commands respect."
McGowan, however, said he didn't get into the business of women's rights for the praise.
"What these women were able to accomplish with the little manpower they had is very impressive," McGowan said. "I just bring a certain something to the table—I'm not sure what—that gave us that extra little push into complete female independence. I guess it just comes naturally."
Tuesday, 4 December 2007
My dilemma is choice versus effort.
On the upside, you get to nominate who notices you, and its not the lottery it once was. In theory schools get the most appropriate person for the job and people who are less adept end up doing CRT work or even changing careers (believe me, there are people from my course I'd never have teach my kids). You get to match personality and suitability with a school's needs and community.
However, in applying for a job you have to answer at least 5 "key selection criteria", with not more than a page per answer. As a graduate, particularly a post-graduate student, I had no idea what to put in these responses (they really leave post-grads to figure it out for themselves). They take a lot of work, and you tweak each one for each school. Some schools add a 6th, which is fine because a lot of them specialise in a particular area, or have specialist facilities or needs. Some schools have 14. >:( And unless its a freakin awesome school they can forget it from me. 5 or 6 KSCs should be plenty revealing. It may seem a little whingy to lean on this point, but think of how much time it takes to write a 2000wd essay; now imagine its 3500wds and about yourself; now imagine its the only impression someone get of you. Yeah, its tricky, and that's before you do it a gazzilion times.
Another aspect to this is the contradiction bw the process and the principles currently come from the system itself. As teachers we're encouraged to broaden our teaching style and assessment methods to capture all the ways knowledge can be acquired and demonstrated. For instance, some people get things better with diagrams rather than words, or through movement or song; similarly writers shouldn't be punished for not being particularly strong movers if they can demonstrate their comprehension through other means. I mean, develop the weakness, of course, but don't make life harder. In this application we're being asked to promote ourselves through a wholly written method. You can set up a webpage with animations etc and direct people to it, but they might not read it. At the end of the day it is, in essence, an application for an interview, not a job. And we are supposed to have completed a university degree, not a tafe degree, and so be able to do this sort of process. Then there are parties who stand by teaching as a profession and others proudly call it a trade/skill - this process smacks of 'profession', so I suppose I know where the State stands on that point.
All in all, its a bit spirit crushing, and its going to take a while of "I have a job" to balance out the week of effort and nerves spent getting the job.
On the upside, one 2-year degree later and I have a job. :D
But I have hope, so I write today.
Actually, no, I have nothing to do, so I write today. Nothing. Check that: I have ironing, so, you know, nothing.
We got our uni results last week and went out for drinks afterward. The venue was 'ok' but there wasn't enough dancing for me. The most interesting part of the night was when I left that place for another with a friend, found a few boys who were dressed as 70s gym junkies and so couldn't get into the Elephant and Wheelbarrow. Shame! we cried. Double-standards! we declared. And promptly went into the alley to change pants with the boys and dutifully get them in. I focus on the battles of feminism, rather than the war.
In the few days before drinks I'd been helping with a conference, juggling seminars with job interviews and had an offer on the Thursday, so it was a kind of nice when my friend - who had been present when I received the offer - told everyone about my job before I got to drinks on Friday, and before I had accepted the job. That's a lot of people to call, so I chose the job, coz it was neater.
Wednesday, 10 October 2007
Tuesday, 18 September 2007
Make somebody weak.
To be at the centre of the crowd,
Make somebody as lonely outcast.
To gain extraordinary privilege,
Deny somebody their rights.
Sacrifice a man in the outer world
Keep a man alone and tormented in a cage.
He will mirror the inner man you have sacrificed.
Thus pain will balance pain and end all feeling.
As you have controlled yourself
So you shall control the world.
Leunig - The Age, December 9, 2006
Tuesday, 10 July 2007
KSC6 Demonstrate an ability to be an active learner who is prepared to participate in the development and improvement of their teaching skills, particularly in the area of learning technologies.
EG! NNh Futhe Frikkin SHHChroist.
a) I've spent the last 2 years doing a teaching degree.
b) I intend to practice the degree through a job, preferably teaching.
c) I use IT in the classroom with blogs, wikis, bridgebuilder, mathletics... ugh,
I hate these teaching applications. Each one seems to be just a bit different to the last, so you can't reuse your answers and I haven't learnt the art of wanking well enough to whip it all out.
Its just such a toss. Can't they just put all the possible KSCs on a form for us to fill out, like say 20 of them, and they can choose8 to read. What's so wrong about that?
When I was a kid - in Grade 4 I can distinctly recall - I would daydream about having beds instead of desks, so that we could snuggle into the perfect temperature while at school. I'm begining to have the same craving now.
The skin around my eyes feels like old omlettes.
Monday, 9 July 2007
It turned out I could still borrow, but I asked the guy at the counter if he needed to see any ID to prove I'm who I say I am and he said 'No, I recognise you from Wednesday night's show"
a haw haw... gee
Of course, by the time I got back to my building I realised I was walking down the street in a big white coat, holidng a Big Issue, a soy-vanilla latte and a script set in 1922 England/Italy and thought 'hmm. maybe I should pull my head in...'
Thursday, 28 June 2007
Well, a little. MySpace is fun for about as long as a new set of Barbie clothes. But I don't really like Barbie, and now I only go there to change the outfit.
Facebook, while a better networking system than Myspace, I think, is not as good as Flickr for photo management. So I won't be posting any there, I think.
the odd thing is that I felt like posting to the MySpace blog portion, and I did, but I think no one on MySpace knows that its there. So no one reads it. And if no-one's going to read my MySpace blog, they may as well not read my blogger blog, so I'm going to stick to this one. I'm even considering reposting what I put in MySpace to this site, so as not to waste potential blog-points. So to speak. (It's no where near as intellectually impressive as this blog though...)
With only 2 and a bit weeks to go till my last semester starts, I've been woefully unemployed since classes finished. All of one day of temp work so far, but have scored a research assistant job at uni, which is lovely. I also have a week at a dance school holiday program. I haven't done it before so I keep swinging from panic (first time! new kids! big groups!) to calm (hello - "holiday program").
I visited the Melbourne Aquarium with my sister's family. I approve. I also enjoyed watching a scuba diver getting harassed by three huge stingrays and a turtle, plus one educational assistant get cornered by my niece. He was only able to interrupt her with "Okay, can I teach you something now?"
Our weather is gloriously wet but I'm still wearing fingerless mittens at the keyboard. I'm trying to knit for charities but getting frustrated at the slow speed of production. The play I'm in opens tonight and I'm not nervous enough, but my time there is split bw a small role and being assistant stage manager.
In short, life feels quiet, but its not.
Saturday, 5 May 2007
I haven't really posted since the start of this semester, and for various reasons.
To begin with I had a part-time job, and woe is me, between that and uni, life wasn't interesting enough to find the time to post about anything. It's not like I didn't have anything to
complain blog about, it is uni after all, but after the complaining and figuring-out in real life I didn't have the energy to post it.
I just finished the first week of secondary teaching rounds and I have two more to go.
To be honest, I have mixed feelings, mkay?
I'm doing dance, which rocks no end - really, I didn't expect to get a placement with a dance method. So I'm mad chuffed I got one, and with an uber experienced teacher no less. But it stresses me out no end that its VCE and VET dance and I'm unfamiliar with that (we do VCE stuff in 2nd semester). So I read like a librarian about that last week.
I'm not able to see Yr7-10 dance, because there is none, but there is drama and it has the full rainbow of classroom challenges. There's a little bit of streaming in the school so the groups behave really differently, and then there's differences in year levels again, just because of maturity.
What shits me the most is the uni hasn't prepared us for this aspect.
This year we're doing secondary teaching and we have four units each semester - two methods (mine are dance and drama and have provided buckets of practical material), one about curriculum, assessment and reporting (very relevant and applicable) and another called 'Bridging the Gap - Mathematics and Language Education in the Middle Years'. We call it Bridging the Crap. nuf said.But that won't stop my rant, even if I promised myself I wouldn't mention it on my blog, there's no turning back from this avalanche.
I've had numerous issues with this unit, so I'll try to be direct and quick, lest those of you who are clinging to this post in the grim hope that it gets interesting, sassy or funny actually come-to and nick off. At the risk of committing blogger suicide, those of you not interesting in teacher education, click off now.
The Unit Guide says:
The unit aims are to raise student teachers’:
- awareness of the needs of middle years students ;
- familiarity with curriculum documents;
- proficiency in designing units to meet student needs and curriculum requirements;
- skills in developing/selecting appropriate assessment techniques for a variety of purposes; and
- capacity to develop a portfolio reflecting their intended focus as a teacher.
About half way through the unit we defined 'middle years' as years 5 to 9 or 10 (dunno what happens to 10s if they're not in that group...) because people were getting confused about all the grade 6 content.
The second point has been partially addressed through our first assignment - an inquiry based unit - but that itself was flawed for a number of reasons.
We have done nothing to do with:
- engaging middle years students or addressing their needs.
- designing units addressing 'student needs'
- skills in 'developing/selecting appropriate assessment techniques for a variety of purposes' (although that has been touched on in other units) and
- the portfolio hasn't been discussed in lectures, tutorials or online, even though its due two weeks after our teaching rounds finish.
Its just so... WEAK
Normally, a uni student might say 'well, stuff it, we'll just do enough to pass and forget the rest of it because its useless', and a lot of us have. This seems to happen because, at about week 6, people run out of puff to complain about or redeem the situation and their priorities overwhelm any good will.
There has been a lot of material for doing maths and English topics, and I'll be gleaning that off the online site for future handiness. I'm expecting that these will be great little nuggets for CRT or maths/eng work in the future, because, as far as I understand, we're supposed to be qual'd for teaching junior high maths/English too.
But the supporting content is too flimsy.
The lecturers don't know what we've done before: so when they gave us a task for designing and Inquiry Unit and we said 'Do you mean a unit about an investigation, or an Inquiry learning unit?' they didn't know what we were talking about and we had to teach them the pedagogy of Inquiry Learning. And we'd already done an equivalent task in the pedagogy unit last year. But they didn't know that.
That Inquiry task asked us to design a unit in our method (dance/drama for me) and identify the maths and English in it. Most middle years levels are in high school, and we spent last year doing primary school levels, so we were keen to get into year7+ areas, but in high-schools the opportunity to use an interdisciplinary unit is slim - you get a few hours each week to do your subject, so you won't water it down with other areas... how will this work be useful in the future in a regular high-school? Its unlikely, so I did yet another something for year 6. Surely a task that asked for, say, an investigation in one high-school level of english and different high-school level of maths would've been more useful for our portfolios?
The semester started with 'What gaps to you want us to cover?" A: Uh, all of them? They clearly don't know what we've learned, and we don't know what we're missing, so how the hell are we going to identify 'the gap'? It's a two year course for the whole of VELS and VCE; the bottleneck's too severe to be leaving up to us to pick and choose topics without any guidance.
EVEN THEN, when someone requested topic about 'engagement in the middle years' (okay, it was me) we got back two articles. And as fantastic as they are, I WANT PEOPLE, NOT ARTICLES. How about a guest lecturer from a school who had middle-years challenges, somewhere where they had absenteeism, or benchmark problems, and what they did on a school-wide level and in the classroom to tackle that? What about some research into the problems and challenges that are common in middle years levels, their learning styles and needs - hello? adolescence? teenage boys? puberty?
In the end, we're post-grads. We've got different demands on us to undergrads. If our uni time isn't worthwhile its not just 'a break', its a waste of our lives: we could be earning money, being with our kids/partners, not paying for childcare, or doing uni work. I know that there are a lot of undergrads who have high standards about their unit content, but its hard to know what's relevant and what's not at that level. And you have a lot more time to get through it all, not just two years for prim and sec teaching.
I do my best to support Deakin - I know all the other tertiary providers suck just as much in their own ways - but this unit bites. They had the same problems last year and they should either adjust it to incorporate classroom management skills (as we have none this semester) and middle-year's issues or scrap it and start again.
I wonder what I'll rant about next semester...
Thursday, 8 March 2007
The l a t e r a l thinker:
Thursday, 1 March 2007
The Capable Individuals Who Tabulate the US Census
Spanish guy: She's half Spanish.
Black woman: No, she's black.
Spanish guy: No, she's half Spanish.
Black woman: She ain't no half Spanish. Her name is Juanita. That don't sound Spanish to me.
Go, frolic, fill your day with out-of-context fun...
Overheard in New York
Dad: Give me a chip
Son: No, you'll just shove it all in your mouth like you always do.
Dad: No, I won't. I promise.
Son: Okay, I'll give you a chip if you promise not to yell at Mommy anymore.
Tuesday, 27 February 2007
Skip the chat where we confirm that the booking was made about a month ago for a Boy Friend, but my BF hasn't been in Sydney for over a year...
Caller: Hello. Can I speak to Mr Boy Friend please?
Me: Uh, no. You've got his girlfriend's phone, and he's not handy at the moment.
Caller: I'm trying to confirm an appointment for 2pm tomorrow?
Me: Ok. Is this his optometrist?
Caller: No. We're not optometrists.
Me: Oh. OK. Well, I don't know of an appointment of his. Where abouts are you?
Caller: 70 Spatular Street Bankstown
Me: In Sydney?
Caller: You're obviously not in Sydney.
Me: No. I'm in Melbourne.
Me: I don't know that he's unwell.
Caller: We're a psychiatrists...
And that, to the best of my knowledge, he isn't seeing a psychiatrist...
BF promises that he isn't seeing a psychiatrist. To the best of his knowledge.
Me: Is this the only number you have?
Caller: Yeah. This is it.
Me: So someone with my boyfriend's name has made an appointment and my mobile is the contact number?
Monday, 26 February 2007
BF: Really? Well, forward 50 right 100 forward 30 left 90 forward 10 help with dinner
Turtle is the common name for the early Logo program, one of the modern versions being MicroWorld.
It's amazing I'm still alive.
*The web version of the article doesn't seem to include the alphabetical list 'Victoria's 40 most disadvantaged places' as published on the 26 Feb 07 front page.
I won't reproduce it here,but rest assured that, yes, Benalla, Corinella, Korumburra, Wonthaggi, and even pretty Toora are included.
Sunday, 25 February 2007
Did you know that faith is a uniquely Christian concept? Add to the explanation of what it means, and how it does not exist on other religions.hmmm. Faith vs Being Sucked In. deep.
Nothing useful has even been built based on the theory of relativity.except GPS
Sir Isaac Newton was one of the inventors of calculus and the proposed the theory of gravity (It should be noted that gravity, like evolution, is just a theory and has never been proven to be true).Gravity will now be called Intelligent Falling*.
The Equator is the line that goes around the middle of the Earth. You can see the Equator on a globe, or on some maps too. ...It is a line of latitude. The other kind of line on a map is longitude.Maps are very minimalist in this community.
Turkey is a kind of bird. Benjamin Franklin thourght that the turkey should be the national bird of America, but really the national bird is the bald eagle. Turkey is a traditional thanksgiving food. It is usually stuffed. (Some vegetarians do not eat turkey at Thanksiving.)Mostly.
Turkey is also a country in Europe. It was recently part of the European Union, even though they are Muslims mostly.
And after all that stupid, About Conservapedia says:
Conservapedia began in November 2006, as the class project for a World History class of 58 advanced homeschooled and college-bound students meeting in New Jersey. Conservapedia has since grown enormously, including contributors nationwide. Conservapedia already has over one-half the number of entries as the Oxford Dictionary of World History. Conservapedia is rapidly becoming one of the largest and most reliable online educational resources of its kind.They should never have posted this statement without qualifying the year level of each student's contribution, or indicating in some way why we should forgive such juvenile, underinformed and paltry entries.
I'm as big a fan of a wiki as the next girl, but really... Its a whole lot of wow and provides much fuel for a lazy Sunday rant.
See also my comments on Pharyngula's post.
* shout out to slavdude here
Welcome to Conservapediahttp://www.conservapedia.com/Main_Page
A conservative encyclopedia you can trust.
Conservapedia has over 3,400 educational, clean and concise entries on historical, scientific, legal, and economic topics, as well as more than 350 lectures and term lists. There have been over 252,000 page views and over 14,800 page edits. Already Conservapedia has become one of the largest user-controlled free encyclopedias on the internet. This site is growing rapidly.
Conservapedia is a much-needed alternative to Wikipedia, which is increasingly anti-Christian and anti-American. On Wikipedia, many of the dates are provided in the anti-Christian "C.E." instead of "A.D.", which Conservapedia uses. Christianity receives no credit for the great advances and discoveries it inspired, such as those of the Renaissance. Read a list of many Examples of Bias in Wikipedia....
They could just call it Denialopedia, or Imnotlisteningopedia. Should you need a more explicit indication of this indignant lunacy:
The Conservapedia Commandmentshttp://www.conservapedia.com/The_Conservapedia_Commandments
- Everything you post must be true and verifiable.
- Always cite and give credit to your sources, even if in the public domain.
- Edits/new pages must be family-friendly, clean, concise, and without gossip or foul language.
- When referencing dates based on the approximate birth of Jesus, give appropriate credit for the basis of the date (B.C. or A.D.). "BCE" and "CE" are unacceptable substitutes because they deny the historical basis. See CE.
- As much as is possible, American spelling of words must be used.
See Wiki's desciption on Before/Common Era. You'd think they'd be thrilled that the Christian calendar is so generally accepted that there's no need to even refer to Christ or Christianity for people to understand that 1900CE is the same as 1900AD... not that Wikipedia insists on using either. In fact, their Style Guide for Years Decades & Centuries does not state a preference for either and uses BC in its own referencing.
See here for a review that my own posting cannot improve on.
This asshattery was brought to my attention by Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony. (She also gets credit for the term 'asshattery')
Sunday, 4 February 2007
Below is a table of shorthand instructions for various crochet stitches.
I'm still not sure what the AU half double / US half single is...
So Imagine a slipstitch described so: “Pass hook through ch, draw yarn through both sts on hook.”
In shorthand this is described: Insert, pull-thru-2
(as in, insert the hook into ch, and draw yarn through two loops on the hook – the stitch being used for insertion is included as a loop).
Also, where a description might say: “*yarn twice around hook, draw a loop through next ch, draw a loop through first 2 loops on hook, draw a loop through next 2 loops, then another through last 2 loops (thereby competing one long treble st), rep from *” (Patons' Learn to Crochet pamphlet)
In shortcut it would be: Loop twice, insert, pull-thru-2 three times.
|Short description of stitch||Australian/European||American|
|loop||yoh (yarn over hook)||yo (yarn over)|
|Insert, pull-thru-2||sc/slst (single or slipstitch)||?|
|??||hdc (half double crochet)||hsc (half single crochet)|
|Loop, insert, pull-thru-1, pull-thru-3||htr (half treble)||hdc (half double crochet)|
|Loop, insert, pull-thru-1, pull thru-2 twice||tr (treble)||dc (double crochet)|
|Loop twice, insert, pull-thru-2 thrice!||dtr (double treble)||tr (treble)|
|Loop three times, insert, pull-thru-2 four times||trip tr (triple treble)||dtr (double treble)|
|Loop 5 times, insert, pull-thru-2 six times||quintr (quintuple treble)||silly|
Australian stitch instructions taken from Patons Australia (Patons Australia, Brunswick Vic), except quintr stitch from Craft Moods’ Learn to Crochet (ed. Vicki Moodie, ISBN 1 876383 05 9)
Instructions for US stitches taken from Erika Knight’s Simple Crochet.
Table derived from Margaret Metcalfe's Crochet.com.au Tips.
If you know to fill in the blanks, please comment and do so!
yey! I did a table!!
Monday, 29 January 2007
Wednesday, 24 January 2007
I try to be rather zen on public transport; I know it's likely to both suck and blow, and so I try not to let it ruin or define my day and allow enough time for the stuff ups/acts of God.
Here's today's episode/complaint:
The 8:28am city-bound train usually leaves Malvern from Platform 1. The system (overhead board) indicated this but about 2 minutes before the train arrived both the board and the automated announcement changed and stated that the train would leave from Platform 3. At least 100 people went to Plat.3, and listened to another announcement confirming that the 8:28 would arrive at Plat.3. We then saw the train arrive and stop at Plat.1. A lot of people ran back to Plat.1 to catch the train (which waited) but I chose not to as my shoes aren't safe for running down ramps. And I shouldn't have to.
The young woman left to defend the mistake coped very well with the swearing and dirty looks. Whether or not she's experienced enough, you need to have two people on at Malvern during peak times.Then we all crammed onto the next train - the 8:36, which arrived as scheduled and announced. This train was slow, as it stopped at all stations and each time we coped with another batch of grumpy people to fit on the train (not guilty of holding others up, I think, but those who wouldn't squish down the carriage might be).
The summer timetable is inadequate and should end on the second Monday of January. While Caulfield is a junction stop and receives all trains, Malvern services those to the northwest of Caulfield: it would be sensible to increase the train frequency between 8am and 8:50am.Luckily I don't have a job that requires me to be at the office on the dot at 9am, but I should be able to get to Williams/Collins by then when I arrive at Malvern station by 8:20am.
posted at http://www.connexmelbourne.com.au/help_contact/index.asp I encourage everyone to complain whenever they feel the need: think of it as constructive feedback. Or comeuppance.