Teacher Scenarios

Photo: when practicing routines & procedures...

From Teacher Memes’ Facebook page

I’ve been running scenarios in my head with how I would cope as a Middle-School Science Teacher. This is what I’ve come up with.

Scenario 1:

Some smart-aleck student: “Miss, tell us about Uranus.”

Me: “We won’t be studying heavenly bodies until week twelve.”

How I’d like it to go

Whole class applause.

How I expect it will go

I’ll be sacked for sexual harassment.

Scenario 2:

When a student raises their hand to ask a question, I’ll high-five that hand.

How I’d like it to go

Everyone thinks it’s awesome.

How I expect it will go

I’ll be sacked for physical abuse.

Scenario 3:

Class won’t be quiet, so I bring in a fog-horn.

How I’d like it to go

Class is quiet, and everyone respects me.

How I expect it will go

Students’ ears will start bleeding and I’ll be sacked for dangerous use of sound.

Scenario 4:

Kids start rumour mill that pairs me up with male teachers. I tell them I’m asexual.

How I’d like it to go

Kids become respectful and no longer make assumptions about people’s sexual orientation.

How I expect it will go

Kids will assume I must be taking part in orgies, the rumour mill gets worse, and I’m sacked because parents start pulling their kids out of my classes.

Scenario 5:

Kids rise as soon as bell goes off.

How I’d like it to go

They all simultaneously meet my eyes and slowly sit back down.

How I expect it will go

Ideal situation doesn’t work, so I try to block the door, and get murdered by the mob in that bloody-hand-reaches-up-and-stains-the-doorknob-way.

Conclusion:

When I start this education course, I better have a bloody good mentor.

Book Review: Heart of Venom by Jennifer Estep

16130369

Review:

Ugh.

I once loved this series. Like really, really loved. I was shocked how the first five books seemed to be written just for me. Have you ever had that reaction to a story before? It doesn’t have to be the greatest story ever told, but it ticks all the right boxes for you.

Gin Blanco is a proper kick-ass heroine, with the kind of ‘get-yer-hands-dirty’ attitude I love. The first five books in the series were wonderful (for me) but even back then I remember recycled scene-setting and dialogue. And I always thought the sex-scenes were weird and awkward, but that’s fine. I didn’t read these for the romance (which seemed to be thrown in purely for mass-appeal purposes).

Ever since the big finale way back in Spider’s Revenge, I thought the series was done. Then I saw there was a sequel and I was like ‘oh good’, but it’s just gone downhill from there. Nothing seems to be a proper challenge for Gin after she beat the Big Bad Bitch. Even when the stakes are ramped up, it seems artificial. The same thing happened to me after the Cell Saga in Dragon Ball Z so maybe I just have an issue with series going too far beyond their original plot-line (which, admittedly, was the Frieza Saga but I like time-travel. So Cell Saga was good). But I digress…

The only thing I got out of this book was the explanation and wrap-up of what happened to Sophia all those years ago. I was always interested in that sub-plot but… I just feel it would’ve been better done following Fletcher around. Gin, hell, everyone’s just gotten on my nerves. There’s no real character development for anyone because there’s nothing really left to do. That spanner in the works with the main love interest was contrived and unbelievable and everyone else is just milling about. Sure, the action is still fun and Gin is still bad-ass, but it’s all technicalities. Everything just seems so artificial now. It’s lost it’s glamour.

I’m sorry, I cannot bring myself to give this a proper thumbs-up. It just seemed lazy, lazy, lazy. But thankfully Jennifer Estep is trying something new, with a thief-themed series starting next year. Then there’s the prequel The Spider which I haven’t read yet, but will anyway because it’d be nice to go back to a non-omnipotent Gin. So yes, I will read Estep’s other books, but I’m done with the Elemental Assassin Series.

I was disappointed. So thumbs down 😦

Heart of Venom
Jennifer Estep
Elemental Assassin #9
Adult
Urban Paranormal Fantasy
354 pages

According to the blurb on the back:

When I say you’re a dead man, take that literally.

To me, killing people is like a day at the salon: cut and dry. Well, more like rinse and repeat when you moonlight as the assassin the Spider. But my last spa day ended up redder than my freshly painted nails after a twisted Fire elemental and his goons kidnapped my close friend Sophia Deveraux and nearly killed her sister Jo-Jo in the process.

Up Ashland’s most dangerous mountains, and deep into the heart of its blackest woods – I’ll track these thugs no matter where they take Sophia. It doesn’t matter what kinds of elemental magic they try to throw at me, my Ice and Stone powers can take the heat and then some. I will get Sophia back, over their dead bodies.

Because anybody that hurts Gin Blanco’s family becomes a body.

Lovely Desperation

I think we all get a bit desperate sometimes (unless you’re completely satisfied with your life in every way, in which case, well done. Seriously.). This past year I’ve been fluctuating between different directions of desperation. I desperately want to quit my job. Then I desperately want to be able to enjoy my job because hey, it pays pretty good and my life would be fine if I could just learn to like it. But when I’m working, I just want to write. When I’m working, I just want to read. I don’t see the pay as a reward for hard work – it’s just a reminder of how much time I’ve wasted. That’s honestly how I see my work: wasted time.

I know a lot of you out there are artistically minded. You love imagination and beautiful things. Some of your are even fortunate enough to make a living doing you enjoy. Of course, fortune isn’t the whole of the matter. You invest the whole of yourself into what you do – you threw caution to the wind and put your heart and soul on the line. I desperately want to do the same.

But I’m just so damn practical!

Maybe practical isn’t the right word. But it’s something cold like that. Logical. Calculating.

Pessimistic.

I like to think of it as realistic. I went straight from high school to uni because I was realistic. I went straight from uni into a full-time job because I was realistic. I thought of these things as starting my life. Building a foundation. But how was my life founded? What was I building towards? I find myself surrounded by people who are truly invested in their careers but when they talk about them I completely lose interest. It would be so easy if I was as driven as them. If I were so motivated towards ‘progression’ and ‘advancement’, then things would be simple.

But the truth is, I want to stop.

I don’t care about working towards the next step up the ladder. I don’t care about gaining experience. I just don’t care about my work.

Then that little voice crops up again – anything could happen in the future. Anything. Bad things. Things that cost money, and will always and continue to cost money. What are you going to do then if you quit now while you’re still able to work?

I hate being realistic. Reality sucks. I worked that out when I was fifteen and I found out ‘adventuring archaeologist’ wasn’t a real job. That’s why I started writing. My first book was about the search for Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s secret tomb. So why was I trying to act in accordance with reality? Because I can’t run away from reality. I can’t hide from reality. But I bloody well want to sometimes.

Do you ever have a certain feeling bubbling up inside of you that you are doing the exact opposite of what you are meant to do? That desperate drive to be who you really are, and damn the consequences? It would be so liberating. I could be so free.

But I can’t escape reality. So the argument goes around and around again. I want but I need. I need but I want. I’m not even sure which is the want and which is the need anymore. Do I need money or fulfillment? I suspect my perspective is skewed, but I’m not sure where the bias lies. What’s more important to me? What will matter more in the future? I’m just stuck in this state of desperation, swinging between positivity and negativity.

I don’t know if you could tell, but I had a fairly shit day at work.

Ugh, I know I’m in a bit of rut right now. I love this blog, and I love writing and I love reading, and work isn’t preventing me from doing any of these things that I love. After all, I still have a bit of time at the end of the day. Maybe tomorrow I can afford a better perspective. But right now, I just needed to rant. I’m sure you’ve felt the same at times. Thank you for giving me this space to voice myself, even when I’ve gotten a little ugly. Please feel free to rant and rave at me whenever you feel like it – now that I’ve put you through this, you have every right to do the same.

Random work rant, with poetry

Chip on your shoulder you can’t get over,

Can’t stop the regrets, can’t stop the rantings,

Haven’t yet realised your tales keep changing.

You bitch and you moan, round and round again

If you talk enough, will something change then?

 

Chip on your shoulder you can’t get over,

Sure, back in the boom you might have been high,

But now it’s the bust, so we’ll scrounge to survive.

You whinge and complain, still working a job

Never sparing thought to those you have dobbed.

 

Chip on your shoulder you can’t get over,

Can’t you see there’s still so much to lose?

Stop wallowing here, stop drinking your booze!

I’m done giving pity, done fueling your bane,

So for goodness’ sake, can’t you just do the same?

 

This was inspired by a bloke I work with. He won’t stop lamenting about how much better things would be if he was running the show, like he almost was back in the boom. He can’t let go what might have been, even though the circumstances were out of his control. And it isn’t all bad – so many miners are out of work, and he’s still got a job. He forgets to be grateful for that – that he survived.

He keeps pretending like he has power at work, when he’s got none. No one wants to be bossed around, especially by someone who actually isn’t anyone’s boss.

Sometimes we just need to remember to be grateful, otherwise regret can destroy us. And how can we harbour regret for something we could not control? It doesn’t make sense but it happens all the time. We’ve all got to try to let go.

I’m not usually this harsh, but this guy really grates on me. Sometimes sympathy just seems to fuel the fire and hinder a person rather than help.

Small Defeats: Water off a duck’s back, or the final straw?

We all have them. Sometimes it seems like it happens every day, sometimes more than once a day. It would be wonderful to be happy all of the time, but we need a reason for that happiness, a reason to be peaceful. We need time to ourselves and space. And sometimes things. Just. Don’t. Work.

I remember once just standing in front of the bread section in the supermarket, and I had a moment. I had just wanted bread. I didn’t know if I wanted light rye/ sourdough/ wholemeal/ wholegrain/ white/ white plus fibre/ multigrain/ country style or whatever the hell else there was to choose from. I just kind of… broke. All I wanted was bread. I left the store without buying anything,

Then I had to go back later and picked light rye.

I’m not sure what had happened. I was just suddenly overwhelmed by the choice I had to make. This is not the first time I had experienced one of these ‘small defeats’ but it was probably the most stupid example of it happening to me. I mean, I freaked out when faced with bread. BREAD DEFEATED ME.

What the hell was going to happen with my head when it was finally faced with a decision of enormity? The strangest thing is, sometimes I’m great. I’ve made big decisions before. I was out of work for six months after the coal price dropped and I was applying to at least one job advertisement a day. I just kept plugging away at it and eventually I lucked out (and I know that was all it was – there’s still plenty of good geologists out of work). So I knew I had a bit of grit. But then other times when I’m financially stable I can’t pick out a freaking loaf of bread.

I think we’re all vulnerable to this. Over-thinking things, expectations we place upon ourselves, society telling us that we must be successful because if we’re not successful then we’re failures. I’m not always vulnerable. No one wants to be vulnerable. I want to be tough. I want to be strong. But sometimes that willpower just doesn’t back me up. My self-confidence fades, And I’m vulnerable again.

Most of the time I’m okay. But sometimes a little problem just isn’t water off a duck’s back. Sometimes it becomes the straw that breaks.

We need to be conscious of this, for ourselves and others. Just because we seem fine it doesn’t mean we are.

And the next time you see someone standing for a solid ten minutes in front of the bread isle, maybe just suggest your favourite bread (which is now light rye for me). Don’t snap at them to “move your stupid ass!” because then you might be hit in the face with the donuts and find the perpetrator has already bolted out of the store.

Just a word of advice.

Have you ever had similar experiences or have any advice? Please feel free to comment.

And here’s a picture of a duck. It cheered me up.

Beautiful Duck 24

Random Flash Fiction

Hiya. This is a flash fiction I wrote today, inspired from my flu and how I can’t stop describing its disgusting workings to people. But not you though. I would never do that to you 😉

 

I gingerly walked through the school to get to my home room. Still feeling out of it, I almost didn’t see Jake.

He smiled at me and kindly asked, “Hey, you’re feeling better then?”

I tried smiling back but it ended in a grimace. “A little. I think I swallowed too much mucus so I’m all queasy now.”

Jake’s smile froze into insincerity. “Okay…” He walked away.

Idiot.

Idiot!

The shout from behind almost threw my heart out of my chest. Reeling, I clutched my collar and turned around to meet Lana.

“What was that for?”

“I could ask you the same thing!”

“Lana-”

“What person in their right mind talks about mucus to someone they like?”

Keep your voice down.

“Seriously! What were you thinking?”

“I wasn’t. Okay?”

“Well, maybe you should start.” Lana approached me, but kept at least a meter’s distance for fear of germs. “How do you expect to ever get a date?”

“I dunno. Maybe I have a subconscious fear of commitment-”

“I think you gotta have some sort of relationship first. You enjoy sabotaging any chance of that.”

I just shrugged, already too exhausted to argue.

“C’mon. We better get moving.”

I follow her down the path.

“Hey,” Lana spoke up after about a minute. “I’m glad you’re back.”

I sneezed and rummaged my pockets for a tissue.

She burst out laughing.

I was glad to be back.

I like stats

Because I’m pedantic, and perhaps a bit vain too (but I’m not too proud to admit it). One of my favourite things about word press is it’s statistics function. For about a week now I’ve been compulsively, indulgently and guiltily checking it every hour or so. I know, I know, a watched pot never boils, but I find it fun in a strange way (I wouldn’t be surprised if my ancestors were bean counters).

But yesterday something really annoying happened. I posted, and you kind people liked, but my hits didn’t go up. I had never noticed this happening before. I worried there was a glitch in this glorious statistics page, but no. When I searched for the problem, I found that posts read in wordpress’ reader don’t count as hits!

Untitled

Well, doesn’t that just make the whole compilation of data completely inaccurate! And there is no offense greater to scientist than inaccurate data!

Okay, I’m exaggerating. I was a bit miffed is all. And if you’ve gotten to this stage in the post, then you would know what I’ve done to rectify the situation.

I noticed some people had this setup where you had to navigate to their blog to read the whole post. So that was how you do it! By going through the forums I found how to emulate this wonderful function:

Go to dashboard. Click settings, then reading, and then where it says For each article in a feed, show select summary. Easy!

Well, actually I had trouble finding the dashboard, so I just copied and pasted this helpful directory:

whateveryourblogiscalled.wordpress.com/wp-admin/options-reading.php

That was easier.

 

I would like some feedback though. Do you find it annoying to have to click to my blog to read the whole post? I hope it isn’t inconvenient, but if you find it is, please tell me! But then, if you’ve gotten through this rant about statistics and you’re still here I’d expect I haven’t annoyed you too much 😉

Pages

I figured I’d stick this at the end here. I’ve got two new pages on my blog! If you hover over my About page you’ll find one labelled “Who I really am”. The other one is just a Contact Me page with the email I gave out a couple of days ago. I also wrote a sappy poem on the page. Because when I get tired I trip out on emotions.

I’m very tired now…

Good night everyone!

MdD

Reading & Writing Plans

This blog and everything that’s resulted from it (mostly, meeting all of you) has really motivated me to try new things. Before I was just reading whatever I found at the library and writing stories for my own enjoyment (and with the hope of getting published ‘one day’). But now, with all the encouragement (and examples set) from motivated bloggers, I have seen there’s another way to go about it all.

So here’s how my reading and writing plans have changed for the rest of the year.

Start Reading Indie Books

I had tried ebooks before, but never really got into them. I have to admit I am one of those people who love to hold a physical book in their hands – to flick through the pages and smell a new book, to feel the texture of the paper under my thumb, these are the small pleasures in life. I am very particular about font, the size of the text and the contrast between the black ink and the colour of paper used (white paper is too bright, and a book automatically gives off a sense of intrigue if its pages are browned, like it has its own history attached to it). There will always be the romanticism attached to borrowing a book from the library (who else has laughed and cried while holding this very book?), but of course my local library will never have the sheer variety that exists on the internet.

And the world of blogging has plenty to recommend! At the moment I’ve just started to read:

Arafura by Susan Lattwein (I’ve never read a book set in Darwin before, and Susan does a great job at illustrating the top end – the crazy hot and humid coast is making a wonderful respite from the cold, dry-as-a-bone days I’ve been experiencing at work lately)

Dirty Blood by Heather Hildebrand, which Leiah reviewed recently on So, I read this book today and it seemed to be right up my alley.

Six Hours to Sunrise by Melissa R Smith, who actually got me onto Smashwords when I read her (awesomely named) blog That’s great Mom… but I have pie

Next up I’ve got my eye on the Maggie Newberry Mysteries by Susan Kiernan-Lewis, because I love cozy mystery and France (and wine and vineyards and… yep, definitely going to try this series next).

And I’ll be reading Stephanie Hurt‘s next book. Because pirates.

Okay, I’m a little bit overwhelmed now by the fact that I’ve only just scratched the surface of the independent author-world. But I’m still up for recommendations! Plus I’ll keep casing through the blogs I follow for more possible reads.

Fear of Having Nothing to Blog About

This morning I woke up excited to see what’s happened in blog-world since I went to bed. Being in Australia means the majority of the English-speaking world (Britain, America, even South Africa) tends to be awake while I’m asleep. So I got up, feeling pretty good while reading the comments on my own blog and the posts from other blogs I followed, and then something strange happened.

My mind became submersed in this idea that I had nothing interesting left to say.

I tried to think about what else I could blog about, but my brain only produced boring things. Like porridge. Yes, I tried to write a post about porridge. I tried to write a poem about porridge. Why am I still writing about porridge?!

How have you dominated my mind?!

I had to leave the computer. I made a cup of tea. I came back, closed my blog and tried to remember why I loved this painfully challenging practice just twenty minutes ago. Then it hit me – I was trying too hard. I don’t need to be trying to write a future blog post right this minute. I should just go back to what I enjoyed about blogging in the first place – reading.

People need all sorts of things for inspiration. For me, as soon as I went back to reading a book, then back to reading blogs I followed, the pressure was released. I had thoughts again (phew!). I was engaged in what other people were doing. I commented. I read comments. And I relaxed.

Crisis over, I was surprised it had happened in the first place. It was like I was suddenly overwhelmed by this unnecessary expectation. I had forgotten to have fun. That’s what we’re all here for right? Entertainment. Engagement (not the wedding kind; the engaging with the community kind). Escapism.

I feel a bit stupid now, but I still wanted to write this. This is full-circle closure. I am writing a blog post about not being able to write a blog post.

And I’m happy again 🙂

MdD

P.S. I am going to keep that porridge post in my hard-drive, as a reminder to not take things so bloody seriously.

Why I love Blogging and the Bogging Community

Today at work I spent a shameful amount of time sneaking looks at my phone to read blogs, reply to blogs and read replies to blogs. And reply to replies to blogs.

I had no idea communicating and socialising in this way could be so much fun! I’m not really a social person: I’m not outgoing, I don’t have lots of friends and I don’t really talk to people I don’t know. These facts do not just apply to real life, they also apply to facebook and internet forums. I actually used to find the virtual world more intimidating than the real one.

So what changed? I always loved reading, and I’ve been writing for a few years now. So like many aspiring writers (well, aspiring to make a living off it – I know I can put pen to paper)  I began reading up on the liberation of self-publishing. The conclusion to the self-published world seemed to be: build an online presence. I cannot network or sell myself at all in the real world but blogging opened up a new avenue for me. I started to think about what I would like to blog, and I thought about what could help my writing. Book reviews were an obvious choice – I could talk about books I liked and explore why I like them, thus improving my own writing skills. But I had to do something else, didn’t I? So I set myself the challenge of writing short-and-sweet bit-sized stories that would fit a blog.

Suddenly this brainstorming session breached beyond the usual barrier that awaits any project I usually come up with. I was excited to blog. I was excited to challenge myself and invest myself into something new for me.

What I didn’t expect was how much I would love the other side of blogging: the community. You other bloggers out there don’t just share my interests, we also seem to share the same values. Many of you are kind and considerate and polite and just so welcoming! Far from the trolls that lurk in viciously opinionated forums and the people who I befriend on facebook because I think they’re nice, then turn around and start posting highly prejudiced rants and rape jokes on my news feed. That sort of stuff just keeps me away.

But in the short time since I made an account with wordpress, I found people who present consistently positive and engaging attitudes. I’m actually really shocked. There are people on the internet who are…. genuine?

I will be sure to meet more of you in the future, kind strangers.

MdD