Monday, April 16, 2012

thank you, readers!

i don't know who most of you are, but for some reason my stats counter keeps rising.

i feel like my blog is pretty boring, so i'm grateful to have a bit of an audience. the stats tab has a map of the world showing the countries all my readers are from. apparently, lots of you are from the u.s., germany, russia, and, of course, australia!

i wish i knew who you all were..... leave a comment, don't be a stranger ;)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

alcoholics anonymous

dr michael car-greg is a magazine psychologist. if you've ever read any magazine, from girlfriend and dolly to cosmo or the woman's weekly, you'd have to know who he is. he's pretty powerful, so his point of view counts. and right now, his point of view is that we need to increase the legal drinking age to 21

i don't know if that would help much. it doesn't seem to have done much in the us, but hey, every country is different.

i know something that i think really would help; taking high schoolers to aa meetings. 

my stepdad worked in prison ministry for most of my childhood, so i spent a lot of time accompanying him on visits to silverwater jail. i've heard more stories and testimonies from current and former drug addicts and alcholics than i can count on two hands. their stories were empowering and informative for me, because it was impossible not to be impacted by their stories about the children they hurt, the money they lost, the friends they betrayed, and the dreams they crushed. i knew that most addicts had started off as angry or bored kids, many of whom had no idea what they were getting into. 

i was warned, and informed, and i learnt compassion.   

last week, i went to an aa meeting with a good friend of mine, who is an alcoholic. (one who has been sober now for nearly two years. what a champion! )

i was so inspired by the format of the meetings. alcoholics, some sober and other still struggling, share their stories. they begin by introducing themselves and acknowledging their alcoholism, and then they talk. and talk and talk and talk. 

i wish more teenagers could hear what they have to say. no-one could have left that meeting still thinking that drunkenness is funny or harmless or cool.

and kids would learn heaps. they'd learn how to identify an addict from a social drinker, what factors increase your chance of becoming an alcoholic, how alcoholism will ruin your life, and how to help out a  friend who drink too much. 

i don' really know if it's a plausible idea, but i do know that education and wisdom are more useful than prohibition

Monday, March 26, 2012

i love inspiring school movies based on true stories....

...and i really want to see this one. even the ad inspires me.

i am equally inspired by the true story of another man going back to school in his 70's. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012


sometimes i question my decision to be a teacher. like today, when i realised i'd missed out a lesson plan in my assignment, and needed to write it by midnight tonight. all well and good except that it was based on the only shakespeare play i've not read and devoured; romeo and juliet.

 i've performed monologues from othello, directed a hypothetical production of as you like it, won first place in the shakespeare festival for my portrayal of a witch in macbeth, read the tempest three times, played the angry dad in a midsummer night's dream, read (and loved) his entire collection of sonnets and tutored students through units on the taming of the shrew.  but i've somehow missed out on ever reading his most classic and timeless work. which i now need to teach to a year 8 class. awesome.

but the truth is i love teaching. i live for that moment when you realise a kid is mastering something -and loving it- because of you.

this week i'm particularly proud of one of my precious kidzoners. she's an enthusiastic, affectionate trouble maker who has had one of the hardest childhoods i can image. she's in year 6 but reading at year one level. and she decided she wanted a big, speaking role in our upcoming play.

 i agreed, making a mental list of all the other kids who would be able to fill in for her when she inevitably gave up/couldn't do it. which sounds awful, but i've learned to be practical. how can a kid who can barely read learn pages and pages of lines in just a few weeks?

well, it turns out, she can. because every spare moment she got, she was chasing after me, waving around her copy of the script and begging me to run lines with her. because she highlighted words she couldn't understand and sounded them out over and over. because she took the words she couldn't remember, and drew tiny pictures above them.

like the word hammerhead. she drew a picture of a hammer and a big dot, and now she can even spell the word.

i can't even explain how proud i am of her, or how happy it makes me to see her loving rehearsal. i especially loved when she told her brother "i've learnt all me lines, and i get to be up on the stage, and genna's proud of me" - and turned to give me a big, glowing smile.

the best part? now that she's mastered her own part, she's helping the other kids too.

i hope i can spend the rest of my life witnessing such miracles.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


yesterday my big sister rach rang me sounding super excited. she told me too look up deuteronomy 14:22-30 because she'd just discovered that tithing in the biblical sense was all about putting aside money so you could throw a big party. something they usually don't mention in church ;)

to paraphrase the passage, farmers were commanded to put aside 10% of what they grew in their fields to eat and enjoy in the place where GOD put his name. but if that place is too far away and they had too much to carry, the passage stipulates, then they could sell it for money and use that money to, and i quote, "buy whatever your like" so that the whole household could have a party.

what i love best about this is that the israelites were commanded to share this bounty with widows, orphans, the foreigners, and the levites.

the whole concept is pretty cool, in my opinion.

of course, we are not israelites living under the law, and now we have pastors instead of levites to support, but i still think that throwing a party and sharing food is an awesome way to be generous with our resources.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

mike baird, nsw treasurer

on monday night i went to a fundraising dinner where the state treasurer spoke about christian engagement with politics. i don't know much about mike -(not nearly as much as i should, as someone who professes an interest in politics) but judging him from his talk, he seems a very wise man.

once upon a time, mike studied theology and hoped to be a minister, because being a church minister seemed (to him) to be the best way to serve GOD. then he realised that GOD requires his people to be stewards of the earth, and everything in it, and he decided that he could do that as a politician too.

mike talked about the movie "what's eating gilbert grape". he talked about how sometimes, christians are like the obese lady, who rarely left her comfortable food-filled home. he talked about the need for christians to engage dynamically with the world - every sector of it.

he described the position of state treasurer as an opportunity to wisely steward this states financial resources.

i pray godspeed to him in this.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


well, a girl has to have standards, right?