Thursday, 30 May 2013

School strategies for parents

Hannah goes to a new school in September.

It's a scary prospect for me because I'll be losing my little girl, but she seems very relaxed about the whole thing.

The school is doing its utmost to try and make her feel welcome before she gets there.  There have been netball and hockey sessions for the new intake that Hannah's attended and athletics sessions we've opted to miss.  There's a welcome meeting and a taster day to look forward to in June and Year 7s start a day earlier than the rest of the school, allowing them to get lost and make mistakes without an audience of older children.

The one thing the school has done so far though that has impressed me is to encourage the current Year 7s to write a penpal letter to the Year 7s of September. 

The letter Hannah received was beautifully decorated and full of useful information like: 

"Do your homework as soon as you get it."

"Have an emergency £5 in your bag for emergencies."

"Don't roll your skirt up."

and, my personal favourite:

"Don't do your blazer buttons up because people will just stare at you."

Hannah's penpal also included her telephone number and email and she'll be the one showing Hannah around the school on the taster day.

Hannah's still very blazé about the whole thing but knowing Hannah's penpal put time and effort into the letter and probably does care about Hannah, makes me a little less intimidated by the whole experience.

Friday, 24 May 2013

The media hungry and why we should deny them

The horrific murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich this week has shocked the World.  It has done this for two reasons.

The nature of the attack as described is an unimaginable horror, but we don't have to use our imaginations because so much has been shared by the media.  What we have seen and heard has also shocked us.

I have tried to avoid the coverage but I've seen enough to know I wish I hadn't seen anything.

The perpetrators of this crime were seeking publicity and they were given exactly what they wanted.  This makes me feel physically sick.  

I believe that the crime should have been reported and the victim named, with the family's consent.  I don't believe the murderers' crimes, faces or voices should have appeared in any media outlet.  Police should have taken all recording devices they could get their hands on from the scene and pictures, video and voice recordings should have been taken for evidence but removed from the public to prevent publication.

Some people seek fame for selfish reasons and choose to apply to Big Brother or one of the many talent shows.   This might offend our senses but it is relatively harmless.

Others seek fame for a cause or a belief, and when that's a cause that seeks to promote violence and hate then I think they should be denied the martyr style coverage they seek.  

I think Drummer Rigby's murderers were seeking to inspire others to undertake similar acts.  It's a lot harder to achieve this without a name, a face or a voice.  I recognise there will be those who will argue that free speech is more important and I am normally in favour of free speech, but not this time.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The lunch box fairy

Dave found a lunch box under Ethan's chest of drawers in his bedroom this morning.

It had clearly been concealed in an "I really have tidied everything" kind of a way.

I asked Ethan who had put it there.

"It wasn't me."

"Well who was it?"

"The lunch box fairy?"  He replied, with a quizzical raised eyebrow.

I looked at him disapprovingly.

"The ghost that lives in our house?"

"We don't have a ghost in our house."

"How do you know?"

This was a good point and I admitted as much. We left it there. I'm not sure who was the victor but I'm not sure it was me.