Monthly Archives: July 2014

Top 10 School Holiday Fun

happy swimmersWhat have we actually done with the past two weeks?

I am very lucky to have two easy  to please little people.

These are the top 10 things that make them smile.

  1. staying in their pyjamas all day – my kids love a jarmie day, this is one is best done in winter
  2. baking something yummy to eat – measuring, sifting, stirring, licking the beaters
  3. eating the baking – no explanation required
  4. watching a movie before bed – because it doesn’t matter if you go to bed a bit later than usual
  5. watching a movie in bed – this usually happens because Mum and Dad want to spend some time alone and hope you crash out
  6. turning the entire house into a play centre – because one bedroom  each and a specified play room just isn’t enough
  7. going to work with mum – a treat of a day where biscuits are eaten and lunch is a special treat from the  shop
  8. hanging out with Nan while Mum goes to work – no explanation required
  9. having a family outing – my kids chose to go to an indoor swim centre, good exercise for wearing them out, and cheap for me
  10. coco pops – only allowed in school holidays at our place

It really is the simple things in life that are often the best.


That Perfect Moment

2014-05-07 12.51.48My son just called out to me, right in the middle of Offspring. My immediate reaction was, “Not Now!!” But he is my little man and off to console him I went.

I was sitting beside him, rubbing his back, thinking about how much I love and adore him and what a beautiful picture that would take if I went and grabbed a camera.

As I was thinking this he became distressed, needing to go to the toilet. I quickly grabbed him and rushed him in. I am sure he never quite woke in this time, just doing what boys have to do, and hopping back into his bed, all snuggled up.

There are times when I would have rushed him, thinking this is my time, please don’t take it away from me, but just for tonight, I sat and marvelled at this gorgeous little boy.

A boy who only asks for the little things like, can you please make me some new play dough? Can we make scones? Can we go to the park? A boy whom, if I let him stay up late, asks if I can put him to bed because he is ready and tired (usually within an hour of bedtime). Who is happy with one book, and then happily rolls over and goes straight to sleep.

A little 3 year old who continuously surprises me with his wit and charm. A person developing his personality, who looks to me for guidance.

I look within myself. Am I really qualified to be this person? I am far from perfect, like most people.

me and my kidsI drink too many wines and enjoy a ciggie when I am partaking. I scream at my children at times, but at the end of the day, if you ask who their favourite person in the world is the answer is ‘my Mum’.

Just for tonight. We had a perfect moment. A moment that only a mother knows. That moment when I realise the reasons I chose the crossroads in my life in order to achieve where we I am right now.

In this moment I understand a little bit more about me. A moment when I know exactly who I am. That moment when I understand who I will always be. I will always be Mum.

Class of 2013-14, shit happens!


laughingAfter delivering Certificate II in Hospitality I can’t help but share some of the happenings, comments and conversations which occurred.

By day 3 I had a total of 3 bums on seats at 9am start time. 3 more straggle in, two don’t bother to say anything, the third simply says “I’m late”. One lady withdraws, she can’t handle the swearing, lack of respect and she cannot concentrate while the others are talking over me, she simply cannot concentrate.

Two of the students are a couple, they fight in class, I have to separate them like primary school kids.

I get a message from a student, he has some casual work today. They may have forgotten we are friends on Facebook and posts what is really going on.

The couple send another student a message saying they couldn’t get to class because of the rain. The male dropped by and explains the female has been vomiting all night and they had no credit to ring. The rest of the class laughed as he left, how could they send 3 texts with no credit and what was stopping him from staying.

RSA (responsible service of alcohol) some of the class had already done this short course, so I opened it up to the public as well. The highlight of my day was the student who volunteered information about drink spiking, claiming she had taken a particular drug before, therefore knew her drink had been spiked and how to handle it, but when she reported it and in fact the CCTV footage showed the incident she chose not to press charges. I wonder whether this person was one of her contacts?

RGS (responsible gaming services). The first day for our late enrolment. Turns up over half hour late, puts head on table, goes to lunch and doesn’t return.

Topic “Source and use information on the hospitality industry”. Somehow the discussion turns to how the bible mentions on two occasions how we shouldn’t eat prawns and that is amazing considering how many people are allergic to prawns….apparently it mentions people should not be gay as well….Hmmmm…..where is he going with this? It was very timely to begin discussion of equal opportunity employment. The couple also had another fight while I was out of the room, surprised? Not!

The young man, who refuses to wear his glasses, storms out of the room frustrated, but then returns and collects his books to go home and read. Winning!

Our late starter, both in the course and every day she has ever bothered to show up, actually sat with me until the end of the day and managed to get one assessment finished. More Winning!

Topic “Safe work practices” I ask the class to relate it to a workplace they may have worked on in the past. I find out one student has never had a job, hence the blank looks.

I have a consistently late student. When asked why I am told, I was here at 9, I was having a smoke. This same learner then asks when I will be organising practical placement for them. Well that would be when you can turn up here on time, I am not sending you somewhere else to have my reputation marred.

We go on an excursion to a club, have a tour of the kitchen and cellar, learn how to tap a beer barrel and fun stuff like that. Six attend, one can’t concentrate on anything, I can kind of see the smoke haze around the head, and one is too busy holding the phone to have learnt a thing.

Topic “Cultural diversity”. Two cracking comments come up today. When asked about different cultures that they may have grown up with housing commission is one of the responses. Comment of the day, “Can you believe we have to employ someone who has aids?” Yes!

Adults bring life experiences and knowledge to learning experiences, Malcolm Knowles

This week we have been to Club Mulwala for some function setting experience. I still feel like their Mother at times. One student, who is four years younger than me, needed to be pulled into line for playing the class clown. I needed to yell ‘Respect’ to get their attention when I had a staff member address the class about the different types of coffee stations which may be required within the club.

Overall the day was fun, or so I was told by my on again off again student. We still need to work on some of the things I consider to be basics, such as which side the entrée cutlery goes on and whose side plate is whose. I don’t think some of these people have ever sat at a table to dine, so I am not sure how they can bring these life experiences and knowledge to the class.

These are just some snippets of things whiched amused me over the six months I spent with this group, comment and let me know some of your experiences.

Class of 2013-14, an outline

A short reflection of the Certificate II in Hospitality course I facilitated recently.

I was really excited to have a full class and get into doing what I love, training others in a fantastic industry.

“Careful what you wish for.”

On orientation day we had 18 enrolments, all of them unemployed, some long term, some short term and some had never had a job. We explained the requirements of the course and filled in the paperwork. There were blank eyes, red eyes, wild eyes all looking back at me. Most of these people had to be here, they were just going through the motions in order to continue getting Centrelink payments. We had one late starter, taking the total number of enrolments to 19.

We begin all of our courses with Prepare for Study, this helps our learners to Learn to Learn, Get Tech Savvy, Get Study Smart and Reflect on their learning. We deliver this in our moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment).

On the first day of class I had some eager beavers all ready to start, it went reasonably well, they were required to log into the moodle once we had passwords set up and access things didn’t go too badly. Not everyone turned up, but we expected that.

The second day was awful, the students were late for class, disruptive, and I generally had trouble controlling their behaviour, and they seem to have no respect to others or myself. I walked into the EO’s office at the end of the day swearing and frustrated, she asked me if I was going to be able to cope? Bang head here I was unsure. What I did know is there was no way I was taking this lot offsite, alone, to a local bar where I had intended to deliver this course.

This was going to be tricky, I looked to Malcolm Knowles Adult Learning Principles  and out of the six I could only relate to one of them at this time  Adults are goal oriented the goal, get my name marked off the attendance list and continue to get paid.

After about a month I had a core group of 10 who attended class. They ranged in age from 17 to 37, and they all had dealt with their own shit in one way or another. LL&N  issues were a major problem, this was only Certificate II, so I didn’t care if they could spell it, as long as they could explain it.  My mission, engage them.

I flipped the classroom so they could do their assessments in class time. I encouraged them to use Facebook to contact each other. I allowed many cigarette breaks when attention was waning, I allowed time for general chit chat and eventually I earned their respect by not taking their crap.

There were many interesting conversations and comments, far too many to fit into one blog post. Have a look at Shit Happens for some of these.

Out of the 10, one got herself a job before it finished, the two most disruptive dropped in and out (eventually out, the others wereThank you relieved) and I have issued 6 certificates, and will issue the last one when practical placement is completed.

The most rewarding part was my card and bottle of Black Douglas scotch which they all put in for and presented to me. It touched my heart to know that they appreciated me and how much I had gone through with them to reach this point.