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. 🙂 


 

Film Review: To Sir, With Love

This afternoon as I decided to turn on the T.V I came across the film: To Sir, With Love and I knew about it but and hadn’t ever seen it…

When Mum and I decided to watch “The Audrey Hepburn Story” with Jennifer Love Hewitt – which came out about 10 years ago, it started my mission to watch Audrey Hepburn movies – because even though it someone else posing as her – I felt that I must see her films… The first was Roman Holiday and from then on I was hooked…

One day from the video shop (yes I know techniquely they’re dvds…) Mum brought home a bunch of films all in black and white and all woderful…

Films just aren’t the same today – no matter what anyone else says and yes they have advanced in other ways, but honestly I don’t really want to spend $2 on a pair of plastic glasses that allows me to see “It flying right into your face!!!” (Besides that technology isn’t really that new anyway…)

I want to see it for the people in the story, a story that we can relate to, acting that makes me believe, cinematography that takes into the story, etc…

I really don’t care if the leaves falling from the sky feel as though they’re about to land on my face!

Plus actors that can really act…

Like Sidney Poitier who stars in “To Sir, With Love” although it may not be in black in white it still comes under my classification of ‘old films’…

His character is a hopeful engineer who in the meantime takes up a job as a teacher. The students that he teaches are rough and rebellious and his challenge is to get through them on any level – not just to teach…

He decides to first create strict rules in his classroom that gives them their first lesson in respect and what follows is a series of lesson on the subject of ‘life’ as he puts it.

Women’s rights and race issues come to the surface in his classroom – even when this image of ‘family’ has been created.

Throughout the film his character is put to the choice of becoming an engineer or choosing his classroom…

The way that this teacher is depicted by Sidney Poitier allows you to believe that what is one screen is actually real-life and we are soon swept up into what is wonderful about Mr. Poitier – he is truly magnificent… and the story is powerful and up-lifting…

The students in the classroom have had their lives changed and we start to feel their emotion… shown through the scene where they get to the museum – Poitier walks into a classroom of completely silent and tearful students and in this moment you realise the impact of this teacher…simply because they get to go to a museum.

I’ve been going to museums, art galleries, the zoo, etc for as long as I remember, these kids don’t have the time or the resources to do so, plus most the teachers before hand never would have taken them there and now here was someone willing to do so. He trusted these kids because he wanted to enrich their lives.

Being the 60s too – there were so many things e.g women expected to do all the house-work that has now changed most likely because of these people… he was also trying to show them that their lives weren’t limited to the stereotyped boxes they were placed in

In another scene they were being taught how to make a salad and one of the kids exclaimed “ah but that’s women’s work”, Poitier responded simply by noting that in a short time they would be out in the world and would have to know how to survive and that making this salad would save them even when they were poorer than poor. The students were completely immersed into the lesson and soon learnt how to make salad while forgetting who’s ‘job’ it was…

There is another scene which breaks through what gossip can do to do people when it concerns their reputation – but for those who haven’t seen it I won’t give it away. The point is, these students learn these most amazing lessons – which aren’t to do with what’s placed in a textbook and come out of it so grateful and genuinely good people which is amazing…

All this film has done is taken away hype and shown people what is a believable story which we the viewers might find teary but evidently up-lifting!

I rate this 8 apples out 10

(it’s about a teacher and I’m doing teaching so I’m going to be corny and rate out of apples)

The best bit was that I didn’t consider it procrastination because it’s about teaching – yeah I’m trying to justify why I wasn’t doing my homework, when I have a bucket load… 😉

If you haven’t seen a Sidney Poitier film, then you need to add it to your list:

Other films he is in and are recommended Raisin in the Sun and Guess Who is Coming to Dinner-

Don’t forget films with Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Natalie Wood, Sophia Loren and the list is never-ending really…

Watch older films – you won’t regret it!

Or if you don’t get much of a chance to rent DVDs then at least:

  • Casablanca
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • House Boat
  • To Kill A Mockingbird…
  • Anything else that is worthy… 😛

No – just start taking the train to work/school/uni because with the technology we have today we can watch films while travelling… we need to find the time to watch films, read books and enjoy food… not eat cos you eat to survive…like when you eat a nut-bar during a lecture that is draining your life – that’s possibly boredom too though…

Also not what I’m writing about….

Lesson of today:

Films are worth the time it takes to watch them especially when they’re good… where you learn something from them and continue to talk about them for years to come… I told Mum that I watched this – she said “oh that’s such a great film, did you like it… it’s something you’d love!”

Sing a long to the song that is played throughout and at the end – it really helps you feel like you’re in the story.

Signing off so I can finish my cocoa and marshmallows before hitting the hay!

“I want to stay small forever”

At the school where I’m doing my Melbourne based teaching-rounds I had a conversation with a girl about her lunch that somehow lead to her talking about what she wanted to do when she grew up and her answer was “I want to stay small forever” which I thought was incredibly adorable and honest. Because lets face it, how many of us whether they’re 11 or 23 (hers and my age) or even older still… want to actually grow up… I mean here I am going back to school after all!

Ever since I decided that I was going to uni to study teaching/education, I have had a mixed set of reactions and it’s usually between either “Oh you’ll be sooooo good at that” and “How could you stand being with children all day” (or at least something similar)… I always think when I’ve been asked the second of the two: If I’m going into to teaching that means that I must have some likeness towards children – otherwise why do it at all? I guess for some people when they’ve known teachers, it isn’t about the children, it’s about having a job that pays the bills.

Which I think is terribly tragic… Teaching is a job which entails having some sort of interaction with children – even if you’re the type that sets them with worksheets (which is the it’s just a job type), you still have to talk to your students, take the role, tell them to be quiet, etc… So wouldn’t that mean that children is the reason that people would be drawn to the job? Instead of children are there and I just teach them?

I mean that’s why I’m doing it – because I get to have this unique interaction with children, being a part of their lives and seeing them grow and develop. I get to create this great relationship with kids and then teach them. It’s about the children in the room for me…

If I had approached this girl – with “continue with your work, I don’t want to hear about what you like or dislike because it’s an interruption to the other students” or something a long the lines… then we wouldn’t have had that connection… I just would’ve ended up being this scary person in her class on a Tuesday…

Instead I get to know these kids who I discovered were wonderful before teaching them and they get to know me a little bit – so by the time I teach them it’s like we’ve crossed a barrier or a bridge to get to the other side – they form this liking to me and visa versa and the teaching becomes easier and much nicer – for both them and I.

I love children for the simple fact that they say things like wanting to be small forever or get over-excited about doing a subject they love – especially when adults/teachers/parents/carers allow them to do so…

Like these two other girls…

This class was doing a project on the human body, they were broken up into different things which allows us to function e.g respitory or skeletal systems and then had to do research on that particular area before presenting their findings in however way they wanted… I asked these girls if they liked what they were researching and realised that it wasn’t their desire to do so (they were enthusiastic about it which was clearly shown by how they were engaged…) – which I got out of their facial expressions…not by their answers and then I asked

“If you could research anything about any topic, what would it be on” their answer was “sport or drama, but we really like drama” I said “what was it about drama that they liked?” their response “we like crazy stuff and plays!” with the biggest grins on their faces… I then told them that I also taught Drama and then for the rest of the afternoon they said to me:

“DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA” not being my class I said that they had to talk to their teacher but I’m sure we’d be able to do so…. they said “DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA!!” as they left for the day and I thought to myself… oh goodness…what have I done?

But at the same time was pretty excited that kids were getting excited about what I taught!!

I spoke to my mentor and made their dream of me teaching Drama possible – they don’t know this just yet but I’m sure their response when they find out they’re going to do some Drama with me will be “YAAYYYY!”

See – how could anyone NOT like children!!!

After all they make you come home with bright smiles and can make any stress large or small seem like the lightest thing of all…

Lesson of the day:

When you have a great day, be in the moment. This may sound corny, but it’s true. We don’t always have good days and these great ones, make life seem absolutely fantastic.

Love the job you do, make it one that isn’t just to pay the bills – because you’ll just feel great about life no matter your earnings!

Kids aren’t intimating if you smile and get to know them – plus you’re the adult so they’re probably going to be more shy around you then you feel around them!

Signing off to finish my wind-down before I begin another day!

Happy smiling everyone. 🙂