Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Thoughts about school and education

School is out for teachers and students here and for that I am thankful. I enjoy the time I have in the summer that I don't have during the rest of the year to have some flexibility in doing what I want to do.

We teachers have much to be thankful for in comparison to others in less fortunate places. I do not want to make light of the many troubles that DO plague our schools, for there are many, but in light of others, we should consider ourselves lucky. I am thankful for:

  • the fact that our students don't have to go hungry while at school
  • the air conditioning, heating and electricity
  • the technology that we have available
  • the support we get from social workers, nurses, and counselors
  • the supplies and resources that are available at our schools.

I think many of our problems that plague our schools come from the fact that we are a society of plenty - plenty of too much, and not enough of "not enough" so we don't have to be resourceful.
Then I read the following, and give thanks, and pray for those in less fortunate places. Read on....

I copied and pasted this because I didn't know how long this would be posted on the web site.


Teachers living in miseryBy Thabile Masuku

THEY live in one-roomed stick and mud houses, wake up everyday to face over 200 pupils on an empty stomach (literally) and toil hard for five days a week, all for nothing in return.
This is the story of four Etjebovu Primary School teachers who have not received their salaries since the beginning of the year. Two of them are on contract, the rest are temporary teachers.
What’s worse, there seems to be no end in sight in their fate. Several trips to the Ministry of Education have yielded no fruits, as they have been given endless excuses and promises. Sometimes they are promised that they would be paid the following month, on other occasions told there are no post numbers and at times that their names do not appear in the registration list.
As a last resort, they have turned to the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) to ask it to approach the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) on their behalf, hopefully with the view of coming up with a tangible solution. “We met SNAT last week and are still awaiting a response,” said one of the aggrieved teachers.
The head teacher of the school, Cyril Motsa, perhaps tells a better version of his staff’s plight. After all, he is the one who feels the pinch of heading a highly demoralised staff and faces the challenge of motivating them with the little resources generated through the school’s limited enrolment. There are eight teachers in the school, which means only four are able to concentrate fully on their job.
“The situation is bad. I can’t imagine how those teachers feel. Just this morning (yesterday) they came to me about their issue. I have reached a point where I don’t know what to say to them. It really is a sad situation and one wonders why they are being punished like this,” said Motsa.
He added that the situation highly affected the teachers’ performance, thus having a major impact on the pupils.
“The sad thing is that no one claims responsibility when we produce a high number of failures. Government won’t admit that she is at fault. This is a serious concern,” he stated.
He further indicated that his school further had a problem of infrastructure; hence they did not have staff quarters. This is the reason they have to find alternative accommodation for the teachers, despite that there are no resources.
“The rooms we live in are so small and unfit for human occupation. As a result of their size, we have no choice but to forsake our families and live on our own. But thanks to our head teacher, who is trying everything he can to make living a bit bearable for us,” said the aggrieved teacher.
She said they now banked their hopes on SNAT, which would hopefully negotiate on their behalf, successfully.
“Meanwhile, we only have to wait and see. It’s like praying for a miracle,” the teacher said.
Education Principal Secretary Goodman Kunene promised to look into the issue and find out what may be delaying payment of the teachers.

Image from

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

girl in pink

I went to an auction and this picture caught my eye. It will look nice in the girls' bedroom.

Oil on canvas with a pretty frame for 15 bucks... I thought that was a bargain. I didn't measure it but the picture is leaning on our fireplace.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Pray as you go

I believe I have posted about this previously, but I want to share with you a little bit more about Pray as you go. It started of as a project for Lent - by the Jesuits. Little did they know of the response they would get - so much so that they are continuing this ministry. Each weekday, for 10-12 minutes they offer to their listeners a meditation on Scripture that follows the liturgical year. However, there are several components that I find of comfort and inspiration to me.
  • Their music selections are diverse - sometimes it is Gregorian Chant, other times it is traditional sacred Choral music, while other times there is music that is contemporary, but always beautiful (and they don't keep you guessing - you can go to the web site and find out what you are listening to and if you like it enough you can find the resource there to find where to purchase it.)
  • Scripture readings are read by both men and women - and with a lovely British accent, read slowly and meditatively, with a meditation to listen and ponder about. Questions are asked for you to reflect upon as you listen, with some quiet time to listen to your inner voice.
  • Scripture readings are read twice - to offer more reflection
  • and... it concludes with many voices... "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be. Amen." You can't help but say it with them

You don't have to have an IPOD to listen to it. You can download ITUNEs and listen to it on your computer, just as I am now. It's a free download.

If you notice the picture of the girl that I posted with this, she is listening to it with her eyes closed. It's the feeling you get when you listen to it.... it sends you to a different world, different from the hustle and bustle many of us feel in our lives.

They have asked their listeners to spread the word so others may enjoy and listen. They have already had a huge response of a quarter of a million listeners around the world - more than they ever expected. When you listen to it you will understand its popularity.

Let me know if you have listened to it - are there any of you out there listening to this? It soothes this frazzled being beyond understanding.

Monday, May 22, 2006


The Movie Clapper Board Generator
It looked like too much fun :)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Baby Blanket

Dear Abby,
I have finally completed your blanket - I know it took longer than the others, but there is a reason for that. I finished your blanket one time before. It was ALMOST identical to the one here. However, when I finished, I tried to put a crochet edge on it and I was not happy. I tried to reason with myself, that taking it out completely was irrational and would delay the delivery to you. But heart in my heart, I could not give the blanket created previously. So, it vanished... into... balls.... of... yarn..... never to be seen again by man, woman, or child.
The process began again... this time with a border built into the blanket. A simple garter stitch will keep me from having to crochet cure the frustration of a curled edge - the blanket that didn't quite look finished.
So... the blanket is a little longer... to make up for the fact you didn't get to use it in the first 3 months of your life. And.... considering the weather we are having, it may be November before you can use it to keep you warm. However, it sure will look pretty in the lavender room of your Meme's house.
So, Abby, just remember, it's been knitted twice, so double the love in each and every stitch.

For you knitters, the blanket is from Knit Along with Debbie Macomber - The Shop on Blossom Street (Leisure Arts #4132) - the pattern is "A lesson on Color" I used size 7 circulars using Babysoft yarn by Lion Brand.
Blooming this morning in my yard was this...

Didn't check the name of the daylily.......

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Blog blooming

Strawberry Fields Forever - that's the name of this daylily. It was blooming this morning as we are nearing the peak of daylily season. It was ASKING to get its picture taken.

I am about 4 rows short of being finished with Abby's blanket. Pictures forthcoming!
Tomorrow is the first time we show the house - perhaps they will find this to their liking. Let's hope so.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

It's real, I think

Well, we are putting the house on the market and making a move.. next house - a couple of blocks over, with more space, and a nice garage to make into an apt for my Mom! Details later as more signatures get on dotted lines, etc.
This house will be shown on Friday....pray that they like the house and think it is their next home to be!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Church suppers and balance

Tonight was church supper. It's feast or famine in terms of balance - tonight we had enough dessert to put any diabetic into a coma - the dessert table's cup runneth over. Vegetables were at a minimum and we had our fair share of fried chicken and a few other main dishes.

Next month, what do you bet.... we will have one dessert with the rest meats and veggies.

Does anyone see that happening? Any suggestions to a solution?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Dean's list

Congratulations, dear daughter, for making Dean's list!!!!

It's May 8 and I......

wore wool socks because my feet got cold. Now that just beats all in south Georgia - and we got rain.....and we have had pretty good rain over the past couple of days - and we can't complain about that. We have had quite the dry spell.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


The end of this school year has been VERY busy. I have more IEPs this year to write, plus the coordinations of the meetings has been challenging to say the least. It leaves me with little energy to focus on knitting - as I get a few rows done here and there. I am so close to finishing Abby's blanket, I could be finished in a regular sitting. Also on the needle is Kit's sock - Sapphire, baby, is its name - I try to get a few rows done also.

Until I get a few more IEPs under the belt and all of the copying of them completed, I won't be able to focus well on anything else. It's the ability to focus with energy. There are a couple of things on my plate also that are taking up some energy, but that is in process and not bloggable at this time.
Singing tonight in a concert!