Sunday, December 28, 2008

Same, but different

I've got a friend that has this saying that really annoys me - he tells me about something and tells me that 'it's the same, but different'. It annoys me because I think if it is the same it can't be different. And that begins the roundabout of vocabulary.

This phrase has got me thinking about where I am in my life at the moment. I am looking for some things to change and other things to stay the same. Am I looking for the same, but different?

I love the song by Pink, 'Leave me alone, I'm Lonely'. That song just sums things up for me.

'Leave me alone
I'm lonely
I'm lonely
I'm tired
Leave me alone
I'm lonely
I'm lonely tonight '

I feel like I want it all and I want other people to know and Pink describes this well,

Go away
Come back
Go away
Come back
Why can't I just have it both ways
Go away
Come back
Go away
Come back
I wish you knew the difference
Go away
Come back

My star sign (Libra) in the Sunday Herald Sun Magazine by Jonathon Cainer, Dec 14 2008 read: You want things to stay the same, yet you want them to change. You seek peace, yet you crave excitement. Is there a hint of inconsistency here? Might you be looking for a cake you can have and eat, but that will also allow you to shed kilos in the process? You're pushing the boundaries of what's possible. But then, you are you. Sometimes you can achieve a balance that seems precarious to everyone else but works perfectly. Stop worrying, but don't stop striving. I have brilliant news for you.

That feels so right for me - it resonates with what I am thinking and feeling. I do want excitement, but I don't want to give up my safe, organised and structured life. I like peace and quiet and time to do my own thing. A few days after this I got a phone call with a job offer. It's a temporary job, just a few months and an opportunity to try something new - it's a Social Work position and an opportunity to dip my toe in the pool of what I think I would like to do next. So I feel excited and a little anxious. And nervous. And enthusiastic. And scared. So I will work in the same office, park my car in the same spot, eat my lunch at the same place with the same people, but it will be a different job with a different boss and a different role. Same, but different.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

That time of the year

Well it is that time of the year - the crazy season where everyone wants to meet for a drink and to catch up. I don't really see the point myself - it is nice to catch up with friends, but it seems to get so busy, and I get very tired and frustrated.

And there are presents to buy. I found this nice book by Ian 'Macca' McNamara from Austrlalia All Over and I bought it as a gift for ... someone special (I hope they don't read this). Anyway, I was having a flick through the book and I wondered if I should be doing this. Did it make the book second hand if I read it first? I was careful not to bend any pages, and I didn't open it up too far so it still looks neat and bound, like it did in the shop. But I felt a little guilty, like it was the wrong thing to do. And then I thought, who will know? Does that make it OK to do the wrong thing if no-one will know? And if the gift receiver did know that I had already read the book, would they mind? That helped - I thought that the gift receiver wouldn't mind that I had already read through the book and that helped me feel a bit more comfortable.

Let me share this poem with you. The poem is by Brian Powell of Queensland and published in the book called, 'Song of the Thong':

Ode to 'I'm on a Committee'

Oh, give me your pity,
I'm on a committee'
Which means that from morning to night.
We attend, and amend, and contend, and defend
Without a conclusion in sight.
We confer and concur,
We defer and demur,
And re-iterate all of our thoughts,
We revise the agenda with all our addenda,
And consider a load of reports.
We compose and propose, we suppose and oppose
And the points of procedure are fun,
But through various notions and brought up as motions
There's terrible little gets done.

Ah yes - I have been on many a committee like this. It is a great way to get a message across - using poetry, humor and a bit of fun. I am drawn to poetry and I think I will have a go at using poetry with reflective practice and see how this works. If I am feeling really brave, I will post some here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So much to learn ... about elearning

I am enjoying the challenges of learning about the exciting new world of electronic communications and technology. It is overwhelming and exciting, interesting, challenging and daunting. There is so much there - elearning, eportfolios, different social networking tools, like Facebook, and different ways to communicate. I want to follow up finding out about Skype - I'm not exactly sure what it is, but I think it has something to do with the tiny camera at the top of my laptop that keeps winking at me!.

I have discovered wordle - it is cool and some web sites have fantastic examples of the way it can be used. I was really impressed with Rodd Lucier . Rodd is a teacher and has amazing and innovative ideas about engaging people in different ways of communication.

Rodd got me thinking - when do we stop being a learner? There is always something new going on - a new discovery or a new way of looking at something from the past. Or there is a new way to communicate and a new way to share information with other people.

I have been doing some training at work - introducing a model of strengths coaching and learning about Positive Psychology. I have found a fun sounding website called Authentic Happiness and taken a few of the on-line quizzes. While I am normally sceptical about the merits of an on-line quiz, I enjoyed these quizzes, especially the quiz about signature strengths. I learned that my greatest strength (according to the quiz) is my love of learning. This really resonated for me and it helped me to make sense of why I get bored and seek out new things, new experiences and new adventures. It was one of those aha moments for me and helps me to understand that I need to plan my future around variety and new adventures, rather than being stuck in a routine which won't sustain my interest.

It is fun to be a teacher and a learner. There is much for me to learn and I am enjoying exploring the bewildering world of elearning.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

A bit about me

I am a Social Worker and a PhD candidate at La Trobe University. I have commenced my PhD, studying part time this year, and I am plodding along, while trying to balance a home renovation and full time work. I enjoy being busy and I love to learn new things, so I am always interested in hearing about and trying something new.

I went along to the Reflective Practice conference in Rotorua, NZ in September 2008. There were lots of new ideas there - a visit to a country that I have always wanted to visit and an opportunity to find out about how a conference works and what is involved in presentating a paper or a poster. I was surprised at the diversity of topics presented, from really interesting to quite ‘out there’. I was really looking forward Sarah’s presentation about Blogging - I had some basic ideas about an on-line blog but I don’t think I had actually seen one before. I was captivated with Sarah’s enthusiasm and energy, and her bubbly, humorous presentation style. I was drawn to her simple, basic approach which gave me confidence that this was something that I might be able to do to.

My previous studies have included a Master of Professional Practice (Development) at La Trobe University - the focus of this was Critical Reflection and I studied with two amazing teachers - Jan Fook and Fiona Gardner. So this has found me meandering along a pathway of critical reflection and I am exploring the ways that people learn to be reflective, and their experiences of practicing using different reflection tools and methods.

I have used a reflective journal for some time now, and I am interested in seeing and feeling how an on-line journal complements or distracts from my written notes. But more of that another day.



Sunday, October 5, 2008


Hello world. This is my first post and the first exciting step into the world of blogging and letting people see what I am thinking and feeling. I'm a bit nervous, and also excited. Anyway - here we go.