Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Hey, we have a pool in our backyard!

We've had about 220mm (about 10 inches I think) of rain in the past two days. Sunday was drizzly, but yesterday and overnight it has absolutely bucketed down. Some of it came down in a big hurry too, causing some flash flooding in places in town - caused by blocked drains I guess. And we have excellent great drainage in our backyard too. Not! (I think I've posted photos of this before, but I still shake my head each time it happens.)

Last night was pretty wild and woolly - and it was one of those times the 'weather' was blowing in from the east, and thus, as has happened before, the french doors on that side of the house leaked - so I have a pile of old nappies sopping up the water against the doors. (*must collect them all and stash them somewhere till I can wash them and hang them on the line*) Somehow the water also comes in somewhere way above the doors up on our bedroom floor and trickles down the wall ... and we wonder each time if maybe we should silicon up the house.

In the early hours of the morning (and at hourly intervals throughout the night when the sound of the wind and rain was keeping me awake) I was wondering if it was going to be sensible to send anyone to school, but with daybreak it has gradually eased. Even more surprising (after having two kids home yesterday - one since last Thursday), everyone felt ok to go to school. Hooray!

I know everyone was wishing for rain, but the old saying 'it never rains but it pours' has held true yet again. Those state forest roads will be well and truly 'dampened down' now. (Probably all the new sand and gravel recently dumped on it has been washed and eroded away.)

So - alone again! I should be using my time more 'wisely'... I probably should wander down to the supermarket to stock up on a few things. Like dinner for tonight. Just the girls and me - Marc has a work 'dinner' in the middle of a two day meeting. I know, given the meeting agenda, he'd rather be at home. And I'd rather he was too; it takes two of us to pin #1 down to doing Maths homework.

Mind you, he lost it with her last night because she has such a flippant, ''don't like it, not going to even tax my brain" attitude to Maths. AND he found she'd drawn all over her calculator, after she was shaking it to try to get it to work. (And if this has been happening with it, what is she going to do if it won't work in the test on Friday?) That was after she'd been a total idiot with some question about right angle triangles. It wouldn't be so bad if she was actually 'not bright', but it is pretty disappointing to see a smart kid not try. How she is in the top class mystifies us - and has us doing some soul searching on the education system/school/teachers - who are letting her get away with this. (And believe me, being, personally, a champion of the public school system, this is causing me great turmoil and conflict within.) Because if she is coming about 10th in the top maths class in her year, god help the rest of them.

Do we sound harsh? Possibly. But this is a kid in Year 9 - (14/15 years old) - who is excelling at all her subjects, bar Maths, yet we don't see her doing ANY homework. (And the Maths parent/teacher interview and report proved she wasn't doing any maths.) She's sliding through these other subjects without even working up a sweat, and I fear that come Year 11 and 12, she will crash and burn because she doesn't know how to study! And that would be such a huge waste of potential.

She tells me this morning that there are parent/teacher interviews next week, so I said 'you get as many teachers as you can. Definitely Maths.' And, trust me, I will be taking these concerns to them - even the ones like the English teacher who told me last time she was a superb student.

I digressed.

In other news, and needless to say, I haven't been on a bike in the past couple of days... This weekend is the 100 mile ride, and while I probably haven't done enough riding, we will probably manage ok - particularly as we are tandemming it. My knee still niggles a bit, so I'll probably dose up on Voltaren to get me through it. I suppose you're all wondering "why?" but I will only answer 'because it's there'.

I have some netball stuff to deal with.. but don't start me on that right now!

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Oi! Send some of that rain up here...preferably right on top of our dams! We have had rain, too but need heaps and heaps more. Never did I think that so many people in a coastal area would be hoping for cyclonic type rains just to survive!

And IKWYM about the child-attitude! My almost 12 year old told me at 9pm last night that he needed a new calculator before 9 am this morning for the statewide testing! Arrrghhh! I could have throttled him!
Oh - I will put my hand up for some of that rain, also!

Sorry that you had such a sodden inside of the house as a result. Gotta thank that old nappy stash sometimes - I remember once when I lived in Brisbane and a good old Summer thunderstorm put out the electricity and blew a gale, my then 4yo dd and I slid across the dining room placing down a dozen or so to try and sop up the damage.

Good luck on the 14 yo - and letting you know that some of us didn't learn that lesson until Uni...
Yeah - rain - I want to send it somewhere else, too. Weather is goofed up everywhere it seems.
Rain - they say Melbourne gets heaps but we've hardly had any all year, its been a pretty dry winter. Hopefully Spring is a wash out.

As to studying habits - get her into them early. I breezed through year 9 and 10 thinking it was all a piece of cake, then yr 11 & 12 hit me and I just gave up. I didn't have the discipline to study, but - and I think this is the most important thing - I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do after High School (still don't after 12 years!).

I didn't have any goals to look forward to so never tried in year 11 and 12 and just coasted through without a care in the world. The school was absolutely SHIT at providing encouragement or direction in this area - they threw some VTAC and UAC guides at us and that was it. It severely limited my Uni options, and although I think I've come out alright in the end (TAFE was WAY better than the 3 months I did at Uni), I do occasionally think back and give myself a mental slap thinking that if I'd only did this or that, I could have done something completely different.

Maybe start drilling into her the options of University etc now so that come year 11 she'll have something to point towards and say "Oi, I want that one!" and so have at least some kind of goal to look forward to. Even if she ends up going down a completely different path, at least she'll have the _options_ that many others who slacked off or coasted through didn't.

Its the advice I gave my little Bro who finished Year 12 last year, but he was too much of a slack student like his brother and sisters to do anything about it. So he still lives at home and works at a pub and has no idea what to do next year.

Oh and I highly advise taking a year off between High School and Uni (if that's where she wants to go) and working and travelling instead. Everyone needs a break after High School, should be mandatory.

End of Jebus' Sage Wisdom.
Oh Jebus, I'm saying exactly all that stuff to her, but of course she's not listening. Hates Maths. Can't see the point of it. End of story. I will discuss it with her teacher next week - he happens to be the head teacher - so I expect something from him.

Other than that, there is only so much we can do. We may have to let her fail so that she can learn the lesson for herself. I'm not going to stand over her every night... I can't do it... And it's not teaching her how to study/revise/learn herself. It's like pulling teeth, I tell you. It's just so infuriating having to do it with a kid that can come top of every other subject, Dux of her primary school, etc. It's all just Attitude.

Flipside is, I don't want to make the HSC the be all and end all for her. That's what happened to me, and that's where I burnt out. Did the study, got the good result, then didn't know where to go with it. Here I am at 45, and still lost.

I am a definite believer in a gap year. I sort of did, but it wasn't really. I was an exchange student to Indonesia. What I really needed was to learn to earn money and support myself a bit. To grow up. I truly believe that if I'd worked for a year or two, I may have figured out what I wanted to do, and chosen something more appropriate to study at uni.

As it is I have a BA. Which for me just stands for 'Bugger All'.
This is totally off topic, but I couldn't find your e-mail address.

I was just going through all my Collection of Spectacles peoples and noticed that the link for the badge on your site is the old one. Can you change it to the new address?


That is what our backyard looks like most of the winter, we are low down near the water table, so when it does rain good, which is often, it sits there for ages.

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