Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Of Paper and Pills

I managed to write this on Thursday but didn't finish it until tonight:
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Ducking in this morning because Himself has done something nasty to his knee/leg and has asked me to take him to the doctors (It MUST be bad!). So I've had to bunk off work for a few lessons which has given me an opportunity to look st some blogs and to tell you quickly about my Year 10 lesson the other day.

I have given up on my Year 10s
(Exam Question: Here is some data on the number of fish eaten by Selma the Seal each day over a 60 day period. Is this data discrete or continuous?
Answer: continuous. Cos she just keeps eating.)

After 50% of them failed their mid year exam outright,
("let's look at this positively," said a colleague,"50% of them passed."
"No," I replied,"...48% passed and the other 2 % were borderline!")
I have decided to run a Stage 1 SACE Numeracy unit for this semester. It is a very practical series of tasks based on real life situations such as renting a house, running a car and paying off a loan.

The first task involves creating a spreadsheet to model the repaying of a loan. Once the formulae are entered you can change the interest rate, size and number of repayments in order to see what effect it has on the overall cost of the loan. The class have actually been pretty engaged in the task. I have no idea how much they have learned but they have been industriously entering numbers into the speadsheet so......fingers crossed!

Anyway, on Wednesday we reached the end of the lesson and I decided I would like to see the results of their efforts. With 5 minutes to go I said,
"OK everyone, put your name onto the spreadsheet and print it out for me."

There are 23 people in the class. There were 4 pages to each spreadsheet. There was one printer.

I cannot begin to describe the chaos which ensued.

I don't think I really understood the magnitude of my mistake until one of the girls came to me with three sheets of paper.
"Mrs A, this is all I can find of my assignment."
"But what happened to the other sheet? Can you not find it?
"Mrs A have you SEEN the mess over there?"

Note to self: create a system drop folder for electronic collection of future assignments;
pay for a tree to be planted to replace the ream of paper we wasted in multiple print outs of random pages of unidentifiable spreadsheets.

Live and learn.

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Update: Himself has a torn cartilage in his knee. I suspect this was sustained during the climb to take these photos, although the symptoms did not set in for a few days.

In the usual way of men he has been dealing poorly with pain. He has been instructed to take 50mg of Voltarin (anti-inflammatory) every 8 hours as well as 500mg of paracetamol, a task which he is somehow finding difficult to manage. On Friday night he came to bed at his usual time of 2am and very quickly began to thrash about, moaning.

Me: What's the matter?
Him: Auurgh. The pain! It's really full tilt. I can't lie any way that's comfortable.
Me: How long since you took your last painkillers?
Him: Ummmmmmmmmm (sheepishly)......I had one at 2pm this afternoon.......
Me: WHAT? You should have had one hours ago!
Him: I know, but it wasn't hurting before.
Me: I don't suppose you thought to bring the tablets to bed with you?
Him: Ummmmmmmmmm
Me: (flings herself out of bed into the 2 degree air temperature, gets dressing gown and stomps off down the relatively long hallway to find the tablets, snorting impatiently.)

We had a discussion the next morning about the timing of his tablets. It was agreed that he needed to take them well before he came to bed in order to give them time to 'kick in' and enable him to rest comfortably.

Last night circa 2am:
Him: Moan, aarrrgh, moan, can't get comfortable etc etc
Me: You took your tablets didn't you?
Him: Yes, I took them 15 minutes ago.
Me: FIFTEEN MINUTES???? I thought we agreed you would take them 8 hourly and give them time to take effect before you came to bed???
Him: Well it wasn't hurting and I wanted to leave it as long as possible so I could get some sleep.
Me: fumes silently
Him: Moan, aarrrgh, moan, can't get comfortable etc etc Moan, aarrrgh, moan, can't get comfortable etc etc Moan, aarrrgh, moan, can't get comfortable etc etc
Him: (after another 5 minutes of this) I think I might need another tablet.
Me: What? How many did you take?
Him: Er, well, one.
Me: WHAT???????? The doctor TOLD you to take two!
Him: Well, yes but I am trying not to take too many and.....
Me: Please tell me that you brought the tablets to the bedroom, just in case.
Him: Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Me:ARGH!(flings herself out of bed into the -2 degree air temperature, gets dressing gown etcetcetc)

Honestly. Exactly what had changed about his condition which would have lead him to believe he required less medication?? The knee is swollen for pete's sake! There are now pills stashed in the bedside drawers >:-(

I swear if men had babies, epidurals would be a sacrament.

image credit

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Island Birthday Surprise!

He had hoped to have a sleepover with 4 friends but a day or so beforehand, several pulled out and things looked pretty grim for his 12th birthday.Good old dad to the rescue however! On Friday Himself called me and asked if I'd like to go to Kangaroo Island for the weekend. He'd called in a favour, organised to do a little bit of contra work and got us into one of the lovely garden villas at the Seafront. One of Small Boy's friends (Boy D) was given the ok by his parents and so it was an excited Himself and I and two young boys that caught the 6 o'clock ferry on Friday night. Two trips to the island in less than a month! I couldn't believe my luck.


The birthday plans were simple: sandboarding, skate park and a day with dad with NO WORK interrupting. To his credit, Himself kept to the plan and not a single email or work file was opened on July 17th. For me, I got a day at the villa with no blokes around and plenty of time to work on school work.

I had been planning a 'skate park' birthday cake for the abortive sleepover but there appeared to be no way that was going to happen over on the island. We discussed trying to buy one from Kingscote and seeing if the hotel could organise one but as it turned out, some friends came to the rescue. The proprietor of the resort, and his wife, very kindly asked us over for a birthday dinner with the boys. Small Boy was asked for his choice of dinner menu (meat lover's pizza) and the lady of the house offered to help me make a birthday cake for the occasion.
So while the boys were doing this:

and this:and this:J and I made this!
I casually mentioned the idea of trying to make a skate park cake but the blanche of her complexion and the look of horror on her face quickly encouraged me to thank my lucky stars we were getting to make a cake at all :-D. No matter how easily I think I could have done a novelty cake, I think it would have been taxing the friendship!

So, after a day of sandboarding, climbing Prospect Hill and skate parking, the boys came around to the Old Post Office, where our friends live,

and found more entertainment!

The pizza was great,

the cake a success

and the present eagerly opened

and happily received. Being in close proximity, Himself escorted the boys back to the villa where they happily played the new game until we got home just before midnight. Well, to tell the truth Boy D had already conked out but Small Boy was determinedly plugging away at it, eyes propped open with matchsticks!

The next day was very relaxed although Himself had to earn his living and I marked a whole lot of exams; but we did have time for a round of mini-golf after lunch.

And a walk along the penguin trail.


I'd forgotten how much fun mini-golf is. I am rubbish at it but it was still fun. For the record Himself won (of course), Small Boy second, Boy D third and me last by a whopping 20 shots off the leader :-D Oh well. Family bonding. It was worth it.

Thank you to our friends at The Seafront Resort for giving Small Boy a damn fine birthday! Look how he has matured in one weekend!!

(It's hot chocolate by the way!)

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Ssssshhhhh. I'm Back On The Island

In a surprise move, Himself got us over to KI for the weekend for the occasion of The Small Boy's birthday!

They're off sandboarding and I am relaxing at the resort and am meant to be working!

Sssshhhhh

Friday, 16 July 2010

La Jeune Fille: Kangaroo Island Gets Real

Well, I told you I had some pictures for you.

Kangaroo Island is renowned for its wildlife. Unfortunately, quite a lot of it is on the side of the road in the form of roadkill. Here in Aus we are pretty used to that sort of thing and any drive in the country around sunset is fraught with the stress of keeping your eyes peeled for wandering kangaroos and wombats darting across the road out of nowhere. La JF was slightly more disturbed by the routine sight of bodies by the roadside so we thought we had better let her see some animals that were living and breathing.



We headed out to a well known tourist spot called 'Paul's Place'. I had heard about it through a UK friend who had visited back in 2004 but had never been there myself. By all accounts it was a pretty 'up close and personal' experience with native wildlife and when we mentioned it to the locals they raised their eyebrows and pursed their lips. 'Not for everybody' was the general consensus.

La Jeune Fille was either going to love it or hate it!

As we walked in through the first gate, we were met by these little guys.

La JF was captivated.


The proprietor, Paul, was however pretty 'in your face'. The first thing he did was suss out his audience, pick a likely 'victim' and place a wallaby in her arms!


This was followed fairly quickly by dropping the same wallaby onto the laps of our three.


Now had she been asked, I am pretty sure La Jeune Fille would have politely declined the invitation to have a wallaby on her lap! But as it was, she seemed to quite enjoy the experience.


She was less impressed with the alpaca, sheep and goats however who, once we were given buckets of food to distribute, got pretty pushy indeed.


The next enclosure followed this pattern. I've got to admit, I don't like emus (pronounced eem-yous) close up. They are nasty, stupid birds who think nothing of running into the side of your car for no apparent reason; and being surrounded by a bunch of them looking for food was slightly intimidating. The BA and the Small Boy didn't seem to mind being surrounded by birds.


Although La JF's body language left us in no doubt as to her feelings.


I think visitors like this just stick out like sore thumbs to Paul though. He picked on her again.


The emu egg was a little more acceptable but imagine my surprise when she took this next encounter with such good humour!

That's a fresh water crayfish known as a marron. Not to be outdone I had a hold.

And then the Small Boy got in on the act. Check out the BA in the background though!

Funnily enough, this was the one thing she would NOT do.
"I don't do crustaceans," was her comment.

She does do baby possums though!

And snakes.
In fact we all did snakes and La JF was ok with it, which shouldn't have surprised me given her fondness for horror movies.


The koalas were a little more intimidating; after all, they have claws!
This one made the mistake of grabbing La JF's hair but after a little adjustment she coped with him quite well too.


The BA is an old koala holder from way back.


But the thing the BA did, which really impressed me, was this!


Did I mention I hate emus?

We're all ok with birds though.


Except La JF of course. This one really freaked her out!


Nothing that a baby kangaroo (joey) couldn't cure however!


And I've got to finish off with the bearded dragon and the hopping mouse.


So all in all a pretty successful visit! But the day wasn't over yet!!!!!

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Team Up Thursday: Where I walk


Following on from Megan and Melody's theme: Where I Live, JoLyn and I decided to look around where we live and show you where we walk. I don't know how far from JoLyn's house her path is but I suspect not too far as I've seen the beautiful mountains she can see from her window. My path (on the right) is literally across the road. It's a bit deceptive because it looks so gentle and pastoral here when in actual fact it is about to drop off in a big way and carve its way down to the bottom of the Sturt Gorge at a calf wrecking gradient! You have to 'tack' along the path to get up and down it safely.

I love the difference between the vegetation in each photo. The green path in my shot is a winter phenomenon. In Summer that same path will be dust and the evergreen trees and shrubs around will be leeched of their intense green by the relentless sun.

Hope you enjoyed a glimpse of where we live and walk today on Team Up Thursday. As always, check out the offerings from everyone else at the flickrpool or by clicking over to
Mental Inventory or Hip Momma's Journal.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

La Jeune Fille : The Kangaroo Island Episode


We have lately pointed out to Small Boy, that every photo we have of him consists of his making a stupid face. We comment on how this will make him feel in years to come. He is unmoved.
I digress.
When I left you we were on the ferry to KI and La JF was asleep.


That's our car in the depths of the ferry.



Stellar shot of the Small Boy who was at least awake and enjoying the ride!

On the first afternoon we forced La JF to attend a picnic on the Chapman River, one of Himself's fave places on the island. The BA gets creative with her photography.

Can you see what they are looking at? It is moi being silly and running in pseudo slow motion along the banks of the river. Here are the gang after we'd packed up the picnic and were about to set off for a walk to the beach. That must be why La JF is looking cheerful.


This is either the BA or I getting artsy with the beautiful, stark trees at the picnic spot. Lately she has taken to picking up my camera and snapping away. Not a bad thing I guess.


La JF making the hike to the beach. Note how her shoes are totally designed for bush/beachwalking.


But Oh lala! When she reached the beach...the excitement...the delight.....finally we had done something right!


Next we were off to the Cape Willoughby lighthouse.


I love these spectacular plants. I think they're called 'Red Hot Pokers'.

Well, at least someone was excited by the occasion.

We walked through the lighthouse museum at the Cape, where a very excited and possibly slightly Aspergersy lighthouse keeper, with a broad Scottish accent and a whiff of whisky about him, tried to engage La JF in talk of Frech 'phare'. I could have told him not to bother.

Then we made her climb these stairs to get to the highest point on the island where you get this view.

video

(You'll guess this one is an old one from the ages of BA and Small Boy. Mind you, his face pulling is still the same)


I think she's seen enough views. Not even the rainbow could cheer her up.
So it was back to the lovely hotel where we were staying in two self contained villas in a kind of jungle setting. The BA and La JF had one to themselves whilst Himself and I were billeted with the Small Boy. I passed the girls 'dorm' at one point to see the two of them snuggled up under a quilt on the pull out sofa bed, watching the big, flatscreen TV and eating crisps.

"Tu va bien?" I enquired.
"Oui," she grinned, "Tres bien!!"

If only we had known that was all she wanted :-D
More tomorrow!