Saturday, 18 March 2017

Bench Surfer

Meet Harry.
Yesterday he came to live here. We (Liam, to be exact) bought him from the RSPCA. He is three years old and they thought he may have raced but his history is unknown.
His future involves a lot of spoiling.

I titled the post "bench surfer" because greyhounds are renowned for it. It's a very cute way to say habitual stealer of human food, dont you think?

Friday, 17 March 2017

Feeling like Family

For the last couple of years I haven't been able to straighten my elbow fully. It is a good excuse for not wanting to iron but it doesn't really have any other advantages so I decided that this would be the time to address it.
I have been to the acupuncture clinic many times, about four or five for this elbow and have mostly been treated in the very front room. It is the "premium" room, bigger than the others and with a large window but today the front rooms were all occupied and I was escorted to the back, through the curtain to the kitchen and into the clinic version of a house's spare room.
It felt not as though I was relegated to the only available room but as though I was entering the inner sanctum, privileged to see into the soul of the practice.
There was a vacuum cleaner standing in the corner, some spare linen on a second treatment bench and a cauliflower in a bag, surely destined for some staff member's dinner. Instead of a large and venetian blind covered window there was a smaller window of obscure glass, it was open a crack and the blinds were pulled up, I could hear traffic on the lane at the back of the shop and little puffs of wind gave me a sense of the outside world.
I had a chat with my therapist while she placed needles and massaged knotty muscles then lay quietly for close on an hour and left feeling that I had received a special brand of medicine.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Religious Education

Here in New South Wales, the education act requires time to be allowed for all students in state schools to receive religious education. Religious education is not compulsory, parents may elect for their children to undertake ethics lessons or participate  in  "supervised activities" (otherwise known as free time) during the period allocated for religious education.

Religious education and ethics classes are provided by volunteers, not education professionals, and they follow a prescribed curriculum. The options available in any school depend on the available volunteers.

I regularly see facebook posts where parents bemoan the existence of religious education, I also see posts where parents bemoan the lack of ethics classes.

Sometimes, parents who are non-religious or atheist send their children to classes for a different religion each year.

In general I favour the separation of church and state, especially when the religious right claims to be Christian while their behaviour reveals them to be very far right, toxic-ly religious and not at all Christian but I digress....

While religious education is optional and religious people adhere to the approved curriculum I am happy to see religious education in schools but for those who don't want their children exposed to religious education, there are questions

  • If people claim to not want religion in schools, why do they take up the option? 
  • If religion in schools is inappropriate, why not take support away from the system? voting with the feet would be the most effective way to end religion in schools
  • If you send your children to classes for a different religion each year, are they methodically exposed to different religions or just denominations? and do you care which faith systems they are learning about?
  • Why are devout religious people volunteering to teach religion but devout secular people are not volunteering to teach ethics?
And my biggest question: Even if your personal belief system does not allow for religion of any kind, does anyone regard biblical stories as an important part of general knowledge? Does our culture place any value on the bible as an important part of our literary and cultural history? 

Should we change our current religious education to ethics only? comparative religion? mythology and culture?

Or should we ditch it entirely and introduce something like life skills?