so many possibilities

Isn’t it lovely how kids are so full of possibilities…so far my son has decided that he is going to be a professional scooter rider, a creator of a new universe, the inventor of a time machine, a footballer, a record breaking speed driver, a professional drummer AND guitarist, food taster and the creator of a DNA that helps people live longer so they can fit in all the things they want to do. LOVE IT! What a beautiful sense of wonder he must feel. Today I am going to try and capture some of that wonder too.

Assessments, GCSE exams, SATS, bring on the summer madness

My daughter has just completed a week of SATs, she’s been attending breakfast club all week and yesterday she had the end of SATs party! Needless to say she came home feeling sick, but to our relief (not to hers) Image

that was because of too much food, rather than an exam sickness. My other daughter is taking some GCSE papers, so she’s also under her papers or walking round the house mumbling (or sometimes shouting) repetitive statements as she drums the science into her brain. Meanwhile my partner and I are in the middle of marking student assessments, my study is covered in other parents’ children’s papers. It occurred to me, someone is assessing my child, and someone else is assessing my other child, whilst I am assessing another child…and so it goes on… My son, on the other hand, well he’s enjoying his XBox, unaware that it will soon be him. I hope he stays unaware for a bit longer, and that soon we can all enjoy some summer madness!  Good luck to everyone doing their exams and just remember the summer’s just around the corner! (I thought the donkey visualised the sense of summer and relaxation that we are after – and probably more so, because it’s not a donkey it’s a pony).

Congratulations Granny

Yesterday my dear friend became a grandmother. It’s made me think about our relationships with our children, their relationships with their children, and how we rework and revise our own parenting when we then become a grandparent for the first time. I don’t know what that feels like yet, but I am able to experience a new relationship with my own father since he became a grandfather. I experience a more serene and thoughtful man, perhaps that was always there (?) Or perhaps we are always learning how to be in the relationships that we have. So, my dear Lisa, I hope you are able to find some peace and a new sense of wonder with your grandchildren (twins), and perhaps you will also experience a new, revived, and different relationship with your son now too. Image

Raising our heads…nurturing our developing young minds…and some poetic commentary on education

We’ve been melting for years.

I started work as an academic over 10 years ago as a 5ft 10-inch woman. I’ve always stood quite tall, this was particularly noticeable as I was growing up with many shorter friends. Sadly I learnt to develop a collapsible spring in my back so I could slinky away if I needed to blend in.

As my years caught up with my height I stood tall in other ways; standing above started to mean aiming high and ‘doing my own thing’ rather than following the crowd. Don’t get me wrong I’m a good crowd follower too, it’s just I got used to asking what was ahead and whose head was I following.

I journeyed into academia with a proud naïveté; it’s very exciting to be following heads that have spent so much time developing, and to consider that one day my head might also start paving ways.

Paving ways with a head can be quite exhausting, and rather abusive. First of all we need to make the head heavy enough for it to fall from the shoulders, this can usually be achieved by filling it with lots of ‘stuff’, some stuff is really good to know, it’s the kind of stuff that sees heads cut above the rest. These heads can look out and check that there is clear weather ahead, monitor storms and take the lead around or through. Then there’s the other stuff that sits at the front and weighs the head down towards the floor. It’s the stuff that usually comes with ineffectiveness and insecurity, the head slinks down in order that the eyes can concentrate on paving the way, although due to excessive weight the head can only concentrate on not tripping over.

There is another head that can leave the body entirely; this head begins by looking around, raising the head above, assessing the area and…drifting off. This head would be great for academia if only the body was able to follow.

It’s very difficult to get a melting body to follow a head ahead. There’s this lag that happens when a body starts melting and the effect of this is determined by the speed that the body melts. A slow dripper for example can keep the head above for quite a while, but it’s not really able to fly. The constant downward drip is rather like a leaky engine; it can keep going but it needs constantly topping up.

Topping up can be a rejuvenating experience, particularly for the body doing the topping; unfortunately some ‘toppers’ tend to ‘top’ at other bodies’ expense, leading to a top heavy and less energized collective of bodies.

The fast dripper is perhaps the melting body that has the most dynamic and paradoxical elements. The perpetual motion of the dripping lifts the head to a position in order to glimpse a view, but the effect of the mass meltdown leaves the head floating around detached and fragmented from the body. At this point the head needs to decide if it will remain connected or separate from the body.

Floating heads are okay, as long as the floating is focused flying. Flying is great, essential one would think for an academic institution, the problem is they’ve stopped giving lessons in flying. Paving still seems quite popular, but now there’re so many heads like tarmac on the road, it’s rather like a Tudor tale.

Perhaps a return to flying will help our new heads, the ones we’ve been developing, growing and nurturing to lift up, lift us all up. We have to stop putting our hands on their shoulders, we need to  let them fly, we need to let them gooooooooo……

as a parent…

I’m not always getting it right…

Does anyone feel like they are often catching up on last week’s letters home from the school, dentist, doctor…whoever? The mass of contradictory advice is confusing and whatever way I look at it…I’m not getting it right.

as a parent…i think the best way to go is by instinct and what feels right.

Eeek! is that right, do you think…