2011 retrospective – 12 — November

A very family month and another Shire rediscovery month too.

2 November I began but soon abandoned another blog in an attempt to replace the public version of my Google Reader. 4 November was a most pleasant day.

Posted that wonderful open letter by Tom Keneally as well.

On 5 November I was thinking rather than writing….  I see Anonymous was going to shut down Facebook that day. Headed for Sydney on 6 November and also posted this: one of them is my grand-nephew David.

The book I told you about on 7 November really has proven a total treasure: On being in Surry Hills yesterday and finding Nick Jose’s anthology remaindered.

Began a series with Surry Hills revisited–people — 1.

All the angst about the carbon tax got to me in Sick of hysterics on 9 November.

11/11/11 deserved a special post and some nice photos of jacarandas. That day I also observed the Morphs in Crown Street Mall.

We seem to have had summer on 14 November: 93F at 8 pm. My main post was I watched Rageh Omaar on Abraham last night (SBS) ….

See also On being in Surry Hills yesterday and finding Nick Jose’s anthology remaindered  for last week’s episode.

I wasn’t disappointed, even if I was left wanting to know more. And let me preface by saying I admired the way he ended with those wonderful souls in Israel/Palestine who are genuinely for peace and reconciliation – for example:

Hand in Hand: Center for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel builds peace, coexistence and equality through a network of integrated, bilingual schools for Jewish and Arab children. Founded in 1997, Hand in Hand’s success and longevity demonstrate that children, families and entire communities of Jews and Arabs can live and work together with mutual respect and friendship.

On the other hand how tragic that this land and its living people are so cursed by origin myths that just refuse to die. How sad were the images of Hebron. In Omaar’s own words:

Following Abraham’s story takes you from one war zone to another; from Iraq to Israel and the Occupied West Bank, where there are more Abrahamic echoes in the current conflict. The best known and most shocking part of Abraham’s story is the attempted sacrifice of his son. In the Jewish and Christian Bible, it’s Isaac he tries to sacrifice. In the Koran, it’s Ishmael. Yet all three faiths share an admiration for Abraham’s willingness to go through with the sacrifice, only to be stopped at the last minute by divine intervention. Is not sacrifice one of the key elements in the Middle East conflict, the idea that future generations must be willing to sacrifice themselves for the land? There have been so many times in my career, when I have interviewed political leaders, militants, settlers and soldiers, where I have written down the word “sacrifice” alongside the words “future generations”.

Even Abraham’s reputed resting place is one of ugly, primal prejudice and violence. Hebron, in the West Bank, is one of the most uncomfortable places I have ever reported from. It oozes barely suppressed violence and raw hatred…

In The sad decline of key terms of abuse I praised the word “urger” as being still very relevant. I wondered then: Is the Christmas Bush early this year? Then we had the Royal visit…. Which is actually about Obama.

Shire Day on 18 November: Off to The Shire today, Back from The Shire, More on yesterday’s Shire excursion and Last fruits from Friday in The Shire:

The Classes of 68 and 69 may be found here.Flies_away

prefects1968

prefects1968aprefects1968bDr Colin Glendinning

Left: Paul Kelly, T Griffiths, Paul Weirick, R Priddy

Centre – Colin Glendinning 1968

Right – Colin Glendinning 2011

Sunday 20 November was the very impressive i98FM’s Camp Quality Convoy. This produced my most popular YouTube — 527 views so far.

In The conservative as fool I looked at the third episode of the History of the Bible series. There were more reviews in Serious, seriously good, seriously stupid and maybe not so serious after all…. “Seriously good is a book I have been working through for about a month: Bad Faith: A Forgotten History of Family and Fatherland by Carmen Callil…”

But  Sad news from The Shire coloured the rest of the month. I did wonder, however, about the #Occupy movement on 24 November: On occupying, fairyland and/or 21st century pretentiousness?

25 November: my father would have turned 100, so Mainly family takes up that and the recent death in Sutherland of my Uncle Roy Christison. There are lots of revelations in the comments about my great-grandfather John  Hampton Christison, with family historians Ray Christison and Bill Niven really adding value to the post. Best comment thread ever! Smile Wetness, colourful ancestors, Facebook and rellos the next day continues, but especially focuses on Facebook’s role in renewing family links. This month has been a classic example.

28 November was Roy’s funeral in Sutherland: Roy Hampton Christison 1927 – 2011. See also:

And speaking of The Shire, here are some good-looking people who live there:

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That’s David, Lauren and Nathan – grand-niece and grand-nephews. The occasion: Lauren’s Year 12 Formal. And the last post in November.

2011 retrospective – 11 — October

How did it end? See So October 2011 comes to an end….

What a month in the wider world as well as in Australia! Not much of it has been reflected here in this blog in this corner of Wollongong, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been noting. Increasingly, however, Facebook is the place I go to register (some of) the world’s greater doings, for good or ill – there and my Google Reader…

But that came to an end too a day later! At least the shareable version did. I now post some of it on Facebook and below the posts here are numerous feeds, most of them the sources of that Reader. On 29 October in Saturday miscellany I posted more indicators of my blog’s and my changing direction. You can trace back to 6 October’s Farewell to punditry and other changes here.

28 October: Congenial. See also Lovely afternoon in The Gong.

27 October:  Things I see around the neighbourhood…

I think it is becoming clear what my priorities now are!

Perhaps it all really followed from the previous three entries, all good ones: Funny isn’t always nice, is it?, First taste of summer and bitter taste of tabloid “journalism”, Really thought-provoking — Adam Curtis on SBS last night.

Last night Media Watch excelled itself unmasking yet another example of the strident, cynical, and utterly harmful vomit or two minute hate that passes for journalism whenever Today Tonight touches on a serious political issue. You think I overuse  the abusive terms there? Well go to TT’s false facts fuel fear and weep – or better yet flood Channel Seven with complaints as they were up to the same kind of hysterical shit AGAIN the very same night Media Watch went to air!

Today Tonight’s entire report was aimed at fuelling the myth that refugees are given extraordinary treatment.

Margaret Thomas: Well what have they contributed to our country? Nothing. And they’re giving them more money than we get.
— Channel Seven, Today Tonight, 10th October, 2011

And where did Margaret Thomas get that idea? Well, she says, from Today Tonight. She told us that the reporter had …

…showed me on his phone the video of that bloke saying he got $400 a week. Now that just got me very angry. …
I didn’t know he was getting $400 a fortnight. I think that’s very sad and Channel 7 should not do that…I would have preferred to have been told the truth
— Margaret Thomas, 15th October, 2011

Gee, so would we.

Here’s the truth. Asylum-seekers in detention get no cash benefits. Once given visas, refugees, whether or not they arrived by boat, get the same Centrelink benefits as everyone else.
Is it surprising that so many people are concerned about boat people, when they’re fed inflammatory nonsense like this by one of the most popular programs in Australia?

Irresponsible of Today Tonight, wouldn’t you say? But it isn’t about TRUTH is it?

The changes I mention at Sirdan–changes coming are still in train. This will be our last Christmas get-together in Sydney. See earlier Sirdan–looking back.

The Royal Tour occupied me in It’s them again! on 22 October, and the Illawarra Mercury did a funny…

20 and 21 October led to a suspension of unmoderated comment here, though that is now relaxed again. But I also shared So many good reads! and tiredly and resignedly tried yet again to penetrate the fog surrounding that idiots’ playground Climate Change Denial: Reality check on climate change. See earlier Oh Lordie, Lordie! I am posting from Carbon Central NSW and the sky….

One of the best novels of 2011 and one of the best novels I have ever read not only failed to win The Booker this year but was not even listed. A novel by the same author has won The Booker (2004), but this one is actually better than that one.

Ham-Spray-Tea-007

I refer to The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst. smiley-happy005smiley-happy005[5]smiley-happy005[7]smiley-happy005[9]smiley-happy005[11]smiley-happy005[11]

There’s an axe-grinding review by Anglo/Kashmiri novelist Hari Kunzru in The Observer. Such reviews often strike me as chastising the author for not writing the book the reviewer would have written. Damn it, I totally wallowed in the nostalgia! Leave me alone! See also my post Nostalgia and the globalising world — from Thomas Hardy to 2010.

In fact considering that review further I just added another smiley! I must check young Mister Kunzru’s books to see if he can write even half as well as Hollinghurst. Check Alan Hollinghurst: The Stranger’s Child on the ABC Book Show.

I see David Leavitt, “The Indian Clerk” (Bloomsbury 2007) among my best reads of 2009.  Brilliant also. And while we’re at it you can check my best reads of 2010, 2007, 2006 and 2005.

Then there is Scandinavian Crime, Noir and Horror.  I note I was onto this in my 2008 best reads….

On 18 October in Facebook does it for me again… I recount an example of a phenomenon that continued in November as Facebook found more “lost” relatives and friends. See also Thoughts on Facebook and The relatives I didn’t know–thanks, Facebook!

Can you see the resemblances?

resemblances1

That’s me on the right, and on the left one grand-niece, one grand-nephew, and one great-grand-nephew twice! Two live in Queensland, one in London but comes from North Queensland. I have not actually met any of them, though the grand-niece and I have exchanged messages increasingly on Facebook.

Julia Gillard visited The Gong. I visited Sydney. See also Sunday–in the Trinity Bar with Sirdan.

Note my 15 October post: “Took a break from the internet for the past day and a half. Partly I was busy doing other things, partly I was reading. Reading went well, but there are future posts on that… Meantime the same jerks are in the news. Who cares? Really!”

I was quite engaged by the TV adaptation of The Slap and ideas in nostalgia and creativity: Suppose you lived in a golden age. Would you know it? and Footnote on “The Slap” and social change…. See earlier:  Idiot box? Only if you want it to be… Part 2 and Idiot box? Only if you want it to be… Part 1.

Nostalgia time on 9 October after I watched The High and the Mighty on ABC2: Meanwhile in Sutherland in 1954…. More nostalgia in 1973–in The Gong teaching:

I began the month talking about trackwork  and subjecting you to multiple images of myself.

The photo blog image of October:

2011 retrospective – 9 — September

But first see how the sun has come out this morning!

PC140502

Over the road from The Bates Motel looking south

You may recall September departing with sound and fury. And there I reminded you that September had begun thus:

September began fairly dramatically for the Oz Government and its serial messing up of refugee policy: The High Court has struck down the Gillard Government’s refugee swap with Malaysia. As it should have. And did. “New Dawn” is over-egging though… records the outcome of our local government elections.

I took you for a walk 0n 5 September in Come for a walk–with Henry Kendall too and then I took you on my morning walk. Here’s the afternoon for you….

Lovely Chinese music on that one.

If you look at 6 September you will see a series of archive explorations. I think I found some lovely stuff. Smile

I have found my “blog” for September 2001.

05 Sep 2001

poetry..challenge and consolation

Poetry has been a passion and a sustenance in my often impractical and prodigal life, in dark phases and in times of joy. I wish I could write it better. Here’s someone who could; but is the title true? In some ways, maybe…

W.B. Yeats (1865–1939). from The Wild Swans at Coole. 1919.

Men improve with the Years
I AM worn out with dreams;
A weather-worn, marble triton
Among the streams;
And all day long I look
Upon this lady’s beauty
As though I had found in book
A pictured beauty,
Pleased to have filled the eyes
Or the discerning ears,
Delighted to be but wise,
For men improve with the years;
And yet and yet
Is this my dream, or the truth?
O would that we had met
When I had my burning youth;
But I grow old among dreams,
A weather-worn, marble triton
Among the streams.
Offered for your pleasure.

Next day: That’s all there is! and I went for the first time in a while to The Swell Cafe in Wollongong. Nice.

Nostalgic and visual in September, eh! And occasionally cryptic.

This one attracted some comments: Is that all there is? And how to remember 9/11 constructively…

If you read That’s all there is! yesterday you may be wondering if I would still endorse this:

I am now utterly convinced (and this from a one-time Evangelical Christian) that all sacred texts are of human origin and one of the world’s most dangerous delusions is the belief in inerrant verbal revelations from the Divine…

Do I still feel the same way? Sure do… You may be interested to read Jews, Christians and Judaeo-Christians by Geza Vermes (December 2011).

Family in Returnee! on 9 September. My grand-nephew Nathan visiting (unwittingly as it happened) his Whitfield ancestry in Ireland.

Then of course there was the tenth anniversary of 11 September: On the day, May this day not be marred by more hate or violence and Quiet post: West Wollongong evening and morning.

Nostalgic again, thanks to Facebook, in Class of 1986 please note: you’re getting old!  15 September was R U OK? Day and also a time to review Alas, poor Julia–or why I ENJOY “At Home with Julia”.

In the last half of the month The Shire exerted a strong pull on this blog and on me.

And then we had Jack Vidgen in The Gong.

This did lead me to wonder about YOUNG ADOLESCENT MALE TORCH SINGERS – there seem to be a lot of them.

And politics? Well one post will suffice from the rest of September: Such hideous and absurd things have happened in this world, my friends!

2011 retrospective – 8 — August

So Jack Vidgen won Australia’s Got Talent. And I spotted the first blossoms of spring.

On 3 August I noted the effect Australia’s Got Talent had had on this blog.

An engagement around the class of 1968 at Cronulla High was developing: 1968:

See Ah, the good old days!; How young we were!; More Cronulla High memories.

Now I find, thanks to Marilyn, that Cronulla High is having a 50th Anniversary Open Day and Dinner on September 17. Someone has published scans of the 1968-69 school magazine, which I edited and no longer have a copy of. I was shanghaied into the job, in fact – and if I recall it was during the summer school holidays on Cronulla Beach that Geoff McCaughan and his associates presented me with their piles of stuff…

I continue in An old soldier remembers The Somme…..

Still on education with Edublogging and I–with an aside on classroom management. After some examples from WAY BACK of my own early attempts —

The site above morphed into English/ESL and eventually moved to WordPress. In 2002 a gig with Year 12 extension led to another go at more interactive edublogging using Diary-X, itself now just a memory. See a copy (minus the interactivity) at Workshop 06 — Year 12 Extension 1: pomo 2002.

Among the many now concerned with using ICT in education are two of my regular blog reads – Darcy Moore and Maximos62. And of course Thomas.

Yesterday I mentioned the ETA Conference – which continues today. Thomas and Mr R had a successful session, it appears, and I was quite chuffed when I was checking something else to stumble on what Thomas has been doing in a Year 10 class at his school. The platform he used is very like WordPress: “Edublogs lets you easily create & manage student & teacher blogs, quickly customize designs and include videos, photos & podcasts – it’s safe, easy and secure.”

Naturally I can’t reveal the address of Thomas’s class blog, but I can say it is a great success and is very well thought through. Even the most conservative critic of computer use in schools would have to be impressed with the potential in what Thomas and his class have been doing.

As an example of thinking things through, here are Thomas’s rules for his students.

This is our blog to develop our knowledge and contribute to our learning. Members of class will be participating in a class blog for the purposes of:

  • Responding to and commenting on curriculum topics and units as we study them;
  • Creating written projects/ media projects and commenting on each other’s work;
  • Reviewing and sharing study strategies before tests and quizzes;
  • Talking about varied points of view on a topic;
  • Discussing current events;
  • Making classroom suggestions, and;

To use the blog, you must agree to the following statements.

  • I will not use any curse words or inappropriate language.
  • I will not use fighting words or provoke anyone.
  • I will avoid the use of chat language.
  • I will try to spell everything correctly.
  • I will only give constructive criticism.
  • I will not use my full name, or the name of my classmates.
  • I will not plagiarize.

He goes on to outline penalties for breaching the rules.

I dips my lid, Thomas. Well done! But such a lot of work to maintain, I would think! Especially if you had one in each of five or six classes.

I did more recently have an active edublog for my coachees – until last year in fact. It still exists. At least one of last year’s coachees still visits it too. The material in his section is obviously continuing to be relevant in Year 12.

7 August was a Busy Sunday in Sydney and More on Sunday’s excursion.  Sirdan’s birthday.

Then a change of topic: Watch this, folks! James Delingpole is hilarious! That’s on one of the dopey conservatives in the UK. Next day I received what I called a “stinking turd” – related to another issue — in my email box: This was meant to be a comment on current affairs….  This is the turd:

Sigh!

Then came all that excitement in the UK. You will see my immediate reaction there.

Quite a few posts in August are like Magic moments and fading memory.  Partly it is weariness, and partly it is appreciation. You be the judge. Perhaps you should also remind yourself what Rhipidura leucophrys is.

13 August and I was Quietly being contentious….

… Meanwhile too I have been carefully reading a contentious history in a field where rational discussion in next to impossible: Israel and Palestine. The book is The Invention of the Jewish People (Hebrew: מתי ואיך הומצא העם היהודי?‎, Matai ve’ech humtza ha’am hayehudi?, literally When and How was the Jewish People Invented?) is a study of the historiography of the Jewish people by Shlomo Sand, Professor of History at Tel Aviv University….

16 August: see Tread warily in the graveyard called Palestine/Israel [I see today yet another leading member/presidential hopeless in the USA has waded in like a dunny man with a full can on his shoulder approaching a hidden sand trap…  Gingrich. Where do these people park their brains? With the chewing gum on the bedpost? So depressing! Even more so if the shit-for-brains is elected! Or maybe he has a brain and is simply unable to achieve any balance or objectivity … No, it seems Gingrich isn’t dumb. It’s worse than that.]

On 18 August From Wollongong Library:

I introduced Mr R to the delights of the Yum Yum Cafe yesterday afternoon. In the course of conversation about books I mentioned Wollongong Library stores my past borrowings. Lately these have been: [Links do not open in new windows.]

  1. The lost and forgotten languages of Shanghai fascinating
  2. Ninth square ordinary
  3. Back to Bologna very funny – Aurelio Zen mystery.
  4. The invention of the Jewish people provocative, important, fascinating, challenging
  5. Two sons in a war zone : Afghanistan : the true story of a father’s conflict for its content rather than style
  6. A taste for death P D James. What can you say?
  7. God of speed Oz writer Luke Davies on Howard Hughes – very good novel.
  8. Blood moon by Gary Disher – Oz crime fiction. Good plot, sometimes a bit heavy-handed politically.
  9. The lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot : a new look at betrayer and betrayed – scholarly
  10. Devil’s peak by Deon Meyer – excellent South African crime fiction which also gives quite an insight into the  country now.
  11. White riot – excellent British thriller – very topical, in retrospect.
  12. When pigeons fly to nowhere “ Stefan Raicu was born and educated in communist Romania. As a teenager and young adult, he experienced the hardship of life behind the Iron Curtain. He completed an Economics Honours degree in 1978 and then together with his wife and young son, migrated to Australia in 1983. He currently works as a freelance Accountant, Finance and Business Adviser in south-western Sydney.”
  13. Rattle his bones : a Daisy Dalrymple mystery amusing
  14. Around Africa on my bicycle – Riaan  Manser – good, but I didn’t finish it!
  15. The Atlantic Ocean : essays on Britain and America by Andrew O’Hagen – this is a wonderful collection of essays.
  16. A case of two cities – Qiu Xiaolong  — Excellent!

Currently I have out:

My grumpiness grew in Green idiots are no better than climate change denialists… – and I am not backing off now either. Balanced it a bit with Counting our blessings (while reading “The Weekend Oz”). I was then very happy to note I’m feeling justified in the matter of David Hicks – and I still am!

22 August had a slightly misleading heading: Steel City no more! The item is about Bluescope deciding not to export steel any more and reducing Port Kembla to just one blast furnace. It is slightly misleading because The Gong hasn’t really been a steel city for a couple of decades now… Serious news though: Naturally the local news outweighs most things this morning, It’s spring in Port Kembla… and Here’s a bit of outrage from the local scene.

We had had a TV feast too with 50 Years of “4 Corners”. Excellent. Led me to reflect on that same time frame.

A bit of family history in Wollongong is relevant to the current woes of the local steel industry: The woman I thought was my aunt’s maid.

Bessie Foskett, then, was what we would now call PA to Sir Cecil Hoskins, one of the bigwigs in the history of industry in this country and especially in this area. She lived for as long as I can remember with my aunt and uncle, Ella and George Moon, in Wollongong. Because it was so often Bessie who appeared to be in the kitchen I made my erroneous judgement about her role, even asking my mother once if Bessie was Aunt Ella’s maid. There was much laughter about that…

30 August: Wikis and weblogs and trolls, oh my!

Such a good title! A student of secondary teaching at Melbourne University has just started an edublog with that name.

No matter how fancy or whizz-bang our teaching presentations or animations of enzymes are, if we can’t get the kids listening and engaged we may as well try can-can dancing up and down the classroom with sparklers in our hair.

I am currently teaching two rather rowdy classes in Year 8 and Year 9, and have been learning the fundamental lesson that no matter what wonderful things you have planned to teach, you can’t actually teach them if you can’t effectively manage classroom dynamics. As my Year 7s and Year 11s last semester were much more manageable, this is my first real test of my behaviour management techniques, and it’s a bit of a learning curve.

Kristy’s first post led me to Teaching the iGeneration by Larry Rosen.

Studying generational similarities and differences can be tricky; no individual completely fits the profile of a particular generation. But research suggests that the majority of people born between a rough set of dates actually do share many characteristics (see Strauss & Howe, 1991).

Those born between about 1925 and 1946 are often called the Traditional or Silent generation. Growing up through the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War, they are characterized by a belief in common goals and respect for authority. The Baby Boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, tends to be optimistic, idealistic, and communicative and to value education and consumer goods. The next generation, born between 1965 and 1979, were defined by Douglas Coupland (1991) as Generation X in his book of the same name; the label X signifies that, compared with the Baby Boomers, Gen Xers are not as easily categorized.

With the 1980s and the birth of the World Wide Web, the power of cyberspace came to the masses and a new generation of web surfers, very different from their predecessors, was born. The most common label for this generation is Generation Y, simply meaning the generation after X. Some people stretch this generation past 1999 and refer to its members as Millennials. To me, these names are an insult to our first true cyber generation. This generation should not be defined by the next letter in the alphabet or by the turn of the century. I believe that Don Tapscott’s (1999) term—the Net Generation—better reflects the impact of the Internet on the lives of its members.

On the basis of our research with thousands of teenagers and their parents, my colleagues and I have identified a separate generation, born in the 1990s and beyond, which we label the i Generation. The i represents both the types of digital technologies popular with children and adolescents (iPhone, iPod, Wii, iTunes, and so on) and the highly individualized activities that these technologies make possible. Children and youth in this new generation are defined by their technology and media use, their love of electronic communication, and their need to multitask.

Parenthetically, we are just starting to examine a separate minigeneration of kids like Mikey and Brittani, who not only are facile with individualized mobile technologies, but also have the expectation that if they conceive of something, they should be able to make it happen. If an app doesn’t exist for something they want to do on a smartphone, they just assume that nobody has created it yet and that it should be a piece of cake to do so. All in all, a fascinating minigeneration.

Good stuff, but one can’t help wondering at the odd parochialism in such things. All I have to do to see that is talk to M who was born in Shanghai in 1962!

2011 retrospective–7 — July

I began July with a rather nice post, if I say so myself: Winking smile

Yesterday I posted some statistics relevant to LBOTE students in selective high schools in NSW.  Ten years ago such stats were my bread and butter, but they were never really just stats. Rather they were and are a whole series of often utterly remarkable people whose lives have intersected with mine over the years. And it’s true: when you become a teacher by your pupils you’ll be taught.

I see that 25% of my Facebook friends are ex-students ranging from the Class of 1974-5 (Trevor K!) to the class of 2004 (Mian!). And here is where I was for most of 1985-2005…

2 July had two posts: Look who’s at the rally along with A Jones and A Anderson… With friends like these… and Sea Cliff Bridge so July was off to rather a good start.

Sirdan came down to The Gong on Sunday 3 July: Sunday lunch at Five Islands Brewing–and other things brewing in The Gong. Our conversation had included the proposed and aborted rail link from the Illawarra to the main southern line, so that post explains all about it. The idea is being looked into again at the moment.

Now what was I on about in They’re coming to take me away…?

The men in the white coats? The black limo with the pine box? Either or both or neither… I do however find myself superannuated – not in the common sense as I am an old age pensioner rather than a self-funded retiree, but in the older sense: “Medieval Latin superannuatus, past participle of superannuari to be too old, from Latin super- + annus year”. In other words “over-yeared”. Oh yes I am, and in a couple of days another birthday –  or so many years since mid- World War II – to make the point.

As a teacher perhaps one becomes keenly aware of the passing of generations. Or as one gets older confused about which generation was when. Now the 21st century school leavers are taking over we poor old sods from the previous century are more and more teetering on the brink, rocking on the perch, floating somewhere in space…

Item: Mr Rabbit (an ex-student) and Thomas (a blogger) are doing a double act at the English Teachers’ Conference in August: “Lend me your Lenovo: Persuasion through the classics and ICT.”  That can’t be right? Aren’t they still in Year Seven?

Item: Mian Wang (2004) turns up in Wollongong and it appears is a full-on health worker down here. Isn’t he still in Grade One?

Item: Korean-born John Shin (class of 2003) turns up last night on Q&A:

July 6 has three entries: July South Sydney Herald: very special which included a tribute to its founder, Trevor Davies; Welcome to Carbon Central about an article in The Guardian about The Gong; Australia’s Got Talent–and more on talent which was not just about my favourite viewing in June/July but went on to introduce you to the ideas of Sir Ken Robinson.

 It’s about light on 7 July os about photography.

On 8 July: Incandescent with rage: 1 and Incandescent with rage: 2–not dimming but refining take off from the previous night’s documentary Leaky Boat and the subsequent Q&A about what happened from 2001 onwards to our refugee policy and what an outrage it really was.

I continued on my birthday with Leaky Boat: the documentary. But I didn’t forget my own birthday.

But I returned to Leaky Boat the following day. I also articulated something important.

Apologia

I am not an activist. I can count on one hand the demos I have attended in the past two decades, and on two the demos I have ever attended. The romance of the barricades has not been my style and the cynic in me has often written off such activities as mere drama, even self-dramatisation and a way of imagining one is not impotent after all. I don’t think I have ever carried a placard.

But I have worn one

But I can admire activists as well, especially those whose activism is rather more than screaming on street corners or playing tag with police. It is something I am ambivalent about. A matter of style perhaps, because I sure have been known to protest in my way. Last year my journalism was one such way…

I returned to the theme of Leaky Boat a couple of days later.

What I got for my birthday: Self-portrait with new camera.  On 13 July I was transported via Facebook back to SBHS in the 90s and early 2000s. Then of course there was Australia’s Got Talent Final 1 to think about.

Other July posts on this are Australia’s Got Talent Final 2; Australia’s Got Talent 2011 Grand Final; Australia’s Got Talent 2011 Grand Final — my top 5; And the winner is…. That last one is 2 August, but hey!

On 14 July I reported on missing Barnaby Joyce’s visit to The Gong: Amazing scenes in The Gong–and I missed them. That was also a great day. I dined at Diggers with:

[Stewart Holt] Former student, now criminal lawyer and folk singer – and father. Later I played the CD and was quite impressed. The title track is particularly good, about the singer’s grandfather (or great-grandfather) who was born and died pretty much where the Steelers Club stands today.

Had a bit of a photo hit next: Joys this morning has brought and Hellas in Wollongong–latest on the photo blog.

This pretty much continued with Surry Hills Sunday lunch; Playing with the new camera. Later in the month storms provided some great photo posts.

See After the storms; After the storms 2; Old Court House, Wollongong; Promo :); Former fish restaurant transformed and Playing.

19 July I posted Whatever it takes… which began with a foot-in-mouth attack from Tony Abbott but goes on to be a major post on climate change. See also ten days later Spy planes target Wollongong! Global warmist plot exposed! Coming soon on your local Murdoch media!!!

On 20 July One hundred years!

The thing about today which resonates most with me at the moment is realising my mother, had she lived past 1996, would be 100 years old today!

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That’s her cross-legged by the pram.

Otherwise, we have winter weather right now. I guess this is not all that surprising. It is winter, and July is our coldest month usually…

Did one of my better archival backtracks on 22 July. Sharing Day on 23 July brings photos, music and other blogs – music especially Steeleye Span. 25 July was Good news only. But then we had Norway.

Winding down now on July 2011: End of month time-warp post–30-31 July, [add year here]

The photo blog image for July: