Wednesday, March 29, 2006

this researching life ... frustrations

I'm just going to say that this research gig is much more challenging that I thought it might be. Or the whole academic treadmill is much more annoying that I imagined. My life at present seems to be one endless round of meeting and minutes and agendas and following up this silly problem or that issue. I just want to do my own work! It gets really frustrating and I'm actually really unhappy about what seems to be my inability to take control and stop the spiral continuing.

1. I feel like crap because I can never seem to read enough. I'm always coming across new stuff and adding it to the 10 mile high pile. Then I talk to someone or read something (occasionally I do read!) and I'll see a reference and remember that I promised myself I'd read it months ago.

2. I'm not writing much PhD stuff at the moment. I should be hard at it, but I'm tied up writing stupid reports for all the damn committees I'm on. Irony is that I tried really hard to turn down all the sessional work I'm usually offered at the beginning of semesters and did a great job. Mind you I pissed quite a few people off in the process and might have burned a few bridges, but I've gone and done all this other crap that is taking just as much time.

3. I'm not exercising as much as I need to, so I feel like crap b/c of that as well. I'm finding it hard to get up early and get into work before 9-9.30ish. I mean I have Austen a couple of mornings a week and that makes things more difficult - more enjoyable b/c we get to hang out, but I sometimes feel like I should be doing more - I always feel like I should be doing more.

4. I'm feeling disorganised and things are getting on top of me in other areas as well.


what a pathetic whinger!

I'm usually not this naked on this blog. I don't care.

Only connect ...

This is the cover of a new edited book being published by the AATE and some other good friends of mine. I have a chapter in it called, 'Curriculum and conversation in an English classroom: What's it to you huh?' It's just a short piece but I like it. I've just read the proof today, so things are almost set ...

Monday, March 20, 2006

Is that an IDIOM?

Nat and I have just finished editing the new edition of VATE's journal IDIOM. It's called 'Consuming culture, Creating cuirriculum' and is a collection of papers arising from a conference we organised late in 2005. It's being printed as I write and should be mailed to VATE members and schools early in term two (ie next week). If you are interested in a copy, then join VATE you bludgers! (or email me and I'll see what I can do ... )

Here is the contents list as a tempter ...

Editorial: How we can to be here, now
Scott Bulfin & Natalie Bellis


1. (re)Writing curriculum to popular music: A sociocultural perspective on classroom language and learning
Douglas McClenaghan

2. From code-mixing to code-switching - it's a matter of control: Lessons learned from Aboriginal education
Kathryn Gale

3. A graduate glimpse into teaching taboo topics: A first timer’s perspective on the VATE mini conference
Claire Pritchard

4. Cultural politics in the English classroom: Textually dangerous territory?
Claire Charles

5. this is only about numbers …
alicia sometimes

6. [poem] living with an editor
alicia sometimes

7. My name is Luke, I am twenty-nine years old and I make a zine called You
Luke You

8. Are you going to blog that? Adventures in the blogosphere
Natalie Bellis, Scott Bulfin, Jo McLeay

9. Multimedia: Digital feast or recipe for disaster?
Jill Wilson

10. Teaching multimodal texts: A multiliteracies perspective
Andrew Bawden

11. Connecting you with media texts in the VELS: A perspective on the Australian Children’s Television Foundation
Barbara Carydis

12. Policing, silencing, respectability and exclusions: The relationship between language and living: negotiating terrains of difference
Pippa Kirwan


13. “I will think some more about this question when I don't have yard
duty” : from the english-listserv (

14. Phonics, whole language and learning to read: A classroom perspective on the National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy
David Smith

15. A reflection on portfolio as ‘authentic’ assessment
Helen Gilfind

16. Bastardising cool: Use and abuse of new technologies in schools
Melanie Cleine


17. Earnestly queer: Responding to Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest through the critical lens of queer theory
Mark Howie


18. “ … they know what we like”: Consuming Children: Education-entertainment-advertising
Annabelle Leve

ACER Teacher magazine

Ok, so I'm a little embarressed. For a couple of reasons:

1. ACER publishes a magazine called Teacher and Jo and I are featured in one of the articles. One of the tags for this article is about how Jo and I are 'pioneers' in online learning communities or some such fluff! This is quite funny. I mean while I don't know many teachers in Australia using blogs in their teaching or for their own learning I'm sure there are many out there anyway. When I say 'teacher' I guess I mean 'secondary school English teachers'. I realise there are teachers of all types blogging away about lots of different things. I certainly don't feel like a pioneer, but then again I don't suppose anyone really does - you just do what you do and try and enjoy it while you're doing it.

So this my first embarressment. I'm not a pioneer.

2. The other em ... is that I haven't been blogging regularly for a couple of months now (this might be why Jo has taken me off her blogroll! ;) sorry Jo hehe). Things have changed a lot for me over the last year. I'm not a fulltime PhD student and I'm not teaching as regularly as I was (or as I'd like to actually) and this seems to have made a huge difference in the kinds of things running through my mind.

So, I'm described as a pioneer, but I don't blog anymore!

Interesting thing is that I've been looking for an excuse to 'get back in the saddle'. I still have plenty to write and think about and as a fulltime student on a scholarship (thanks MONASH!) I have a little more space that I did when teaching fulltime.

No excuse, you could say.

Although I am playing more computer/video games these days.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Now class, take out your computer games

Tasmanian school using computer games, mmm just in time for Marc Prensky's visit to Australia 'Now class, take out your computer games'