Wednesday, 19 November 2008

The Truth Shall Make You Fere

Hi S,A and C. I am really looking forwards to visiting you in December! I have been saving up a number of stories to tell you and I need to be thrashed with Trivial Pursuit. However I have a confession to make. I’ll be taking a small detour before I drop by and say hi. A detour through Gelantipy, Merimbula, Parkes and Beechworth. If you want to catch up with me at any spot other than Canberra or Yarrawonga, give me a buzz and I’ll give you the contact details of where I will be staying. I hope you don’t mind... I’ve always wanted to see McKillops Bridge and The Dish. ... I can always change the itenery... ... um... er...

Monday, 17 November 2008

Writing Month

Not only is it National Story Writing Month, but it is also National Blog Writing Month. Or so I hear. Can you write a blog a day for all of November, I certainly can not. Plus I’ve missed 15 days.

I had fun in the first week of November. First there was the Spring Racing Carnival where horses run around in circles and people wear weird clothes and get drunk and throw-up all over other people’s shoes on the trains home.

My horse came last which is excelent! It is a long running tradition.

I just don’t understand why women wear high heel shoes when they can not either balance or walk in them. Do people practice walking in heels? Oh well, just another mystery of life.

Then there was a certain election somewhere. I spent the entire afternoon watching two news websites watching the states turn either blue or red, it was fun. Then I got to listen to the speeches of defeat and victory. I tell you what, they were both very very impressive. A lot better than the speeches our oz pollies do.

But what I thought was interesting was how after voting the Americans did not want to go to work. They wanted to party and watch the count. Which is what we do here.

I love our system where we vote on a Saturday (or is it a Sunday, I cant remember) there is always a BBQ whilst you are waiting. Or a craft stall, raising money for a local school or scouts group or something. And then people go home and catch up with friends and family. And at the closing of the poles you put the count up on the telly.

I also like how it is compulsory to turn up on voting day. To me I think it is a democratic duty. However it is your democratic right to vote for Donald Duck.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Its Bad Luck to be Superstitious

My friend Chantell taught me another superstition. Though this one I think I can use to my advantage. Lets see if this works:

We've got the Power to win
Power to rule
Come on, Port Adelaide aggression

We're the pride of South Australia
The mighty Adelaide Crows.
We're courageous, stronger, and faster
And respected by our foes

We are the Navy Blues
We are the old dark navy Blues
We’re the team that never lets you down
We’re the only team all Carlton knows.

See the Bombers fly up, up!
To win the premiership flag,
Our boys who play this grand old game,
Are always striving for glory and fame!

Cheer; cheer the red and the white,
Honor the name by day and by night,
Lift that noble banner high,
Shake down the thunder from the sky

Freo Way to Go
Hit Em Real Hard
Send Them Down Below
Freo Give em The Old Heave-Ho
We Are the Freo Dockers

We're a happy team at Hawthorn
We're the Mighty Fighting Hawks.
We love our Club, and we play to win,
Riding the bumps with a grin (at Hawthorn)

We're the Eagles, the West Coast Eagles
And we're here to show you why
We're the big birds, kings of the big game
We're the Eagles, we're flying high

So join in the chorus and sing it one and all,
Join in the chorus; North Melbourne's on the ball.

It’s a grand old flag
It’s a high flying flag
It’s the emblem for me and for you
It’s the emblem of the team we love
The team of the red and the blue

We are Geelong, the greatest team of all,
We are Geelong; we’re always on the ball,

Oh when the Saints, go marching in,
Oh when the Saints go marching in,
Oh how I want to be with St Kilda.
When the Saints go marching in!

We are the pride of Brisbane town,
We wear maroon, blue and gold.
We will always fight for victory,
Like Fitzroy, and Bears of old.

Sons of the West
Red,white and blue
We come out snarling
Bulldogs through and through

Good old Collingwood forever,
We know how to play the game.
Side by side we stick together,
To uphold The Magpies name.

Monday, 3 November 2008


Sometimes things just work perfectly. An art gallery used for music and theatre. A band fills up two corners and the middle of the floor. The audience is standing around. I am there, in a corner which is lit okay, near the bar, behind some people and one or two people behind me.

The band finishes, the crowd applauds, the band starts to pack up, and gently cutting through the noice like a hot knife through icecream

"I love Melbourne."

The audience turns. Their entire focus on me.

"...I love the buildings, the streets, the parks, the theatres, the people, the stadiums, the universities, the churches and the festivals. I love the glass windows of the skyscrapers reflecting the peaceful sky. Their shapes a mosaic against the never ending blue..."


It is raining, I am trying to compose a post about something that someone once said to me, but it is getting bigger than Ben-Hur. I almost have the cast and the fifty piece symphonic orchestra and the crew, just missing a few odds and ends. Hopefully it will get a smile or two.


Q: How do you get down from an elephant?
A: You don't. You get down from a duck.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Addicted to Discworld

Oh I am so addicted to Discworld, it is not funny (that is my addiction is not funny - the books are very funny). One of my coleagues who lectures English told me about an interview on Radio National's The Book Show with Terry Pratchett.

Reading the transcript, one sentence made me leap from my seat and start drooling with anticipation for his next book: Unseen Academicals. Which is about football in Discworld, and Terry is talking about the plot and subplots and says: "if I referred to two supports' clubs, alike in villainy."

Ah the prose, the tempo...

What a piece of work man is

Life can be odd. I hate getting places late, however sometimes it can not be avoided. Take today for example I had to take my car to the panel-beaters to get a quote and then drive to work, so I was about an hour late.

Usually I am one of the first in the building, however being an hour late meant that everyone else was already at their desks and I had a choice of two stair cases to use. One which would advoid everyone, and another one which would make me go past everyone. I decided to go past everyone one.

Which meant that I said hello to about nine different people and then chatted with them all for five mins or so, which meant that I didn’t get to my desk for another thirty minutes. It was a great thirty minutes, talking to Diana about cars, Anna about coffee, Chris about powerful words.

So I guess, sometimes it is okay to arrive late.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008


Acting is a funny business, especially when plays are so poetic. Every line is beautifully written and there is an extraordinary amount of real/imagined pressure to get every line word perfect. And because of this pressure I think a lot of people cracked. However we all covered for each other so the audience did not realise that we stuffed up. There was one piece where I had to do three characters lines, but it worked. Here is a snippet which we got correct, with me as the voice:

Child: Look

Voice: Says a child to her mother as they pass by the window of Schooner House

Child: Captain Cat is crying

Voice: Captain Cat is crying

Captain Cat: Come back, come back

Voice: Up the silences and echoes of the passages of the eternal night

Child: He’s crying all over his nose

Voice: Says the child. Mother and child walk on down the street

Child: He’s got a nose like a strawberry

Voice: The child says, and then she forgets him too. She sees in the still middle of the blue bagged bay No Good Boyo fishing from the Zanzibar.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Ranting and Raving

I need to rant and rave. My job at work has almost no job satisfaction and is one of the hardest at the university. I have to find Secondary Schools for these students to undertake their teaching rounds at.

Sounds easy, yes? Well it is not. First of all each student has two teaching methods which can be; English, Humanities, Media, IT, Maths, Science, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, PE, Health, HomeEconomics, ESL and LOTE and the school has to have both of the methods. Secondly the majority of the schools don’t want the students. Also in schools new teachers now are paired up with experienced teachers so they have some one to mentor them which has resulted in a lot of experienced teachers not taking student-teachers as they are already looking after beginning teachers. Thirdly the pay for the supervising teachers is crap and hasn’t changed since the 1970s.

Dispite this the majority of student-teachers get placed in schools quite quickly, however the final 10% takes a long time. You can be on the phone, email and fax machine all day everyday for months tring to find a suitable school for them. And when you are not phoning, emailing and faxing I have the poor worried students in my office calming them down, explaining that I am doing everything that I can and that I will call and email them as soon as I know.

I find schools for three programs of future secondary school teachers, the first two programs are run by the university faculty that I am located in, and I keep everyone abreast of my progress. The last group I find secondary schools for is run by a different university faculty which is located up the other end of the university.

The academic incharge of the program, I will call Crowley, (Named after a likeable devil in a book by Neil Gaimon and Terry Pratchett, and also an excellent teacher that taught me at highschool). When the students finished their teaching rounds I noted a problem and asked Crowley what was going on here. And I got a reply that said: “this was an outcome of my frustration with what I saw as a lack of movement in the placement of the last 7-8 of our students last semester”.

Now Crowley, I was on the phone every day calling up and begging new schools to get on board. I was emailing other schools with whom I have built up a great reputation and who I know to be prompt with emails. And when I wasn’t emailing and telephoning I was faxing further schools. Now schools cannot and do not get back to you within an hour. The coordinator at the school has to find suitable staff to take the student teachers, then the coordinator often has to cajole the staff into taking them, sometimes they have to check with the principal to make sure it is okay. This does not happen immediately. And I have a policy of leaving no more than one phone message on a coordinators phone per day. I can not afford to be seen as badgering or nagging the schools or they will not take any students.

You state that you gave me the names of two schools who will take two students each and that I did not contact them. I contacted them every two days for weeks without getting a response. Then when you make decisions you need to keep me in the loop.

I like you Crowley, you're a good man, and a excelent teacher. It is great to see your interaction with your students and the care and love you have for them. However we have a problem. We have to talk better, to communicate better. This includes answering emails and if a decision needs to be made, making it together. Prehaps dropping by my office more often.

There are days when I want to quit from this job - usually when I have been called incompetent. But in two years only four students have not been able to start their teaching rounds at the right time. Three of the students started one day late, and the fourth two days late. When other universities have scores of students not placed after three weeks from their supposed start date, there must be something that I am doing right.

My predecessor had a sign on her door saying that it was normal for students to start weeks late. I have never used that sign and never will. I want our students to become excelent teachers of my kids, and my friends' kids who will become the leaders of the land. I care for all of my students and want them all to suceed.

Yours sincerely,
Out of the Minds of Andrews

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

White Walls

Art Galleries look so sad when they are empty.

My friend E runs an art gallery and wants to have an exhibition of different modes of performance, and she asked me to perform a small piece or two. I said yes, and promptly went to the art gallery yesterday to have a look at the space.

The previous exhibition had just been removed and the entire walls were just covered in white paint. It was so sad. I wanted to get a bucket of paint and just through it all over the room. Then I started thinking, it is not sadness, more intrepidly waiting for something to happen.

Whilst my two monologues wont colour the walls physically, hopefully they will paint pictures in the minds of the audience. And the other artists/performers will throw light, colour, bednobs and broomsticks around the gallery.

Friday, 10 October 2008

There was a Redback on the Toilet Seat

There was a redback on the toilet seat,
When I was there last night.
I didn't see him in the dark,
But boy I felt his bite.
I jumped up high into the air,
And when I hit the ground.
That crafty redback spider,
Wasn't nowhere to be found.

I rushed into the mrs,
Told her just where I'd been bit.
And she grabbed my cutthroat razor,
And I nearly took a fit.
I said 'Forget what's on your mind,
And call a doctor please.
For I've got a feeling that your cure,
Is worse than the disease.'

There was a redback on the toilet seat,
When I was there last night.
I didn't see him in the dark,
But boy I felt his bite.
And now I'm here in hospital,
A sad and sorry plight.
And I curse the redback spider,
On the toilet seat last night.

I can't lie down, I cant' sit up I don't know what to do.
The nurses think it's funny but that's not my point of view.
I tell you it's embarrasing and that's to say the least,
For I'm too sick to eat a bite,
While the spider had a feast.

And when I get back home again, I'll tell you what I'll do.
I'll make that Redback suffer for the pain I'm going through.
I've had so many needles, I'm looking like a siv.
I promise you that redback hasn't very long to live.

There was a redback on the toilet seat,
When I was there last night.
I didn't see him in the dark,
But boy I felt his bite.
And now I'm here in hospital,
A sad and sorry plight.
And I curse the redback spider,
On the toilet seat last night.

Traditional Australian Song - Redback on the toilet seat - by Ralph Ernest 'Slim' Newton 1971

- Outofthemindsofandrews, educating others since 1981

Friday, 3 October 2008


Caught up with Henry and Huw today, the three musketeers - they never called us. Beautiful food at Greek Cafe. Dips and chips and chocolate. Corner of Lonsdale and Russel. The coffee fresh and fragent. The smell of eucalyptus sented rain gently wafting through the doors. Passers by skipping in puddles and passengers singing in trams. Who could ask for anything more than good friends, food and drink.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Warning Dr Smith... Warning...

We interupt your regular program to bring you the following ground breaking story:

Eoin Colfer (who wrote the Artemis Fowl books) is writing the sixth Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Book, which is the brainchild of Douglas Adams (a hoopy frood).

I learnt this reading a Jasper Fforde website...

Article in the Guardian (UK paper)

This was Kermit the Frog reporting

Tuesday, 23 September 2008


Happy Equinox to all.

Spring has sprung the grass is wiz
I wonder where the birdies is
People say the bird is on the wing
But thats absurd
The wing of cause is on the bird

Monday, 15 September 2008

Under Milk Wood

I have been busy rehearsing for "Under Milk Wood" or as I like to call it "Llareggub". Some of the words and sentences are terrific.

Willy Nilly the postman downs his last bucket of black brackish tea and rumbles out bandy to the clucking back where the hens twitch and grieve for their tea-soaked sops.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Last Weekend

I’ve had an awesome weekend.

Afternoon tea at work. Just sat and chatted for about an hour eating lamingtons and cake and drinking coffee. Talking about travelling to Kalgoorlie and exercising and other stuff.

Slept in. Turned 27 years young. Drove my little brother, David, to a 21st party and picked him up at midnight. Sang “Always look on the bright side of life” about twenty five times in the car as little brother is trying to learn the words.

Happy Birthday to David’s friend who kindly offered to send some birthday cake to me. David however said "No". Should have not picked him up.

I met up with Stace who shouted me Pancakes and bought me a great book. I had a great time catching up with Stace, wondering/walking around aimlessly (and aimfully) and talking about everything. The only thing that was missing was a game of Trivial Pursuit. I then shouted Stace to a hot chocolate at Koko Black which was fantastic (picture to follow).

Stace does not know what an affogato is! How could anyone be so poorly educated? Next time I will show her.

Then it was off to rehearsals for Dylan Thomas’s Llareggub. There are a bunch of excellent people/actors/characters in Llareggub. I sat down and chatted to everyone and Julian serenaded me with “Happy Birthday”.

Dinner at “Lentil as Anything” (the original one in St Kilda) which was amazing. The food was so beautiful. Lentil as Anything is a vegetarian restaurant where you pay only what you think the food deserves. If you love vegie food I strongly recommend it. However if you like silver tableware and tablecloths do not go. I’m told that the food is better at the St Kilda one than the other two in Melbourne.

Went to Akland Street, St Kilda, where we found a cake-shop and had cake and coffee – I have been extreamly spoilt.

Morning tea at Dad’s house with Dad and Step-mom - Fathers Day here in Australia. Dinner at Gran’s with Lynne and Caitlyn and Mum and Gran and George and David. Gran made a lovely soup and her chocolate cake was wonderful – heaps better than the one on Saturday.

Now I’m going to join a gym to burn off all of the cakes, lamingtons, slices, pancakes and coffee.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Last Post

(duplication of current issues blog which is about to be distroyed)

Hi All,

Sadly, I can no longer continue with "Current Issues in Education". It was a good five weeks, and I hope you have fun and enjoy the rest of the course. You all had excelent ideas, which I will sadly miss hearing about. Good Luck to everyone.


'Parting is such sweet-sorrow' - Will

An Explanation

The next two posts (or last two - depending on which direction in time you are heading) were posted on another blog, which I had to do for a uni assignment. However now that the deadline has passed I did not want to lose them (even though they may be rubbish) so they are happily replicated here.

Now we take you back to our regular scheduled program.


Hi All,
I am having one of those weeks when all forms of technology do not appear to work - even good-old-Blogger has been eating my comments and subtracting them from the blogosphere.
I have also been wondering what issue to focus on, and I think that I have finally decided on “engagement in the middle years of schooling”. In the future I would like to teach in the middle years and I believe that this topic will be beneficial for me.
Now to find some tools to analise it. Hmmm. Quick question - any preferences on UK vs US spellings?

Why Teach This Bloke?

After much agonising I have changed my topic. My topic will now be:

SFX: Drum roll

Why teach this bloke?

(William Shakespeare - circa 1564-1616)

Bernstein and his pedagogic discourses are a great tool to analyse this issue as they can be used to explore how the language of the classroom (and the language of Shakespeare) can affect learners’ acquisition of meaning.For example in coding a number of students need to decode the contextual language of the class room as well as decoding the language of Shakespeare. And in addition Bernstein’s pacing and sequencing rules bring up questions such as; is this the right time to teach this content; are the students ready for the content and if not how are they going to catch up;

Whilst the language of Shakespeare alone is a good issue, I think that Bernstein is very limited in terms of focusing on the communication used in teaching and the intended goals/products of the teaching.

Most of my reading has been on Bernstein and Activity Theory (which to me also has a focus on goal/product) – I agree with Ahmet that there are a number of similarities between the two, and that they can work together. What I need is another analytical theory which can either:
1. throw away assumptions such as ‘Shakespeare is a classic’
2. analyse how Shakespeare is actually taught.

To do “1” enter stage left: Postmodern Critical Theory – however first I need to do some more reading.

“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me”William Shakespeare “King Richard II”, Act V, scene 5, line 49

Monday, 18 August 2008

Two Blogs - How confusing

Over at I had to post about how to analyze an issue. My issue being; why teach this bloke?
The best thing about doing such a blog was looking for a snazzy quote to finish it off with.
The following were all in the mix:

“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me”

"Let us go in together,
And still your fingers on your lips I pray.
The time is out of joint, O cursed spite,
That ever I was born to set it right!
Nay come, let’s go together.”

"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything."

Some one once said that quoting people was the worst kind of showing-off (or something like that) I will have to find that quote...

Friday, 8 August 2008

Chocolate to Share - Part 1

Hi all, I wanted to tell you about a number of great trips that I have made recently, (Canberra, Fyshwick, Yarrawonga, Shepparton) however I can not find the photos to share with you. So instead I will go on a tangent.

In Mooroopna, a country town in Victoria about one minute's drive from Shepparton, there is a 'SPC Ardmona' factory where you can get bulk canned fruit for cheap prices, usually the packaging might be dammaged or have no labels (or similar). However they often have other bits and pieces too, such as wine, chocolates, fresh produce, toothpaste. The trick is to remember how much everything costs normally and work out if you are really saving money or not.
I was looking around the factory when I spied a box of Crunchies, a beautiful bar of honeycomb covered in milk-chocolate. The box cost eight dollars.

I looked at the box.
It was still a while to the use-by-date. It did not look damaged in any way.
It should contain at least eight, I'll get it.
I took it to work on Monday and left it in the car. By the time lunch arrived I was feeling like some chocolate so I walked to the car, got the box out of the boot, opened the box and realised that there was


And they tasted beautiful.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

University and Blogging

Hi people,

It is funny what people become scared of. For the program I'm doing at uni, we have to blog on a group blog out there in the big wild blogosphere. I find that more scary than a lot of things, spiders for example. To make things worse it will also automatically link to this blog and everyone will see that I have been rather pathetic at posting here. I think I need a new reservation....

SFX: Drumroll

I will post something every Friday(ish) and will get my nerves out of my silly system.


Monday, 25 February 2008

Work, Work and a bit of Nonsense

Work can be a funny thing. Especially with funny people around.

Today I was told off by Patricia, which did not make me feel good.

At work I have two jobs, I’m supposed to do one on Mon-Thurs and the other job on Friday. However with training a new boss, having one member of the team badly injured and all the deadlines in this month and the next coming quickly I find that I am doing bits of the Friday job on Mon-Thurs.

Anyway on Friday I had to finish something for the Thurs job so I did. Then on Monday I was told off for not concentrating on the Friday job on Friday. Grrrr.

Anyway must look on the bright side.

Nothing is better than a Rolls Royce
My bicycle is better than nothing.
Therefore my bicycle is better than a Rolls Royce

A syllogism is a kind of logical argument in which one conclusion is inferred from two premises.
Major premise: All humans are mortal.
Minor premise: Socrates is human.
Conclusion: Socrates is mortal.

I like my bike syllogism as it assumes that nothing has only one meaning when in fact it has many.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Hears to you and hears to me...

Love is a funny word.

And it is funny who we love. Our partners, our families, our coleagues, our pets and our friends.

And when your friends are sad it makes you sad and tears are welling up. You want to make things happy again but you know that sometimes whistling "Always look on the Bright side of Life" doesn't work. All you can say is I'm here for you and then be there if your needed.

I know that all my friends dont read this but I am here. I have a car and/or money for a taxi, train, plane and all I need is a whistle (please not too subtle - I am male). Quote Asterix if you like "wgsftl" or King Arthur "I'm all alone" and I'll be there beside you.

To Sorento, StAlbans, Canberra, Shepparton, Rosanna, Greensborough, Brunswick, GlenWaverly, Sydney, Cheltenham, Melbourne, Oakleigh, Clayton, Healesville, to the back of Bourke and beyond.

I dont think we say it often enough and sometimes it gets diluted.

I love you all,


TO: A, A, B, C, D, D, E, E, E, F, G, H, H, H, I, J, K, L, L, L, M, M, M, M, N, O, P, R, S, S, T, T, U, V, W, W, X and Y

Title from Les Miserables