Sunday, June 24, 2007


Ok so it's been a while since I blogged as one or two of you have pointed out, but there hasn't been anything springing to mind to share, a bit like trying to be creative to timetable in Art class at school I haven't found inspiration when I've been at the computer and by then I've usually forgotten anything that had come to mind when I was away from the keyboard... which probably means it wasn't really worth a post anyway.

The last week of term starts tomorrow then we've two weeks of holidays, it's been a long time since school holidays have had any impact on my daily life! It's going to feel quite odd not going to school each morning - not that I'll be stuck for things to do I'm sure. I seldom am anyway and there'll be extra folk around, the boys to play with and adventures no doubt to be had - it's Simon's turn to lead a Tailby Tour methinks =) Ah, and there's a small matter of the Kaitaia Dramatic Society play to be performed for a 5 night run... So if any of you happen to be passing through Kaitaia (as one does!) on the nights of the 5th-7th, 9th and 10th of July tickets are a meer $10 on the door!

My role in the play a I may have mentioned already is production assistant which in the main means being the prompt - so I've ended up knowing everyone's lines not just one part. It's uncanny just how often in a day someone will say something that reminds me of a line in the play. Liam and I were watching 'The Princess Bride' last night for the umpteenth (and probably heading for umptieth!) time in the last couple of months - between us, and the rest of the family, we could probably quote the entire script - and it doesn't take much to spark us off quoting it either. At least with that though there are a few more people in the world who know what we're talking about =)

So life continues to pootle along quite happily here, I just need to find a way to stay here still. I'm so far escaping the matchmaking antics of the teacher aides next door who are currently determind to find a woman for one of the teachers - any rugby and fishing enthusiasts out there prepared to chauffeur the team around, cook the fish he catches (which reminds me of a line in the play...) but not want children let Bev and Glenys know and they'll vet any applicants for suitability!!! They've decided he needs to stop living off cheese and ham toasties at school... fortunately they've also realised I fail on several accounts! I'd much rather they continued keeping an eye out for possible jobs for me than decide that 'marrying a kiwi' is the way to go... and anyway if I did find a man there would be one very disappointed 4 year old who seems to think he has first claim on my affections... I wouldn't want to let him down now would I?

Sunday, June 10, 2007


'Who's that?' asked Ryan pointing at a statue as he cycled along a path whilst his brother played soccer.

Who indeed! Well given we were in a Catholic school's grounds, and it was a long haired bearded chappie in flowing robes with a flaming heart leaping out of his chest and his hand up to stop the traffic in the neighbouring carpark I hazzarded a guess and said 'It's probably meant to be Jesus'.

'It can't be!' came the reply with a furrowed brow and that look that I know these days means more questions are coming... oh no, I panicked a bit, thinking I'm on dodgy ground here. He's an Anglican churchgoer and really ought to be far better aquainted with christian icons than I am - even if he is only four and a half. Please don't ask about the heart, please don't.... pretty much everything I know about Catholisism has been gained from Maeve Binchy books and those folk I know who've abandoned that faith with vengance, so somewhat patchy and decidedly biased to say the least.

'He's not got any shoes on, it can't be Jesus!' Huh? Now I know we called a certain style of untrendy footwear Jesus Sandals at school but c'mon, this is New Zealand - kids commonly go to school in bare feet or even if they do go to school in shoes they don't always come home with them on. Going bare foot here is normal.

'But you don't always wear shoes, you don't even like wearing shoes - why can't Jesus have bare feet?' was my puzzled reply - but phew looked like I was off the hook about that heart thing, Sacred Heart isn't it? There endeth my knowledge on that particular subject, well that and that it adorns the Baz Luhrman 'Romeo & Juliet' merchandise...

'Cos he can't, that's why. He's got to have shoes on' errr....
'Well maybe he's got sandals on and you just can't see them because of his robes - you can only see his toes really'
'But he's got to have shoes on....'
came the concerned reply. 'You come and play with me now?'

Which I duly did... and several hours later the penny dropped that the above mentioned shoes that he doesn't like wearing had to be worn for church on Sundays. See there was logic in there afterall- if Ryan had to wear shoes for church then Jesus bloomin' well had to wear his too. Fairs fair eh?

Sometimes being a Quaker sets you at a disadvantage in such situations, several of us in Wellington often turned up to Meeting in bare feet (including Ryan's uncle!), or kicked shoes off as soon as arriving which is probably why it took so long for the penny to drop. Dressing up for Meeting isn't really the 'done thing' - after all you are who you are and lets face it it's what you are inside as a person that matters far more than what you look like and then there're all those testimony issues about simplicity, equality, integrity...

I've a sneaking suspicion that Jesus, as depicted with his long hair and beard, flowing robes and bare feet (or maybe sandals you couldn't see...) would feel far more at home coming to join a bunch of Quakers for Meeting for Worship than in a church full of people all dressed up to the nines in their Sunday Best. But if he wants that Sacred Heart thing maybe he'd be better with a Romeo & Juliet t-shirt on, don't want to go frightening anyone now do we?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

story time

Alongside half a dozen kids I got a certificate in assembly today - a 'Principals Award' - mine for helping the children with their reading, theirs for effort and/or achievement in various aspects of their classroom activities. I'm not sure who was most suprised to hear my name being called out, me or the kids! Glenys reckons I should put it on my cv =)

The class the kids come to me from straight after morning tea is probably the largest in the school and getting them organised can be a bit chaotic so I've started popping my head around the door on my way to 'my' room to collect my first reader. Today the teacher wasn't there at the time and the Teachers Aide happily let one of the kids come with me who was jumping up and down with excitement to be able to come first... he had to be retrieved a few minutes later and replaced by the correct child who probably wished the other had been allowed to stay by the time we'd got to the end of her 15mins! She now knows more than she ever wanted to about earthworms... not the most exciting of books and not an easy read for her either.

It's fascinating seeing the differing levels of enthusiasm, learning mechanisms and achievement - especially over time. One wee boy manages to memorise books once they are read to him so when he goes through it he just has to work out the first letter of a word he isn't sure of and can usually then remember what it is - an amazing memory skill but completely hopeless for getting him to learn to work out words for himself. We're trying both covering up the pictures and finding stories he doesn't know - it took the whole 15mins to do 3 sentences today but practically every word had to be broken down and worked out. He was soooo pleased with himself when he'd done it though! It felt like a huge breakthrough.

I was an early and avid reader (still am!) so it still seems somewhat incomprehensible to have one girl come who sees the daily extra reading as something to be endured rather than enjoyed. To me the skill of reading and love of books is one of the greatest gifts you can give someone. Much of my weekend time is spent reading stories to children rather than listening to them - some stories I'm beginning to remember off by heart I've read them that many times lately! So some sneaky putting books from the basket back on the shelves and swapping them for new ones has had to be done for my sanity's sake, if Alfie lends a hand once more I think I'll cry never mind Min... but the Taniwha is safe in her river for a while longer, people say its a log - but we know it's a Taniwha.