The 2016 Publishing Shift

28 Jan

“Pressed This” as it’s so damn useful and true! Thanks to the creator

Source: The 2016 Publishing Shift


Since when is a 3-letter word offensive?

30 Dec

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Three Letter Words.”

An entire post, without using three letter words.
Really? I could understand “An entire post, without using four letter words”.
Somehow, I didn’t know there were offensive three-letter words…
My education in that ‘school of life’ seems to have been somewhat deficient!

I cannot even think of a single offensive, rude, crude or rough three-letter word.. Where do I find these armaments in one’s vocabulary of insults? Is there an Internet site that lists them? Probably. However, this family’s Internet Service Provider screens every website address before letting it download to computers here, so I won’t be able to investigate by that channel. What about an Ebook? From where could I purchase a copy of “Vulgar Three-Letter Words”? If, that is, it exists. Which I doubt.

Whoever is able to tell me a source of such an educational treasure, please leave a comment below to tell me what it is? Also, where I will be able to purchase or download it from? Thanks, y’all!

Rotorua’s Fenton Air Base, WWII

24 Dec

Not an education related post, but a vehicle for me to share photographs to a forum which only allows pics from a URL.
Relates to a project I initiated to have airmen who trained at the above air base, then received awards for their work in WWII and were allotted a street name.

Airmen Chorus Boxes article 2015-09-12_1

Airmen Chorus Boxes article 2015-09-12_2.jpg

Airmen's Street Map.jpg


Submission Guidelines

18 Dec

Know any junior writers? Get them to work before the end of the month and submit either a story or a poem on their latest theme :

The Carrot is Mightier Than the Sword. Submissions close on December 31st, and publication is due for the (U.S.) spring.

Ember is a semiannual journal of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction for all age groups. Submissions for and by readers aged 10 to 18 are strongly encouraged.

Source: Submission Guidelines

Make Mine a Time Machine!

17 Dec Time-Travel-Machine

 Oh, yessss…at last, knowing what I do now, I can get back to my   secondary school where two too many of the teaching nuns were — as we would have put it back then — totally bloody useless!
I’d not only take back with me knowledge enough to give the then younger me the confidence to take a complaint to Mother Superior, or to the parish council about the deficiencies of M’r C. and the younger M’r. C., but the basis for the charges — incompetency, memory deficiency, inability to present lessons to any plan, failing to cover the Biology curriculum, and mental instability.
If New Zealand’s Education Review Office would let a school review team travel back with me, they’d be able to find how sub-optimal was that college (Years 6 to 12, known as Secondary level in NZ) and give them one of the proverbial kicks up the back-side!

(You’ll learn more about the disastrous “education” {coughing fit} I experienced when my teaching & education book is released…)


Time And Relative Dimension In Space


 [Apologies–WordPress Post editor misbehaving for me today. Hence pic down here instead of at top of post.]

Response to Daily Prompt: Pick Your Gadget

Your local electronics store has just started selling time machines, anywhere doors, and invisibility helmets. You can only afford one. Which of these do you buy, and why?

Strike a Chord –

7 Dec

Paily Prompt 6 dec 15Do you play an instrument?
Is there a musical instrument whose sound you find particularly pleasing?
Tell us a story about your experience or relationship with an instrument of your choice.

I have tried…I did try…I’m still trying!

Mum began teaching my elder sister and me to play piano. She herself could put dad into a swoon almost if she played her pieces–he would sidle into the door frame and lean there, soppy smile, listening to every note and watching her fingers as they moved delicately along the keyboard.

My sister learned to play well, and there came the time for her to learn from a ‘professional’ teacher, who in turn suggested to mum that she had taught sis everything she could, and that sis should start lessons with one of the local convent nuns.

Me? Well, I admit it now–the only piece I ‘mastered’ I can still remember: Princess Waltz. Came the day when a teacher (I was then aged twelve) brought out his violin and taught us how it was constructed, and demonstrated chords and pizzicato playing. As it coincided with the issue of Orange Blossom Special played by the (NZ) Hamilton County Bluegrass Band, I was “inspired”. Without much argument or even discussion, within a week of me asking mum could I learn the violin, I was off to the convent.

(YouTube video of the band and the song at this link:

NB They’re “older & wiser” now)

I had to practise at the convent after cycling from school (‘though the following two years I was attending the convent school) as whenever I started practice at home, my baby brother would cry. First I was ousted from the lounge to my bedroom, then from my bedroom to the cabin in the back yard, then from the cabin to the convent’s music practice “cubby-holes”. So called as they had room enough -just- for a piano, a music stand and a chair. The window was a small one, patterned glass through which no one could see the sky’s clouds, and all the walls (and the back of the door was covered with Pinex for sound-proofing.

Violin ceased when I got bored by the set classical and childish pieces. (It didn’t help that I played by ear.) I would encourage other budding musicians on joining me in a “hootenanny” of sorts, playing the latest from the bluegrass band. I was ousted from violin practice rooms – and lessons – for being a bad influence on the other girls. I was thirteen in 1964

{{{{ TIMEWARP }}}}

In 1996  I bought a cheap-as electronic keyboard. I could remember Princess Waltz! And managed to pick my way through a few other pieces, forgotten now. My second son, used the keyboard to teach himself to play a nursery rhyme, and thus was able to achieve a creditable pass in Music-required to perform with four instruments in pubic. He’d learned to play percussion and guitar, the school choir (compulsory for all who wanted to join the music department) gave him his third instrument -his voice- and on concert night we were astounded when he got away with playing a nursery rhyme on the piano!

Needing some dosh (= cash) the keyboards was eventually ousted.

{{{{ TIMEWARP }}}}

In c. 2013, after in the interim researching my dad’s genealogy, I decided I could play the Bodhran, and wanted to learn the Tin Whistle. Fan of The Pogues and the Dubliners, me.

So whenever there’s no one home to complain about the noise, I practice one or the other. And I Still can’t read music, but am beginning to find the tin whistle fingering and the patterns on the sheet music. I can belt the rhythms on the Bodhran, but not yet capable of leading a session in the local Irish pub on St Patrick’s night.

So, that’s me and music lessons…still trying, really. I mean, Really trying.


(prompt at )

Changes are afoot

5 Dec

This blog is soon to be refocused.

Along with my norm of posting trivia, opinion pieces, stories etc, I will be focussing on a particular topic, one I know best – education. More specifically, teaching: memoirs, methodologies, well-remembered pupils and peers in teaching.

I am preparing a book on Schooling in New Zealand between 1956 (when I began in Primer One) and 2007 (when I ceased tertiary lecturing).

The title is not set yet, but I will announce it later on. In the meantime, I have been seeking copies of old NZ teaching Syllabus documents and current ones, and the Education Review Office’s (ERO – an acronym which in its early days struck fear in many communities and schools) reports of the school at which I was Principal, and the last compulsory level school I taught at before moving into tertiary level lecturing.

The book will meld anecdotes with opinion pieces, and include excerpts from Syllabus/Curriculum documents in effect at the time of the anecdote.

I have tried novelling – via NaNoWriMo – but have never been confident or enthusiastic to bother completing any. So – “NaNoNo’Mo'” – I am following the old advice: “Write about what you know”. And boy, do I know teaching! It has been my most satisfying job through my working life, and I would return to lecturing in a shot if I could.

So please, wish me well in this new challenge.

If you are a student of education preparing for a career as teacher, this will interest you.

If you are a parent and wanting to help your own child/ren via home schooling (I’ve BTDT) or as they pass through their years at school, this will interest you.

Thank you




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