Posts Tagged ‘hypocrisy’

The Final Word on Games

Posted 31 Oct 2010 — by cheersphilip
Category Rant, thought

Okay, so I totally backed out of the promise I made to myself of writing a little piece about how computer games might be useful or even good for you.

What happened was, I got too involved in playing damn games. I try not to beat myself up about this, but the fact is that I have now spent an amount of time playing games that, in retrospect, I would rather have spent doing something else.

I have nothing to show for my game playing other than tiredness and a nagging feeling that I will never get that time back.

I enjoy games while I’m playing them. I think. But there are other things that I enjoy more, surely?

Whilst writing the last post, Notes on Addiction, I got to the point of talking about making games, so that’s what I did – i downloaded a couple of games creators – http://www.delicious.com/cheersphilip/creator - and they were good.

However, and this is really the crux of the matter, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with them.

I thought about doing something ‘educational’ or based around the school I work in, but that is just lazy thinking and does not stand up to scrutiny by the simple question ‘why?’ So I shelved that as well.

The final word is that, yes, games are interesting and, yes, they can be an amusing diversion for a while, but when you’ve got as many things to do as I have – and now that I look at them, I think ‘these are interesting, cool things that I’ve wanted to do for ages’ – then I’m probably best off doing them first.

Word.

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Faith Schools #ukedchat

Posted 08 Sep 2010 — by cheersphilip
Category Rant, thought

A friend recommended the Pod Delusion, and I was intrigued by this podcast, which deals with Faith Schools, amongst other interesting things.

Having worked for six years in Faith Schools, I must say that I don’t feel it’s as bad as the British Humanist Association makes out.

They paint a picture of discrimination, indoctrination and a narrowing of horizons, that frankly I just do not agree with.

There was no place on the BHA’s website that I could leave a comment or express my views, so i am choosing to do that here, although more to get it off my chest than convince others.

My experience of Faith Schools has been one of nurturing and caring for the individual and the community. I fail to see how non-faith schools can tap into an accepted moral framework without reference to religious doctrine. In my opinion this doctrine provides a tried and tested, ready made scaffold to individual expression and personal growth.

I do not think it appropriate to explain in scientific terms how the world works to a small child, who will be, and should be, thinking in more abstract and mysterious terms than an adult. As science cannot prove or disprove the existence of God, (or god, if you like), I do not feel that scientific doctrine has the facility to guide people on how to live their lives.

Don’t get me wrong – I am a scientist; Evolution, Darwin, technology – all good. Also, I am not religious in the conventional sense – but I do reserve the right to believe what the heck I want about the world around me and ‘why’ we are here. Science provides fascinating and compelling evidence of the mind-blowing elegance and beauty of the world around us – but it provides ‘how’ rather than ‘why’.

I referred to religious doctrine as a good thing. I’d like to point out the difference between doctrine and dogma, where the former, as I comprehend it, is following an established pattern for an explicitly understood reason, and the latter is without understanding – blind. Both science and religion have both doctrine and dogma (whether they like it or not) – any system that has human beings in it will tend towards dogma, as people crave a framework that they can rely on and not think about any more (constantly reevaluating your baseline assumptions is extremely hard, and is to be respected in both religion and science).

However, having now read the Dossier on Independent Evidence on Faith Schools I am in turmoil, being presented with a goodly amount of statistics and informed opinion that runs contrary to my own experience (reevaluating those assumptions!).

There doesn’t seem to be a very good case for faith schools, I’m afraid. Many of the comments, including those of the NUT, refer to increasing inclusion across all schools, and not just faith schools. It appears that social impact of faith schools is worse in some parts of the country than others, and it that if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender then you are not going to have a good time at a faith school.

My mind remains open – to the views of others on their reasons for the hinting down and eliminating of faith schools, and to my own experience of faith schools being friendly, supportive and positive environments to work and learn in.

I suspect, as I end this rant, that the significant factor that will lend itself to successful schools is not faith or non-faith, but to the quality of its management, as in the schools that I have worked in.

Cheers,

Philip

PS: this is a BLOG. it is not a scientifically researched paper and all opinions expressed are my own. I have not made up my mind about this topic, and remain open to reasoned argument and persuasion either way. Hope you enjoyed it – now get back to work!

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Crikey, it’s interview fever!

Posted 26 May 2010 — by cheersphilip
Category diary, Rant

Okay, so I went to an interview on Monday – and I got the job!

Sweet – a part time design & technology teacher in a nice school in Norwich – exactly what i was looking for.

But then…

Then I heard back from the SSAT. They were looking for a National Network Coordinator on secondment, which on paper pretty much looked like my dream job – travel around the country talking to specialist D&T departments. Lovely.

Except now I already have a 0.5 appointment. I wouldn’t want to change that; they are extremely nice and I’m really looking forward to starting in September, it’s just that the SSAT job was the one that i originally wanted…

However, the SSAT have kept me waiting OVER TWO MONTHS after the application date to inform me of the shortlist. Okay, they were waiting for the election and some certainty about their funding. (goodbye BectaX – the right idea, just a little too late!).

So, what I am going to do is go to the interview (tomorrow – short notice!?) and see what happens. I think some negotiating is going to be called for.

But… if i get the secondment as well, what am I going to do about my RDTHSC training? I won’t have any time left to go and train teachers how to use their workshop machinery. Crikey.

Onwards and upwards. In other news, I’m still making oak boxes, fully mitred, for my wife’s degree show, selling our campervan, renovating my Vespa, moving house and progressing with the DVDs. Will this ever calm down? A part of me hopes not!

Cheers,

Philip

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Commuter Impersonator

Posted 11 Jan 2010 — by cheersphilip
Category diary

This morning I was ready to jump out of bed and rush to whatever school needed me.

As a home worker, my routine usually runs to sitting in bed drinking coffee until 9, (don’t tell me you wouldn’t do the same!). But not this morning, oh no. this morning I would be the dynamic, assertive go-getting supply teacher that you don’t see in the movies [note to self: could be a new project in that?]

Sadly, the call did not come. Never mind. I was dressed, watered and ready to go. Thing was, the only place I had to go to was my spare room/office.

This was not good enough! Where was the dynamism? Where was the cold air on my face? Where was the struggle of humanity between the opposing forces of financial security on the one hand and the primeveal drive to stay in bed on a flippin cold morning like this?!?

Where was my commute?!?

My course of action was clear – I was going to have that commute whether it got me anywhere or not!

Togged up, I set off amongst the other commuters, winding their way towards the station. What bliss! What solidarity! We were here, we were cold, and we wished we were in bed! Again I felt as part of a group, part of the industrial work ethic, part of trekking through the bleeding frost to get to somewhere you’d rather not be!

But my enjoyment was short lived. After a street or two, I realised that, yes, actually, it is quite cold and that no, really, I did not have any idea what I was doing or where I was going.

My house lies equidistant between two train stations. I considered walking to one and catching the train to the other. This may legitimise my pointless wanderings, or so I thought.

Then the whole pathos of the thing struck me. What was i doing?!I was mocking these people, turning their daily run to the office into some sort of sadistic little smug-fest of my own.

Pausing at the corner, I turned to make my way home. I imagined my follow commuters glancing at me, jeering. “Home-worker” they would say. But it would be true.

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Population Explosion

Posted 26 Dec 2009 — by cheersphilip
Category Stories

The reasons for the population explosion of the 19th and 20th centuries became clear shortly after society crumbled, sometime in the 21st century.

It was at about this time, sadly just too late for many, that a power source both clean and immeasurable was discovered. Such was the depth and beauty of this source that engines for harnessing its power could be built with the simplest tools by anyone half conversant in the new technology.

The ready availability and exceptionally low cost of this power source had an equalising affect on the population of the Earth at that time. All material goods, personal gain and one-upmanship became something of a misnomer, once any person could produce as much of any item as they desired. There suddenly seemed to be no point to it all.

And, by and by, this lead to the invention of the time machine. It behoved people to return just a short time in the long history of this planet, (you could only stay on this planet; travel to other solar systems or even other planets was clearly a complete waste of time, due to the ridiculous distances involved), to the period perceived as the ‘boom-time’ in the long story of the Earth – the industrial and technological revolutions of the 19th and 20th centuries.

It must have been a great time to be in, went the reasoning, as there were so many people around at the time…

As you may be able to tell by now, what actually happened is that almost half the people on the planet at that time were in fact not from that time, but from a short time in the future.

The situation was such that you had people leveraging their knowledge and savvy to become the oligarchs of that famed period in hostory, whilst certain ‘thrill-seekers’ spent time in the most overcrowded and inhospitable areas of the world – living life on the very edge of survival.

It got to such a point that these people, somewhat foolishly, did not keep track of the date. Hence, society duly crumbled, due to obvious reasons, and the majority died with the rest of humanity.

Those that were left after that horrendous time had a different perspective on it all, and promptly invented the new power source – and so it went on.

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