Friday, May 18, 2007

A Comiplation Episode

I have been incredibly busy these last couple of weeks. There has been a plethora of things to write about, but no time to write!

One of the many things I introduced my husband to was the concept of the compilation episode in a TV series. It is Star Trek – James T Kirk is in a coma and the crew are advised to talk to him in the hope of rousing him. They do the whole “Do you remember…?” thing, the screen goes all squigglely and you get the replay of the scene.

This is not strictly a compilation blog because it is not stuff you’ve heard before! It comes close though!

On Publishing

You last heard that I had sent a selection of poems to a publisher. I received a very nice email explaining that they were not able to publish my work. It is a small publisher on a tight budget. They host a poetry competition, once a year. The winning entries are published in a small book each year.

She invited me to submit the poems into the competition. However, having read the rules, my poems do not meet the entry requirements – not the ones I had passed on to her. They are too long.

On report writing

My hearing has never been that good. My husband says that I am selectively deaf. I misheard the deadline for first year reports. I thought they had to be completed and handed into the office by last Friday.

I worked extremely hard. It is hard enough having four classes of any year for reports, but first year seem to be very difficult to do. Even with a seating plan, a name means nothing to me, unless I they are in the room at the time. I might see Chloe Murphy somewhere else in the school but unless she is sitting in her assigned seat in my room, I might not recognise her!

I got the deadline wrong. It was this Friday! Still they are all done and out of the way!

On curriculum development

My particular project this year has been to review the fourth year course – Making Moral Decisions. Lots of the information in the workbooks we produce is now seriously out of date. My job was to re-write them all and bring them up to date.

If I was a race horse I would be coming over finishing line just as the all the punters are on the way home, and the security man is about to lock the gates. Slow seems to be an inadequate word.

Suddenly there is a deadline on the horizon and I have been picking around books and sourcing DVD’s, but there is nothing really to work on. So, I am knee deep in egoism and utilitarianism, with altruism and hedonism hot on my heels! I am getting there – slowly!

On third year assessments

Nearly done! The pupils do not seem to understand the concept of “exam conditions”. They are good at the “quiet” part of it, but they seem to think it is OK to ask questions. They seem to think they are entitled to a re-wording of the question so that they know what they are supposed to write about. It doesn’t occur to many pupils that understanding the question is part of the assessment itself! “So what should I write, then?” is a common question!

And then the marking! There are one or two individuals that use the assessment as an opportunity to express their opinions, unhindered, about any religious dispute they have with me! The “hostile witnesses” let their hostility pour onto the paper. A couple of well placed “Why do I have to do RE?” type comments does not make for a pass grade.

On being creative

Once upon a time I used to knit and sew. The last thing I knitted was probably a baby cardigan. One weekend, it was a Monday, a holiday Monday, Joe and I headed up to Ullapool (the home of the fab four according to Joe). There is wonderful wool shop. They don’t sell balls of wool, but skeins. If one had someone who was willing to stand around for a while, hands outstretched while one wound the wool into proper balls – all well and good. The backs of two dining chairs sufficed.

I knitted a scarf. I admit that it ranks rather low in the knitting skills scale – but I did it. I used the wrong sized needles, but it turned out fine. I promptly wrapped it up and gave it away as a birthday present.

I bought myself some more wool. I can do scarves! Knitting is quite therapeutic!

On Being even more creative

Joe and I have been invited to a “themed” birthday party. The theme is the seventies. I was going to say that most of my seventies was spent in Cyprus – but that was most of eighties. The seventies was school. I don’t remember that far back

I googled it looking for 70s fashion trends. I remember at school, in the space of a year, a girl in another class went from wearing the shortest of mini skirts to the longest of midis.

Apparently tie dying was in. I seem to remember doing it in Brownies or guides, or perhaps in school. Joe wanted to tie dye a t-shirt, so we bought the stuff and had a go. Tying bits of string round bunched up bits of t-shirt did not make any sense to Joe, but he followed my instructions.

His is purple and looks really tremendous. Mine is yellow and looks a little less wonderful. I have some fabric paints rattling around the house, so I have decided to paint on some flowers.

I have discovered that there is a limit to which I will go in dressing up. I won’t pull out all the plugs and go overboard – well, there’s a surprise!

There is another compilation episode on its way later!

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