Archive for the ‘giggle zone’ Category

Literacy and maths geek : QED

September 30, 2016

maths-shirt-edited-slogan

Life in my head: weather warnings

August 29, 2016

On the State weather forecast tonight they had a high wind warning for the North and a sheep graziers warning for the South. (No apostrophe.)

Scary things, graziers, good to know to dodge them.  A change from cats and dogs.

Sunday Times (W.A.) provides resource for English teachers. (2)

February 28, 2016

Once again The Sunday Times has provided Western Australian teachers with real-life examples so their students can have the opportunity to criticize adults’ writing.  The best one this week is from the Editorial. (Responsibility for editorial comment is taken by the editor, Rod Savage, 34 Stirling St, Perth, Western Australia  6000 – do send him a letter of thanks!)

In the section headed “Keep Bullies at Bay” (Page 38, News, The Sunday Times, 28 February 2016) the Editor addresses controversy over the Safe Schools scheme, which – acknowledging that ignorance is often behind out-grouping – addresses the range of sexual orientations.  The editorial’s final two paragraphs provide several topics for criticism and discussion:

“Everyone recognises the need to implement strategies to protect all children from bullying.  And that must include students who are gay, lesbian, or transgender.  We should not let these children down just because the scheme doesn’t sit comfortably with some politicians.  We can’t ignore the real risks of suicide and self-harm.  We live in an enlightened society and we shouldn’t incubate schools from that.  Critics say the scheme has highly sexual content which is more about ideology than helping children deal with bullying.

By all means, review the content, but we should not throw the baby out with the bathwater.  Remember, prejudice, fear and by extension bullying, stem from ignorance.”

Comment

  1.  “… we shouldn’t incubate schools from that …”
    In this case, the desired word is probably “insulate.”  Mrs Malaprop had the habit of using fancy words in order to try to appear admirably educated, and (like Kath and Kim) showed her actual class by her incompetence – thus the literate reader’s derision of malapropisms.  However, in the more Hemingway-driven style of the popular press,  a technical term is often used because there is no simpler alternative, so the journalist who is not certain must not rely on the spellchecker.  “I don’t think that word means what you think it means”  is a marvellous tag.
  2. The first paragraph sentence order and sentence division
    “Everyone recognises the need to implement strategies to protect all children from bullying, and that must include students who are gay, lesbian, or transgender.  We can’t ignore the real risks of suicide and self-harm.  We should not let these children down just because the scheme doesn’t sit comfortably with some politicians:   we live in an enlightened society and we shouldn’t incubate (sic) schools from that. ”  Is that a better order?  Is it better to combine the first two sentences by using the comma before  “and” instead of a full stop?  Is the colon a better choice than a full-stop after “politicians”? Why, or why not?
  3. The paragraph break. 
    Would the final sentence of the second-last paragraph  be better as the first sentence of the final paragraph?  Why, or why not?
  4. Remember, prejudice, fear and by extension bullying, stem from ignorance.”
    This is also  worth a class discussion:
    – Why does the author have “by extension” before “bullying”?  – Would “as a result” be better than “by extension”?  Do the answers to the following change if we use “as a result”?
    – Would it be better as “… prejudice, fear, and (by extension) bullying stem …” or as  “… prejudice, fear, and by extension bullying stem …”  or as “… prejudice and fear and, by extension, bullying stem …” or even as  “…prejudice and fear (and, by extension, bullying) stem …” ?
    –  Is the Oxford Comma the best choice here, and if not, why not?
    Why do the suggested alternatives remove the comma between “bullying” and “stem”?   Should the comma remain? Why?
    – Why do the suggested alternatives separate  “by extension” from the surrounding “and bullying”?  Is this necessary? Why?

Thank you, Rod Savage.  Perhaps you could consider these questions before passing such items for publication?

An International Unit of human stress

June 3, 2014

Stress is a measure of continued irritation (irritation over time).  It is commonly described as the sensation of the brain overruling one’s natural desire to get antisocial, and has measurable physical results such as increased cortisol levels and  reduced immune function.

Unit of irritation : 1  RED  = 1 Red-light Expedition Deferral –
The irritation of the moment when one is in a hurry and – just at the safe stopping point – the light goes red, so one knows one should stop.

Unit of Irritation over Time :  1 RED-hour = 1 Western Industrialised Student (WIS, pronounced “Whizz”) interacting with a neutral teacher for one hour on a sunny afternoon.

A level of average daily  stress associated with lapses of self-control, such as puns or comfort eating, is 9.8 WIS (1 g-WIS)

Yuletide OH&S

December 23, 2013

Various versions of this are going the rounds, and I like this one.

Work Health and Safety Christmas Message during this festive season –

Anyone planning to dash through the snow in a one horse open sleigh, going over the fields and laughing all the way, is advised that a Risk Assessment will be required addressing the safety of an open sleigh.

This assessment must also consider whether it is appropriate to use only one horse for such a venture, particularly where there are multiple passengers. Advice against dashing has been issued and  a maximum speed of 10MPH recommended unless seat-belts are fitted.  This must be complied with.

Please note that permission must also be obtained in writing from landowners before their fields may be entered.

To avoid offending those not participating in celebrations, it is advised that laughter is moderate only and not loud enough to be considered a noise nuisance.

Benches, stools and orthopaedic chairs are now available for collection by those working as shepherds during this festive season and planning or required to watch their flocks at night. While provision has also been made for remote monitoring of flocks by CCTV cameras from a centrally heated shepherd observation hut, all users of this facility are reminded that an emergency response plan must be submitted to account for known risks to the flocks.  This must be briefed to all shepherds and copies of signatures recorded.

The angel of the Lord is additionally reminded that, prior to shining his/her glory all around, s/he must confirm that all shepherds are wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment to account for the harmful effects of UVA, UVB and the overwhelming effects of Glory.

Following last year’s well-publicised case, everyone is advised that Equal Opportunities legislation prohibits any comment with regard to the redness of any part of Mr R Reindeer. Further to this, exclusion of Mr R Reindeer from reindeer games will be considered discriminatory and disciplinary action will be taken against those found guilty of this offence.

While it is acknowledged that gift bearing is a common practice in various parts of the world, everyone is reminded that the bearing of gifts is subject to our bribery policy and all gifts must be registered. This applies regardless of the individual.  It is particularly noted that direct gifts of gold are specifically precluded, while caution is advised regarding other common gifts such as aromatic resins that may evoke allergic reactions, such as frankincense, myrrh and other  body & bath oils and salts.

Remember:  Contact your local Health and Safety Officer if you have any queries on Seasonal Health and Safety issues.