On The Internet, You Might Not Want People to Know Which Dog You Are

It’s not every day that I get to deny that I am Harry Webb, but today I did. Because I am not him and am – as a point of fact – just me.

Harry was, it seems, a non de plume, used by a teacher who questioned some of the orthodoxies in education.

I’ve taken the attitude that the best place to be is here in plain sight, with my actual name. This means that I cannot be unmasked, but it also means that I need to be judicious in what I say, especially about my work as a teacher. Obviously, you need to be respectful and discreet about students and their families, just as it should be. But you also sometimes need to be circumspect about what your professional opinions are.

In contemporary education, there is a steady stream of orthodoxies and, as a moderately intelligent professional, you are going to believe in some and not in others. I would be astonished to find that any practicing teacher either accepted or rejected the lot. However, there are people in positions of authority who take an extraordinarily dim view of people experiencing doubt about beliefs that they take very seriously. Some live and let live, and others take a more interventionist position.

What I choose to do is praise the things that I find worthwhile and believe in. And, at times, people correctly interpret my silence on particular topics as a lack of enthusiasm, but the only way out of that inference would be to feint belief in things that I don’t believe. And that, for me, is a bridge too far.

However, I do understand why some people use another identity to speak more candidly. Again, this is about swings and roundabouts. You get to be brave and more morally pure than I manage. Until you get uncovered, and then you may very well be subject to some unwelcome interventions into your life.

But for now, I remain Mark O’Meara, and that’s fine with me. And perhaps, just perhaps, it will be fine with you, too.

Moments of Connection

The practical reality is that in any grown-up relationship you do in fact spend a certain amount of time just doing your own thing in some kind of coordination with what the other person is doing. You go to your job and your partner goes to his or hers. And, even in the time you spend “together” you work in concert rather than together, with one person reading a story for the kids while the other washes the dishes.

And this is how is goes most of the time. But I do think that it enormously useful to have time when you deliberately connect, and we’ve got a couple of these routines in places at the moment, and I am certain that they are paying off.

First thing in the morning, I take the dogs for a walk and Nicky has been joining us for the last few weeks. It’s pretty quiet at that time of morning, and this just gives us fifteen minutes to actually talk to each other, if we feel so inclined, without having to maneuver the conversation around talkative kids or the telly.

Another thing that we do at the end of the day is to ask each other what we are grateful for today. In part this allows us to relate a bit about our day that the other probably doesn’t know. And, probably more importantly, it is a deliberately positive conversation, which is really worthwhile are large amount of day-to-day conversations are either about obstacles or are strictly utilitarian.

By Way Of Sorrow

For a good long time now, the song By Way of Sorrow has been on my list of my absolute favourite songs. It may very well be a perfect three-minute pop song, even if it is strictly speaking a folk song. I first heard it a good long time ago as a Cry Cry Cry song. Cry Cry Cry, just in case you didn’t know, is a group featuring Dar Williams . However, I did know that it started life as a Julie Miller song, but back in those days it was harder to just buy any single song, muchless one out of the mainstream.

So just yesterday I downloaded the song from the Google store and, much as i don’t want to appear to be a heathen, it is really different to the version that I know and love. So, I’ve been listening to it over and over again, because i’d really like to get to know the original of this fantastic song.

But my brain isn’t playing along, still wanting to go back to the words I know and love . Anyhow, listen to both of them and perhaps, if you feeling inclined, chime in and let me know which you prefer.

Talking Your Draft

So, dear and gentle readers, I’ve been thinking about voice recognition software recently. This is because I’m expecting some back pay in the next couple of weeks, and I must confess that I have been tempted by the Dragon Dictate software.

However, this is quite expensive and i am loathe to spend two or three hundred dollars when there might be better options which won’t cost me as much money. I played with the voice recognition on Windows 8 and, if truth be told, i actually couldn’t work out how to get it to work properly.

I looked around online and found this website, that actually seems to be quite good.

It does have some annoying little ticks. For some reason, it doesn’t put I as a capital I, but i guess this really isn’t the end of the world. The kids were quite impressed by this. I particularly think it would be good for Finn, who is good at making up stories but not crazy about writing them down.

Anyhow, follow the link and see if it works for you.

Life is the growth of inspiration, and of us

By redefining, we vibrate. To go along the story is to become one with it.

Our conversations with other dreamers have led to a condensing of ultra-sacred consciousness.

The complexity of the present time seems to demand a blossoming of our lives if we are going to survive. You may be ruled by selfishness without realizing it. Do not let it shatter the healing of your story. Where there is yearning, health cannot thrive.

We are being called to explore the planet itself as an interface between nature and energy. It is time to take potentiality to the next level. It is a sign of things to come.

The boys at the lab have finally confirmed that this is not, as a point of fact, from the newsletter from our kids’ school, but rather the work of the New-Age Bullshit Generator. The real giveaway was that one or two of these sentences are almost lucid.