Friday, October 29, 2010

The role of friends

Every person in our lives has an important role to play. Confidante, friend, party-animal, +1, shopping buddy, gym buddy, sex buddy, talk-on-the-phone-for-hours person, etc etc.

Some overlap, others are each played by just one person at a time, sometimes we have multiple people filling the same role at the same time or alternating if one is out of the country. But they all exist and all are there and need someone to perform it, otherwise our lives feel just a little bit empty.

There is one very, very important role that several males have played in my life, and so have a few females (on occasion):

To keep me out of on-coming traffic.

My judgement of space and distance is pretty good and I’m fine when driving, but when I’m crossing the street and with other people I’m usually distracted by how awesome it is to be social and my impulsivity kicks in, so I’ll randomly try crossing the street at my own peril. I’ve been grabbed by the hand or scuff of the neck a few times to keep me from walking right out in front of a car, just because my brain wasn’t noticing that there’s one coming toward me at 70km/h. Now, these wonderful people just grab me as soon as we get to the place where we want to cross, and hold on until we get to the other side.

I’ve actually nearly been hit by one because I not only didn’t notice it was there in the first place, but also didn’t hear it tooting its horn at me. By the time I noticed, I was half-way across the high-way and decided that I should, clearly, turn back the way I came... I wasn’t entirely with it at the time.

So, I’d like to extend my thanks to those of you who have kept me alive and out of the hospital for just that little bit longer. You guys are awesome!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

We all have books which we love and which we hate. We all have reasons for that love or hate, be they related to the quality of the writing, the nature of the characters, or the progression of the plot. Here is a post on a specific book and why it is wrong wrong wrong wrong WRONG, because it incorrectly portrays a world-view.

As part of English for my final year of secondary school, I had to study The Outsider (or The Stranger, depending on the translation) by Albert Camus. I hate that book. More than the book, I hate the standard interpretation of it, which is that this book is about Existentialism. It is not.

The lead character in this book (Meursault) is one who shows and feels little emotion and forms no attachments. He has no great ambition. Really, he just is. His emotional spectrum seems to range from neutral to this is nice.

The people who claim that this book is “Existentialist” only remember the first half of the definition of existentialism: That life has no intrinsic meaning. They forget the second, and most important part: Therefore, we must give it that meaning ourselves. Another cause for concern is that I have met English teachers who were unaware of this distinction, and they danm well should be if they are teaching this book! So, if you're an English teacher reading this and were not aware, go inform yourself! This is important. Camus himself rejected the "existentialist" label, because he considered this books to be on absurdism.

"Oh, the burden of human choice!"

That “life has no meaning” is a philosophy known as Nihilism, and at its deepest this book is about a nihilist character. I get extremely angry and peeved when people use this book in an attempt to illustrate existentialism, because I just happen to be an existentialist. Believe it or not, it was studying this book which made me realise that. But only because my English teacher was smart and informed enough to remember that second part of the definition for existentialism.

I would say that a much more accurate description of the character is that he is a psychopath (that is, has Antisocial Personality Disorder). Key characteristics include:
  • Lack of remorse, shame or guilt
  • Shallow emotions
  • Lack of capacity to form attachments
  • Callousness/Lack of empathy
  • Poor behavioural controls/Impulsive nature
  • Lack of realistic life plan
  • Substance abuse
There are others, of course, but I would say that Meursault displays all of the above. I, on the other hand do not display any of these. Of the characteristics which are not on that list, the only one I have is "impulsivity", and I already have a diagnosis for that.

I am an existentialist. My life has meaning. The people in my life and the things I do hold meaning for me. I do not believe that this meaning is innate or predetermined by some more powerful being, but by me as they are mine. It is a liberating, empowering, wonderful thing because I have those choices, subject only to my biology (which is inescapable to a great degree, so I accept it where necessary).

I am not a nihilist. I am not a psychopath. Stop using this book to describe a worldview which it does not actually represent.

Common Sense: Knowing when to hold yourself back, even when there's nothing else to do the job.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fitness. No.

Exercise is a bizarre thing. There you are, stretching, straining, pushing,  pumping, in pain, sweating, tears rolling down your face, tears in your muscles, more pain, more straining, joints spraining... And this is supposed to be healthy.

The machines at the gym are evil. Seriously, they are out to kill you. This is the dream we all have of being full of grace and not breaking a sweat while moving through various exercises:

OK Go - Here It Goes Again from OK Go on Vimeo.

My reality is the image you have of yourself, covered in sweat, face-first on the tread-mill as the conveyor belt tries to rip your face off as you lie there. It hates me, and I know it.

The weight machines are even worse: Those things warp and then utterly smash the laws of physics. “Equal and opposite reaction” my arse. As soon as you’re done trying to move the counterweight, it comes to life, gains an extra 20kg and becomes double-jointed so that it tries to break your knees as you congratulate yourself on doing one whole ham-string curl.

And the personal trainers are evil. They are torture masters in disguise, with their shorts and their fancy tops and heart rate monitors. You know what that monitor is really for? Measuring just how much PAIN you’re in so that they can feel that sadistic satisfaction of having caused lots of it, and then causing even more by working some muscles which you didn’t even realise existed. I have this theory that the torturers in the Tower of London were actually a secret cult who passed on their skills to the next generation and the next, and that they gradually figured out how to cause the maximum pain without any implements AND use hypnosis on you to make you think that it’s what you want. Interrogators should hire these guys. I’ll be there’s even a secret hand shake - watch out for it next time you’re at one of these places. It’s all about finding out which government you work for. Just you wait and see, it’s a conspiracy.

The other people at the gym are all in on it. You ever see one of them wipe up after using the equipment? I haven’t, either. No wonder I got sick every time I went last year - I’d manage about a week of regular exercise before another virus hit. I reckon they were all in on it, not cleaning the machines so that I would use them and get infected thanks to the germs getting in through the paper cut I got while signing for the transaction because I had a late fee. And they smell. It’s all a secret government experiment into biological warfare, you mark my words.

Even recently, this happened. It must be air-borne biological warfare. I went to a Zumba class which was arranged as a free activity for the staff with an instructor whom I'd never met, and got sick THE VERY NEXT DAY. They are ALL in on it!!!!!

Then there are the video clips which some gyms show with the half-naked women who weight about 10kg (including what they’re wearing) and probably haven’t eaten more than a carrot and a cup of coffee per day since they were 15. It’s deliberate. To make you hate yourself so you keep going. It’s like I joined bloody Globo Gym.

But I do miss the regular exercise.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fruit flies like a banana.

Having no sense of how long things take has led to my always adding half an hour to how long I think anything will take. I figured out a long time ago that going shopping doesn’t just involve walking around shops - it involves:

  • Getting ready to go to the shops (day clothes rather than pyjamas, shoes, brushed teeth etc) 
  • Finding everything I need for leaving the house (phone, wallet, keys, etc)
  • Getting to the shops
  • Finding a parking space
  • Getting from parking space to shops
  • Allowing time for having to “shop around” if you’re not happy with the price, or can’t find what you’re after in the first shop
  • Waiting in line at the checkout
  • Getting your things to the car
  • Going back to the shops to get the thing you forgot to buy
  • Waiting in the checkout line again
  • Getting to the car again
  • Driving home
  • Unpacking your shopping
  • Collapsing from the exhaustion of it all
For me, every trip I take is a multi-step process. Every possibility needs to be accounted for. I can be prepared as I like with lists and reminders, but the fact is that each of these "steps" takes time and each one needs to happen at least once.

Ever heard the phrase “You’d never get across the room if you had to think about how to walk”? I do get places, but it can be quite stressful, and the alternative is locking myself out of the house, or having to take two trips because I forgot my wallet, or something else which makes it even worse. It's all more or less part of a routine now so it doesn’t bother me quite as much as it could, but that’s the trick: It’s routine. It’s regimented. If I deviate from the routine, my world falls apart.

Welcome to my world.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sincere apologies

I'm sorry for the lack of drawings in my posts lately. I haven't been entirely well, and the tired has been sapping my visually creative reserves.

I will try to add more in to my posts very soon, I promise!

Time flies like an arrow.

Everyone feels time passing. The perceived speed at which it does varies; we hear talk of “fast weeks” and “slow days” and “long hours”, mostly depending on how much you’re enjoying yourself and how much you have to do. This is normal. 
Most people have a reasonable sense of how long things take - they can usually tell, with reasonable accuracy, how long they spent on one activity or another without having to think too hard about it.
I lack this ability. 
For me, time is very fluid. Unless I’ve been able to look at a clock and measure how long something takes, I’ll have no idea. If I’m estimating how long something will take, I’ll need to compare it to things for which I’ve already done this and it isn’t always accurate.
If I’m estimating how long something has taken (without having looked at the clock), I have to think about all the things I did, how long I’ve measured them to take, and add it all up to give you a figure. Every. Single. Time. I can’t gauge it on feeling.
For instance, while I was in the emergency ward in August, I was in a bed and unable to see a clock. I also had very little to do. The only thing I had to measure time by was how frequently the machine measured my blood pressure (it was set for every half-hour). I was genuinely surprised when the first half-hour had passed because my best estimate was that 5-10mins had passed. I wasn’t waiting for anything specific and I had nothing to compare the passage of time to, as nothing was happening. The other interesting thing is that, for most people, this would have felt like an eternity.
I have a similar thing with driving - I have no idea how long a driving trip takes if I haven’t monitored it by clock or figured out how far it is, how fast I’d be driving and done the math.
Some pockets of time drag on, usually when I’m waiting at a traffic light, but not as frequently as the pockets that speed along past me, and a lot of people don’t realise just how abnormal it is until they’ve sat with me in the hospital and realised that a half-hour of doing nothing feels like 10mins, where an hour of working at a busy checkout feels like 8.
Yes, the feeling of how long things take varies for everyone, but for me it varies to extremes and is also erratic enough that it's a wonder I can tell the time at all.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Scary in the news.

There is a lot of sex in advertising. Thin, scantily-dressed people who are pressed up against each other and making slack-jawed faces with their hands in suggestive places... We’ve probably all seen something like it.
What I find interesting is that we can see these kinds of images everywhere, and yet for some reason there is very little advertising done for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections.
You might see some informational posters in public toilets or at the doctor’s office, but rarely will you see posters up on the street, reminding people that you just don’t know where your new partner’s been. That you often can’t tell just by looking at someone (even the relevant “parts”) whether they have an infection that they can pass on to you. That you need to use protection for other kinds of sex, not just penis/vagina. That, while not all diseases are deadly, there are many which are incurable.
STIs appear to be on the increase in the developed world and HIV is still one of the most frightening (it mutates quickly and becomes resistant to treatments easily), and it is on the rise in Victoria again.
The best possible way of dealing with it is education. No, it will not be 100% effective at preventing new infections, but being aware of what it is, how it is passed on, and how it can be prevented is essential.
Knowing that this is not the only disease one can catch; there are many, and all can have far-reaching consequences if left untreated, and they can be asymptomatic.
It bothers me that the main concern of a lot of people who are having sex is prevention of pregnancy. Pregnancy will be “cured” in about 9months anyway if left “untreated”. HIV, Hepatitis C, herpes, HPV... All these are not curable (though four strains of one can at least now be vaccinated against). They’re not going to grow up and leave home in about 20years, either. You’re not going to get company or conversation out of them, nor can you rejoice in how your latest sore is progressing in its gymnastics class. 
So, screw “trust”. If you’ve got a new partner, use condoms and dental dams until you’ve had them (and yourself; fair is fair) tested for any major diseases and until you know their sexual history well enough to trust them not to have unprotected sex with someone else while they’re also having unprotected sex with you. 
It’s fairly simple, really.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Old-School views

One thing that I’ve noticed in some schools is how coveted the teaching of the higher streams of maths is. It is a special post, reserved for the most experienced teachers; the ones who have worked hard and earned this particular group of young geniuses.
The rookies are the ones who get the junior students and the lower streams of senior maths. They get to struggle with teaching the kids who struggle at maths, and as such “earn their stripes”, hoping to one day prove that they, too, are worthy of teaching "the cream of the crop".
There are some problems with this:
  1. New teachers are more likely to be competent mathematicians (fresh out of a maths degree; high-level calculus flowing through their synapses)
  2. New teachers are less likely to be as competent teachers as their more experienced counterparts
  3. The more capable students are less likely to need a competent teacher (they tend to grasp things quickly), but more more likely to need a competent mathematician (someone who can explore deeper concepts and extend their knowledge)
  4. The lower streams will be more likely to need a competent teacher (someone who can interest them and explain things in a variety of ways; someone who can be creative in their methods when teaching the basics) rather than a teacher who can perform partial derivation and multivariable calculus
Having taught a lower stream as a first-year-out graduate teacher and having taught high-level mathematics as a student teacher, I think that schools have that ethic backwards. New teachers, who are already having to deal with the new world of a full-time job plus planning and marking, are then also given the classes which have behavioural problems. This raises stress levels by an order of magnitude.
On the other hand, getting through to the struggling students and having a rapport with them; getting them on-side and having them interested and happy to have you; all this is unbelievably rewarding. It’s just that not many inexperienced teachers are good enough at classroom management to be able to develop this.
Teaching the higher streams should not be seen as the “reward” for competent teaching, as competent teaching isn't necessarily a requirement for these self-motivated groups who would do well if you had a brick with a smilie face drawn on it instructing the class. 
Try improving the motivation of a child who has no academic support at home and whose parents are to busy working to afford food to help with homework, or teaching the kid who's in year 8 and only had a couple of years' worth of eductation in a language school, thus lacking all the basics the rest of your class would have. Or managing a group of kids who all hate each other and are a bunch of little Entitlement Bitches who think they're smarter than they actually are, or that they're so smart they don't need to do the work. Now that requires competent teaching and good classroom management. Particularly if half your class is made up of children like this.

Sticking a new teacher into a group like one of these, on their own with 25 difficult kids and without adequate support or regular check-ins by teachers in authority is a baptism of fire and you are just asking for trouble.

There needs to be more balance and they need to be eased into it, because teaching rounds and university are just not adequate preparation.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Adventures of Coolman!

It's amazing what your brain comes up with when you're sick and bored...

Coolman is too cool for mere frogs!
Fires are HOT, and therefore Coolman is way out of their league!




We'll see you all next time on:

The Adventures of COOLMAN!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Unexpected Thursday post!

In about an hour and a half I have a meeting. During this meeting, I will find out whether my current employer will keep me on for next year.

I'm a bit nervous.


I'm going to be employed for at least another 6 months! =D

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Just make a list!" - F*** off.

In an earlier post, I mentioned the difficulty of needing medication to take my medication.
One of the problems I also have is with lists. People keep telling me to have a to-do list. Write things down, so you can check them off as you go. 
This works for a lot of people. One problem I have is that of losing my lists. I can’t keep track of them. I have gone through about half a dozen notebooks this year, because I keep losing and misplacing them (including one that had the insurance details of a guy who rear-ended me)
I keep some of them on my phone, but I’ll often also forget that they’re there. I actually once got to the point where I was putting lists on post-it notes and sticking them to my mobile phone, because I was unlikely to forget my phone and if they were right there and BRIGHT YELLOW and impossible to ignore because they’re shouting “LOOK AT ME I’M BRIGHT YELLOW WITH RED RED RED INK!!! LOOK AT MEEEEEEE!!!”, then I might actually remember that they exist and take a look at them! 
This became a problem when I ended up with multiple sticky notes. Or if the notes weren’t sticky enough and fell off. Hey, I tried. I just suck at it.
This video actually illustrates the problem pretty well...
The simple fact is that, in order to remember something, I need it to be right there. I need to be able to see it. This is anothe reason my desk tends to be messy and why I tend to spread out a lot at work, which can annoy people who are anal about their personal space (thankfully the people I currently sit next to aren't).
Most people cope really well with vertical shelves - they have things layered and organised  that way. I, on the other hand, need to be able to see and access everything in order to not forget that it exists. I guess this is one area where my brain hasn’t developed beyond that of an infant; If I can't see it, it ceases to exist. In my mind, most things (worksheets and that sort of stuff) immediately lose their usefulness once they’re stored away or up on a shelf and in a folder (but don't worry; if you leave, I do know you still exist and remember that you’re there. You’re a people and people are different). That shelf suddenly becomes a flat surface, and it is now part of a pile of stuff, only the top of which matters (if that). My shelves just end up being piles of stuff.
I’ve just done a bit of a circle, haven’t I? Damned loops.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I'm on Facebook! I have a button on the left (which I'm really hoping will actually work...), so please click it if you like my blog :-)

Quincy's Confessions: I am a geek.

Yes, that's right. I am. The proof is right here, in this entry.

Last week, I went into an ABC shop and spied this lunchbox:

How could I not buy it?? It's Tom Baker! As the Doctor! There's a Dalek and a Cyberman! This thing is so uncool that it made the universe fold around on itself to make it cool again!

So, I decided to put it to use:

See, I have my Very Australian "Meat Pie", I have my Very Healthy "Apple", and my other Very Healthy "V8 Juice"! In a little juice box! Any kid one would be proud to take this to school work!

Now, here is the truly shameful bit:

My Dr Who gets pride of place on my passenger seat!


My trusty school bag has been shunted to the back seat. But hey, it's still smiling, so that's good, right? :-)

So, there you have it. My Deep Dark Secret, finally revealed! Until I get a new one.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Not again...

Sick again. This may result in a decline in the quantity of drawings. Apologies.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Flat surfaces

 I love organisation. I dream of a permanently organised home, with a place for everything and everything in its place. If you walk into a shop like Kikki K and take a look at their displays where they have a desk with paper trays and pencil boxes and no clutter and everything looking nice; that’s the kind of setup I want with all my heart. Neat and calm and lovely.
Now, very few people have anything that organised on a 24/7 basis, but it’s even harder for me. Generally, we put it down to the ADHD, though we weren't sure specifically which part of the ADHD it related to. After reading this post (step 3, in particular) my fiancé realised one of the key problems that I have: I treat all flat surfaces equally. 
If it is a flat surface, I will put something on it and usually just forget about it, because I have other things to do and the very reason I put something on the surface in the first place is that I was already distracted by something else and needed my hands free to get on with it.
My housemate has to keep reminding me not to leave the lids of plastic tubs (in which we freeze leftovers) on top of the microwave. I’ve also left work papers there, my phone, and even my laptop.
And a flat surface doesn’t always mean a clear bench top or top of an appliance: If I have a stack of papers on the table, well, the top of that is flat as well and will be utilised as such. And the surface doesn’t have to span a larger area than the item I’m placing there... This also makes mess harder to see through when you're searcing for something. The world is, as far as my brain is concerned, just a series of flat surfaces that are intermittently broken up by some not-so-flat surfaces, or flat surfaces at different angles.
And, when I tidy, I do so by finding the appropriate flat surface to put something on. Urgh.

I also treat my fiancé as a flat surface - I just hand things to him when I'm done with them, but then he asks me what I want him to do with it and, well, I hadn't really thought that far ahead... I just didn't want it in my hands any more! I'm not entirely sure he appreciates it...

I was glad when we got him his own wardrobe. Not just because it meant he had somewhere to put his clothes, but because I had more places to put mine. No, I do not put my clothes in his wardrobe. I put them on top of his wardrobe.
No wonder everything is always cluttered.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


So, I'm still playing with the look of this thing, hoping to eventually come up with something I'm happy with :-)

Please bear with me!

Bitch, please.

I’ve heard before the notion that people have pre-conceived ideas and will just look for anything they can which will support the conclusions they’ve already reached. 
It annoys me that this is true, because it’s stupid. I also don’t like it when people who have done this come and bitch to me under the guise of asking me a question on the topic without listening to anything I say, because what they really want is to vent their stupid, uninformed spleen.

For instance, I had a relief teacher come up to me after many years of not having taught at the school where I work. She asked me about why the school’s academic performance had decreased so much over the years. I pointed out how many students we had with very, very poor English, and how many have had “interrupted” schooling (so would not have had the usual number of years’ schooling that kids that age would had they been born here), but that’s not what she wanted to hear.

What she actually wanted was to rant about how she doesn’t like the open-plan learning that this school is adopting and that this is dragging the students down. Now, it’s been a long time since this school was seen as highly academic and the open-plan system hasn't even been in place for a full two years... So those time lines don't quite match up. 
Logic fail, much?

I just let her vent from there and took the opportunity to escape when the next student had a question, as I really didn’t appreciate it.

It’s not that I refuse to hear any thing bad said about this style of teaching. There are absolutely pros and cons, and there is a lot to be developed with regard to the practicalities of running a system like this. What I have a problem with is that she saw something she didn’t like, found the most obvious change which had recently occurred and decided that the change was the cause of what she didn’t like without really thinking about it beyond “I don’t like these two things, therefore the must be related!”

It seems a bit like this:

Premise 1. I don't like how many people have moved into my suburb over the past decade.
Premise 2. I don't like this café which opened 2 years ago where my favourite hair salon used to be.

She didn’t consider the wider changes in the community or any of the broader aspects of the school, or even the possibility that the new system was in response to the academic decline and an attempt to improve performance, rather than the cause of said decline. Gives me the irrits.

So please, people: Think about your views. Think about why you hold them, what preconceptions you have and what experiences they are based on. Think about the logic behind your ideals and your values, think about what evidence you are basing them on. Re-examine, re-evaluate, re-define yourself constantly in the face of a changing world and of new evidence. 
If you don’t, you’ll end up old and stale, ranting at young people about how much better things were in the old days and grumpy at how they keep rolling their eyes at you and telling you that your views are sooooo dated.
And really, nobody wants to grow up to be that.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Why supervising teachers should also get reports on THEIR progress.

Apparently, Australia has a shortage of teachers. So much so that my university offered all my maths subjects free of any charge or debt if I did them as part of a science/teaching double degree.

Wages for beginning teachers have been increased over the past couple of years and a program called “Teach For Australia is being introduced, which fast-tracks people who are doing well at their university degrees but are not taking a teaching degree so that they might be tempted into the profession to boost numbers.

There has never been a better time to become a teacher.

Given this “crisis”, one would think that experienced teachers who take on students teachers would want to do everything in their power to ensure that said students have the best possible experience and advice, kind of like your own personal Yoda for several weeks, guiding you and teaching you the Secret Ways of the Teacher. It creates images which are all very heartwarming and Zen. Unfortunately, this is not always so.

I know a few people who, in recent years, have had bad enough experiences with their supervising teachers to put them off teaching for a long time (if not altogether) and even I, amazing and wonderful and charming as I am, was not immune to poor treatment which resulted in a considerable drop in confidence. 

During this teaching round, I was at a reasonably well-to-do government school (that’s a big part of your problem right there; the well-to-do ones are even more prone to snobbery than a lot of private schools) in Melbourne, with reasonably good academic results (even more prone to snobbery again; I had some bad experiences in snobby government schools, can you tell?).
Many thanks to Oolon Colluphid for this one!
I had two supervising teachers, one who was getting close to retirement and another who was probably at least a decade older than he appeared. The first problem I had at this school was the issue of how many lessons to teach. The discrepancy went as follows:

University guideline: 1 lesson per day
Assumed lesson length: 50min

School lesson length: 78min
School insisted that I:  still teach 1 lesson per day

The result was that instead of teaching 500min ( or 8hrs and 20min) in total, I ended up teaching 750min (or 12hrs, 30min). This is a huge difference.

I did call the university to get their permission to teach fewer classes given the length of the period, but this had no effect on my supervisors, who also actually said they "didn't care" about the fact that I still had Science subjects running at uni which I needed to work on. It was at this point that I really should have called the university again.

Priorities. You don't can haz.

I ended up being at the school for 10 whole days, plus dropping in on an extra four (so that’s 14 days out of the 15 I had a choice in) in order to teach as many periods as my supervisors wanted me to. When I was talking to them to arrange this, I had my main supervisor (the older woman) tell me “That’s not acceptable; you’re not going to get much of a feel for the school if you’re just swanning in and out!”

Even after I counted out the 10 whole days I’d be there, she still wrote in my report that she didn’t feel I was “dedicated” to my teaching round, because I insisted on actually helping with the field research required for a group project in a university subject.

This is my Incredulous Face.
My other supervising teacher. Hmm. Ok. Reasons to be away during your student teacher's round:

  1. Death of a parent
  2. Death of a sibling
  3. Severe illness
  4. Moderate but highly contageous illness
  5. Severe injury
  6. Imprisonment, lawful or otherwise
  7. Suprise Conscription into Military Service
Reasons not to be away during your student teacher's round:
  1. You changed your mind and don't feel like it any more
  2. You arranged to take your Long Service Leave across that time period
  3. You arranged to be on a school camp that same week 
  4. Pretty much any reason that isn't covered under the first list
This guy was first away because his mother died (fair enough), THEN away because he decided to go on camp (NOT GOOD ENOUGH!!!) He saw me teach exactly three of his classes. The last class he saw me teach had to be a fortnight later, because there was just no friggin' way I could get all those lessons done in the 3 weeks.

I contacted him a week in advance, and I emailed him twice asking him to send me information on what his class would be doing so that I could prepare. He did not tell me until the morning of the class I was meant to teach. He then wrote in my report that I was disorganised. This despite the fact that I managed to do 14 days of rounds AND a whole research project... He may as well have just written my report by writing about what the weather was like AT CAMP, that's how relevant it was.

I wasn’t failed, but the mark they gave me was close. The university called me up to speak to me about this, and upon hearing about my experience they had nothing to say except that I should contact them sooner if I have this kind of trouble again.

So, student teachers out there: Do not sit back and put up with horrible treatment from your supervisors. We need you, and your university will help you if you’re being treated unfairly!

Don’t let bitter people who either have an axe to grind or just have no clue destroy your confidence, and do not let them deter you from such an important job. They don’t have the right to treat you unfairly, and you have every right to complain if they do.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Quincy's How-To: When you change your mind about a date

So, a guy asks you out but, like the title says, after agreeing to it you realise that you'd rather listen to your mother's honest opinions on all your ex-boyfriends since you were 12.

You have multiple options, but there are also problems associated with them:

- Telling him you changed your mind trips your guilt switch.
- Standing him up makes you a Major Bitch, with Honours.
- Going along will mean that you get nothing but a meal in exchange for company you don't want. 

It doesn't have to!

Major Bitch, reporting for duty!

Step 1: Pick a decent, cheap restaurant which serves massive portions and lets you take your leftovers home.

Remember to act as though you don't know much about the restaurant in question, only that you've heard it's a good place to go eat. The guy will agree because it's a decent feed and he'll definitely be able to afford to pay for the meal, should it come to that.

Step 2. Choose your favourite pasta and sauce, and order the large helping.

Your date will probably try to tell you that the portions are massive, but act like you've only ever been to those expensive restaurants where you pay $150 for a sprig of lettuce and 100g of canned tuna.

 Step 3. Start your engines!


4. Eat only as much as you normally would in one sitting. Then ask to take the rest home.

Step 5: Get your date to pay for the meal.

 If you are successful, your date will not be pleased with the fact that you didn't take his advice, that you ordered more than you can eat, and that you then took home the leftovers he paid for to enjoy for several more days. Hopefully, this will mean he won't want to take you out again (achieving your objective of not starting a relationship) and that you can eat free of charge for the next several days!

Dud Date has successfully become a Success!