The bizarre world of Mary Poppins… the book! By P.L.Travers

mary poppins

I love Mary Poppins! I have seen the movie probably a million times and watched the stage show… but never have I ever read the books. Up until now that is! I read the first Mary Poppins book by P. L. Travers just recently. Because lets face it, if I were to be a fan I had to read the books too. But let me tell you… The movie version is almost nothing like the book.

It is written by P. L. Travers who although was born in Australia but considers herself to be British. You can understand the British tone to the story and the fact that a family would live they way they did in this story even though they aren’t terribly well off – a very British tradition. But the world that she writes… is very bizarre, very strange and most definitely influenced by drugs – that’s for sure! It is more like a series of short stories that one story as there isn’t much of a flow or a link between chapters.

It is very enjoyable and I can see why Disney wanted to make a film of it… but I can also see why they chose to tone it down a bit. There are just a bit too many unusual things happening… having said that, it is Disney and they liked presenting a more innocent picture of the world to their young audiences. Which I guess does make sense.

The main changes to the books are the fact that the story isn’t told through song, the Banks family have four children Jane and Micheal who appear in the movie as well as two babies John and Barbara… Mary sleeps with the babies in the book instead of having a room adjacent to the children in their nursery, that there are more household staff in their house and that Mary herself isn’t as likable.

That was probably the crushing part of the book and being a huge fan of Julie Andrews and her version in the movie… that the book version although the children liked and eventually loved her was sometimes quite rude even towards the parents, held a few secrets close to her and could seem a little harsh towards the children. Plus she taught the children ‘lessons’ in odd ways. She is also described as not being that pretty.

But I guess Julie Andrews just couldn’t act in the way the book describes Mary Poppins… it just wouldn’t happen. It’s Julie Andrews after all – plus she is really pretty…

I am curious to read other Mary Poppins books just to see where the story goes and to figure out where other parts of the movie come from as well as the stage show.

If you are like me and wanted to know more about the world of Mary Poppins this is something you should read – it is indeed a great story even if a bit odd.

If however you don’t want the Julie Andrews image of Mary Poppins to be in some way tainted… then I would stay away because it will change!

For anyone else who hasn’t actually seen or read Mary Poppins then well – what are you waiting for??

Signing off… hope everyone is having a good week!

7:30am is my new sleep in time!?!?

7:30am on a Saturday morning and I am awake? I never would have thought that I would wake up at this time without an alarm clock on a weekday let alone a Saturday. During the week I have to leave the house before 6am to get to work on time. My alarm is set at 4:45am and I’m usually up by about 5:20. There are still some normal me things that I do of a morning.

I know that my body clock has changed… but it still seems odd to me. During the school holidays slowly and slowly I was able to sleep in later. But these days as it gets closer to 9pm you’ll see me nodding off. My latest night on the school holidays would have been 11pm. Not very late by my standards…

It’s interesting how my job as changed my lifestyle and what I would consider quite dramatically. I sometimes dream back to last year and the years before. The days that I was part of the education system as a student. I had days off that I could claim as “study days”.  I felt my life to be very busy. I have only been a part of the working world for what? two months? And yet I am already noticing the dramatic shift.

I remember back to when I finished high-school and was moving on to uni. I had this feeling, as though I was in a grieving period where I was at a loss. I decided to take a year off. To this day I would say that, that was one of the best decisions I have ever made. However, during that year I wasn’t really transitioning. I didn’t have that “phase” as some might say. I was almost in limbo. I was missing school and did not know what was to come of me.

At the start of this year I worked in a factory. That taught me not to get a job in a factory. In the middle of year I travelled with my mother. That taught me to see the world, just maybe not with my mother… although surprisingly enough I would go overseas with her again. But that’s another story for another time. By the end of the year I was working at a general store. I loved that job. It taught me more about the confidence I had inside that there was there all along but that I had never believed existed. Once that year was over however, I was ready for my course to begin.

I started uni and in some ways it felt as though I was back at school again. The change was not that different. I was still missing school but for different reasons. I was missing my friends not school itself. It felt good to be in a place where I worked out a good routine, a good way to study and to enjoy my placements at schools. I can’t believe I am already reflecting back upon my uni life. It’s too soon.

It feels too soon for a lot of new changes. But I guess in working in before and after school I get to experience another year “off” so to speak. Everyday I am learning new things. About me, the children, the school and the parents. I am certainly seeing myself grow as a person. I have this kind of confidence that similarly to my job at the general store was always there but I never believed existed. 

Learning from life and our experiences is great. If it means waking up earlier to do so. Then I’m happy. I’m happy because I’m working, not everyone is these days. If life were as simple as putting all the pieces of the puzzle exactly where they were meant to go. We would all be bored. That would be sad.

I’m happy that I haven’t had things happen in my life just as they “should” be because I have learnt so much. I believe to be a much stronger person because of it.

Awake at 7:30am on a Saturday? I shouldn’t really complain and question it. I will choose to enjoy it. Enjoy listening to the birds outside my window. Enjoy relaxing in bed. Enjoy the fact that I’m awake earlier enough to go down to a gluten-free cafe and buy their amazing gf bread. Plus I have still had a two hour sleep in. So I think I’m doing pretty well. 🙂

Signing off – I need to get up, feed the cat and get me some (gf) bread!!

Film Review: “Mother and Child”

Sorry for being out of communication for a while I was working hard on finishing my degree!! Completeling my last assignment, handing it in and presenting it in front of a panel of peers and a lecturer/my assessor – scary, scary, scary!! However I can now safely say that I’m that much closer to being a teacher! I don’t have much to say at about it at the moment as it’s still sinking in so I thought I’d write a film review instead. Here goes:

This film really took me by surprise. It is a film that resonated with me not because I’m a mother – which I’m not but because I’m human.

Although as the title suggests it is centred around the relationship between mother and child to me it is more about the realities of human life.

In one person’s lifetime they can experience a myriad of change. Change can be seen as a blessing or a burden.

The changes that I’ve endured through-out my life have seen me smile, cry, fall in a heap, conquering challenges, see a new outlook on life and ultimately grow as a person. I believe that all people have more similarities than differences and that this film captures this brilliantly.

The best part about this film is watching how these people face what life presents us and in a raw and humanistic style. There is no denying how people really are. It is through these people’s emotions, needs and thoughts that we see ourselves. We see how we want to be perceived, how society views people and how we truly are.

At the heart of it of course is that relationship between mother and child. We watch the lives of three women and their ‘journey’ A woman who gave up her daughter for adoption, a woman who is that daughter and a woman who desperately wants to have her first child.  Their lives intersect like you wouldn’t believe.  I can tell you it’s so much more than just a simple story about three different women. It’s a story about the complexities of life and all it has to behold for us.  It also in my eyes about the strength that a person can have when they are faced with it what in turn makes us who we are.

On a side note…

The song “Little One” by Lucy Schwartz is a song that compliments the film beautifully and now gets played on replay through my ipod…

Hard to find the words but if you watch this film – I’m sure you’ll get what I mean…

Signing off! All my best…

Regaining my imagination…

I want to write a story that is based on the home/house that I grew up in and possibly then have it extend to other areas of Australia that I’ve been…

I’m about to go to the Northern Territory!! I will be living and working in Pigeon Hole for six weeks and will get to be amongst the people of that community… This trip is part of what is called SWIRL or Story-writing in rural locations and is run by my uni and also happens to be my last ever teaching placement.

I am so excited, scared, and simply just awaiting all the possibilities of what will come from this experience.

When asked “what do you wish to bring?” I thought and thought for an appropriate response and came up with – an open mind. I think in this case instead of being the teacher I will be very much the learner. I don’t really know what I’m getting into, about where I’m going, what to expect or how I’ll cope living in such a remote area.

Some people might think I’m mad and I’m happy to accept that, maybe I’m mad and maybe we’re all mad. But what good would it be if all we did was sit at home and did not take on adventures like this? I don’t think I’m any less mad than someone deciding to go to Europe by themselves, am I? 

I feel very much inspired by this and I think it might have something to with always wanting to be a story-teller. For some reason creative writing to me as always been something that even though I have had to work at (a lot!!) I have still very much enjoyed…Some of this comes through with reasons as to why I wanted to be a teacher as well so equally it’s both just great!

I want to write about home because no matter how I far I am from it I’m always thinking about it, it’s always there in the back of my mind, I have such a love for the place that I grew up in that I think wherever I go it will be with me… People have often said that home is where the heart is amongst other sayings of similar ilk but to me – home is where the cat sits on your lap and where you find fairies hiding in the garden.  For me I wasn’t the one who moved – it was my mum… I have lived in other places since she moved out and am now back here but without her… It’s a long story!!!

The idea behind my ‘home is…’ is that I have a cat (last year I had two cats 😦 ) and wherever he goes I feel at home because he is comforting. The fairies though are because when I was a child I very much believed in them and I think even as an adult if you look at a garden very closely you can see that somehow they are there – they take you wherever you need to go and I think that comes back to them being ‘make believe’ or ‘magic’ – they create the colours, the leaves, the petals, the branches, the soil, etc of what makes the garden so beautiful and warm. Because they can fly – they fly with you…and it doesn’t matter where you are or who you live with…

{I think that our mind can very much be in a ‘real’ world and in a ‘fantasy’ world… ‘real’ = cat ‘fantasy’ = fairies…}

 

I am very lucky to live in an old terrace house… The floor boards creek under feet, there are cracks in the walls, there is a door with an old-fashioned key that allows you to enter a part of the garden…

My imagination as a child would be racing with stories… Stories of a made up past; I used to think of so many past lives that this house had and so many fantasy style lives that this house had…

They were intertwined with other people’s imaginations but my favourite stories were those that were merged with the author of the Secret Garden, the Little Princess and Little Lord Fauntleroy — I remember creating my own secret garden and pretending that I lived in boarding school. The funny thing was that I took these imaginings with me…

There was an old brick building as big as big could be… It had tennis courts you see… I used to walk past dreaming of whom lived there and dreaming of all they could have had… What was this place so grand and strange…? I wonder? Who lives there?

Little did I know that red brick building that I used to imagine as a grand house was the school that I attended… I laugh now when I think back to that child who was me but in the same light I also wish I had that same imagination.

Imagination is lost somehow and that loss begins when we go to school… Is it possible to harness it and not drag it down? I don’t it’s primary school, I think it comes more once we reach secondary school…

Hopefully I can allow the very real stories of the children in the NT to open my mind to a whole new world of stories, stories that have been passed down from generation to generation and stories that will keep being passed on. I’m writing this now with anxious butterflies in my stomach just thinking of what is ahead of me…

Goodness!!!

Signing off to get some rest. 🙂 


 

This so called modern-life we live in…

Is is just me or does everything feel like a big deal to people these days?

A) You can’t say that or he/she’ll will be offended

B) You have to be really careful about what you name your baby or otherwise they’ll be stuck with something boring or be teased – yet Apple or Cruz is somehow accepted because that baby belongs to a celebrity… and Molly spelt Mollie is also ok, because at least then the spelling is unique… heaven forbid people stick with Sarah or Alex…

C) Your children have to live in amazingly decorated rooms cos otherwise they will have no friends

D) Your child’s first birthday party or any birthday party for your child has to include a jumping castle, a face painter, pass the parcel with carefully selected paper – also properly decorated because apparently newspaper isn’t the way to go anymore, plus goodie bags without lollies and instead healthy snacks cos no child is allowed fairy bread anymore even on their birthday

D) Children under five mustn’t watch T.V – it will most certainly rot their brain or worse – have them not being able to read before they go to school

E) You have to have a completely super organised house – otherwise all your friends will have to go out to dinner cos otherwise it’ll be too shameful to have them over

F) There is a gadget for everything and if you dare go outside without the latest kindle then don’t even dare leaving the house again

G) Don’t enjoy being pregnant and expecting your first child just feel the ‘pressure’ of doing everything right – don’t forget if you eat sandwich meat your baby will die…

H) Don’t yell at children ever – cos their self esteem will be shattered and if you can’t yell then don’t slap either…

I) If you’re not married when you decide to have children then forget it everyone will ‘out’ you

J) Replace all lollies with carrot sticks cos clearly we can’t enjoy food anymore

K) On the topic of food if it’s not organic then don’t buy it – cos you’re just going to get glared get at by the check-out chick

L) Refuse, Reuse, Recycle – everything or else!

M) Safe the world. If you don’t donate to 100 causes a week then really you shouldn’t be allowed to live

N) You got your coffee from where? No don’t go there, the person doesn’t use the foam to make sure it’s presented with a pretty bird on a tree branch on top and the barista doesn’t make the milk hot enough so it burns your toung…

O) I buy all my clothes, gifts, etc online, plus get all my food and essentials home delivered, plus I just don’t leave the house because I don’t have anytime yet I’m sitting here on my computer blogging about how I don’t have time… and really this sentence is taking all my time… where has all the time gone

P) I can’t call  my friends anymore let alone see them because of my busy lifestyle

Q) I have a Nintendo Wii to do yoga and play tennis because really any sort of exercise done outdoors I can’t stand and doesn’t fit in with my life…cos it’s just so hectic

R) and continuing with this topic – the other day I had to look up this great word – Relax when my friend told me I should do it more often… I thought sounds great – but really where can I fit it in

S) As a teacher I have to remember to say chalkboard, not to sing baa baa black sheep, to talk to all the parents as though their children are angels and gifted, to make sure I never show my students that I’m human , etc – but do I also need to say interactive felt-tip pen board… should I have a melt-down now to get it over and done with – because clearly it’s inevitable…

T) When I become a mother I’ll have to hire a nanny, casual babysitter, night nurse, etc and only talk to them when they really need to…because all those activities that they’ll have to go to I just won’t be able to take them to… plus simply reading them a story is just too much of a hassle

U) Where are all my hair and beauty essentials… I may only be going to buy milk…but seriously you never know who you’ll bump into… oh my gosh here comes another melt-down…

V) Did I tell you about Facebook, blogger, tumblr, you tube, pinterest, this site that I’m on now, twitter, google plus and whatever else I’ve used to divulge everything about my personal life on? I mean seriously if you don’t go look at one those pages, then the photos from the latest party/wedding/christening/house-warming/gig/*insert event here* that I went to – or the video footage of my child’s birth will not be shown to you because I’m a private person and don’t really want people to see those things…but seriously you probably don’t want to see all the details anyway. 😉

W) Did you watch the latest of junior masterchef? Since when do children know how to not just make cupcakes or cookies with icing on top – but things that I don’t even know how to pronounce

X) When you do find the time to catch up with friends, don’t forget to document the entire outing on Facebook via your phone so that everyone can know what you’re up to – heaven forbid you actually talk to your friend

Y) If you dare let any of my children near dirt then I’ll blame you when they they’re allergic to everything… oh and please make sure you use the detol soap dispenser that you don’t actually touch…

Z) School, Uni, Career, Marriage, Kids, there is no other way to life really and if you don’t live by this standard then clearly you don’t have a life and if you turn up to your kids graduation at the age of anywhere between 40-50 then really you were far to young to be having children because really we’re not allowed to have kids until 35 and no younger because before then is just too young. My mother was 25 when she had my brother – what do you say to that?

HA HA HA HA HA HA I am evil.

Ok – so just a heads up – most of these ‘complaints’ are me joking and I’m not really being serious. But I do think that we all need to relax including myself. Your life is your life it shouldn’t be mapped out according to what other people say and you should just live it the way you wish.

Even if you do, do the things on this list – it’s ok.

Can we stop judging and criticising people because clearly by the fact that I came up with about 26 ideas on how people ‘should’ live their lives – is a statement in itself…

I’m sick of reading articles titled with “The pressures of pregnancy” “How to decorate your child’s room” “We all seem to have allergies or food intolerance” “There are women as young as 20 deciding to get a sperm donation – what a shock” “Baa baa black sheep banned from childcare centres” or watching ads that are advertising these products that allow children to learn how to read before they get to school…

I see parents on the streets negotiating with their children about their behaviour – what happened to “Come here NOW!” or a slap on a wrist – I don’t agree with bashing your children or making out like their bad people… but I got yelled at or had small hits on my wrist  and usually it was because I was crossing the road without mum or about to touch the stove… and I’ve turned out to be a pretty normal and genuinely good person…

Lesson of the day:

Chill out!!! It’s ok if your apple came from the supermarket and you gave your child a lolly snake.

Language development is important before a child gets to kindergarten/school but we have teachers for a reason.

Signing out as I’m about to spend time with my mother and brother whom I love very much!

burgeoning

“growing organically in different directions” – was the best way my lecturer described the meaning of this word…

We read an article about a community centre that allowed ‘youth’ who were ‘disadvantaged’ to come and learn about new technologies, in a way that was ‘unstructured’, could build on their confidence and allow them to be active learners. It sounded like a great way to learn and something we as teachers needed to read.

This word stuck out to me because it allowed me to reflect on my life as a learner and a teacher… In fact the whole day or even the whole course has allowed me to do that, it’s just today it took on different meaning.

I believe that I’m pretty fortunate – not to be boastful, it’s the truth and we can’t hide away from that, but I’ve had a pretty damn good education… I’ve had to deal with tough things in my life and in my world they have been huge because it’s what I’ve had to directly deal with but compared to stories I’ve heard, people I’ve known and the children/teens I’ve come across throughout my teaching rounds, generally speaking I’ve had it good and got it good…

Through-out my school life I’ve only ever loathed one teacher – the one who made me feel as though I was dumb (back in Primary School) she made me feel that I couldn’t do anything and I finally made the connection today of the impact that, that has had on me as a person and a learner. My self-esteem was crushed by that and I had this person as a teacher shortly after my parents divorced – which didn’t make matters any better. For a very long time after this I thought that I wasn’t good enough, even when I received Bs and B+s – which aren’t bad grades, it’s just that I thought I couldn’t do better and that I wouldn’t get anywhere… every time I put in all my effort I thought I wasn’t going to do well or that there was no point – that mind-set is horrible…

Luckily though even if it took all the way for me to get uni I finally realised that I can do it and now the majority of my grades are HDs and some of my assignments have even been full marks – my hard work and determination to do well and sometimes even just to do my best is paying off because I allowed myself to stop thinking like that…

The point though that I was trying to make is that we’re constantly talking about what makes us good teachers and I think it really has a lot to do with getting to understand our students… I mean at that point in time of having that teacher my parents had just divorced – I used to walk around with my friends and wouldn’t talk and then had this teacher who expected understanding of a topic straight away…

Plus she was lost in the past because she liked the use of rote learning, the teacher previous to that said that I needed to practice things (eg maths) with concrete learning… A good example of concrete learning came about in my second year the class I was in was learning about change from a dollar – so my mentor set up shops where the children had to sell things e.g books, sports equipment, groceries, fruit/vege, etc and then other students would buy them – so both students would have to learn change from a dollar as a receiver of the change and the giver of change – by learning what added up to a dollar… it’s concrete because they are actually doing it, they are in the action of selling things and counting money. They could then go back and de-brief on what they had just learnt and my mentor made sure they understood what added up to a dollar…

But my teacher at the time was convinced it was ok for students to grasp concepts simply by memorising them and yes sometimes this has its place…but concrete learning gives a complete understanding to a topic and not just the formula – she was a teacher who looked liked she was ready to retire, but still – we have to adapt to the time we live in, etc.

There are many things that I want to be when I’m a teacher or even now as a student teacher and fear that I will turn into one that is like one I haven’t liked for whatever reason… but maybe I need to turn that fear into – I’m going to be like all the ones I loved… and (yes I’m weird…or just lucky) but I have loved or at least liked most of my teachers…

If I could write a letter to those teachers (this is hard because I’m trying to be discrete) it would go something like this:

– To the teacher who allowed us to make numbers out of confetti and then taught me how to spell government with that silent ‘n’.

– To the teacher who made it feel as though maths was fun with “around the world” and believed in my story-writing abilities and who I pretended to dislike when really – you were great. (She also introduced to us peer and self assessment)

– To the teacher who made the classroom feel like we were in Space and who thought I could do anything (when I didn’t.)

– To the teacher who allowed me to love Maths and make me excited to come to your classes (even if now I pray for the students who have to learn Maths from me – it did take me four goes to passthatMaths Test.

-To the teaching who made me feel like giving Drama a go even if I wasn’t going to get the main part…

– To the teacher who made us feel like a family

– To the teacher who never taught me in the classroom but gave me a lot of insights into life e.g the importance of washing hands…

– To the teacher who has always been passionate about women’s education, English/Grammar, poetry, learning in general and has instilled my love of learning and now teaching. – Plus who cared about us as people more than if we did the work, our well-being always came first.

You all got to know me for me, believed in my abilities, was/are passionate, cared about your students as well as the content, made sure we were active learners, never placed labels on us or judged us, integrated learning, etc, etc, etc and are a huge part of why I’m doing what I’m doing…

and have definitely allowed for this “growing organically in different directions” to occur – I wish I could meet with all of you today just to say thank-you and hope to one day teach like you did and I’m sure still do (if you are that is)…

I know that I have the passion and the capabilities it now just has to be put to the test.

Lesson of the day:

Be grateful for what you have instead of looking at what you didn’t get or look at the good in people. Looking at the positive side of things I know is harder but if you do, you’ll feel lighter and less burdened. Being grateful too is just such an amazing feeling… Sometimes also finding the good in someone can make you let go of why you didn’t like them – like another teacher I didn’t like, upon reflection there are a lot things that, that person could have done differently to teach but underneath that all I know that person cares and besides I am the one feeling relieved to let go of a grudge about someone I don’t care about…

We are forever growing…we are forever learning and we are all capable of anything, we just need to believe and put our minds to something.

Signing off because even though I can sleep in tomorrow  but I still want to get some sleep…

The Lost Virtue

Travelling in the city sometimes makes me realise that we are losing patience… but did we in this time we live today – ever have it? Is something that I have always pondered.

I’ll give you an example of what I mean:

Today when I was on a tram, the tram was coming to a stop and three elderly ladies were standing up to leave, they were found with the fact that they had to wait for the tram to stop to leave  – but someone ahead was clearly getting impatient shown by the tapping of his or her feet… the tram did come to a stop and I decided to move out-of-the-way for these women to be able to get off the tram. I then felt that someone was trying to push their way through, the tram hadn’t even been stopped for a second and then they exclaimed in a demanding voice “Excusssseeee me” as though they were the only ones on the tram. I think they were trying to get past me – but I couldn’t move at that moment because the ladies were trying to get past people ahead of them – very patiently I must add, the tram had only just stopped – so there was plenty of time for people to move out of way and still in an appropriate amount of time for people to get off and have time to get to where they were going because everyone was moving quite swiftly and there was no need for that to happen any quicker than it was.

By the time it did, the doors were still open and more people were able to depart from the tram.

I know that we’re all busy and we need to get to where we’re going on time – but the time that it took for that to happen wasn’t even a minute – why is that people need to have everything done in a micro-second?

I posted those photos of Melbourne because I took them on a day where I truly observed and enjoyed the city I live in – there were buildings, places, artworks, statues, signage, posts, etc that I never knew even existed – when I was there with my friend, I looked at everything as though a tourist would and realised what I had been missing after all these years of living here.

I don’t know too many people who really appreciate their surroundings… except of course a little two-year old I know that thinks every flower and rock is a treasure that must be kept…

We need to do that more – take in the world as though we’re two years old and just discovering it for the first time even if we don’t get a chance to see and absorb it all – we still need to soak up as much as we possibly can and that I think includes our own city…even if you don’t live in totally awesome Melbourne.

Better yet – have the patience to wait for the tram to stop before you get up so that you don’t fall over in the process, which goes the same for J-walking so that you don’t get hit by a car or don’t shuff past people on the street because they have to walk there too. I know that I have gotten frustrated when going somewhere and that I J-walk on the odd occasion – but not to the point where mine or someone’s safety/well-being is being compromised.

Patience is so important and needs to be practiced by everyone and I’m not just talking about young people either – sometimes I think they have more than those grouchy oldies 😛

Lesson of the day:

The old saying goes “Take time to stop and smell the roses” well I say take time just to stop… look around, think and take everything in because you never know what you just might see and enjoy – in the same way as two-year olds of course 🙂

Look out for each other – we’re all just doing our best, so take a deep breath and wait until it’s your turn because it doesn’t mean you’ll miss out it just means that it’ll taste better when you receive it.

Signing off as I have a VERY early start tomorrow!

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