My internet connection is down at home. We are upgrading to ADSL2, which has just become available in our area, and apparently there is a three to four day turn-around period when upgrading. Which of course our internet provider didn't mention to us until we rang them to find out why our internet connection had been unavailable for several hours!
But never fear, dear readers. My local McDonalds has a McCafe and free WiFi connection, so I've set up my "office" and settled in!
Mmmmm... caramel latte and banana bread a la Maccas!
So, I'm sure you're dying to know what's been happening in my world lately.
Alana had her first dose of HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccination at school yesterday. This fabulous Australian innovation protects girls from infection with this virus which is implicated in almost all cases of cervical cancer. Of course, anything that involves almost 100 eleven-to-thirteen-year-old girls lining up to have injections cannot be without drama! Two of Alana's friends were unfortunate enough to faint after receiving their injections, one of them falling off the chair and onto the floor. Poor things! They have been sternly told by the nurse to make sure they have their needles lying down next time (gotta love the compassion of the nurses!). Alana even overheard one nurse say to another, "We should just make all the red-heads lie down, it's always the redheads that faint." Nice.
In more disturbing news, two of the boys in Josh's class have been suspended from school for fighting. I was shocked to hear this, and a little worried considering that Josh has been friendly with both these boys in the past. I gently suggested to him that though I didn't want to tell him who he could and couldn't be friends with, I didn't think it was really a good idea to hang out with boys that would cause physical harm to another (a third boy was hurt in the scuffle but was not to blame). Every day new stories of school bullying come to light. There is verbal bullying, physical bullying and cyber bullying to worry about. In my experience, the social world of school is something that each child must navigate for his or herself, with support from teachers and parents if there are any problems. I know that when Alana was this age, her friendship groups underwent a lot of upheaval, with sometimes almost daily changes in who was friends with who. For boys, full of testosterone and perhaps less able to talk about how they feel, it's easy for them to "get physical". It's a worry for me, because Josh is a sensitive soul who can get upset easily.
As for me, I've been trying to get a bit ahead on my uni work before the semester officially begins on March 1.
I've been focussing my attention on EER500 - Introduction to Education Research. Unfortunately, I've been hampered by the fact that the subject forum is not yet available. The subject forum is how we students communicate with one another and with our subject coordinator. It's a great tool for asking questions, discussing issues, or simply "thinking out loud". I'm having trouble moving forward, because without the subject forum I feel very isolated and unsure whether or not I'm on the right track. I have emailed my subject coordinator directly with a couple of questions, but I haven't heard back from her yet.
My other subject, ETL507 - Professional Experience/Professional Portfolio, has a list of readings and questions to consider (to be discussed on the as-yet-unavailable subject forum), but as yet no study guide to indicate what the assessment schedule or requirements of the subject are. So while I can get reading, and start to formulate some thoughts, that's about all I can do so far.