no longer an exclusively vicarious one.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

sink holes and flotillas.

(sung to the tune of starlight by muse).

there is so much calamity in this, our world. the seas are churning, animals are choking, the trees are burning and very ground is falling in on itself. i've taken up reading the new internationalist magazine, and aside from their focus on human equity and justice, there is an underlying worry about the environment as the root of all the problems we are facing.

we had a talk by ross gittins at uni, which was very enlightening (even the slightly boring bits) and he pointed out that the current economic model was designed 150 years ago and has never been able to integrate the concept of the environment being anything other than a free good. there was a report i remember reading that said americans thought access to affordable petrol (gas!) was a human right. people really do think this way, and i think there is truth in those doomsayers that claim the world will end in fire and brimstone much sooner than we think because somehow, somewhere (new internationalist blames capitalism) we all lost our respect for the planet we live on. look at japan: they are planning giant power factories on the moon. that wonderful documentary on the abc about space mentioned that our next big space goal is to get to the gassy moons of saturn and use up those resources. but all of it has the same fatal flaw - we, all of us, think of the planet as something that is there to provide us with everything that we need. we see it as a one-way relationship. remember those food chains that we learnt in school? the shark and the human were always at the top, so it looked like everything only existed for our use (dare i say 'consumption').

now, i don't know what to do to fix it, which i know makes me part of the problem. but i do think that all this starting small stuff is not yet working. maybe, if the major parties manage to continue on their merry way to political harakiri, the greens will chuck a bradbury and skate on by into a meaningful position of power. one day, and i can only hope it is sooner rather than later, people will not be able to ignore the cries of the planet and its creatures and other organisms. one day, people will realise they 'can't eat money' (n.i.) and then maybe we will have to countenance changing our society in a serious way.

until then, we need to keep this on the agenda. not just on the backburner. everything we say should take our impact on the planet into account. whenever you choose what to wear, what to eat, what lights to turn on, think. if we can just manage that, we should be able to slowly slowly swing opinion back the way it will soon become all-too-obvious it needs to swing.

happy start of gulf hurricane season day.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

sometimes the clothes do not make the man.

i've discovered the main reason i hate 'reflection tasks' is because of a disjunction between what i think of as 'reflection' and what teachers think. the reason i disappeared from blogger is because halfway through this sem, we were given (in one of my curriculum areas) a task to keep a weekly reflection journal, detailing our thoughts on readings, classes and generally our transition to becoming a teacher. as much as i bitched and moaned, i actually managed to keep up with this - a couple of entries every week, pretty truthfully reflecting my mental states at the times of writing.
the due date is imminent, and we've just found out that apparently, we have all done the task completely wrong. they don't want us to write what we think - they want to know that we now think what they think. i'm re-writing all of my spontaneous reflections and replacing them with well-referenced, APA-compliant, politically correct 12-pt-typed A4 pages. they will get what they want if i have to do 3 all-nighters to get it done.
i was always confused about why ellison would suggest we "agree them all to death" - it seemed like a pointless, silent protest than no one would even notice. but when it is the only option available to you, there is some passive-aggressive powerf in choosing to blend in. my choice. people never know my name, know my face, because i will be the perfect mirror for their own prejudices.

its odd, for a teaching course, and i don't know whether it is because we are in uni and they expect different things from us, but i seem to have picked up on a lot of worst practice:
- don't let your students explore their own thoughts. shut them down the second they start to disagree with you. talk over them to give them the hint.
- have pet students. that kid in all your classes who always answers questions but you (apparently) don't like the look of? forget their name constantly.
- make assessments as vague as possible. when ALL of the students start to ask for details, shut them down and accuse them of being purposefully disruptive.
- continually amend your ill-defined tasks and add new and arbitrary marking criteria a week from the due date.
- don't keep track of cumulative tasks. let your students flounder and suffer a nervous breakdown right at the end (although you tell them that you know its what will happen, don't provide any explicit support at all).
- create tasks that are explicitly superfluous. ignore all that stuff on meaningful motivation. when they start to get into it, tell them you're not going to address the task again until next semester, when they may all be in different classes.
- don't talk to the guest teachers in your unit of study. when the students get confused about assessment only tell them it has been cancelled 2 days before it is due.
- set due dates on days when there are no classes. inconvenience students by making them come in on their day off and personally hand over their assessments at a set time when they normally would be doing something else (work, sport, sleep, other homework), further antagonising them.

is the purpose of reflection to complain? to document and categorise experience? to draw in parallels and other sources? to develop my own teaching practice?

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Saturday, May 01, 2010

does exactly as she's told.

tripod lyric and rough chords (this was done for ukulele)

tripod and elana stone - ivory tower (from tripod v the dragon)

(C chord in the chorus is one octave up)
verse:
Em Bm C C
Em Bm Em
Em Bm C C
Em Bm Em

bridge:
C C Em Em
C C B B

chorus:
C C G G
C C G G
C B Em

I was made in darkest night
Of chalky ash and children's flight
I do not think you know what you behold
I was made of aching hurt
Of fairytales and bloody dirt
I hope you do exactly as youre told.

Siegfried and St George
Potter, Baggins, Beowulf
Were tempered in my forge
So I say to you and yours

All caught fire in the ivory tower
in the marble arches
and the dust and darkness
and i have you on my mind

Once a mighty tree was grown
For you to know all that is known
I hope you hear exactly what i say
And by your sword a branch came down
And where the blood fell to the ground
It is my cradle and there i must stay

And should ever you return
Well i must confess my story to be true
You will be burned
So I hope that you have learnt

All caught fire in the ivory tower
in the marble arches
in the dust and darkness
and all caught fire in the ivory tower
and i have you on my mind
youre on my mind
you're on my mind.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

but they haven't been discovered.

so it looks like i've already got slack, and i won't blame the one-week break for it. it doesn't seem to matter how early i begin essays, i always end up sleeping at 2 or 3am on the day they are due, typing away in the dark.
receiving our first assessments back was good - at least now i have a rough feel of the kind of thing they are expecting. it is odd not to get a mark. while i feel 'competent', it really doesn't indicate how i stand compared to the rest of the class, nor how much work i need to put it to pull me up to achieving their highest expectations. i suppose its something to get used to. finally, it feels like leaving school - but thats what i get for never having held a standards-based competitive sort of job.

curriculum for secondary starts next week which will be interesting. ive begun reading (kudos to me) and its made me a little apprehensive because even these textbooks are pretty vague about specifics. understanding a little more of what goes on behind construction of curriculum has been edifying - i remember working to dotpoints in high school and we always had the feeling that it didn't matter how well-intentioned our teachers were (and we were pretty lucky to have a lot of good ones), there was barely ever enough time to cover assessable material without having to worry about interesting us or developing us personally. there is so bloody much to get through!

reading the society and environment textbooks has been interesting. it seems from their writings and the debates in the field, that this subject was always meant to promote civics and understanding of peoples' place in the world. it is in contrast to the experiences of my cohort going through high school geography. my sister barely understands the governmental set-up in australia and she is nearly a uni graduate. trying to explain question time to her was amusing. knowing that she is voting with absolutely no idea of how the whole things works is quite disturbing.

doctor who tomorrow, woo!

Monday, March 22, 2010

... must roll.

interesting idea from the nytimes (from edna feed). im not sure if i would not be slightly creeped out at the idea of a silent school bus, but maybe thats just me being old-fashioned. i mean, no one talks on trains anymore anyways. arguably, the kids are missing out on socialising time on a regular bus run, but again, this doesn't really take into account how long these bus rides are, how disruptive the kids can get, or if that kind of socialising is even valuable in the first place. i guess its the same point again - evidence that this is Good (and not just an assumption that silent computer time is always a good thing).

had another school visit today, out southwest. very, very different experience from our inner-city school last week. will report when my head doesn't feel so cotton-woolly.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

on a scandal.

hello again. ive been doing some research (finally!) into the first real assessment that we have been set (more on why i call it 'real' later). it is an evaluation of pedagogical challenges to the digital education revolution in case study format. i have realised i really hate the word 'revolution' - you just know that the government spent money on consulting agencies just to come up with the term. but thats a side issue.

on my adventures through online journal-land i was confused by the polarity of the debate around digital technologies. now - i'm not saying that i have read everything on the subject, or am otherwise qualified to make a meta-study judgement, but this is just my first impression after a couple of days looking up sources and backtracing other references. there are folks like warschauer who seem to be putting out heaps of info, and quite good studies, on the benefits of everything clicky-clicky. even his article on equity (review of res. in edu., 2010 34(1)) ends on a high point for digital technologies. the general impression is that while there are massive differences in access to computers (he calls these 'gaps') it is imperative that We look at equalising the field by looking closely at how to get Good machines out to Everyone.

but then i found this guy (through one of his books 'oversold and underused'). http://larrycuban.wordpress.com/. he has one post in particular i found interesting - about the often unrecognised continuum of classroom tech 'skeptics' to 'utopians'. it occurs to me that the discussion back on That Post of mine did divide people into these categories. cuban mentions that someone who criticised the holy IWB's received hate mail and was strongly encouraged to apologise. this is insanity - the thing is a machine, and a very expensive machine at that. why is it that i now feel wary of even anonymously blogging my doubts about all this new tech? cuban and co are permitted to get away with it because they are so very eloquent, but it amazes me how much of the time on that blog is spent in justifying themselves, repeating that they like tech, are computer-proficient, don't dream of outlawing technology altogether.

now i'm not saying that i agree with what he's saying. for starters i haven't even finished reading one of his books. i'm just saying that it is nice to be aware that someone is vociferously taking a line that challenges a lot of the other things i have been reading, without a general assumption that he has no idea what he is talking about (which is how a lot of the anti-computer folks in the editorial section of the paper sound).

press gang is back on 7two. last week i caught the episode 'deadline' - the one where the newsroom receives a computer connected to the internet. it was cutting edge at the time and watching now, you can still sense the excitement. but even moffat, even back in the 80's, knew that that was not a story. the focus of the episode was in how the computer enabled a tetraplegic to send his stories in from home. its interesting that lynda refused to print his articles if he did not rock up at the newsroom in person for the meetings. cuban says that it is the physical communication of a classroom that is most important - it is what the students do not get outside of school. a place where they can discuss things in an academic way in person. there's that scene in serenity, where river is at a school where the tables are digitally enabled. the classroom still looked the same as they do now. they still talked to each other. i hope we don't lose that idea in amongst all this clicking.

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

...taking no passengers.

had our first observation day yesterday. i was sent to a primary public school, and it was a pretty good way to get into the flow of things. we helped with class activities and generally felt more comfortable with the whole environment. the kids were very curious and accepting - i forget that kids have less inhibitions than grownups. its very refreshing. finally saw one of the fabled IWBs, and hilariously it was on the fritz. the kids thought it was very funny - the class had a nice open vibe, so there was plenty of laughing and chattering during the lulls in activities. the pen-thing on the IWB wasn't working, which was pretty annoying for the language teacher actually. the principal mentioned that she had spent so much time trying to get away from the blackboard that now she was re-afraid of IWB's making teaching just passive looking-at-a-screen again. i think that was part of my original worry - interaction on a discussion board has never seemed the same to me as actually disagreeing with people and managing a group dynamic. i hope that more of the one does not mean less experience with the other.

i found myself paying more attention to the teaching methods and styles, trying to tease out what the teachers were trying to achieve, and comparing it to what i know the kids were getting out of the experience. primary school is very different to highschool, or even to the tutoring centre where i work. i don't think (and this is not necessarily a bad thing, just a syptom of their age and development) that the kids really comprehend such a thing as a syllabus, and while they obviously want to learn, they might not have that facility for long-term ideas of curricula. while the teachers made reference to Why activities were being done (especially the 'fun' ones) the students were so easily distracted it was easy to windup off topic.

a paper we were set this week by Knobel and Lankshear bothered me because of its assertions that kids were completely able to blog and participate in several online activities while paying attention in class. they say that mulititasking is now an important tool in professional life, and critique those teachers who ban being on the computer during focussed classes, but i every instinct i have says this can't be right. i remember reading all through high school english during class - but this was because the teacher was dead boring and i had already finished the work. i can see why laptop activities might be good as an extra task after classwork has been completed, but being on facebook and reading gossip while people are reading and discussing must surely be taxing to cognitive load. yes, multitasking is a skill, but you have to be proficient in every single thing before attempting to do them all at once. why do young people need to constantly be bombarded by external stimuli? and why do the authors of this paper think this is unquestionably a Good Thing? why do they think that web 2.0 has created a new kind of Person, one that is unable to sit and entertain themselves in their own mind, unaided, for more than 2 minutes?

compulsory education has made everyone believe that a standard education is a god-given right. and sure, in a society like ours it has basically become this. but i think a lot of people have forgotten it is also a privilege and a responsibility. some of my older relatives could not finish school because they had to support their families - i think a lot of migrants understand that this thing, this opportunity, is precious. but how do we tell this to young people, who think that IWBs and new laptops are now their entitled Right?

to the other end of the spectrum, in the mteach program, our syllabus documents are scattered over several sites: a moodle, webCT and the faculty SUMO. i'll agree its annoying, but i can see that our teachers are trying to expose us to the different platforms for experience. but its week 3 now and someone in class still mentioned that they didn't know what a sumo was or where/how to find it. i looked around and everyone looked awkward and/or worried. also - why is the How now more important that the What in learning? just cos wikipedia knows everything does not mean that you don't have to know something.

i wanted to say some nice things about alice in wonderland - it is one of my favourite books of alltime, and i am partial to a tim burton movie. i even have a soft spot for his mars!attacks, and while i did like the film (i have yet to see a single film in 3D - mostly cos i'm a tightarse), i think the critics were right about it not quite living up to the hype. at least johnny depp looked awake (which is more than he did in public enemies). and it was pretty. the only part i really hated was the dancing. other than that, it was probably just too long and long-winded. perhaps burton fell in love with too many of his scenes and couldn't get rid of them. the cat! the mouse! bonham-carter! the bandersnatch! (very frumious indeed)

being on the computer a lot more for uni has coincided with me getting some quite severe headaches. i think i need to start doing that 30minute-5 minute break thing more religiously. either that or get my eyes checked again, which i've been avoiding cos my lenses cost so much it hurts.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

now for something...

i also wanted to shout out to the education n social work revue society http://www.edswrevue.com/. went to the agm today was really gee-d up about getting involved. i had to cut back on some volunteering stuff for uni (compulsory lectures, what?) but now i feel like since its related to the course... if youre from the soc and reading this please don't get scared. im not anywhere near as brash in real life. actually im quite the opposite =).

also, about grammar and irony. yes, i know its a blog, ha ha. i apologise wholeheartedly for the typing but unfortunately i don't see it changing in the near future - bad habits and an indoctrination in po-mo. i started off free-associating and i still think a little faster than i properly type. my creative stuff, including essay plans, start out on paper for that reason. i hate my blog writing style but i find it fascinating to follow my own thought processes a year after i write. i have a bunch of unformed thoughts about netiquette and the 'rules' of communication but ive realised i need to think a whole lot more before just blabbing on about things now.

to ben jones: sorry about the post. things are always a little different when you think you have no audience. and thanks for the responses. yes, i spent a good half hour wishing i had never started writing about the mteach on the web, and wishing that i hadn't been the one to have a blog and spout rubbish first. i know i'll never be that unthinkingly horrible again. you will allow me to have my doubts about the laptops, but all of your suggestions have been taken under advisement =).

thanks for the encouragement, and the disparaging remarks. i want to say it was all entertaining but some of it was like hot pokers in my eye. however, it was all very enlightening. what i picked up on most was the disappointment. there was a sentiment of 'not again' and i hate that the education system has gotten to that place. come back every little while over the next few years and with any luck you'll see the changes. we start from a dark place but through guidance and experience... you know the rest.

now ill probably end up reading on the train again, sigh..

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woah.

my hearts going at a hundred beats a minute. i think my hands are shaking. after 5-odd years of occasionally typing along on this thing with nary a comment or any other sign that the anyone at all was out there, imagine my horror when i opened up blogger a few minutes ago and saw 18 extremely detailed responses to my rambling. i can only suppose that it was tagging the damn thing with 'mteach' and 'der' that changed anything, cos the content is pretty much the same as ever - me rambling along when i felt i needed to get something off my chest. although now, it seems i'm rambling about something that Matters.

to begin, i think i should apologise for the way that i must have come off in the previous post. as i said, im still thinking this all through and the idea of myself as an actual teacher i don't think has quite registered with me. this blog is not a place of particularly evaluated opinion - it has always been my reasonably immediate response to the things that i see and hear. i really don't want anyone who comes across this blog (thats the first time i've ever seriously contemplated such a phenomenon) to think that ive closed my mind off to completely recanting from any of the opinions that i spout in all sincerity and in the heat of the moment. i've always looked at this blog as a sort of diary, and not really as a communicative tool - i have had other blogs for that, and i think much more about the things i put up on facebook (to be seen by everyone i know) than things i blabber on anonymously about here. it stuns me that i did seem to 'touch a nerve' and got so many interesting responses to what ive written, with no thought that anyone might read it. what i possibly should have said from the beginning was what i wanted out of this blog. i want it to be a record of the changes in me and my ideas, and for that to work i need to be completely honest with myself. possibly, the proper place for this kind of reflection was some kind of personal diary. on very secure and very private paper. with invisible ink, lol. but yes, i have this resource and even if i still don't really understand it, everyone's responses are shaping my ideas probably a whole lot more than sitting in a lecture, doodling in my notebook.

what didn't come across in the now-infamous last post is that i do Want to change. i Want to get my hands on an IWB and muck around on it. watching youtube clips of them is not the same thing at all. i don't think you really understand how disturbed i am that i have never ever seen one of these 'integral tools of the future' before. i Want to make a website that can help kids learn Shakespeare. while i was typing my 'dullard' and definitely 'wingish' entry yesterday there was a couple of bits of paper beside me with the flow diagram for exactly that hypothetical resource. i spent two hours last night checking out those wraps (thanks mr jones) and realising that i don't know how to use the apostrophe properly. i know there is Stuff out there and that it is Good. ive written past entries espousing web 2.0 and meta-meanings and the use of hypertext. but at the same time i feel so woefully behind that it is scaring the pants off me. wingish, stupid opiniated shock jocks (i should know cos i hate them too) are usually the way they are because they are insecure and terribly frightened of change. i'll be as honest as i was yesterday with all my negativity. im terrified of the idea of me leading a class on IT. how do i show impressionable minds things on their netbooks when ive only had a laptop for 3 years and the most ive ever needed to do is use word and play minesweeper? when i was last in school (5 years ago now), we all dreaded going to the computer labs because it meant sitting 5-to-a-computer (often kneeling on the floor) and wasting time. i remember doing a history assignment in 2003 with a textbook that still said there were 2 germanys - and this was a pretty well-off public school. of course its better now - we make tools to make things easier for ourselves, but right know i am still personally more comfortable in fisher library than i am on jstor. they say we have to draw on our experiences to teach. i hyperventilate because i don't have the right experiences. i am so scared that all this focus on learning how to use apps for shiny presentation is going to erode substance and the idea of just sitting and thinking. i've experienced this in high school and i am hoping that i won't have to mark people down when their ppt is less awesome than someone else because that someone else has used some schwanky expensive video software half their life. i know some kids in school with laptops now, and what they are doing right now isn't really filling me with glee.

now i'm finding myself all self-conscious about what i type, and i really don't want to be. all the talk that we've received from various lecturers about reflection and process and the 'becoming' a teacher has led me to hypothesise that this kind of journal - with all my horrible and horribly wrong thoughts - might be of some interest if not value to me much later on. just writing this entry has made me come to terms with my specific fears for the future. i know they are not going to just throw us out there, but thats how it feels from this side of the course (a perspective thing im sure).

now - the thing i wanted to say when i powered up the laptop tonight was this. at the moment it seems to me that delaying secondary curriculum lessons in the program is not the best way to do things - or at least i don't understand why, and no-one has explained it to me. i am really antsy to learn What i am going to be teaching and not just How. yes, i've looked at the curricula (now after 2 posts i have a reputation to unbuild), but its not the same. the primary people i've talked to seem to have their heads around things a little better than i (obviously... ha). maybe its just me, but how am i sposed to create an ICT resource relating specifically to a curricular lesson plan when we haven't really addressed the nitty-gritty of what is in my curriculum? and i wait, fearfully anticipating getting shot down again.
also, just watched v. i had some things to say about it but now everything else just seems so trivial. i remember when i used this blog for transcribing tripod lyrics. does this mean im growing up?

o - and thankyou everyone for responding. after getting over the emotional catharsis it seems i was due to have, im actually really excited that ive got people interested. as i said a couple of posts ago - these are exciting times in the industry and its exhilarating to think im already getting in amongst it.
to the parents reading this and being frightened (completely understandable). i decided to become a teacher a few months ago. i am sure its what i want to do. the aim is to go rural and really help somewhere. no student is a tabula rasa. i realise i have unlearning to do before i can be of any help to anybody. i tutor and i volunteer at a museum with the kids program and have had a fairly good response. i guess we're addressing some of the hazards of web2.0 right here kids - the safety of avatars. more on that later i guess. got readings to do.

phew.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

i stood at the crumbling edge

funny lecture today. some government-type propaganda people came in to tell us about the digital education revolution - the only notes i took down where a bunch of acronyms that no longer make sense to me. and of course, while they were telling us all about how "Technology" was the way of the future and nothing would ever be done without it, the dvd player refused to work properly. this kind of technical difficulty, combined with the cynicism of the experienced teachers who are instructing us can only lead to a particularly jaded outlook for the whole cohort. the way the DET folks are talking sounds like no one will ever use a pen and paper again. ever. while it is blatantly obvious that heaps of schools are still labouring under ancient tech systems. the reason that none of us trust "Technology" is because it stuffs up and often seems superfluous. on the DET site, there are a bunch of laptop 'wraps' - programs (i mean 'tools') specifically designed for the netbooks that are allegedly being rolled out as we speak. i found one a few hours ago, claiming to be an interactive short story. it was just a glorified picture book on the net rather than on paper.

im still thinking this through, but so far i haven't seen anything done on the laptop that could not have been figured out without the silly 'glorified typewriters'. now, i agree that this particular epithet completely ignores the heaps of software that come installed on the netbook - onenote and the adobe suite stand out particularly - but the fact that no one is willing to spend any money on getting teachers acclimatised to the new changes makes them practically redundant. yes, kids can now talk to people on the great barrier reef, but they could have done that with a single IWB.

and then theres the troubleshooting. we are expected to use all this tech for Good, and they are attempting to teach us how to use the myriad 'tools' - but the fact is we haven't grown up mucking around on them. i have never seen, let alone used onenote, i don't know much about photoshop, audacity, IWBs, freemind, or creative commons. sure, they might be able to teach me, in one and a half years, the basics of all this software, but besides the fact that most of it will be obsolete by then, what about fixing problems? what happens when someone's system crashes, the IWB freezes, somebody BOD's? why do you think noone ever thought it a good idea to give all school-age kids a mobile phone?

final gripe for today (i promise). "Technology". i had a huge problem with the propaganda lady today and how she kept saying it like it was some glorious path to light. i have never seen an IWB in sydney uni at all. honestly, i have no real idea of what it is. one of my tutoring kids - a 6-yr old - would not believe me when i told him that a zebra was a real animal the other day. i kind-of don't believe in the reality of the IWB. i could point one out in a picture and tell you it's magical properties, but the same thing holds for me and dragons. actually, i probably know more about dragons. "Technology" is not a place we are going. it is not something that is invading our lives. it is not even a single entity that can do anything on its own. it is a bunch of tools that we have created. we can use them - or we can not. i realise that it is now mandated in the curriculum, and yes, if necessary i am sure i will be able to teach some kids how to use academically-related tools. they can talk to people on the other side of the globe - but they could do that with pen-pals. they can look at the NSW house of reps on a laptop wrap - or they could go there, sit in the chairs and smell the upholstery. 'technology' is a way of organising things, or a material product (wiki). it is nothing without someone steering it and feeding something into it. that is where all this money should have gone. when the netbooks are obsolete (read: in 2 years) someone, somewhere is going to realise that instead of flushing our taxes down the proverbial, we could have begun a process of teaching critical thinking around communication systems (technologies). that requires regular exposure to one computer and more focus on thinking, instead of continually producing gigabytes of stuff that simply shows which kids know how to use photoshop the best, and that will hang around on school servers until it looks silly.

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

... but it's not because of the sandstone.

watched a great little doco last night. i say little, because although it went for about 45 minutes without ads on the abc, it actually documented 2 and a bit years of someone's life. it was called 'take a seat' and its a pretty epic tale of a dude cycling from the top of the americas to the bottom on a tandem bike, with the aim of doing the damn thing for the first time ever, and also of meeting assorted strangers and convincing them to help him cycle along. it was amazing to watch 2 years progression of this guy who starts off 25 years old. by the end of it his hair went down past his shoulders and he was as skinny as a marathon cyclist, but you could just tell that he had changed on the inside too. he seemed calmer and less edgy about being alone for long stretches. i wish that he had cut the film longer (there was no one there recording with him - it was all handheld or prepared by him and his new mates with the camera on the ground and stuff) there is so much more that i would have been willing to sit there and watch.

first tutorials in mteach today. or maybe theyre called 'seminars', i dont know. jargon and stuff is half the battle in tertiary education i think. i remember sitting with wikipedia and my intro statistics book open in 1st year psych while reading research papers and trying to get my head around them. sperring mentioned that there is an argument at the moment for developmental psych to be taught to all education students instead of the current case-study program that sydney uses. this interests me, what with my psych background. i remember hating hating hating developmental lectures, but the content in tutes was always pretty fascinating (i mean, aside from the endless gratuitous baby videos). everyone was a child at some point, so its relevant, and the strategies for teaching are always caught up by your theoretical frameworks - how you personally believe the mind works. the reading for ICT funnily enough addresses these theoretical issues and analysis of the justification and explanatory models for ICT design feeds straight into the heart of the matter. with all this emphasis on evidence-based learning, i can't help but think that it is necessary to at least include a basic dev. psych overview to the course.

i got home to the heart-warming but slightly distressing-in-its-potentialities sight of 89 unread items in my rss box. im glad i added some picture-y things. after all that stuff on learning through different modalities, it was the pics of the 'blue marble' and the glassesless 3DTV that made me realise that stories in pictures should never be mocked or underestimated. apparently, i need to think of ways to bring ICT into my teaching areas and i think pictures and internet access are a big part of it.

overhead biosoc discussing club activities outside holme today in the quiet. that gave a warm fuzzy feeling. also, scones.

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

i too, shall pass.

apparently, the mteach at usyd is ungraded. that is to say, you never get a mark out of 100 - you just get a pass/fail. not, of course, that a 'pass' is like an arts 'pass'. its not 51% = too much effort. the workload hasnt quite begun yet but they are already making nervous with the threat of multiple reflection statements and the dreaded self-directed learning. oh my.

so i thought, why not re-start the blog to document me going through this whole process of 2 years of becoming something completely other to what i was before. i mean, i'm sposed to continue writing everyday, and although i find it easier to write creatively with pencil and paper, i am also sposed to work on my "ICT" skills. that is information and communication technologies, newbs. so yes, i boldly make a vow to the silent emptiness of the electronic superhighway to write on this thing at least once a week - to blab on about whatever meta-entertainment news i stumble upon in life (also newly known as google reader), and to reflect (ohgoditsstarted) on this process.

its got me thinking, i dont know why i feel uncomfortable being creative while typing. you see, when i type in this tiny little window they provide you on blogger, i never stop. i mean, i go backwards, but i try not to overly edit. i find that it is better for me, on looking back, to see the unadulterated expulsions of my brain as it tried to sift through the various things that happened to me. my mind works a lot faster than my articulatory brain does, let alone my non-secretarial-standard fingers on this keyboard. i've heard it said that some people find writing cathartic. occasionally that happens to me. eg, after ive watched a particularly moving piece on the telly. but most of the time, it doesn't leave me. thoughts linger. concepts fade only to re-materialise again. connections between modularities in my life begin to make themselves. i don't really have to put a lot of effort into this kind of free-association kind of thought. once or twice ive come up with a gem that i deign to put on a piece of post-it, there for anyone traipsing through my room to find. more often i find it impossible to sleep at night for the cacophony of crap circling around in my headspace.

our lecturers told us to collect news items about the education revolution that is apparently taking place in the country. i can feel the excitement. you just have to open the paper, or listen to mothers in suits on the train. something is coming. its a bit trippy, that the entire system that i took so for granted while coming through myself as a high-schooler is being switched around. kids learn about the asia-pacific region before year 7. they learn the articles and functions of grammar (which amuses me because the only time i learnt more than that a verb was a doing-word was during latin classes). the things that i think i fear most about being a teacher are probably ICT and the cult of personality. i hate the idea of telling every kid that theyre great, but that was how my generation was raised in class. i hope i can unlearn what i have absorbed.

i finally decided to take the plunge and let rss into my life. ive signed up to about 7 feeds. some are just fun things that ive been reading once a week for the last 2 years or so, you know, mostly comics. but ive decided to try this thing called 'growing up' and patch myself into government media releases, reuters and arts sites. its scary, knowing that if i don't check my mail for a day things will begin to clog up. i need to increase my efficiency, just like the robot that the usyd site told me i was when i tried to sign up.

ive had to beg off some of my volunteering commitments (i told myself this was to give me more time to focus on learning), but then i turned right around and signed up for some other stuff. i had a lot of fun last year, when i experimented with 'just say yes', and so i want to keep it (not completely indiscriminately). seeing the world shake and the days get shorter, people dying All The Time, and reruns of the day after tomorrow, makes me realise how terrifyingly fragile everything is. not to take things for granted. fills me with a moderate urge to make something with my life that is not playing with fake money on the sharemarket (or as i call it, 'imaginary land'), or pushing papers around while sitting on ergonomic chairs. i want to celebrate rube goldberg toys while realising that it is going to mars and teaching manners that will change the world - not finding out if reese and ryan are back together. we need to celebrate what makes us human without indulging in self-glorification. it doesnt yet make sense. but one day i think it will.

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

i... live by the river

i watch things, on tv, that sometimes i don't really understand. either i come in halfway, or they use the conventions of some foreign place.
it is the same with music. sometimes i know exactly what they are saying. toni collette and the finish - i get it. paul kelly has always made sense to me. even silly things like old american love ballads are completely understandable. i don't think it is because they have fewer layers than something like augie march or mumford and sons. its just that sometimes, because of the person you are, the things you think about, and those experiences that you have had (and shared with others), some people make sense. and others don't.

take ashes to ashes. everyone gets the action scenes, they get that it is sad that skelton betrayed everything for a wedding ring, on a surface level they can handle the fact that alex is in a coma and might be dreaming the 1980's. it might even be okay, in a chuang-tzu way, that she is unsure whether she is a mother dreaming she is an out-of-place DI, or a bolly dreaming of the future and a girl named molly.
but you need to know more than that to experience the chills when supermac whispered 'rose' with his dying breath. you need to know that another rose had the last name tyler. and that the gene genie never believed the other man who had that same last name. as an aside, it makes even more sense when you find out that sam was given the name tyler by the billie-piper fan of a daughter of a writer on the show. you need to know that across the way, various punters had taken photos of a blonde-haired john simm in a grey hoodie accompanied by those four fateful knocks. it is necessary to realise that the hunt is going to have to deal with a comatose alex just when he had begun to believe her. and you need to remember that the first season was called 'life on mars'. and that the tenth doctor is nearly done.

or that doomed-to-one-season sitcom about superheroes on abc2. that the fishman that made a move on she-force was the clown that ended up with a pregnant clare keelan on a show that was graced-with-one-season about a wedding on a perfect day.

its all very meta- and intertextual, but i think there is more enjoyment to be had in the connections. it is the reason why things like imdb and six-degrees of kevin bacon exist. it fuels the crossovers of jpop stars into the world of film. it is the reason why traditional artists decide to paint a filmic palette instead of staying behind a static easel. why official tv websites now offer lists of 'music played in this episode'. these hyperlinked shows are the reason for the success of a show like glee, and the booksales of one richard castle, who in another (related) life was really the space cowboy he pretends to be for halloween.

there is a research tool called crowdsourcing. humans become computers again and pick out dust trails in interstellar jelly and craters on the red planet. im certain not too many of the sci-fi writers of the 1950's realised how capitalistic inequalities would re-create human slavery in a high-tech world. when we go to mars (of course it will be mars), the people living there will experience a kind of utopia based on the slavery of countless human masses sifting through data. we don't need the oud - we have the poor. i begin to lose hope in the dream of mechanical AI - on some poetic level i think it is right that we are doomed to be alone in this universe. alone to torture each other and end each other. alone so that we cannot blame anything else for the way that we trash our universe. i doubt we will ever make it out of the solar system. hawkeye said that the average existence of a single species on earth is 2 million years. we're in the tens of thousands i believe. do you think we can make it out of this mess we're in?

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

any dolt with half a brain...

the next doctor.

it is christmas in the 1800s and rtd has given us another character who knows more about the man with no name than we do. its a bit moffat-y, but that makes sense, given the impending changes. there is not a lot of long term stuff we can take out of the episode - usually there is something meaningful, a piece of the doctor's heart. but this time, as he says himself, his double organ is too broken. and it shows.

morrissey and the kid are far too obvious, and the kid is pretty generic. theres no chemistry between him and anyone. dervla's character was the best part of the show. i would love to have seen her escape to return. or to have had some kind of redemption. instead, like in all the christmas specials, the yuletide is a time for endings, not beginnings. only rose was a beginning, but that story looped in on itself so many times i'm unsure if regular semantics suffice. oh - and there was donna, but that story (before they decided to keep tate on) was an ending as well. there is no glory in these specials - only fire and the deep waters of the thames. its like humanity can only really appreciate the holiday when there is something to be truly thankful for - our continued survival against all odds. and another part of the doctor breaking . with every creature he sends into the abyss of endings, i think he loses part of himself. it doesnt matter that he never dies - his actions will diminish him until what is left is a gaping emptiness. he will send himself to the end. he will be not nearly so much a wonder if all he leaves behind him is a trail of fire and darkness through space and time.

there is a song, written for a movie about people who cannot see what the point of fighting is for, when, by fighting, you lose everything that makes you worth the effort. it is designed with bagpipes in mind, a tartan draped across the chest, freedom on the brain. the film ends with a train filled with german soldiers, sitting on crates in the dark. their c.o. is a jewish man who once spent time honeymooning on the banks of the seine. he once cheered his men on as they battled the scottish in a game of football in a snow-covered, bombed-out field in france. it was christmas. he was at the first world war. so they are being punished for their fraternising, sent away to the eastern front, certain death, in the train car, and so they hum a tune that sounds more celtic than anything. they are dreaming of a time and place gone forever to them. there will be no re-return. the sacrifice they make, demanded of them by others, is futile, becomes meaningless if they not only lose their lives, but they lose themselves. if they are forever alone, then what's the point? we forget we need to fix ourselves before we look outwards. an imprint needs to be changed from within, but we need to be pushed into it. we get weird if we are left alone.
and those soldiers? they are dreaming of home.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

did you feel that?

brides (nyfes)

a film by pantelis voulgaris
stars damian lewis and victoria haralabidou

the film starts by introducing us to the main characters. damian lewis plays norman harris, an overly-artistic war photographer who can't fit his style to the mainstream press. they won't pay for his pictures. it is 1922. he is disillusioned and wants to return home - to detroit - to take up a new profession. selling cars, maybe. he sells his camera for a ticket on the king alexander - a transatlantic cruise ship that also takes touring westerners and greek mail order brides.

we meet olga, a very young girl from odessa. she is silent, pretty as a cherub. a ring is put on her fourth finger in an office in russia. she is engaged to an american.

there is niki doukas. one of many daughters of a samothracian family, she is off to america to substitute as a wife for a sister who couldn't handle it. prodromos is a very nice man, a tailor, and his only demand is for a wife who will not whine, who will work hard. the honour of the family rests with niki. one wife has already failed.

all of our players board the vessel, first to third class. it is not racially striated, completely. the captain is a seeming good man, greek and wanting harris to take his photograph - he always has his eyes closed.

norman refuses, but changes his mind after speaking with niki. he caught her eye while waiting to board, and descends to the lower deck to speak with her. they speak in english, mostly. later he gives her a phrasebook. he knows only a few greek words. she tells him not to tear up the photos he doesn't want anymore. give them to her.

harris agrees to take the captain's photo, if he will lend him the camera to take photos of all the brides in their wedding dresses, the minor details. all except niki. she knows her future, and the past is merely a place that she will never see again.

the photos are a success, and then the man running the bridal service - a greasy pornographer, who is also running a small-time prostitution ring onboard - demands the photos of the russian girls, his prostitutes. harris argues that this is not his way, but the captain thinks of the many trips that the pimp has ensured, and upholds his demand.

niki is employed by the ladies' dancing troupe in the higher decks who need intricate costumes made and embroidered. she becomes a fixture abovedecks, with the black fold-down sewing machine someone has found for her, and her chairs covered in fabrics. she and norman share many conversations. he too is an immigrant - not a real american american. he speaks of his grandmother's tales of cork, his father falling for a red-haired fishing woman. the waves crashing against the rocks.

niki also mends the captain's jacket. she finds one of the russian photos, and uncovers not only the prostitution racket, but also the fact that five of the girls have been promised to one man. the ladies looking after the new brides feel the price is worth the hundreds of girls who settle successfully. niki is intimidated by the ringleader, but barges into the dining room to tell harris. chaos ensues belowships, and the captain is involved. mistakes have been made, mere errors in paperwork. harris and the man responsible have an awkward but vicious catfight in the captain's quarters. he must fix this.

the captain's godson meanwhile has been carrying on with olga, the silent russian child, and he makes his plans to run away back to greece known to his godfather. olga will be the cook at his restaurant. the captain tosses him aside, but he is not deterred.

niki's best friend on the ship, a samothracian girl named haro, has been feeling more and more down. she dwells on the letters sent to her by a sweetheart back at home. he went off to war, and her father has forced her to come overseas to marry. andonis' love letters are a source of nostalgia every few scenes, but after the prostitution racket is brought to light, haro begins to become unstuck. she wanders abovedecks in the pouring rain, delusional.

on the night of the ladies' performances, harris suggests they close with haro playing the haunting melodies she was wont to do on her oud. he goes to fetch her just as niki realises she has gone missing. they reach the deck just as haro jumps off the railing, red dress flapping in the wind, her hair astray. the captain orders hard to port, but it is too late. only her oud is found, floating on the waves.

niki makes the captain promise he will boil wheat as an offering to haro's soul everytime he passes the spot again. he agrees.

norman professes his love for the greek seamstress. she is torn, but she is not like her friend. she has too much depending on her marriage back home. she agrees to take a wedding photo, ripping off the lacy adornments on her third-hand dress.

they reach america. the girls press up against the glass to see the statue of liberty. niki's hair has turned white in the night. she whispers norman's name and bites back screams. she is told her punishment will be to remember. she knows the real punishment will be to forget the one she loves.

they are disembarking. there are signs along the wharf in greek, screaming people with flags and posters. the girls prepare their luggage, memorising again the faces on the photographs they have been sent, making sure they will recognise their new husbands.

harris is told to gather his courage and say goodbye. he fooled nobody. he writes niki the only love letter she will ever read, even though it takes her months to read it. he leaves it in a box of photos of the girls in their dresses. he finds her, kisses her hair, eyes, mouth. she tells him this is their only moment, their last moment. a lifetime in a glance. she speaks in greek, so he has to read her eyes. she gives him an earring, a tiny blue stud. he gives her a box. tells her to come away with him. she leaves. one tear escapes him, his hand folded over the stud.

the captain has locked nicholas, his godson, in his cabin, instructions for him to be released after everyone is gone. he escapes down the mooring rope, in civvies and with one of norman's hats on his head. niki has given haro's dress to olga. she thanks her and makes her escape. olga and nicholas run away down the wharf together.

harris is at the exit from immigration. he sees niki's eyes meet the eyes of a strange, nervous greek man with a moustache. they all have moustaches. his brothers are there for moral support. he is taken in by his new bride, her grey hair. norman walks on.

it is later. niki is dressed well, a hat and a new haircut. she is at a post office. i keep thinking norman will turn up behind her. she sends haro's picture and the love letters back to greece, to a man named andonis.

it is some time later again. niki and prodromos are closing up shop for the night. she is willing to work hard, long hours, good, honest work. prodromos tells her of a saint named anna, who is offered rags at a chapel to stop others whinging. niki is far away, thinking of a man who once showed her the magic of photography in a cramped darkroom, red light revealing the picture of a fountain in greece, surrounded by women and rags fluttering in the wind. she tells her husband she has heard of the place.

she walks into her study. there are flowers on the table, a stack of papers on the desk. she moves them aside, reaching for a rectangular box. she goes through the papers, the girls. wonders what happened to all of them. she holds her swollen belly. she looks as happy as she ever did in the film, except for when she was alone in the dining room, sewing. then she was happiest of all. she puts them away, hand finding the hidden envelope. she reads it, a love letter addressed to her. damian lewis' voiceovers are always perfect, no matter the accent. there are tears in her eyes.

we are shown a picture of her, head slightly turned to the side. her hair is black. it is the photo of her in her wedding dress, taken on the sea between greece and america. the picture is on a magazine cover. the headline is 'mail order brides'. a man walks up to a newsstand. harris is well-dressed as ever, a new grey hat on his head. he takes a copy, looks at the front. the final shot is a close up of his tie. there is a blue gem nestled in it.

the credits roll in greek.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

when its upside down, boy

short and sweet, keep it down in the front. danish is a funny language. there is only one danish director i can name off the top of my head, and he didn't direct the movie i'm thinking about. von trier. like von trapp, without the singing. he has a set of rules that he disobeys. they concern filmmaking. you have to take real life and represent it in 2D with only the colours and the sounds in front of you. you are not allowed to hum the song that is on loop in your mind when you see milkshakes sitting on the table, or a hazchem toxic waste sign above the door. the combination of the words 'wicked' and 'game' are to mean nothing other than what they say in the dictionary.

but the film i am thinking about has a man in it with a massive handlebar moustache and a caricature of an auteur that looks a lot like a guy in my class. same glasses. same hat, even. maybe he has danish in his blood. i wonder if nikolaj lie kaas is 100 percent danish.

i think it would be awesome to have viking in the blood. a history of violence. no shame. i don't quite know where my history is from. i mean, i think there is a shrine in china that has my surname on it and 23 generations entombed within it, but i don't know what they did, who they were. perhaps it is a peculiar problem of the newly middle-classed. people of peasant stock. i am curious about what that phrase means today, and what it says about me. is that where i get my bizarre inferiority complex from? or was it watching too much captain planet and power rangers when i was a kid, and feeling all that responsibility from the age of four-and-a-half. it's hard to know how to fix things when you are told that it is all up to you, but they don't give you any power. They. hm. and then they give us things like noah-son-of-sylar and tell us that bad guys really do exist, but they can't tell us who is who because that would be, like, cheating.

i'm not a fan of red cordial. i have a red dress (just one), and i like red grapes. but i have never understood the fascination. we create entire idioms centred on untruths. do you think that the assumptions that underlie our conversations warp our views of the world? if we all thought things truly then... but i suppose if three years of an arts degree has taught me anything, its that truth died in the seventies, and every attempt to save the planet since then has been like shuffling the proverbial deckchairs.

achilles was a warrior
he ached and strove for light
inspired by the sirens
that watched over him in the night
although the sands fought side by side
and darkness spread throughout
i wonder if we will ever land...

you know they found ufos yesterday. a few days after releasing that message to the stars containing dubya as the personification of evil. if ba'al had come looking for an ally, that would have been a pretty good plan on our side. the enemy would have fallen apart, no matter what kind of tech they had. wow. those scientists really thought that through.

remember, europa is not ours.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

is here, inside your mind

there is a book i read once. it was by a man who, my lecturers told me, used to work as an advertising agent. i don't know what part of that is true. they certainly never told me of the time he spent in a hotel room in the middle of KL. the book, it spoke of places and times that the author can't have known without going there. the smells of the place. the ancient waiters at the coliseum, the racial super-awareness that always lies just beneath the surface. the sloe eyes. i wonder if i have sloe eyes. i wonder what sloe eyes mean.

there's a show i watch. it's called life. it has a lame tagline and some lame lines of dialogue. but when a suspect and a detective in channel ten's day of Brits pretending to be not, end up bantering quite seriously about boxing a cumquat, well, it can't all be bad. it's about prisons, and cells, and lies and the stories we tell our kids to get them to eat their greens, go to school and lie down at night. fathers and sons. husbands and ex-wives. things that we missed out on through no fault of our own. the bizarre-ness of a personal pineapple. and zen. lots of zen. i think the real world is starting to make charlie lose his zen. can a thing like that truly be lost? or does it become part of the whole. maybe it is the whole. hm.

we like to make our heroes human. so that they can have their foibles, their flaws. they have to make mistakes, otherwise we have no one but ourselves to blame for the way the world is today. maybe thats why my friends don't like the middleman. he is too perfect, too self-sacrificing. sometimes he seems as real as the person beside us on the train, with his perfect hair and eisenhower jacket. but we hope and pray that he goes into his room at night and thinks of a broken past. that maybe he was kicked out of the marines, maybe he betrayed the last woman he loved. maybe there's something going on with that she-demon running the fashion halfway house for succubi (was she the one in dodgeball? with the eyebrow?)

it was pretty cold today. i was shivering on that stupid station platform. i think they designed it purposefully to tunnel wind. i could have gone for more clothes. just yesterday i was sitting in class, trying to reach out with my super-jedi powers (it was post-modern anthropology, which i agree with, but nevermind) because of the boredom, and everyone was in singlets and shorts, and my eyes were closing of their own will. and then today. brr.

fathers and sons. legacy. i think of what i will leave behind if a freak storm of 297 lightning strikes causes a brick wall to collapse on my car. and me, with my hair caught in the door and the keys sitting on the front seat. i was trying to avoid this guy. maybe i like him. maybe he's taken. maybe he's not interested. too risky. but the wall falls and i die. you can't even recognise the car. my head and my hands have been sliced clean off. what will i leave behind? a shelf full of books about teenaged heroes in mythic lands falling in love, and having their hearts broken. sometimes i feel like my heart has felt more of those slings and arrows than it possibly could have. an overfull hard drive of bbc dramas and geeky wait-for-it sitcoms. a dvd collection that is extremely non-representative. except for farscape. and press gang. some people who knew me a little. no people who knew me a lot. it would be interesting to see them all meet each other. a bbq. like the one i cbf going to tomorrow night. ed will be sad, ha.

and if they send me to bellerive
all packed up like a camel to the sands
amongst the dewsong and the tentacles
and the ticking
and his hands
perhaps i will not utter
as you have been wont to do
a word about regretting
all the things i felt i ought to do
the organ drones
i hum
in harmony
looking down to the descent
all the blocks that rearrange
like they know what i really meant.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

just our hands clasped so tight

doctor who 4.09
"the forest of the dead"

its something to do with rose. i didnt notice it myself, until the music at the end. when the doc leaves river's notebook on the ledge, rose's theme is sighed out by that choral voice. and then he sends her into an alternate life. she is gone, but she's fine.

perhaps it is only the parallel plot that is the reason for the unboxing of the theme, but then looking closely at the pictures that CAL has plastered around her living room, you can see only wolves and daleks and an angelic blonde girl.

rose.

maybe, and i hate to say it, but maybe the best parts of this double ep are not the disappearing children or donna's husband, or even that everybody lives. Maybe the best parts of this episode do not belong to steven moffat. river, the bad wolf, season-long story arcs, past experience tells us they are the provence of one rtd.

we're so used to moffat giving us stand-alone episodes, that nevertheless give us characters that know far more about the doctor than anyone else can. captain jack, sally sparrow, that girl in that fireplace, they all knew more of the doctor than any companion ever has. maybe he and rtd are luring us in to the finale, into next year and the next season after that. because when he takes over, the episodes won't be stand-alones. the whole season will be his plaything. the whole thing will stand alone. but if what has passed shows us what will come, every part will be important to the whole.

are we really yet to meet river? she approached the doctor and told him her name before she asked if he remembered her. does she look different to how she will? or how she did? and if ten is her doctor, how will we find the time to meet her, to take her to drillion, before tennant decides to walk out of this suit and out of this world? can you even imagine him with a haircut?

how does charlotte, the girl in the computer, the girl in the library, in the forest of shadows, how does she know about rose? how can she? and why would the bad wolf leave her trace in a simulation world that the doctor never gets to see? the episode contains so much that the characters know but we do not. the reason you may hate river is because she contains spoilers. she is a spoiler. but they have given us something that the characters cannot know - that rose is returning. that somehow, she is mixed up in all of this. the doctor is a time traveller, but its not one line. he cannot escape the finale, the bad wolf, that everybody dies.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

but it's gonna be alright this time...

once the sky began to shatter
all the moments wandering beneath
the open blue umbrella
watching the time.

then all the bears in all the world did look up and did say
why the morning smelt so sweet
why the sunset made me feel
as though i ought to weep.

running through a forest,
feel the eyes of anxious prey.

walking through the suburbs,
hearing all the calls to pray
for yesterday.

stop and ask me whether i had seen the black parade.
wonder at the touching of the self by restless youths
upon the brave,
brave day.

glancing at the man with the uzi wrapped about his neck.
staring at the girl who stares out of the shop.
pursing your parched lips as the screaming tie gets on his soapbox.
helping the old lady cross the street,
an inexplicable desire to sleep.

... have a little pain.

lets start this thing up again. im bored and there is way too much assorted rambling type stuff on my computer that should see the light of day. or at least the metaphorical light of the information superhighway.
also, like, i started watching farscape again with johobo, while she tries to procrastinate from studying, and we're doin it just in time for the news of the o'bannon-henson webisodes that got greenlighted last week (yays!). omg see! it was never dead. the show will totally come back. itll be all about little D, and scorpy and the peace (hah!) between the scarrans and PKs and maybe the nebari - i always wanted to see them take over the galaxy. if brian gets this right, the show will be back better than ever by this time next year. is all i'm saying.
anyways, lots of stuff. and movies and crap.

but i cant be stuffed yet, so why not have a tripod lyric instead (back on the sideshow, abc, saturdays, 9.25 - or some ridiculous time i never remember). i remember this song at the comedy store. they had to wait a few moments for the ppl from bunnings up the back to get the joke after the first chorus. yeah, the new version has scod's falsetto, and backup musicating from yon and the gatesy. it's all a bit queen - seaside rendezvous-y now. topical!

suicide bomber - tripod

scod: they used dogs on me
they used blindfolds
they embarrassed me in the nude
they gave shots to me
with electrodes
they deprived me of my food

they paraded me 'round the prison
chained up to other men
and with every task
one question they asked
over and over and over again
they said

'aren't you the suicide bomber
who blew up the bus last year?'
i said 'no'
they said 'yes'
i said 'you're not thinking this through'

but they went off and thought up some new things to do

so they soaked me
with cold water
and they left me there overnight
they put outlandish costumes upon me
and took photographs of my plight

they accused me of brutal behaviour
whilst they kicked me in the balls
and with every task
one question they asked
echoing off of the cold prison walls
they said

'aren't you the suicide bomber
who blew up the bus last year?'
i said 'no'
they punched me
i said 'think logically'
and they said 'you think logically'
and i said... 'what?'

*whistling, while yonny and gatesy mime punching, kicking, urinating on, photographing a prisoner*

psychological torture
has cleared things right up for me
and there's one thing i knowif they let me go
i will be the man they want me to be

yes i'll be the suicide bomber
i'll blow up the bus one day
and so will my son and his son after that
and then some poor new guy will sit where i sat
and he will be forced to wear poos for a hat

and so on and so fucking forth
amen.

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