Posted in Life, Photography

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We are finally on our way – I hope the boat’s gentle rocking puts me to sleep! 

Here’s another little one I’m ultra excited to spend time with over the weekend 

Posted in Life

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Two of my grandsons (cousins) hanging out in December last year at our last family wedding.

Next week they’re going to be hanging out together again for the next family wedding!

Seriously can’t wait!!

Posted in Flowers, Learning

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It seems ages since I’ve posted a photo … in fact, it’s been over a week. This was a flower I captured a few weekends ago, in the Castlemaine Botanic Garden. Do you know what kind of flower it is? If you know, could you write the name of the flower in the comments please?

My absence from blogging has been due to the amount of marking I’ve had to do over the past week or so. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a university lecturer and this semester, in addition to my new full-time job (which I started two weeks ago), I’m teaching a unit at a different university on facilitating engaging learning experiences.

I’ve come to recognise that my approach to marking is a dialogic one. I tend to comment on students’ ideas, or I ask questions of them, or I put forward an alternative perspective. I seek to affirm, yet challenge and extend students’ thinking, and that’s challenging because I also have to be nice – and that’s one of the things I find most difficult to be. One consequence of this approach is that marking takes ages! Markers are allocated about 20 minutes per paper for marking, but I often take an hour per paper – even longer when the ideas are trapped inside somewhat clumsy expression.

So that’s what’s been taking lots of my time and attention. Up at 6 most mornings, mark a paper or two before the hour-long commute to work, work, hour-long commute home, more marking. It’s an intellectually draining process and I find that I don’t have much headspace for other things. Getting my head around a new workplace, new colleagues, new relationships, new places and ways of storing information, new processes, new location, is difficult enough when that’s all that’s going on in your life. Marking on top of that means my head is well and truly full.

Except, that I have to keep some space free because my youngest daughter is getting married! In 13 days’ time. In Tasmania. There are so many decisions to be made, so many details to organise, so many conversations to have, so many others to consult … not being in Tasmania is making the whole thing a tad more difficult, but we’re on the phone to each other a few times a day, and sometimes late into the night, and that helps in terms of decision-making and keeping each other informed of what’s happening.

There’s a lot going on!

Posted in Photography

Two years

There was a time, in the not too distant past, where I vowed and declared that I would never re-enter the institution of marriage.

Marriage wasn’t for me. It was an institution designed for the suppression of women, it was out-dated, it was no longer relevant for modern life, it was only for those who wanted to be tied to another by invisible but strong and deadening bonds.

Two years ago today I was tied to another by invisible but strong bonds in the sight of my family and closest friends.

Yes, I became married.

I was asked, around that time, whether I thought marriage would make any difference to a relationship that was non-traditional in one quite clear way (the age difference is very marked) but had never the less already made it past the five year mark.

At the time I wasn’t sure. Michelle seemed to think that being married was different from being together and I wondered if I would feel the same.

Is it different, being married to someone? Have the last two years differed in any significant way from the previous five?

Yes.

I like, despite thinking that I might feel otherwise, having a ‘husband’ – a person named up as such. It quite possibly has to do with the husband I have, but I do like it.

I like that I can signal to the world (through subtly flashing my wedding ring) that I am married. I like the security and comfort of that.

I also, despite thinking otherwise at other times, liked planning the wedding.

A wedding is something that you do partly for show. The wedding ceremony is just as much for others as it is for the couple – you show your commitment to each other in front of others who are important in your life. You get to ask the 12 year daughter of your best friend from high school if she will present the rings and so be an extra special part of the celebration. That can never be taken away. You get to hear your sister read a poem that has significance and meaning to you. You get to see your mum and dad with tears in their eyes because you look so beautiful and you look around the small gathering and see the faces of your adult children and your grandchildren and your extra special friends and your know that this is something they’re happy to be part of. And then you see your German sister on the laptop, Skyping in from Germany, and you feel thrilled that she can be part of it too. This big commitment, undertaken in a marquee in your own backyard and then celebrated upstairs in a room that looks divine, is significant because it’s shared.

Thinking back on that day, two years ago, I am particularly pleased that I changed my mind about marriage.

I like being married.

I mostly like being married because I’m married to Tim. He lets me be.