through tears and laughter

Thursday, August 31, 2006

As it is in Heaven

Today the hubby scored us free tickets to see a film at Rialto.

What a beautiful film.

AS IT IS IN HEAVEN (subtitled) follows the lives of people living in a small village in Sweden. A famous international conductor, Daniel Dareus, spent the first 7 years of his life here – and he moves back in adulthood after he needs a change of direction. He goes there to “listen”, but is soon gently coerced to attend the village church choir practice, and then to give advice.

We meet the members of the choir, and gradually their hidden brokenness is revealed. We see how they deal with conflict, and we feel their pain. We learn how to feel our own music.

We learn that once we are able to see the wings of angels on all people, we’ll be complete.

In my eyes, this is a strong correlation to what Christians should be striving for – to see Jesus in all people. To me, this film addressed many issues to do with humanity, church and God. We see how individuals struggle with the concept of sin and forgiveness, and how those who deem to be “proper Christians” are quick to judge others instead of loving.

This film also demonstrated how “church” is really people, the community… individuals supporting and challenging each other.

There is also a powerful storyline of domestic violence and courage.

The soundtrack was amazing… powerful… beautiful. At the end of the film, only two people left the theatre during the credits. The rest of us sat there in silence, soaking up the music.

Things to be aware of: There were a couple of booby shots that could make people uncomfortable, but it wasn’t gratuitous. There’s also some violence, which had me clinging to my husband for a bit, but this does add powerfully to the overall effect of the film.

AS IT IS IN HEAVEN strongly shows the brokenness of humanity, and how we need unconditional love and support from others. Most of all though, this film is about finding the courage to love.


To read Scott's (more comprensive) review, go to


One of the characters is Gabriella, a victim of domestic violence. Daniel writes a song especially for her to sing.

Gabriella's Song

It's now that life is mine
I have had a time here on Earth
And my longing has led me here
Things I missed and things I gained

This is still the road I've chosen
My confidence far beyond words
That has shown a little piece
Of the sky I've never reached

I want to feel that I have lived
All the time I have
I shall live what I want
I want to feel that I have lived
To know that I'm good enough

I have never forgotten who I was
I've just left it sleeping
Maybe I have had no choice
Only the will to exist

I want to live happily, for it's me who I am
To be able to be strong and free
See how night turns into day
I am here and my life is only mine
And the sky that I thought that existed
I shall find it there somewhere

I want to feel that I've lived my life

Click here to listen to this song (in Swedish).

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

My ideals as a teacher

As part of an assignment for uni, we have to write our own personal philosophy statement - our "bottom line" as a teacher. Below is my first draft. Feedback is welcome!

In many years to come, the teacher who is remembered with great fondness is the one who truly cared. I strive to be that teacher.

I believe that all students have the right and responsibility to learn in a safe, supportive and engaging classroom environment.

In this class, we all go through learning together. We support each-other, offer ideas and value different perspectives. We challenge each-other in a respectful way. We offer and accept help freely.

We are active listeners and speakers. We are not afraid to say what we are feeling or thinking, for we know that we will not be laughed at or judged.

Diversities are recognised and celebrated in culture, beliefs, religion, gender and ability. Opinions are not only valued and encouraged, but expected.

We care about what is going on in our class, school, community and our world. Not only do we have compassion, but we strive to make a difference.

We are aware of what we are learning and why we are learning it.

We endeavour to be the best that we can be - in our learning and in who we are as people.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, as it’s something I often ponder.

Picture this: You’re driving down the road in your little red Honda City car. It’s a reliable car, although a bit funny looking. It can fit a surprising amount of “stuff” in the back, and it’s a great wee car.

It’s not a common car anymore – most of them are probably worn out, or rusty, or just discarded because they’re not cool enough. But not this little car.

So you’re driving along happily, singing to yourself (because the little radio is broken), when you see another Honday City! Just like your one, but a different colour! Well, it’s just like seeing a long lost cousin.

Your first instinct is to toot your horn and wave at the other little car, but you stop yourself doing so in case the driver thinks you’re nuts. You can almost feel your car trying to wave it’s windscreen wipers, just to say gidday to it’s long lost relative. So quietly, you say “Hi little cousin car” and give it a wee smile.

You wonder if the other driver feels the same, as you both putt off into the sunset.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Challenge For You

Now for those of you who like a good maths problem or two, or have too much time on your hands, or who are trying to avoid something you don't want to do, I need your help.

I cannot figure out this question.

Your mission: what is the answer? How did you get it? You have until Friday morning 7.30am to tell me what you think.

The numbers A and B each have three digits. Robin was asked to calculate A x B. Instead he put A on the left of B to form a six-digit number D. His answer was three times the correct answer. Find A and B.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Kids Say The Darndest Things (Part II)

Miss 4 Year Old just came back from injections at the doctors.

"I don't want to go back there for a very very long time. I don't like it when they put holes in my arms".

Monday, August 21, 2006

Investigative Maths

My husband is mocking me for writing about maths. He says I've crossed the border into geekdom.

So one of my papers this semester (my last one before I'll be out there teaching.. yay) is entitled "Developing an Investigative Approach in Mathematics Education". It involves a lot of practical examples, which of course we then have to find the answer to.

One such example is as follows:

20 people are at a party.
There is a cake covered with icing on the top and all the sides. It measures 20cm by 20cm on the top.
You need to cut it so that everyone gets exactly the same amount of icing.
How do you cut it?

Well I thought about this for a long time and drew lots of little diagrams and used up all my brain power.

My answer? Put it in a blender.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Death of Common Sense

Surfing through the net on this quiet Sunday afternoon, I found this. Thought it was appropriate to share. Enjoy. Be challenged.

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend - Common Sense - who
has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was,
since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as
knowing when to come in out of the rain; why the early bird gets the
work; life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound, financial policies (don't spend
more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not
children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned, but
overbearing, regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year old
boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens
suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher
fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the
job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental
consent to administer Panadol, suntan lotion, or a sticking plaster to
a student - but could not inform the parents when a student became
pregnant, and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became
contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better
treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a
burglar in your own home, and the burglar can sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to
realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in
her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents - Truth and Trust;
his wife - Discretion; his daughter - Responsibility; and his son - Reason.
He is survived by 3 stepbrothers: I Know my Rights; Someone Else is to
Blame; and I'm a Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realised he was gone.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Old Favourites

Last Christmas, I got one of my fave movies on DVD. The Sound of Music. It may sound cheesy I know, but I love it! So the other night, I finally convinced the husband to sit down and watch it with me. Apparently he thought it was all just happy songs with not much storyline, and was quite surprised of the political war issues addressed. There is more to this classic musical than meets the eye...

Now there's one part in the film where Maria is teaching the kids how to sing (if you know the movie at all, you'll know this part).. teaching them the traditional names of the notes with wee things to help them remember each one. Just as an aside, who ever thought of using those weird names anyway, and why are they not used anymore?

For those of you who are uneducated on this matter, here's the words of the song (you need to know this to properly understand the next part of this post). I did previously think that everyone knew this song, but my hubby proved me wrong, so here it is:

DO - a deer a female deer
RAY - a drop of golden sun
MI - a name I call myself
FA - a long, long way to run
SO - a needle pulling thread
LA - a note to follow so
TI - a drink with jam and bread
that will bring us back to do do do do

NB: 'do' is said 'doe'

So a few days after we watched the film, something came to mind... years ago (when I went to Aussie for GB I think, in 2000) I spotted a t-shirt with a version of this song on it. Homer Simpson's version. Good for a laugh!

If you know the tune, sing it with the words... go on, you know you want to...

DOUGH - the stuff that buys me beer
RAY - the guy who sells me beer
ME - the guy who drinks the beer
FAR - the distance to my beer
SO - I think I'll have a beer
LA - la la la la la beer
TEA? - No thanks, I'm drinking beer
That will bring us back to..