Sunday, February 10, 2008

Not just handsome and smart...

Greg has been the productive one this week, and Zoe and I know we are very lucky.

Yesterday, he did the shopping and the cleaning, mowed the lawn before a tiny shower of rain, then whipped up a lasagne and a curry for mid-week dinners! The Renaissance Man.

He has had a very busy week at work, sorting our timetabling problems, organising assemblies, working on curriculum and teaching his classes. It all seems to be going quite well. Right now, he's re-reading "The Great Gatsby" on our little terrrace in the sunshine.

I had a good week at work too. My Yr 12 class is settling into the work - and they all seem to be really lovely. The boys are hard-working and fun. I have a a school vice-captain, a house captain and a house vice-captain. They can't be too bad, can they? My other classes are delightful, although the Yr 7s are very confident after just one week at the school!

I finished Philip Pullman's "The Amber Spyglass" and all I've made is a little tie belt for Zoe:
Zoe has settled into Grade 5 very well. She is enjoying her teacher and being with most of her friends. She also started ballet again this week. Late last year, a German ballet teacher came to the school and selected a group of seven girls to take advanced classes with her this year. Zoe was selected and, it turns out, she is the only one from her level. The other girls are all in the level above and at least two years older than her. We are very proud of her. She will have two classes each week with this teacher, and will have to attend on four days. After the first two classes, Zoe said that it will be challenging but she loves it.
We all watched "Who Do You Think You Are" on SBS last Sunday night. This episode featured Catherine Freeman. Greg and I agreed that it was amongst the best television we have ever seen. And thank goodness our new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, is making an apology to the Aboriginal Stolen Generations this week. Hearing of each of the humiliating and degrading events that shaped the lives of Catherine Freeman's family as indigenous Australians made me feel ashamed to be white. And this is just one person's family history - she carries it with her: knowing that her mother had to ask for permission to visit her family for Christmas and that permission was refused; knowing that her grandfather was a champion rugby player who was not given permission to travel to England as part of the Australian team; knowing that her grea-grandfather was a lighthorseman in World War 1 but his family never received his pay because the "Protector of Aborigines" thought that aboriginal people couldn't be trusted with money; knowing that her great-great grandfather had been a half-caste who worked hard to feed and clothe his family and was a well respected member of the community but, when he refused to sign a work agreement, as he was legally entitled to do, the local police had him and his entire family incarcerated on Palm Island, allegedly for drunkeness. The family were forced to remain on Palm Island for three generations where they were treated as prisoners and slaves. Just for this one woman's family history, we should say sorry. And I know the apology is not about the treatment of other than the Stolen Generations, but it is a start in the recognition of our dreadful treatment of the indigenous Australians. Thanks to SBS for producing such as amazing piece of television, and thank you to the wonderful Catherine Freeman for her resilience and generosity.

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