no longer an exclusively vicarious one.

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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Anonymous kmcg2375 said...

"the silent emptiness of the electronic superhighway" sure were loud on your other post tonight eh? ;)

I called you an undergrad back there, but I see you are postgrad. Sorry about that. And I hope everyone didn't scare you off - everyone who commented is a potential contact for you who could really open up your teaching world, ICT-wise. I hope you continue with this blog, and with the dialogue you started tonight!

One other thing I wonder: you said that "i hate the idea of telling every kid that theyre great". Why is that? If you are a psych person then you must know about the relationships between self concept, motivation, goal orientation and achievement? Doesn't mean you have to lie to them, and criticism is very important in learning...but perhaps this is what you meant.

March 10, 2010 10:20 pm

Blogger Pixeltoy said...

kmcg2375 said... ROFLMAO this is precious!

March 10, 2010 11:01 pm

Blogger mels said...

a) still getting used to this 'people reading my blog' thing and;
b) yeah, what i meant but didn't really say, was that whole culture of giving everyone a medal in a soccer game just for participating. its crap. not everyone is great at everything. some 6-year-olds i know are already complete twats because of being told this. i know its changing but its something thats bugged me for awhile.

meanwhile, its freaking me out that i know i have to explain things on my blog now. it used to be my own private space - i never told my friends about it. i guess its good, but it takes getting used to.

March 11, 2010 12:07 am

Anonymous Ian Gay said...

I can empathise and agree with the feeling that it's wrong to tell "every kid that they're great," because not every kid IS great. I also agree that the soccer club mentality (my kids went through it) where every child gets a trophy demeans and devalues the whole process. School has become too much like this.

Pixeltoy, I'm not really sure what you're rolling on the floor laughing your arse off about??


March 11, 2010 10:36 am


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