A few years ago, I did a Masters thesis on German Greens politician, Petra Kelly. I was inspired by her energy and commitment to green issues, but also how she and her colleagues made the move from activist to politician. As someone who certainly railed against the idea of the establishment, I was interested in how they made this transition, and realised that the trade-off was not as simple as I might have thought. Working at a grassroots level, Kelly and her colleagues were easily able to get involved in protests, or participate in acts of civil disobedience. They had a fluidity of movement which came from their widespread connections with other activist groups, and were motivated by the need to speak out about changing the status quo.
Dear Authors of Outstanding Children’s Books,
I’ve read a lot in my life. I remember (or remember being told) that I came home the first day of Year One and was disgusted because it was just like preschool. ‘We didn’t even learn to read!‘ five-year-old me exclaimed.
But once I did learn to read, I was hooked. I devoured the home reading books from school. I read all the books in the bookshelf, whether or not they belonged to me (except Trixie Beldon. Never really got into them) and asked for more for birthday and Christmas. At high school, I would read our English class novel within the first week and then beg friends in other classes to lend me theirs. I remember my mother throwing up her arms in frustration at sixteen-year-old me, when, on the morning I was due to travel overseas for six weeks, I was sat at the kitchen table trying to finish Tandia so that I didn’t have to take it on the plane (I only had 30 pages or so, and I wanted to be able to leave it behind so that I could take another book. Space was at a premium in those pre-Kindle days).
Last night I got out the electric piano. I’ve not played it in the almost two years we’ve been living here, and I promised the Handsome Sidekick I would help him out with a song on the game he’s about to release, so I sat, Schroeder-like, on the floor, working out the key and the bassline, and it was So. Much. Fun. It’s one of those moment when it really hits home just how important those ‘non-core’ subjects like music, art, sport, and (at least, here in Australia) languages are. It’s been over 20 years since I last had any formal musical instruction, and so much of it is still there, beneath the surface.
Music’s great, isn’t it? So are music teachers. So are parents who pay for lessons.
Hope you all have a musical day! Enjoy your links…
First Offspring brought home his results from the NAPLAN tests recently. NAPLAN is a series of standardised tests which are conducted in Years Three, Five, Seven and Nine, and tests numeracy and literacy. I expected First Offspring to do OK, since he seems to have the basics of reading, spelling and writing, and his maths has really taken off this year. And he did do OK. I’ll admit I don’t place that much importance on standarised tests as it’s one test on one day and there’s a lot more to teaching and learning. So I praised First Offspring for doing well in the tests and said that we were happy that he’d tried really hard. But what made me smile was his result for ‘Grammar and Punctuation’, where he scored his highest mark, right at the top of the scale.
‘The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,’ I laughed to the Handsome Sidekick. ‘Trust the editor’s Offspring to do well in that section.’
In order to inject some new ideas into the blog, and hopefully relieve your boredom of always reading what I have to say, I’ve been asking some friends if they would like to contribute to path: ethic via guest posts. This is going to be an ongoing feature, and I hope you enjoy reading some new ideas and voices.
Today’s guest post is from Ray, who has been a practicing lawyer in Western New York state since 1985, a blogger since 2004, and married to the love of his life since 1987. He’s done other good stuff in this decade, too.
“Where would you rather be than right here, right now?”- NFL Hall of Famer and former Buffalo Bills coach Marv Levy, uttering his pre-game mantra to a generation of players and fans
Celebrity justice. It’s not what it is for you and me.
Much cause, in fact. When I was in town the other day, I discovered that there is an Indian grocery store coming to one of the shopping centres. I cannot wait to investigate. Yum, Indian food! Spices and chapati and curry mixes and interesting sweets! I’ll be sure to let you know what I think when it opens.
The other thing which is exciting is that I’ve put up a website for my editing business, which I’m starting up. I’m expecting mostly local people to contact me, but of course, if you (or others you know) are interested, feel free to get in touch! That link up there on the right hand side—that’s me. I’ve ordered business cards. How ridiculously mature of me.
I also have another exciting announcement, but that deserves a post of its own. WATCH THIS SPACE.
Now, on with the links! You get an extra one this week because I missed last week. See how I’m looking out for you?
Sometimes, when there is a particularly emotive issue making the rounds in the news and social media, I find it hard to write about it. Last night, I reblogged my post from last year, because I thought it was relevant, but also because I wanted to say something about the flood of refugees and their treatment, and I didn’t think I had the ability to write coherently, given how difficult I found it to see some of these pictures, and how easily I could imagine myself in the same situation.
As I’ve followed the news feeds about the refugees trying to get through to Europe and countries who will welcome them, I was reminded of this post and our government’s continued–if not worsening–failure to adequately and humanely assist refugees who seek asylum here.
It’s not only sad to read some of what went on over a year ago… it’s tragic that things have not improved. If anything, they’re worse. I can only hope that perhaps the tide of public opinion is turning, given the harrowing images we’ve seen in recent days, and the outpouring of grief and sadness from the Australian people in response.
When I was an undergraduate teaching student, I had an incredible lecturer for my Society and Environment unit. (Society and Environment is what we used to call ‘Social Studies’). She was passionate and interested, and someone I felt I could have sat and chatted with for hours. I went by to see her one afternoon after class and she was telling me about a teaching aid she’d developed, and gave me a copy.
I got home and put the DVD into my computer.
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