Monday, August 29, 2011

Possibly a good call.

I came up with a wonderful way to have a Sunday arvo relax yesterday.

A number of people had suggested that the movie "Red Dog" was worth seeing: Great scenery, touching story, and outback Australian humour.

I suggested it to my Mum for us (she, Dad, my Beloved and I) to go to the afternoon session after we had our weekly family lunch.

She went quiet.

For some reason, despite having heard it was a good movie and wanting to support the Australian film industry, she wasn't really keen.

...You see, there was a fair possibility that a movie called "Red Dog" might, just might possibly have a red cattle dog in it...

... and that a red cattle dog of similar size and shape tried to eat her last year.

So she elected not to come with us. She'll give it a go when it's on TV and she doesn't have to pay for it only to leave 10 minutes in.

I tell ya, the weirdest thing about that movie was being able to 'read' all the cultural and stylistic stuff that was, in essence my early childhood: terry towelling hats, short stubbie shorts, tight raglan-sleeved t-shirts, brightly coloured plastic strips hung from doorways to keep the flies out, brown and cream Land Cruisers and red dust. Yep. My childhood. Weird.

And I keep giggling about the way stories were told and how you had to read between the lines to know what was going on. Goodness knows what anyone would make of it who wasn't Australian (or even Australians who weren't around in that era). One of my particular favourite jokes was that they included "Melbourne" among "all the countries of the world". Definitely foreign. ;)

But when I saw a close-up of some spectacular canine teeth, I thought that the chance that Mum was wrong to miss the movie was...

Friday, August 26, 2011

The chance that I'm NOT a dag?

Okay, you've always thought I was a bit of a dag? Well you are so right!

Got home from morning prayer this morning (my day off, which I have dedicated to Greek - hopefully getting my assignment translation completed), to find a parcel up against the back door.

I crossed my fingers that it was from Amazon...

...and it was...

...and it was heavy...

...and being a martyr I made myself put on a load of washing before I let myself open it...

My Danker "Greek-English Lexicon" (BDAG) and Wallace "Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics" have arrived!!!

They weren't supposed to get here until the 9th September!

I might have done a little jig around the house clutching my new books and chanting a little nonsense song that might have included the words, "mine, mine, my books, all mine" at regular intervals. But I'd never admit to it.

And no-one in my life here understands my excitement, and my Beloved (who would probably laugh at me anyway) has his mobile switched off.

I'm just hoping that spending the equivalent of 3 months gym membership results in me using these books more frequently and for longer than gym membership inspires me to exercise!

P.S. They have a beautiful new book smell.

After writing the above, the joke got even better. I became vaguely aware of dog-like noises on the front verandah.

There shouldn't BE dog-like noises on the front verandah, because the LBD is restricted to the back yard, the back verandah, and now the garage.

I got up to see what was going on, and sure enough, the LBD was waiting for me to let him back in.

Obviously in my delight at finding a parcel against the back door, I had gone back inside, closed the garage door, and entirely forgotten to check that the LBD hadn't followed me outside.


Monday, August 22, 2011

One Week.

There are actually two questions. The first can't be answered by the title of the post, but it is an important question, nonetheless.

"How long does it take to train a 10 year old dog to use a dog door?"

The answer is two 10 minute sessions of shoving him through head first, then encouraging him to do it for himself.

The second question arose out of our sleety horrible weather recently, because it's nice for the Little Black Dog to be able to get into the garage while we're out.

It is "How long will it take the dog to realise that he can follow the car out if he comes in through his door before the garage door goes down?"

Chance that I wasn't late for my meeting?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

An exercise in futility; signage rethink required; and you can't teach old dogs...

I finally got around to folding and putting away some clothes this morning.

The basket was empty until 4pm when I got in two loads of washing.

I drove out to our water supply dam at lunch time because I was going to a child's birthday party in one of the parks (I hadn't asked which one, so had to check them all). At one section of the recreation reserve as I carefully navigated the honeycomb of potholes that is the dirt access road I was amused to see a sign announcing that there was a speed bump ahead.

Thanks for the warning, guys, but not really necessary.

This afternoon my Beloved put a dog door in the sliding security door of our garage.

The LBD will use it...

...if we push it open it for him.

Monday, August 8, 2011

It is just possible...

...that the preceding rant is caused by over-tiredness after a weekend struggling with a virus or bug and not doing enough Greek.

Or, rather, what is the chance that it is not?

I now know why we never covered participles in High School

The reason is not (as I have previously suspected) that Education Queensland wanted to make certain of our incompetence at our own language and ensure we were never able to learn another, but that they (participles) are stupid.

Any part of speech that can't decide whether it's related to a verb or an adjective should not have the right to live.

I don't care if it is temporal or causal, if it introduces a participial phrase, and if it indicates relative time from the proper verb of the sentence, or what the heck its aspect is. I HATE PARTICIPLES!!!

And the chance that I'm not typing this as the little men in white coats try to convince me to put the keyboard down and slip into a very comfortable straight jacket?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The difference of fifteen.

This year I have been teaching a grade 2 Religious Instruction class.

Last year I took my first go at RI and had a grade 2 class. I decided to stick with grade 2 because I'd made so many mistakes that I MUST be able to do a better job this year.

Last year my RI class finished at about 23 students (although it started at about 20 - there was some accumulation during the year).

This year the school changed from an opt-out system (you have to write a letter saying that you don't want your child taught RI), to an opt-in system (where you have to write a letter saying that you do want your child taught RI). This meant a bit of a drop in numbers. You'd think my class would have been smaller.

But no, because they needed somewhere to put all the students who weren't doing RI, they took the smallest two classes, joined them together and gave them to me.

I started the year with 29 students.

I am not, and never have been a teacher.

It was hard.

Then I acquired an extra couple of students.

I recorded my plea in church, and found a willing and able helper to assist with crowd control.

Then we acquired a couple of extra students.

I started planning a 20 minute lesson, knowing that the first 10 minutes of the half-hour lesson would be taken up with getting chairs from next door for the extras. I also had to leave out anything exciting because there simply wasn't enough room in the classroom for movement of any kind.

I was struggling. Seriously struggling. And while I've always found taking RI hard, I wasn't able to make the individual connection with students that makes it rewarding.

One of the other teachers offered me her class for second semester. Then we found that we now had 35 students, so I took her up on it.

Today I had 20 grade three students (four from my class last year).

The classroom is big enough.

There is no-one coming from next door so that I have to find chairs.

They are a whole heap more capable in reading and puzzles and understanding instructions, and we can do fun games again.

I can't believe the difference made by fifteen.

P.S. The classroom teacher of my original class complained, they've now taken five students out of my old class to go to the other grade 2 class, and two students have changed schools. And the chance that would have happened if I hadn't changed classes? Yep.