Harry Potter – the second time round…

Decemeber 2011 a beautiful friend of mine gave me all the Harry Potter films 1-8 as the box set. There was nothing fancy about this gift…it wasn’t the deluxe edition with special features on every disc. It was simply all the films on dvds – some extras included on film 7 and 8. That’s it.
To me the perfect gift for my 23rd birthday.
I told her as she handed me the gift that I was going to go back to the beginning of Harry Potter and not just watch all the films but read all the books too.
I never have liked the idea of reading books the second time round because I when I read things again I get irrirated at having knowing what it already says.
But as it had been more than 10 years since I started reading them the first time – I thought – might as well give it a go… maybe it will feel like I had only just started to read them.

Today at 1pm I had finished film 8. Finished reading and watching Harry Potter for the second time.
I can tell you now altough I knew the story it did in some ways feel as though I had only just read and watched Harry Potter. It felt like it was all new to me. I was making discoveries as though I was a kid again.
I could go on and tell you more about where my “journey” began with Harry but I wanted to focus more on small reviews of each book and each film.

This maybe quite long so I’m warning you now if you haven’t got all day… then you might want to think about bowing out. Also this is solely my opinion and I’m not asking anyone to agree – there are millions and billions and trillions of Harry Potter fans, it’s not possible to make all of those fellow fans happy. Important to note – if you haven’t read the books or watched the films then I cannot possibly guarantee that parts of the story won’t be “leaked” through these reviews.
So here goes

“Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone” The Book – Image

This book is probably one of my favourite books of all time not just because it is the start of the series that follows but because of what reading it means to me. I was given this book by  uncle. We were on the way to visit his parents. He gave me the book and I said “What’s this for?” his reply was “It’s a present” I looked at him oddly and responded with “But it’s not my birthday, it’s not christmas, you can’t just give it to me” he simply stated “It’s a car present for the journey” I was still confused and gave him a very similar look as before. He was the one who started reading it to me. I believe to have been about 9 years old which meant that it was the year 1998 about one year after it had been published. It was in a time where most people hadn’t yet heard of it. Mum was the one who finished reading it to me. Two years after it was our class book. I told my teacher that I had already read it. He was so proud that he gave me an award for finishing the first Harry Potter book. That’s right I have an award for reading Harry Potter simply because I had done so before anyone else in my class. Through this second reading I was surprised by how much I had forgotten. How much detail there was. It was a wonderful experience to be taken to a world full of magic, wizards, witches – good and bad, to friendship made strong and to Harry defeating Voldermort. Although I knew the ending I was still on the edge of my seat as he faced Professor Quirrell and as he clasped the Philospher’s Stone.

The Film- Image

J.K.Rowling had created the books with so much detail it’s incredible, mind-boggling and almost over-whelming. I know a lot of people including myself when they went to see the movie were disappointed. Still to this day it bothers me that Hermione’s scene where she solves the potions obstacle as described and set out in the books misses out in being in the film. I feel like it is one of the most important part of the story. “How dare they miss that part out!” it something that I have may have exclaimed once upon a time. It also botherered me that instead of that scene Harry got a scene with himself and Hedwig… However I can now understand (sort of) why they included that in… Watching it the second time actually felt pretty special. It set the scene for what was to come. It captured the story. It showed people who Harry, Ron and Hermione were, etc. It introduced the audience to Harry Potter.

“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” The Book – Image


I remember as a child thinking that this book was really scary. I’m pretty sure I even had nightmares about it. I also remember my Mum buying this as an “impulse” buy from a small bookstore that no longer exisits. This reminds me that times have really changed since then. Not only do I no longer have nightmares about this book but there aren’t many bookstores anymore. So many of my favourite things have gone with my childhood. The story really is just a little bit creepy. We dwelve into how Ginny Weasley gets possessed. We learn about Tom Riddle and who he is. We gain an appreciation for the true character of Harry. Once again we are reminded that although he is a wizard and a part of a magical world. There are other characteristics of him that come from who is that make him more powerful than the dark wizard he faces. I really like this story because more twists and secrets get revealed. We start to question the story… is it as simple as facing good vs evil?

The Film – Image

I believe that the movie does a good job of showing and telling us the story. I remember that I went to see this for my forteenth birthday with a whole bunch of friends. We were all so excited. I was scared too just like with the book. The second time round I was not as scared. I sort of knew what to expect. In this film I really liked the special effects. How we got introduced to house-elves with Dobby, the flying car, how they did the voice of the Basilisk through the wall, how they made Mrs Norris, Nearly Headless Nick, Collin Creevy and Hermione peterfied. I loved Rupert Grint’s acting when he was showing Ron’s (and his) fear of spiders. The scenes where they take us through the diary, etc. It’s all very clever. As a film alone on itself I think they’ve done a great job.

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” – The Book Image

This is one of favourite books in the series. In this book Harry becomes more connected with his parents. It is to me a turning point in the story. He learns more about his strengths, weaknesses and ultimately who he is. I believe that this creates an intregral aspect to how and why he fights Voldermort. In meeting Remus Lupin on the Hogwarts Express he finds not only a great Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor but a friend of his father’s and in turn a friend of his. In teaching Harry privately Harry soon learns not just how to conjur a patronus but also more to do with James and Lily Potter – his parents. I love when Harry discovers that Sirius Black is his Godfather. It tells Harry and the readers not to judge what’s on the surface. Because someone is on a wanted poster for comitting murder we cannot asume that what we see is ultimately what we get. Harry starts to feel protected, loved and safe. He never receives this from the Dursleys.

The Film – Image

I remember the first time I saw the film version of a dementor I was really spooked out… my imagimation in reading it hadn’t quite taken me that far for reasons I’m unsure of now. The scene with the Boggart in Lupin’s class was great – so funny when Snape came out of the closet dressed as Neville’s Grandmother. My favourite but most heart-wrenching scene was when Hermione and Harry go back in time and save Buckbeak the Hippogriff and Sirius. The way the film depicts Harry casting his patronus is breathtaking, a truly moving moment.

Harry and the Goblet of Fire – The Bookbook 4 cover art

I have to be honest in saying that this is my least favourite in the series. I remember the day I got it. My Mum’s friend decided to buy it for me. We were at her house and I remember the wait that I had along with many fans for the realise of the book. A lot of my reads had already either read it or were reading it. After being at Mum’s friend’s house for a while. She surprised me with the book. I took it in my hands and stood there completely gobsmacked, shocked. My jaw dropped as though I had just been given a huge sum of money. Receiving and being able to read the fourth Harry Potter book felt like that. I was so happy. From memory after my mouth eventually closed I was jumping up and down and practically screaming thank-you. I think that reading the first time I enjoyed it – how can I not after waiting that long. The second time round however… I don’t know what it was but I just didn’t really enjoy it as much as the others. While reading it I decided to take a bit of a break… read something else. After the break I got stuck back into to it. But I felt as though the tri-wizard tournament was almost like torturing you while waiting for Voldermort to rise again… It was a push to get through. A necessary story to tell. Just not as enjoyed as the others.

The Film – film 4 poster

The film was actually more enjoyable than the book… oh man I might get slaughted for this by those who read and choose to comment. But I’m sorry I thought that it brought the story alive – just a little bit. There are so many moments that I liked. The first though would be the Quidditch World Cup. The tent, the stand, the players, when the game started… it was Quidditch like never before. After the match the scramble to get out of the campsite was also exciting, the threat and doom and gloom of the death eaters was gripping and hard not to watch. The scenes leading up to who was chosen for the Triwizard Tournament including of course when Fred and George Weasley’s ageing potion got rebounded was hilarious. I loved the scene where Harry had to fight the dragon, that really was incredible to watch. But of course I cannot forget the moment where Hermione is revealed when wearing “that dress” as she presents herself for the Yule Ball. Just amazing. If I didn’t have three more books and four more films to get through I would totally write more, but I think you got my point. 😉

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  book 5 cover art

I love this book. I know that a lot of people don’t. I think that the first time I read it I didn’t really much. But the second time changed my perspective. I think that this book is quite possibly the most integral part of the Harry Potter story. Without this book people in Harry Potter land would not have understood that Voldermort was back. The formation of Dumbledore’s Army that becomes quite important in the end may not have happened. Presenting Umbridge as a professor at this time is great timing for the series. Well done to J.K.Rowling for this. I believe that this story was perfectly timed and utterly necessary. Without it we wouldn’t have had a lot of things occur that was important in “Harry Potter”.

The Film –  film 5 poster

 The film although a little ordinary if compared against the others is still in itself a good film. My favourite scenes would have to be in the Room of Requirement. The lessons that Harry gives to Dumbledore’s Army. The way in which the room reveals itself and gives the members of the DA the necessary tools to practice Defence Against the Dark Arts. Once again those patronuses were excellent – I loved how all the character’s own patronus was presented. I also loved Umbridge not the woman herself but the acting of Imelda Staunton – she played her wicked sweetness so well. That kind of sweet and nice persona that’s actually evil. When she was vanished from the Forbidden Forrest – even better. The realisation that Voldermort was at large again towards the end of the movie was like a “FINALLY!” moment. 

Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince – The Book book 6 cover art

I found this book to be somewhat tedius. Finding out about Tom Riddle, his life, the Horcruxes, seeping into other character’s memories, people attempting to kill Dumbledore, Harry being captain of the Quidittch team, parents believing that Hogwarts was no longer safe, Draco plotting Dumbledore’s death, etc was both thrilling but almost frustrating. There was a thick tension in the air through-out this story and I believe that Harry was feeling the same. He was awaiting lessons from Dumbledore while at the same time getting sucked into the Half Blood Prince and his potions book. As well as all this “love was in the air” as romantic relationships were forming and causing friction… It was exciting to read but also at some points challenging because of the strength in the writing as sometimes the readers felt what Harry and the others started to feel the impedig arrival and attack of Voldermort himself.

The Film – film 6 poster

In contary to the book being a part of someone else’s memory as shown in this and previous films before was actually quite enjoyable and some of my favourite scenes in the film. This was due to the feeling of being inside a new world. Being in a place that felt both strange but fascinating. It was as though we were actually in that place in real life. The film special or visual effects whatever they are called have done a good job once again. The scenes that were hard to watch but also well done were when Harry cast that horrible spell on Malfoy that made him continulously bleed and when Dumbledore drank the potion was screaming out to be saved. It is hard for the audience to see that Harry has played a part in both of these actions. The first due to being obsessed with the Half Blood Prince… the second something he has done through orders of Dumbledore and to obtain the Horcrux.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – The Book book 7 cover art

I commenced my final year of school and there everyone was in there hands a copy of this book. I walked into our year level common room on most days and people were reading the last Harry Potter. The thing that I felt most enjoyable about reading this the first time was doing so in my last year of school. Although I knew Harry wasn’t going back to school it didn’t matter it felt as though at that point in time Harry, myself and the rest of the class of 2007 were in our last years of school – last year of the books. I felt this to be pretty cool. However as this was the case I think a lot of the book was missed and not enjoyed…

There is so much detail through-out this book that I simply don’t know where to begin. Great finish to the series. Sad finish to the series. I love that so many unanswered burning questions finally get answered in this book. A lot of detail that gets revealed. The sad moments are through death. The horrific moments are through torture. There is a magical world fairy-tale intertwined in the story as well as many other subplots. If I were to continue writing about the different parts of the book then I would need another post. All in all a great read – much more enjoyed the second time.

The Film- Part 1: film 7 poster

It starts with farewells and a beautiful wedding – interupted by death eaters as Harry, Ron and Hermione set of on the almost impossible task. To find Horcruxes. The first few scenes or really the whole movie you are on the edge of your seat… Thinking, what is going to happen?? As there is so much over-whelming detail in the book adapting it to film is pretty much a impossible task. Like the book and this isn’t to be lazy I don’t know where to begin… I love the “Seven Harry’s”… was disappointed they went to the burrows instead of going to the safe houses… loved the bit where they went to the ministry of magic in particular when they snatch the Horcrux off Umbridge’s neck…moving right on I loved Xenophillus Lovegood’s house – that was quirky and cool. Even though in terms of not liking that Hermione was getting tortured I thought that the scene at Malfoy’s Manor was well presented… and Dobby – oh that was sad!! 😦 makes me cry… of course the final bit where Voldermort has the Elder Wand although on the verge of cheesy I thought it was a good place to finish.

Part 2 film 8 poster

The war to end all wars. I have to say that although I know and alot of people who are avid fans of the books and say he didn’t get his shining moment – I think that considering everything I’ve said about detail, etc… Neville Longbottom and his moments in this movie were great and quite possibly my favourite. I also love, love when McGonagall says “I’ve always wanted to do that spell” as she casts protection spells over the castle – makes me laugh. The moments she as, as she defends the school, students and Harry are great. I don’t however like how they forget to send the underaged students back through Ariana’s portrait via Room of Requirement… I don’t understand the need to change that to thave Slytherine’s be sent to the dungeons. Nevertheless the other key moment is when Mrs Weasley says to Bellatrix Lesstrange “Nobody toches my daughter you b***h!” – great! There are of course other great key moments but there are just so many it’s hard to pin point them all.

I’ve stayed up way past my bedtime and no I haven’t been working on this all day… but wow, what an effort… I know it’s long but I do hope people read this. I also hope that my grammar and spelling don’t get picked at – there are well and truly over 3,000 words so I’m being slack and not true to myself in not proofreading this. I hope whoever reads this enjoys and gets something out of it. Once again it’s my opinion… you are welcome to your own opionion but do tread carefully and if you disagree then say “I disagree because…” instead of “You’re wrong”. I could have been cautious in what I wrote due to being about the subject I chose. But I will say that I was honest every step of the way.

Goodnight… I need to sleep. 🙂

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My new job!!

I started a new job on Monday! I work in before and after school which means that every day Monday to Friday I get to go to one school and provide care for children aged 5-12 in both the morning and afternoon. The split shift is a hard adjustment. The job itself is wonderful.

The morning starts with setting up the kitchen with breakfast for the children, wiping down the tables and discussing the days activities with my co-ordinator.

As the children arrive with their parents what they do varies. Some decide to go straight into playing a game, doing arts and crafts or their homework. The kids I work with are diligent with their schoolwork, polite and very fun to be around.

As they settle into the morning some ask for milo, cereal or toast. While others have already had their breakfast. There are only a few kids who come in the mornings with the most being about 10.

One of the kids insists I don’t give her enough milo. I laugh to myself as I used to be a lover of milo and would enjoy much more than she gets given. This is one of the great things about working with children. When you realise how similar you are or once were.

The afternoons are a much busier affair. We can have 20+ children. I know as a teacher that, that is normal. However, it’s very different in this job. Although there are activties planned it can be quite unstructured.

We do ball games, arts and crafts, colouring competitions, cooking, etc. It can be very busy!

The kids are all different too as some don’t really want to participate. As someone who experienced going to both before and after school care I can really appreciate where they’re coming from. They want to be at home.

With a bit of encouragement to have them join in there is a fine line between wanting them to participate and be a part of the group and not pushing them in doing something they don’t want to do.

In drips and drabs the children leave until eventually there is no one left and it’s time to go home. As the assistant I’m not always there for this depending on ratios and on a Friday it’s a most common occurance… which is good because by then I’m ready to go home early.

So far everyday I’ve been thinking to myself “am I seriously getting paid for this?” “I’m having too much fun!”

I think that’s a sign that I pretty much love my new job.

Teaching is still on the cards but for now I’m pretty happy!!

Siging off – I need a nap! 😉

Just having a good time

As usual this year I didn’t make a news year resolution. I don’t believe in them. Mainly due to the fact that by February they get broken. But also because I believe that the new year is simply the passing of time. I know that for many people making a resolution is like saying you have a fresh start.

To me each day is a fresh start. It’s new, it’s yours and you make it how you wish. Each morning I wake and say to myself “it’s a new day!” Whether I had a great day or not, it doesn’t matter I have a new day to do things, organise things, to work, to plan or whatever it is that you do.

Although I do want to have more fun this year. I know that for sure. I find myself to be someone who is too serious. If I get stressed then I get stuck in that moment and can’t seem to enjoy myself. I can’t seem to simply go with the flow and have a good time.

For the past two weeks I have been stuck at home recovering from a throat infection. At first it started out like the flu but progressively it got worse. It was so bad that it felt as though I had a rock stuck in my throat and I was wearing jumpers when the weather was hot because of my tempreature. I was miserable. I soaked up a lot of tv and ate a lot of home delivered food because I didn’t want to go outside – due to symptons becoming worse.

By finally managing to go to my doctor I was prescribed anti-biotics and finally feel like myself again. Tonight I went out with a friend and came home feeling great!

I need to do that more. Not just want but need. I honestly 100% feel like this is a real need.

It was just a simple evening with dinner, dessert and lots of talking but it really was great.

I think with being a natural home-body and introvert I can get too comfortable with spending time at home. I’m never bored when I’m home because I’m always doing one of many creative hobbies. Which does make me happy.

But everyone including me needs to interact with other human beings and have fun. It doesn’t have to be a big night or day. But just something that allows us to have a good talk, laugh and try new places to eat.

Plus being a coeliac I have a bigger reason to not get stuck with the same old places simply because I’m secure in knowing the food is gluten free. In 2013 I know there are more and more options for us with dietry requirements. I don’t see why we have to miss out because we can’t eat certain foods.

It’s a new year, same me but more fun! Lets do it. 🙂

It’s strange but good to be home!

 

 

 

 

I’ve just come home from living in a very remote community in the Northern Territory, Australia. I was there for a six week teaching placement and have to say that although my days and weeks were difficult, challenging and I struggled a bit even with thoughts of wanting to go home, that it was one of the best, amazing and inspirational experiences that I have ever had in my life so far. In fact now that I’m home even though I’m very happy to be here I’ve started to realise how desperately I would have liked to stay. I’m tired, missing the kids and finding it hard to adjust being back in Melbourne.

I can tell you being back here and re-adjusting to Melbourne life is almost harder than my first week in the community I was in and it’s mainly due to being around lots of people and also being in my room alone… When I first arrived in that community, all I thought was how blissfully peaceful it was and how nice it was with the sun going down as we were un-packing the car.

The first challenge that I had to face was living in a school library, only having a cold tap at the sink, de-frosting meat for all our cooking and having to check for frogs and toads in the toilet. As the weeks progressed I noticed how much I was missing simple comforts of life and a lot of things that I took for granted.

Amongst having to boil a kettle for washing dishes, I started to miss sitting on a couch, I wasn’t able to use my personal laptop for connecting to the internet (instead was supplied with the use of a school’s one), the internet itself was slow so no blogging etc, all the food I had to eat was already there and apart from a really expensive and basic shop there was no backup. We were five hours to the nearest town so there was also the factor of isolation. If it wasn’t for my fellow student teacher I quite possibly would have gone home earlier than originally planned – she was the person who I talked to, cooked with, worked with, watch movies with, etc and I’m happy to report I have made a new friend!

Apart from the teaching we were able to get go down to the local river, go for walks and when back in Katherine on a school trip see some amazing sights! A boat cruise down Katherine Gorge was probably the high-light, with amazing cliffs, clear water and a place to swim – you could not have asked for anything better to do!

Now that I’m home I’m asking myself – did it really happen? Because it almost feels like it didn’t. I’m sitting here in my room thinking – what am I doing here? I should be somewhere else, shouldn’t I? I’ve been to have a “real” coffee, eat at the Vic Markets with my Dad, gone to the milkbar because I was out of milk, sit on my bed, pat my cat and say hello to some of house-mates. The funniest part about coming back to Melbourne is apart from seeing family and friends the two things that I’m looking forward to the most is being able to use a hot tap and sitting on a couch!

I never thought I would be excited by such simple things, but there you go.

It’s strange and good to be home and there is not much else to say.

Signing off while thinking to myself – wow I can actually blog again!

 

 

 

Getting caught comparing ourselves to others.

It’s a tricky thing in this “modern life” to not compare yourselves to the people around you.

I remember as a teenager I used to think the worse about myself if I saw someone give me even the smallest of glances. Eventually though I think most teenagers think people are watching them all the time. Watching to see if you do the right by others, watching to see if you give up your seat for the elderly, what clothes you are wearing, the food you eat, etc – basically everything that makes up who you are.

I didn’t have the best self-esteem plus I took nearly everything personally…still to this day I have those moments where I think about what other might be thinking or think unrealistically about a situation. Maybe though we all go through that stage?

I have learnt the difference between my realistic thinking and my unrealistic thinking. I feel as though even if I have those thoughts right when I’m having them I somehow switch into a more realistic mode of thinking and things start to feel “normal” again.

Tonight though I got home from babysitting (my honeybun and sugar-plum) – a discrete reference because they aren’t my children…but I noticed a book at their house that they had a book called “The Mother’s Group” – I wasn’t snooping, it was on the coffee table clearly there for anyone to see…but it intrigued me…I googled of course and found out roughly what it was about…

The idea of a mother’s group has always been fascinating to me… first time mothers getting together to meet, talking about what it is to be a mother, getting tips,etc…

but in my classic way of thinking comes the idea that a group of women all incredibly tired, hormonal, all over the shop…etc then being placed in a group that they don’t know each other = disaster. Won’t they all “bitch” about each other? Won’t they all compare each other? the list goes on… I mean when you think about it women don’t grow out of being women…we’re naturally going to think like this and naturally talk about others behind our backs… a vicious cycle really…

I was able to attend a mother’s group meeting which I thought was great and worked well and have heard really great stories…

But there is something that Istilldon’t like the idea of them…

I’m pretty sure my mum didn’t have a mother’s group and at the end of the day she has just done her best.

I’m writing this because out of everyone out there in the world. (I believe) Mother’s get the most amount of criticism. They are criticised about everything. From sleep, food, clothes, their child’s development, the cleanliness of their home, the school’s their children go to, their careers – not just what they do but whether they work or not, the way they discipline their children…the list I would say is never-ending.

Mum says as soon as I decide to have children: that everyone will have an opinion and try to give you advice. Which will probably include the name that I decide on.

We are so lost these days that no one shares anything with anyone else except our partners (married or not).

I’m the type of person that will reach out for advice but do hope that I just do things the way I wish and to do my best.

We need to give the mother’s of the world a break, they have children…they haven’t slept since the day they were born…even my mother I still think doesn’t sleep properly. Plus children are meant to be children!

It’s not just mother’s though. It’s everyone…

Give yourselves a break. I know the world out there is full of things that influence our day-to-day lives and who we are but you still need to remember who that is. Deep down there is a person who has your believes, interests, personality, etc and you just need to be them.

Think back to when you were five – you went about your day, had fun, did your reading, writing and arithmetic, came home, ate dinner and went back and did it all over again.

When I was five I aspired to be a teacher and a mother. I sit here today still with those same aspirations…one will come true at the end of this year, the other when I’m ready and when Ifeelis right… but when I look at that person who played made-up games and didn’t care if my hair was neat or my clothes looked nice. I wish some part of that person could still be me… growing up has pushed me past those days…but back again to allow myself be who I am.

They say that it’s when you get to your 30s you feel most aware of who you are and most comfortable in your skin… but I believe it’s the five-year-olds we all once were.

If life were that simple, we would all be in ignorant bliss…

If a child can look up at you with their curls all tangled, food on their clothes but be completely happy and laughing – then why can’t we adults do the same?

Because we are all too worried!!

I think my point that I’ve been trying to say is look at who you are? What do you see?

Don’t look at John or Sally and think… they have it all and their lives are perfect, why I can’t I be more like them… cos believe me… you won’t.

If you would like to read my latest poem which relates to this post here is the link:

http://songbirdwriting.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/your-judgement-eyes.html

Signing off… to reflect upon a GREAT and happy Sunday!

Hope you all had a fantasitc day!! 🙂

GLUTEN-FREE VEGEMITE!!

I actually cried after having a bite of a rice cracker with GF Vegemite. Then after the cry I’m pretty sure I screamed and then sang.

I couldn’t believe how great it tasted and how wonderful it felt to eat something that was such a huge part of my life.

It’s not just the Vegemite though.

There are other things that are making me reminiscence and other things that I miss deeply.

There are dates coming up that are allowing me to think like this and with this I will make this post short.

Moments like I had with the GF Vegemite are pretty awesome. It also allows you to see that sadder parts of life are there and sometimes you have to give in to them and that’s ok.

Just as long as after-wards you enjoy the GF Vegemite.

Happy eating and enjoying life – taking it for what it is. 🙂

Just like scrambled eggs!!

If you’re eyes feel like they are so low they could be touching your chin and they are falling closed to the point that no matter how much you try to keep them open they won’t…then you have gone past tired directly to exhausted… I probably should right now be asleep in bed…but instead I have an insane determination is stay up and write a blog post. After my week though in particular today I feel as though there is a need to do something to not just unwind but to get away from the lecture room and the study desk. To unwind in a place where I feel immediately relaxed – even if this is related to uni, it’s not a prescribed assignment, it’s something that I have chosen to do myself!

The week started well with my Drama Monday – a fun lesson, followed by a fun movie…

Tuesday turned into a day of being completely frustrated at once again being placed at a school so far out of my way that there would almost be no point in the travel time to get there. I went absolutely completely mad and was so outraged that when I called mum to debrief that I couldn’t calm down, I was crying then yelling then crying again. I’m not normally one to lose it like that but after the stress of last year I was hoping for a smoother run so I didn’t have to wait till almost the end of the year to do my teaching rounds. It was too late in the day to do anything about it – so I did the classic thing – to sleep on it…

Wednesday came:

I had this great subject called The Cultural Studies of Tibet and our lecturer for that was this great guy – who was completely stuck in the stone ages as far as lecturing goes – no use of technology, but he was so enthusiastic and passionate about what he was talking about that it was a nice change to not have to watch slide after slide about the subject matter. During the tute he didn’t really have much to expand on, because it was week one… but instead talked about why he doesn’t use technology…

In normal circumstances this would really bug me – but he was talking about it in context to education and us as learners which relates to the course I’m in so I thought even though I didn’t agree with his theory it was good to hear another perspective. He felt as though technology was there as a distractor, that it wasn’t valuable, most people were always plugged into something and therefore he didn’t like to use it. His argument also covered how if you have slides of a Powerpoint or a recorded lecture then that means that student don’t show up to the lectures – which he thought was valuable. I could understand why he prefered not to use it…

As an educator though – the use of technology especially as we are in the 21st century is a vital part of the classroom… kids nowadays and even when I was still at school are so in tune with technology that teachers need to use to and even allow their students to use their iPhones/ipads/MacBooks or whatever it is they are plugged into – for the purpose of learning as this is how it should be… the old saying goes – pick your battles… sure if a student was txting in class, listening to music while people were talking – all the classic disruptive things that kids can do with our gadgets – then that would have to be stopped, etc…

Although I discovered last year on my teaching rounds at a school that was very focused on the use of technology that if students are using these gadgets for their appropriate uses in the classroom, then it’s ok;  if this includes listening to a song for a performance they have to do as part of their assessment then that should be encouraged – teachers know when their students are doing work and when kids are slacking off, they can usually tell the difference… but not only that if they’re not doing the work it could be because they are disengaged then maybe it’s something about how we are teaching and creating an engaged classroom… it’s tough though because what do you do when you’re in a maths class and the students have no interest at all because in the year after they’re not continuing with maths…???

The Tibet tute had come to a close and it was now time to meet some old friends – a couple who I hadn’t seen in two years. It was fantastic being greeted by old faces and catching up on two years of life… after they went to class… it was time for me to complete my day…travelling home via the uni bookshop and getting a new concession card…. I made a call to the people who sort out our schools… they gave me another number…

I waited until I got home-made the call and then within an hour all the frustrations of the day before had been relieved as a new school was found and it is close to where I live. I was so grateful to the person over the phone – that the same amount of energy I had used being angry and upset the day before had been used in thanking her for sorting it out and so efficiently!!

Now here’s to Thursday…and those scrambled eggs!

We were meant to be at uni this morning at the bright and cheerful time of 8:00am for our first lecture of the day and nothing was organised to the point where we were still in the lecture room 20 mins after the lecture was meant to end and only 10 mins of the lecture was about 4th year and what it would entail – the rest was pointless information that most of us didn’t even need to know…plus they had people in this lecture that were from another course – why?

There was no improvement by the time of the tute – people were even sitting on the floor, fellow students had cleverly worked out that our class size meant that seats would be limiting so had gone straight there even though this lecturer had told us to take our times…

We were told to go to the later tute… we were told to go to Monday’s class… we were told to stay on Thursday…

The afternoon came and our afternoon lecture was GREAT! A massive discussion on the 21st century, what events that have occurred to influence this century, changes in technology, globalisation – so many things that I could have easily talked about for the rest of the day…

Afternoon tute: yikes… organising groups at uni was actually more complicated and more disorganised than organising groups in a year 11 Drama class… with hlf an hr left of the class to go we were still working on it… even though the unit guide had clearly stated what to do – completely laughable really… at least my lecturer has the personality of her frizzy red hair and the enthusiasm which goes with most great teachers which made up for it… I had spoken to her earlier about joining her tute group and knew that her day had been a muddle too and she had just been as scrambled as the rest of us!

Who wants eggs?!?!

Lesson of the day:

Don’t let a little bit of disorganisation and frustration lead you to think that, that is how everyday will end up being…sometimes it takes time, sometimes a lot of time and sometimes a small amount of time… generally speaking it’s nobody’s fault when stuff like this happens because we are all part of the picture we have to be patient because usually good things come to those with patience. I could have easily caught a later train and had been relieved that they hadn’t covered anything important. Things get sorted and sometimes waiting only means that the experience is far more rewarding than you ever thought it would be… like last year – I didn’t get a school until the year was nearly over, but then I got a fantastic school and a  7 week block which meant that the experience was more than I would’ve dreamt off…

A challenge is put in place, not to be a challenge but to be something to over-come, get through and know that you can do it if you put your mind to it.

Sleep also is 100% important… it makes our minds clearer and ready to tackle the day!

Signing off… as I’m nodding off and allowing my eyes to finally close…

Have a great weekend!!