Lines written upon reading Rachel’s Blog (with apologies to John Keats)

Much have I travel’d in the blogs of Gold,
And many goodly States and Kingdoms seen;
Round many blogspots and wordpresses have I been,
Which Bards in fealty to Gates and Jobs hold;
But of one wide expanse had I been told,
That Rachel rul’d as her demesne;
Yet could I never judge what men could mean,
Till I heard Rachel speak out loud and bold.
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies,
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like a stout Wozniak, when with eagle eyes
He star’d at the Apple, — and all his men
Looked at each other with a wild surmise,—
Silent, within  a valley in Silicone.


Slavery in New Zealand

 Imagine if you can a staff meeting in an office not too far away. The message is 


working hours. You already haveheard that your annual bonuses have been abolished. There is no paid overtime.

However you are all told as a staff that you need to prove your dedication to your work by working longer hours. How would that make you feel? You’re told that if you’re lucky you might gain some other rewards, such as a certificate, or a monetary equivalent, to be spent on professional development. However there is no time for you to take up that professional development. So…. no bonus, longer hours, but no extra pay. How would you feel?

Continue reading “Slavery in New Zealand”

First day of hol’s

So it’s the first day of the holidays, and school’s out for a couple of weeks. The sun is shining, and little fluffy clouds are wafting lazily across the sky. The seagulls out in the street are playing chicken with the cars as they munch contentedly on their breakfast of roadkill and garbage.

Such images of peace and contentment, but speaking of roadkill and garbage, I wonder what parliament do in their break? Does Hekia retire to a peaceful marae to consider her next step in the deprofessionalisation of education? Does Amy sleep in for a fortnight or fly off somewhere to lose that dreadful beehive pallor?

As for me, I’ve got Lee Childs and James Patterson beckoning me with the books I bought last year, but haven’t had time to peruse. Bliss!

“Everybody Out” is the cry from the NZEI!

I’m still processing the ramifications of the GERM, Novopain and listening to the speakers at yesterdays Paid Union Meeting or PUM has ignited my left-tending fervour.  I want to invite Ms Parata to coffee.  I can picture it now. Sipping latté at my favourite café,  debating the merits of charter schools, national standards, and returning education to the 1750’s model of turning out citizens proficient in reading, ‘riting and ‘arithmetic so that the Empire can continue to function. It makes me as breathless as the last sentence.


 Maybe Catherine Isaacs would care to join us. She was such a hit at our public meeting in Otahuhu last year. I often wondered what happened to the number 2 on the Act Party list. I’m still processing her statement that most of us at the meeting were not from the community. How did she know I lived in the next suburb? Uncanny!


I’m impressed by the prestidigitation of the National Government. When their policy of taxing inner city carparks failed to win our admiration, they hit on a new idea. Force NZEI members to strike, and we’ll save $17Million in a couple of days. Sharp thinking!




Let’s go back to teaching Arithmetic in our schools.

Let’s face it peeps. The twentieth century teaching and learning model was based on that to produce good solid white collar types to keep the bureaucracy of the Empire smoothly running. Emphasising good writing skills, (Copperplate was a must), excellent mental calculation skills, and the ability to tug your forelock and doff your cap to your betters, this system enjoyed success for over two hundred and fifty glorious years. If you doubt me, look at a 1963 school atlas. What does that red signify, my plebian followers? Yes, our Dominion looked Homeward, learned our times tables and hoped the Common Market would never happen. 


I applaud the National Government for wanting to return us to those halcyon days. In fact, I think I should rather like whacking the knuckles of those unfortunates ignorant enough to tell me that five times five is 30. Let’s put some sport back into the education game, wot!

It’s a bit of a rum do this, but some spectators are saying that with spreadsheets and calculators, what’s the point of learning how to carry the one, and know that six times seven is the answer to life, the universe, and everything really.


I applaud Ms Parata in her continuing efforts to modernise our education system. Let’s get back to classrooms of fifty, single files, inkwells, and freshly oiled straps and canes. Pip-pip, wot!