Sunday, 3 March 2013

Day 88: The grass is greener...

Day 88 (3 Mar) Sunday...and just for something completely is still raining. 

The lorikeet rain gauge reached eight today.
*The gauge where the number of perched loris is in inverse proportion
to the amount of rainfall in a day. 

It's a bit of a challenge to judge whether or not doing the washing will be possible or just stupid on a day like this (I don't own a dryer, so it depends on the weather). But, Sunday being Sunday, I thought I'd give it a go. 

It is also the day that serious weekly review of lectures begins now that classes have resumed. The new material collected, read and pondered over the non-teaching time (never 'the holidays') must now be incorporated into the courses I teach. Given the currency of teaching politics or current issues on Japan, what I draft out today inevitably undergoes further tweaking between now and the class. I've even had events unfold in the walk from the office to the lecture theatre at times. I'm not sure whether the internet is a blessing or a curse in that regard. 

It's a shade of green I've not seen before,
at 6.12am
So at 6.12am I was outside judging the likelihood of rain and whether or not that would prevent me from washing or mowing the lawn. Washing got done but the grass will have to wait. Actually, what I have noticed about the grass at present, both here and along the highway, is a brilliant green colour. It almost hurts the eyes. Yes, the grass is long but it is an undeniably luscious green. It's a metaphor for life at the moment too as I also ponder what might be around the corner...should I stay or should I go? Is the grass greener on the other side, or just a whiter shade of pale? It is something I'll be thinking about for the rest of the year. 

Having set about fixing the morning chores, it's been a day at the desk reading and writing. Twitter runs alongside my notes as I keep an eye on events of the day, lest they have relevance for what I will talk about this week. It also means keeping track of key politics shows on through the morning, and that for me is via radio. That usually starts with NewsRadio and is followed up by Radio National and then back to NewsRadio for a broadcast of the TV program 'Insiders'. People keep reminding me I can watch a replay on iView; yes, I know, I keep forgetting. 

Today the dialogue has swung between the interview this morning with shadow minister for immigration Scott Morrison and the speech given by Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 'Western Sydney'. I generally begin classes with a bit of a discussion about what's in the news. I've been teaching Australian politics for nearly 15 years now and the issue of asylum seekers and refugees has always been close to the top of the list. I once cancelled a tute and asked the students to return next week having looked up the word 'compassion' before we continued our discussion. It was perhaps one of the more valuable teaching/learning moments for all concerned. The students, to their credit, returned with definitions and a willingness to discuss and engage with each others viewpoints with a greater degree of civility. 

The same cannot be said of our political leaders I'm afraid as we continue to discuss the issue publicly 15 years on. I always anticipate passionate views in class on this topic. 

Still damp, at 6.12pm
I will also need to be on top of the Prime Minister's speech by tomorrow...the views, the analysis, the fallout. How will it be read? How was the Prime Minister's every word, every expression, every gesture, played out for our political consumption? Tonight's work. 

Meanwhile, at 6.12pm, time to check the washing. Bad call, it's all still damp. I guess I expected that. There does seem to be a break in the clouds though and a few Brissie tweeps were rejoicing the break in the rain and a slightly visible blue sky. Maybe that is just as metaphorical as my greener grass...maybe it will just take a break in the clouds and all will be well. Maybe. 

In Japan today, it is Hina Matsuri, or 'Girls' Day'. I know, it's tradition.

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