mrsbrown: (parenting)
Why do people feel so emotional about this school uniform thing? Why do I get so angry about it?  Here's my theory; when we think about high school things, it makes us remember how we felt then and we feel some of your teenage emotions again.  Those emotions colour the way we approach any of our ideological arguments about what's the right thing for our kids.

When talking about uniforms, people talk about their embarrassment and the anxious feelings about fitting in and frequently talk about uniforms being the thing that will fix that.  But here's the thing:  being a teenager is about being embarrassed and anxious about fitting in.

The other difficulty in discussing this is the bike shed problem.    Almost everyone went to school, we were all teenagers once and we either wore a uniform or we didn't.

When we're aware of all this, we can put aside those teenage emotions and our "expertise" and look for the real stuff.  Discussing a school uniform is not really about bullying or cost or making people think that the school is a good one.  It's about our approach to making teenagers into adults.

I want my adult children to be comfortable with themselves and able to spot the people who will contribute positively to their lives and cast off the ones that don't.   I want them to be creative and able to try something new.  I also want them to develop independent living skills like dressing appropriately and fashionably and to manage their money in a way that prioritises the things that are important for them. 

I think they can either learn that at school or at Uni, and I'd rather they did it at school where they have a level of supervision and they can still eat if they spend all of their money on clothes.


Here's my memory of clothes and high school;  I went to a high school without a uniform.  I spent my time transitioning from a person who went shopping for clothes with her mum, to a person who was given an allowance for clothes shopping and organised op-shop expeditions with her friends.  I experimented with my hair - it was shaved short, it was dyed, it was cut by hairdresser trainees, it was cut by my sister and it was cut by other students.  I experimented with how many days I could wear a thing before people commented and I tried out being fashionable and being comfortable. I learned that it's hard work to come up with something that looks amazing every day - you have to do your washing for a start!.  Getting up up every day and having to find clothes that are both clean and will work is difficult but you have to develop routines and standards that work for your personal image AND your care factor.  There are also the days when everything comes together and you can look amazing, and you work out how to have that happen more often.  By the end of year 12 I wore clothes that had a particular style and that I could rotate through as little as possible.  I was ready for uni.



mrsbrown: (Default)
I had a terrible time at the meeting last night.  It was inevitable, but I could have prepared better.

I want the Stormhold website to be moved to a wordpress site (from Drupal), I want the currant admin to change and I'll take the job myself if I have to.

Doing that is fraught, as the current admin has had the job for the past 20 years (at least) and is emotionally attached to the job. 

I did a lot of work with the current admin about 8 years ago, when he was just as attached to the job.  I spent a lot of time and energy carefully making the drupal website look and have the best functionality I could.  It was a place I was happy to send newcomers to and I would regularly check what was going on and I had a person lined up who updated the events pages regularly.  I stopped being Baroness and attending council meetings and then, either  the main server crashed or he updated the version of drupal we were using and he lost the lot and had to rebuild.  Some of the pages I had carefully written and coded could only be retrieved from the wayback machine.

The new version of the website looks dreadful, it's not mobile responsive and the regular event updates are gone.  Also, I no longer have admin access and even if I did, now that I know wordpress I would rather use that.  The current website is too difficult  annoying for anyone to use.

Anyway, after a very confrontational discussion (with no control exercised by the meeting chair) it was agreed that we would prepare a pros and cons paper for the next meeting.  This is a typical approach to solving these sorts of conflicts - put it off until next time.  The problem is, the real problem is the current admin - he needs to go.  Hmmm maybe that's why I can't have a reasonable discussion with him about improving the website experience for the Barony - all of my language and posture show what I really think.

Maybe there's another way?  Can I get the Masonry team to ban drupal from the server?

Goals for the Baronial website:
  1. Provide useful meeting and event info for members and newcomers
  2. Be a place that gets people to visit regularly
  3. Includes enough information for newcomers to be attracted and motivated to come to a meeting/event
  4. Can have information added by any of our event stewards
  5. Is easily updated by any of our officers
  6. Is updated often enough that people don't have to rely on facebook for group information
  7. Has a level of automation for event updates - google calendar feed
  8. Can be used by local groups to plan their events around ours.
  9. Can be used to contact us by the media etc
  10. Provides useful resources for members
  11. Encourages traffic to our members blogs
  12. Looks good enough that people get the impression we know what we're doing
Here's a simple table version of a comparison between drupal, joomla and wordpress.

I'm convinced that drupal is too complicated for us to get a site which works for our weird community based organisation.

mrsbrown: (parenting)
I just posted to the Lochac list, at 1.30am, giving all those hard arses an opportunity to flame me to char.

OTOH, not many people will see it over the weekend, so it might not be too bad.

OTOOH, I'd really like to see some respectful conversation, if that's possible when the subject is supervision of children at Festival.
mrsbrown: (domestic goddess)
Why can't christmas be like it was when I was a kid?

Where are the cool presents, the singing, the candlelight, and the people who are interested in me and what I have to say?

Please, if you want to give me a gift, make it something that reflects who I am - even chocolate is better than perfume or soap! If you can't manage that, don't give me anything!

And don't watch TV while I'm trying to socialise with you. Or get angry with me because I failed to see that it is reasonable to put my daughter in an out of the way room, in front of a kids TV program, at a party ..on a nice day.

And why am I the only person who didn't have to bring any food? Is there some social nuance I'm missing when I take them literally after I ask if there's anything I need to bring?
mrsbrown: (sca wind)
I'm feeling really angry about the stuff someone else has written in her blog.

It's been building up, because she's been bagging stuff I hold dear fairly regularly, without being constructive or doing anything to make it better. Just expecting that she can keep coming along, smiling at everyone and making them her friend and then bagging the whole thing later and encouraging others to do the same.

I strongly believe that everyone should write what they want in their blog, and I try really hard to remember that what they write is different to what they do and that's what I should judge them on.

But I'm having trouble with this one.
mrsbrown: (sca wind)
I've stayed up too late, waiting for someone else to put Rose to bed and now I hate everyone.

Even you.

I'll be better in the morning, I'm sure.

I'm awake!

Apr. 12th, 2008 05:26 am
mrsbrown: (parenting)
I'm glad we're only throttled off-peak at the moment.

I can't surf!

It's 5am, and I'm awake. But I can't surf!

But I can tell you that amongst the things I'm currently worried about, the woman I met last night seems to have inserted herself as something else for me to worry about.

She's lived in a defacto relationship for 16 years, had 3 children and has never had any of the family assets in joint owenership. Her name is not on the title for ANY of the multiple houses they seem to have owned. Even the house her sister put money towards buying for their mother is solely in his name.

I'm sure my mother and I talked about Sexually Transmitted Debt, when I was about 17. But this is sort of the opposite.

Now they are separated and the law doesn't recognise the common ownership of the assets that it would if they had been married. She has to go to court to get anything (despite having full custody of the children)

I think that if he wants to deny that it was a marriage, she should sue him for back paid wages. Shes been his nanny, housekeeper and escort for at least 12 years (the age of their eldest child). That's at least $200+$200+$1000 per week or $436 800.

Also,she kept on talking about how she had nothing. But didn't include her obviously fabulous work skills in her personal list of assets. And was too drunk and focussed on complaining to hear me when I tried to tell her. I just got a nod from across the table.

There. That's what's been keeping me awake. Can I go to sleep now?
mrsbrown: (big machine)
At my new workplace the women's toilets are locked and you have to collect a key everytime you head there. They are located in the stairwell so you sometimes also need a key to get into the stairwell. The men don't have a locked toilet.

I hate it.

I hate that I have to announce to the office (yes, nobody's interested or notices, this is my rant) that I'm off to the loo for the 5th time this morning. I hate the conversations, "where's the key?" and "Oh yes, Jane often puts the key in her pocket". I hate having to wait for the key to come back when I've finally dragged myself away from my work to attend to my exploding bladder. I hate talking about my toilet habits, even the ones that don't involve actual waste.

I hate the constant subtle reminder that
we are not safe
men are able to look after themselves and women aren't
women need to be protected.

It's not true and I'm not convinced that the proles around here are able to see beyond the bullshit.

Yesterday the office was broken into and the key to the toilet and stairs was stolen. I've been letting my inner feminist out and trying to agitate to remove the key requirement altogether. I've been dreaming of putting a rant similar to this on the backs of the toilet cubicle doors and providing a wedge to prop the door open. Now I don't think I'll bother.

Today a male manager came to us and asked that we take responsibility for the re-keying of the toilet lock. He apologised and said he was only doing it because the women in his workplace were asking for it. They don't feel "safe".
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