Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Putting people into boxes

Why does this happen? Why if someone is a teacher, do people think - washed out, uninspiring, rubbish, can't control classes? Why if someone chooses to breast feed or aim for as little medical intervention during birth as possible, do people think - hippy? Why if someone was once a pop star, do people think they can't do anything else with their lives?

Now, obviously two of those scenarios are about me. I'd let you guess which one isn't me but I'm about to talk about the ex-pop star, so it's not much of a game.

Today on twitter, Professor Brian Cox of 'Wonders of the Solar System' and 'Wonders of the Universe' fame had a bit of a rant at Sarah Vine. This lady is a columnist in the Times. Unfortunately, the Times is hidden behind a pay wall on t'internet so you can't see her column unless you pay for it. I did pay for it today and read a long ream about how the 'Wonders' programmes were too popularist and Cox was too attractive to be proper science programmes and anyway, she goes on, the topic is too complex for the kind of people who'd be interested in a programme presented by an ex pop-star. It was actually quite rude on a number of levels and I have to say, I agree with Prof Cox's rant on twitter.

I was also surprised that this lady would chose to tackle the topic in this way. She's married to Gove (the careerist in charge of education at the moment) so she should have a little knowledge of how kids interact with education - or maybe not. I shouldn't make that assumption because, obviously in her world, you can only be one thing. She would appear to be a columnist and therefore, not a supportive wife. So either they don't talk about each others work or she doesn't listen!

To be perfectly honest, the kinds of people who she is suggesting are too thick to understand Astrophysics are also unlikely to know that Prof Cox used to be a pop star, it was quite a while ago now!

Now, both Rob and I work in secondary modern schools, in areas with grammar schools so our kids are not the 'cleverest' grapes in the bunch (I say that in inverted commas because I believe in multiple intelligences but I don't think Sarah Vine does) but these kids are really inspired by 'Wonders'. They are coming into Robs science department and asking questions about what they've seen. As my kids came to me to ask questions on a geographical front after Wonders of the Solar System. So this programme is not only engaging them with the science but inspiring them to find people in their every day life who would also know about this kind of stuff. They're engaging with education!

Which brings us back to the idea that all teachers are crap and kids have no respect for them. Why come to us to help them understand TV if they don't respect us? It's just that some of them have funny ways of showing it sometimes!

There's so much of her column that I could argue with but then I got to thinking and this is what I thought.'OMG, this kind of clap trap is worthy of Jeremy Clarkson. Hold on, I don't find Clarkson offensive (usually) I just laugh at the bollocks he comes out with.' So, I've decided that this column was meant to be funny but as she's a columnist and not a comedian, it didn't work very well. In just the same way as Prof Cox is an ex pop star so can't present science programmes. Or I'm a teacher so can't be interesting or inspiring.

What is really written in Sarah Vines column is a confession. I wonder if her husband knows. What Sarah Vine was really saying is that she, personally, is too busy oggling Prof Cox to pay attention to what he's saying.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Problems we're lucky to have

I was sat in the pub this lunchtime reading 'i', the baby version of the Independent newspaper and this small article caught me attention. Basically, it was all about the problems that drive us crazy in he developed world and how, actually, we're so lucky to be able to whinge about what we do. I only disagree on one small point - I wouldn't lump everyone in the developed world together.

I was sat in the pub because my car wouldn't start this morning, which was mildly annoying but nothing out of the ordinary any more! I needed my car to start because I wanted to get to breastfeeding group as I had mastitis 2 weekends ago. I had mastitis 2 weekends ago because I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted because I'm tandem feeding both my girls.

I am lucky. I am feeding 2 children when most women in the developed world don't get the chance or support to feed 1. I have two health children without any problems conceiving, carrying or delivering them. I have an annoying car that loves to break down but only when I don't have to drive into work everyday. I'm lucky because I have a car and I have a car I love. I'm lucky because I have a job, even though I'd rather stay at home with my girls, I have a job and a job that I enjoy. I moan about my job too much.

I'm lucky because I won over £100 on scratch cards this weekend. I am lucky because my world wasn't destroyed and washed away in an earthquake and tsunami.

I am lucky and I really really appreciate that.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

bom bom ching - one for the educationalists

I had a dream last night. I was giving a starter activity to a class which was to eat a slice of melon.

There's a gag in there, it took me a while to spot it after I'd woken up but it keeps making me giggle now.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

A tortoise with a death wish

My tortoise has a death wish or she's an adrenalin junky, I'm not sure which. For the past 2 days, I've been stopping her climbing the guard rail of the balcony in her pen. Her pen is split level and has a very nice ramp for her to walk up and down on. But she's decided that she'd rather take a more direct route - over the wall.

Well today she managed to get to her tipping point and hurled herself over the edge. It's a good foot drop onto a flag stone. Rob and little i heard the thud and went running to her assistance. Thankfully, she was ok. In the words of little i 'shes saying sorry to herself' - I think she means 'feeling sorry for herself'.

We've raised the guard rail and you would have thought the experience would make her more reticent but no - I've had to stop her from attempting to go over the top twice more. So I gave in and brought her out of her pen to wander around the house. But even then this tortoise with a death wish isn't happy. I've just had to stop her eating little i's crumpet - crumpet is not good for tortoises. Neither is sticker, oats, egg cups or playdoh. We have fed her this morning but I've just given her a little bit more. Either 1) She has a death wish 2) Is ravenously hungry or 3) Is trying to point out that our house needs cleaning.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Heating (eon saga continues) and injections

So I was told that E-on would be here between 8 and 10am. So I get up even though I was woken 5 times in the night between the two girls. Waited and waited. At 10 I rang E-on. They have some lovely people on the phone who were disgusted to hear that me and my 2 young children had been made to go through 2 nights without heat but the guy was actually due to visit between 8 and 1.

So I waited and waited. 1pm came and still no Mr E-on. I rang again. Apparently he's running late. At this point I  start complaining that we've been made to wait so long and we're meant to be priority customers. They assure me that we are priority customers (I'd like to know how long we'd have to wait if we didn't have kids) and that if someone had rung me to say that the man was going to be late, I wouldn't be as angry. Erm, sorry Mr E-on phone guy - you were very nice but I would still be angry. 2 nights without heat, having to get up early and stay in all morning and then for the guy to be late is not good. Even if you had rung to tell me. AND little m was due for her jabs this afternoon. He asked me to wait in - erm NO, it's her jabs for goodness sake.

Anyway - the e-on technician arrived at 1.45pm. He diagnosed the problem and then 30mins later discovered that he needed to order a part. Not a problem coz he could get us heat back but would need to return on another day. So he fixes it, turns the heating on and the boiler starts pissing with water. This is a completely unrelated problem apparently but will need 2 guys to come and take the boiler off the wall to fix it.

At 3.30 I have to boot the guy - a very nice guy - out of my house so I can get to the Dr's on time. 2 different guys are booked to come on Thursday morning to fix the boiler. It'll take 2 hours. They better not ruin my whole day again.

I was the Dr for little m's 8 week check (yes, she is 10 weeks - never mind) 20mins after the appointment time. 5 mins with the Dr and we're back out into the waiting room for the jabs. An hour after our appointment time we finally get into the nurse. Little m is such a laid back little human. She was gurgling and smiling away then bam, jab - jab. She was inconsolable. She wouldn't feed. I had to carry her back into the waiting room crying her face off. She had a catnap in the car and was mostly settled this evening but cried alot getting to sleep. I'm just so not used to hearing her cry.

So all in all, cold house and upset baby.