Tuesday, May 31, 2011
I am wondering if anyone else is having issues posting and commenting. I can't seem to post unless I do it as a word document 'blog post', and no matter how often I sign in I just can't comment on other people's blogs. It's annoying, but realise that if anyone else is having this trouble that you won't be able to respond to this post and let me know it isn't me ... the frustration will continue. I will have to be content with the knowledge that maybe some of you will see this and know that the thought was there, but due to circumstances beyond my control, I won't be commenting on any blogs tonight. There is always tomorrow.
When I'm feeling particularly nostalgic I go into my spare room and pull out a 'special box', so named for the contents that are barely contained within its flimsy cardboard sides. It is full of nice little letters, pictures and reminders of my life before it was filled with computers and stress and stuff.
There is also a post pak filled with letter that my mum wrote. Letters to my uncles and aunties, as well as my grandparents. The wardrobe also has a QANTAS bag, circa 1960s/ 70s, stuffed to the brim with reels of films, and a plastic box that has over 30 audio tapes that my mother sent to her parents. The films catalogue her ventures back to her 'homeland' in Holland and the silent lifestyle of a migrant family in 1950s, 1960s and 1970s Tasmania (Australia). The films so a couple desperately in love and raising a cute little family, and the tapes track the life of a stay at home mum who spoke to her parents in another state via audio tapes because the telephone was too expensive. It tracks the three year old 'misinterpreted' who spoke with the hybrid guttural Dutch accent soaked in an as yet fully defined Aussie drawl. I can travel with my mother on the ship that took her from my homeland to hers, and feel the excitement as she described being asked to dance by the ship's captain.
I have three love letters written by my husband when he was just eighteen, and he was trying to make a seventeen year old school girl feel special. He has the girlish letters written by a surly teenager who, bored in Biology, took out a series of textas and proceeded to write him a letter about how much she adored him.
These are the treasures that lay quietly in my wardrobe. Waiting, I suppose, for the 4 year old mini 'misinterpreted' to grow up and ask about the stuff that she has found. We can have an amazing history lesson, but in reality, it will be incomplete. People don't create the same type of history, we do 'stuff online'. Our legacies are digital, and take away the tactile experience, remove the auditory processing, change the voice. I want my daughter to have a bit of what I have. I want my grandchildren to have something from me that they can touch and read without a computer, or some other electronic device, and to get this will take a bit of effort. Yes she will be able to find archives and a digital version of who I am, but I think I owe it to her to leave her with something else.
What do you think? Have you ever thought about the version of history that we are creating now, and does it bother you that our whole history, and evidence of our lives seems to be at its strongest online? By the way, I am aware of the irony of this post and its related questions being posted on a blog, but do like the irony, and will make the point that I do write 'stuff' with a pencil on 'real' paper at times too.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
If you could travel back in time, what would you tell your younger self?
I would wrap the younger me up in a cuddle so tight that she could barely breathe and whisper in her ear that in the future she will have the most wonderful, the most spirited little angel in the world to play with.
I would tell her that she would finally understand what it is to feel loved unconditionally, and that pure, unadulterated joy awaited her.
I would tell her that she would be okay, that she had such strength, and that her strength would see her survive every second of turmoil she would encounter.
I would tell her, despite what the news says every day, that the world of her future is much brighter than her past. I would tell her that she really won't hurt as much then as she does now.
I would tell her that her hope for the future, her never-ending optimism was not a worthless enterprise.
What would you tell your younger self?
Saturday, February 19, 2011
What is the meaning we all strive for?
What differences do we intend to make?
What impact can we have?
What worth is there in doing it all?
This day in, day out sameness, which we say is not similar to yesterday, or last month, or years ago when we first noticed this feeling?
How is it not the same as our parents, and theirs before them?
Why do we have blind faith in a bigger picture; a masterpiece which is, in reality, a cylindrical never-ending fresco that repeats and regurgitates ideas, problems and people?
We want better for the next generation, just as the one preceding us had wanted.
They gave up so much, sure in the knowledge that their sacrifice would improve our potential.
Do they regret this now?
And we look at our offspring with the same hopes and plan a sacrifice of our own.
Is that what those before us sacrificed themselves for? For us to also give ourselves away?
Do they look with disappointment or do they see the mirage we've created; mimicry of repeated success?
We allow this sacrifice because we believe that there must be a greater purpose, an unseen meaning.
What if our parents felt the same, and worse, what if there is no hidden meaning, no greater purpose?
Having faith that the questions will be answered means having hope that there is meaning in everything we strive for. It means listening to the voice inside and telling ourselves that we're not crazy.
But what if we are?
Happiness is not having faith in a higher purpose. Happiness is never being aware that there are questions that could be asked of a non god.
Synonyms of the damned.
And yet this struggle is touted as proof of a god and we are expected to wait for a benevolent hand to offer signs of affection to the masses.
We ask our non god if it is because we don't believe that the air around us is hard to wade through, and worry that it is because there is no non god to ask at all.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Today I don't want you to get all worked up about how good reading is, I want you to recognise all the opportunities that reading has afforded you, and then imagine your life without them.
That is the life that so many children I work with will have. They just can't read. I was examining the data for the year level I am in charge of, they are year 7, and some of them have a reading age of a six year old. In fact, an awful lot of them have a reading age of a six year old.
Often when 'society' finds out that teenagers can't read, the blame session starts. Maybe the parents should have read more books ... why didn't anyone notice before? ... surely someone has done something about this before now, and so the cycle continues.
It is a parent's responsibility. It is a teacher's responsibility. It is also a 'village' responsibility. We have to show that we value reading, we have to exchange gifts of reading, and thus increase readings value. We have to do it together - one child at a time - one book at a time.