Pinky's Book Link

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Taking Stock: In my Classroom

Watching: a lot of YouTube videos about fractions and how one half equals two quarters, even though I’m the only one in the classroom paying any attention to the videos because the students are all too busy eyeing off the hornet who naively wafted through the window and is unwittingly causing mass terror and unmitigated screaming. Frankly, it’s giving me a headache and I’ve decided I don’t like hornets or fractions.

Only good hornet is a...

Making : comparisons between one hundredth of a slice of pizza and one half and desperately trying to explain that even though one hundredth sounds like more, it’s not. Have they ever seen a pizza cut into a hundred pieces anyway? That’s just silly.

Cooking : up a storm in mathematics education on a global level and sure I’ll be seconded by the United Nations to work for UNESCO at any minute.

Reading : between the lines when my student tells me his cat has been sent to live on a rural property because it kept pooing on Dad’s shoes.

Wanting : in etiquette when I race up to the staff room at lunch time and push other colleagues out of the way at the fridge before all the full cream milk goes and I have to endure skim milk in my coffee.

Looking : over my shoulder when my class is walking in a line behind me to make sure no one is doing cartwheels/spraying others with their water bottle/imitating the way I walk in a mocking fashion.

Playing : my cards right when I send my cutest student (with a lollipop) up to beg the office ladies to photocopy two extra homework sheets because I accidentally used the originals to mop up a dead hornet.

Wasting : away to a shadow because all my lollipops are being used to bribe the office ladies.

Sewing : when my ten year old student says, “Mrs Poinker! Marigold touched my Smiggle pencil,” or “Mrs Poinker! She looked at me with her eyes,” and I keep repeating “So? So?”

Wishing : I’d come up with the idea of flogging cheap plastic stationery at exorbitant prices to gullible children.

Enjoying : the five minutes of meditation we have after big lunch every day. It’s three hundred seconds of peace… except for a couple of rebellious fifth columnists I need to compete against in a savage staring competition until they eventually close their eyes in reluctant submission, of course.

Waiting : for the doctor to tell me my blood pressure has finally reached the stage where teaching is a death sentence and I must go on to worker’s comp immediately or risk suffering a catastrophic stroke in front of a bunch of traumatised ten year olds. Oh I can’t wait for the day!

Liking : when a kid in my class has a birthday and brings in cupcakes with one for the teacher.

Loving : when the cupcakes have really gooey icing so when I hand them out I get to lick the extra icing off my fingers before I hand out the next one. (Jokes).

Needing : a mother in my class who knows how to cook delicious, chocolate, birthday cupcakes with whipped fresh cream that come under twenty calories each.

Smelling : my hands after I high five my students in the morning. You can never be too careful.

Noticing : a cheesy odour on my hands and wondering?? What could it possibly be?

Hoping : that anti-bacterial hand wash lives up to its hype.

Knowing : reports are due in a week and I haven’t finished all the assessment yet.

Thinking : myself sick about how all the student’s results are logged into one flimsy, record book and if I lost it I’d be up shite’s creek and how the scenario is especially likely considering my propensity for losing things.

Feeling : a bit creeped out that even though I know I’m dicing with trouble I’m very haphazard with the record book.

Bookmarking : employment opportunities in horticulture or cleaning in case I lose my record book, can’t write my reports and get my marching orders.

Opening : a can of tuna in the classroom and all the kids on lunchtime detention complaining about the smell.

Giggling : nervously when one of them asks me if I’m eating cat food and I check to see I’ve brought the right can from my pantry.

Listening : skills are underrated. If children listened I wouldn’t have to say, “I already said it five times, why weren’t you listening instead of poking holes in your Smiggle rubber with your Smiggle pencil under the desk.”

And one for luck…

Questioning : whether when I ask my class, after numerous science lessons and chaotic experiments, how we know gravity exists and one student tells me, “Because it says it on the Internet” I should stick to teaching and not consider a job in horticulture anyway.

Okay, what have you been liking, listening to and hoping?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

What happens when you replace kids with dogs.

Languishing in luxury

When my fox terrier, Celine, has to have her annual parvo virus shot, a certain protocol needs be put in place. Firstly, I must call the funeral parlour to arrange which doggy songs we need to play for her inevitable and untimely departure, then, I have to arrange for the pall bearers, Pablo, Borat (German Shepherd) and Willy (Silky Terrier) to be groomed and coached in preparation for her requiem mass, and thirdly I have to be prepared for the Camille-like languishing which must surely precede her demise; the vague cough, the plaintive facial expressions and the croaking entreaties for water.

Yawn. My fox terrier is a hypochondriac.

I know when my kids had their measles/mumps/whooping cough (whatever) needle, they had a minimally tender arm for 24 hours… but this dog is unbelievable. She needs to be carried out the back door for wee wees, carried up and downstairs to bed, refuses hand fed treats and moans theatrically every time I walk past her.

It’s like living with an eighteenth century consumption patient.

She sits shivering on the couch staring with googly, dilated eyeballs whilst Scotto and I bring her ice blocks to lick in order to stem the fever. You can’t touch any part of her body lest she scream like a banshee and God forbid anyone try to coax her from her eyrie on top of a half dozen pillows on the couch.

Even Monet would gag at the histrionics.

But I know the next morning she’ll awake, shake out her ears like Dumbo and forget the entire experience, whilst I will have lain awake all night, imagining finding a cold, stiff, hairy carcass at my feet when I stir from a restless and sweaty sleep in the morning.

People say when your kids grow up you find peace at last- but it’s not true. Idiots such as myself, replace children with dogs. And dogs are far worse let me assure you.

We took Pablo the Chihuahua with us this morning to have his claws clipped while his sister Celine was going under the ‘knife’. 

“He’s become fat!” Our vet, Chris, was shocked when he spied the corpulent Chihuahua. It’s true. Pablo has beefed up a bit. I still thought it was a bit rude though. Pablo has a Mexican metabolism; those from south of the border like their siestas and enchiladas with extra cheese and sour cream on the side. It’s a cultural thing.

But do you know it costs twelve dollars to have a dog’s claws clipped? That’s almost as much as it costs me to have a manicure. Maybe I should be booking into the vet to have my fingernails done.

But now we find out the bloody fox terrier has to have its teeth cleaned. The procedure apparently requires the mutt to be placed under a general anaesthetic which all up should only cost a mere fudging THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS!

How long since you had a scale and clean? Ninety bucks tops? 

Do you think I should just take my dog to the dentist?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Sex Scene What I Wroted

Well dear friends, I wrote my one and only sex scene in the first draft of my manuscript today. Before you get excited and rush off to read it, let me warn you… it’s not very titillating. In fact, the word titillating is probably far filthier than anything you’ll find in my sex scene.

Why? I hear you ask. Why didn’t you make it all juicy, and wet and have secretions in it and all that sort of stuff?

Because it’s not called Fifty Shades of Dorothy, that’s why. 

Personally I find reading sex scenes to be embarrassing; even if I’m sitting and reading by myself, with no one looking over my shoulder, I still get all clammy. I think sex scenes can also sound a bit corny when authors use phrases like, he penetrated her, her womanhood was on fire, his manhood gleamed in its tumescence.

My womanhood has never felt like it was on fire and if it ever did I’d go to the doctor or at least buy some cream from the pharmacist. I don’t like the word penetrate. It reminds me of when I stood on a wire once and it penetrated my big toe. Tumescent manhood brings to mind a mushroom for some reason and I’ve never seen a gleaming mushroom.

To be honest, my sex scene never got past first base. It did… but only after the door closed behind them.

Even then, I found describing the act of kissing to be difficult to write about. I avoided any mention of a tongue. No slimy tongues penetrating any mouths in my sex scene.

No. My novel is not based on the life of a nun, but I don’t want my father reading this book and arriving at the doorstep challenging my husband to a duel because he thinks I’m writing about myself and the things I may or may not get up to. 

Not that Dad would do that.

My father wrote a manuscript a couple of years ago which included a sex scene. My sister, Sam, is still traumatised by it and brings it up at least once every six months. It didn’t worry me at all because I skipped the sex scene completely when I read it. Whenever she talks about it I cover my ears and begin singing, “Lalalalala” like a child.

Most sex scenes in books are fairly unrealistic too. I mean, has any leading lady in a novel ever suffered from fanny farts after a sex scene where she engaged in extra strenuous sex or after having sex in a swimming pool?

Not that I know about fanny farts personally, but I’ve read about them in various medical and scientific journals.

The girl in the novel never suffers from debilitating urinary tract infections twenty four hours after the sex scene does she? 

You never read about someone being spiked in the chin by an aggressive bristle and saying, “Right that’s it! Get off me and don’t touch me again until you’ve had a proper shave you big ape.”

The heroine in the book never stops in the middle of a sex scene and says, “Shite. I forgot to buy dog food and the shops shut in ten minutes.” Or “Do you think you’ll be finished by the time Game of Thrones starts?”

No. It’s a bit like Hollywood the way a lot of authors write sex scenes. Everything is smoke and mirrors, musky smells and clean sheets. They just don’t reflect real life.

Which is why I’m counting on the fact anyone reading my book will just think, ‘Oh, she's written a sex scene, I think I’ll just skip this bit.’

Do you feel self-conscious reading sex scenes?
If not what's your favourite one?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Did you like maths when you were in school?

Maths isn’t my favourite subject to teach. It wasn’t my preferred subject when I was in school so I like to get it out of the way and teach it first thing in the morning when the kid’s minds are still fresh, not sullied by the “who stole my soccer ball at lunch time” or “who accidentally/deliberately kicked me in the nuts during handball” or the “who threw my lunchbox on the ground and stomped on it” type of ‘after lunch dramatic scenarios’.

So anyway, I had this written on the whiteboard at 8:30 yesterday morning and asked the class.

“What is symmetry?” I glanced around the room with an unwarranted optimism.

One hand tentatively went up and I looked over hopefully.

“Is it where they bury dead people?”

I was perplexed. What were the grade two and three teachers teaching these kids?

“No. That’s a cemetery. It has nothing to do with dead people. This is symmetry, not cemetery.”

Another hand went up, waggling enthusiastically.

“Is it to do with Frew Noodles?” he asked, cocking his head to one side adorably.

I scanned my brain.

‘Frew Noodles? Were they a type of symmetrical Asian food I’d never heard of?’

“Pardon?” I asked politely.

“Frewn. Oodles,” he repeated slowly, as if I were a backward idiot from the Ozarks.

“Sorry. Just say it one more time for me.” I was beginning to doubt my sanity/hearing.


No. he definitely said, ‘frew noodles’.

“What are frew noodles?” I’d given up by this stage and was staring over at the staff room through the side window, longing for a coffee.

“They’re what you have when people die,” he sounded very exasperated.

“Oh… funerals,” I finally realised, defeated and ready to hang up my name tag and whistle. “No. That’s still about dead people. It’s nothing to do with dead people.”

Frankly, I think they were all highly disappointed we weren’t about to learn about the dearly departed.

My question to you all is this.

When have you ever had to determine how many lines of symmetry there are in a given two dimensional object in your everyday lives?

Do you think we need to review what we’re teaching our children?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Too Many Cooking Shows Spoil the Broth

As usual, the girls and I went for coffee last Friday after school. Kazza enjoyed a scrumptious avocado and fetta smash, Lee-lee ordered a muffin, Kyles scoffed a savoury crepe, Shazza demolished a caramel tart with whipped cream on the side and I had nuffink.

I always remember what everyone else eats. I think it’s because I wish I was eating it but I can’t because of the menopause and the hormones and the, well, fat. 

It’s quite amazing I can recall what people eat in such fine detail as I spend twice as long as I should cleaning my teeth because by the time I’ve finished flossing the bottom row I forget if I’ve done the top ones and have to start all over. 

I can go on doing it for ages or at least until Scotto checks on me that I haven't passed out in the shower. 

But you ask me what so and so had for morning tea last Tuesday week in 2007, I’d be able to tell you.

Anyway, as we sat there chatting, the chef stormed out the front and he looked angry. He was ferociously staring up and down the pavement with what looked like murder on his mind. Like, if he’d had a meat cleaver or a machete I’d have ducked under the table or run screaming into the carpark leaving my fellow diners to their peril. They all had their backs to him so they didn't notice him and by the time he’d got through slaughtering them I’d be halfway to Brisbane I reckon. 

Luckily, he didn't go crazy but it started me thinking about how cranky the everyday, run of the mill chef must be getting with the plethora of cooking programs on the telly. Imagine all the wankers dining at restaurants and cafes complaining about how their tarts aren't quite tart enough or how uncrispy their crispy duck was. 

I’ve always found chefs to be slightly unhinged anyway, so I can imagine this sudden wave of phony expertise on all matters culinary has to be driving them mental.

I felt dismayed last night, because I’ve only just recovered from My Kitchen Rules dominating the screen and I see Masterchef has started up now. You can only look at a plate with merconium smeared artistically across it once and make a witty joke without it becoming stale. I was sick of bagging out Pete Evans and I was bored with poking fun at the pretentious dishes and Scotto was sick of me complaining so he passed me the remote control.

I found a David Attenborough show about what seemed to be an adorable mummy mouse in Texas or Mexico or somewhere… there were cacti in the landscape anyway. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly played comically in the background. She was a Grasshopper Mouse also known as a Scorpion mouse, and she gave birth to a litter of tiny mouses in a hole in the ground. 

One particular baby mouse, clearly a rebellious, a#*hole teenager already, after only a mere hour of life, left home and met up with a sinister tarantula, was almost eaten whole by a rattle snake and practically drowned in an unseasonal flood.

Meanwhile, Mummy mouse went out looking for him and nabbed dinner on her trip by snapping at a deadly scorpion and biting it into two pieces and lugging it back to her nest.

Then came the truly frightening part.

Mummy mouse sat back on her haunches, threw her tiny head back, fastening her psychotic beady eyes on the moon and howled like a werewolf.

I’m never going to Texas. I’ve never liked mice at the best of times and frankly I’d rather be confronted by a frenzied chef with a chopping knife after someone complained he overcooked the harvested lobster roulade.

I know you all think I make stuff up so here's the proof.

Question: What's creeps you out you the most? Scorpions, tarantulas, rattle snakes, howling mice or Pete Evans?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Blogger's Block: Why it's Happened to Me.


I've been waiting for something to inspire me. 

I can’t think of anything to write about even though I've only written one post this week which is unlike me. 

The reason is, I've been using all my creative energy writing the manuscript of my book.


I know how boring it is when one of your fool friends suddenly thinks they’re Stephen King and carries on with silly statements like, ‘Oh my God! I can’t believe the character (who I made up in my lunatic head) just did what they did when I was writing my novel last night!’.

That sort of pretentious crap even annoys me.

I would never say that because since I’m the one writing the words, my characters aren’t getting any of the bloody credit. I would never pretend to be swept away by an invisible muse who takes over my keyboard and gains possession of my simple mind.

No. My muse is all blood sweat and tears. And Google.

But I'm going to tell you all this now to protect myself in case I get arrested.

If Scotto is ever found bludgeoned to death on the kitchen floor, I’ll be the first suspect. But I didn't do it, okay?

The FBI (or whatever they’re called in Australia… AFP? Very boring sounding) will confiscate my laptop, have me handcuffed and be pushing my head down roughly into the back of a cop car, quicker than you can say ‘unsophisticated, waffling hack’.

Lately, I’ve been entering incriminating search terms into Google like these:

Ghosts: are they real and do they pull hair?

Paranormal psychics in Sydney and surrounding area

How do parents react when a very small child goes missing?

Sinister/evil/malevolent/scary stuff

Doppelgangers and their prevalence in Australia

What happens when you come out of an induced coma, do you remember being hit on the head?

End stage kidney disease and can you treat it at home?

Fraud and its penalties in NSW

Where can you buy bags of blood?

Crows and witch symbolism

How can I become a bikie?

What do people look like immediately after death?

How do you run someone off the road on a cliff?

What happens if you eat dirt from a grave?

How can you dissolve a body?

I could go on forever with the disturbing, creepy things I've searched for over the last two months but I don’t want to alert the authorities any further.

I’m of the writer's school of philosophy that subscribes to the, ‘Why do proper research when you can get all your information from the Internet’ way of thinking.

Some people say you should write what you know, but to be honest, I just don’t know very much.

If I wrote what I know, I’d start up a silly blog about five horrible teenagers who terrorise their mother with dangerous antics involving cars and only ever speak to her with savage derision, wouldn’t I?

Or I could write a blog about how a teacher almost has a nervous breakdown because her students run rings around her and her colleagues mock and torment her at every opportunity, couldn’t I?

But no. I’ve chosen to write a
novel about things I’ve NEVER had any experience with.

A parent of one of my students, who happens to be a nurse, came in for a parent teacher interview a couple of months ago. Little did she know that she’d be inching towards the door attempting to escape my clutches as I relentlessly grilled her about ‘at home dialysis treatment’ after we’d talked about her son’s academic progress briefly.

She was a good sport about it but I had to make her promise not to tell my Deputy Principal I hijacked our meeting.

So anyway, I really don’t have anything to tell about this week except… I may be about to become a grandmother...

Hagar and Meggles are making noises about buying a Chihuahua.

And last night I ate some meat for the first time since Australia day 2014.

Cooked by Scotto, who may or may not need to watch his back in the kitchen.

I think all this gory research has made me hungry for blood.