Archive for February, 2009

Changing Conversations

February 26, 2009

bookI find it very interesting how the language we use changes as we change. When my kids were really little they would proudly show me their little stories that they had written. “I went to Sam’s house and it was fun,” followed closely with “we ate popcorn and it was fun”. As they got to be a pre-teen it was “Like, and it was sooo funny! And like, she was sooo funny and it was like, soooo random!” I did at one stage think that middle daughter had a very good grasp of quantum physics since her main conversation was about acts of randomness. I found it mildly interesting that things had moved from being fun – to being funny. Then, as they become teenagers, somehow the word “fun” has gone completely from their conversation, “funny” doesn’t seem to enter into it anymore, and it has all (more…)


In My Opinion.

February 16, 2009

graduates-0021In my opinion, the main difference between a university and a polytechnic is the type of conversations that the staff have.

We often say that the main difference between a polytechnic and a university is the type of degree that they do – polytechnic being applied, universities more theoretical. But universities are offering more and more applied degrees and courses – especially as technology changes, and I am not convinced that there is a clear demarcation anymore.

In terms of responsibilities, universities tend to have responsibility to a community of knowledge, to expand on that body of knowledge and this is usually done through research. What therefore are the responsibilities of the polytechnic sector? Are they to the workplace? To the student? To the (more…)

Great Expectations

February 10, 2009

fine-artMoving on from coffee now, but sticking to weight problems, I have another story for you. Some time after my third child was born, I decided to try and engage some professional help to eliminate some excess baggage.

My ‘baby bump’ that had remained was so convincing that I was getting tired of gently informing people that it was not “due anytime now” as it was in fact, fat. It got so that as soon as I would see people looking at my middle area with a cutesy smile on their face I would fire off a quick “Not pregnant, just fat” remark and move on quickly while they tried to recover from their embarrassment. (more…)

Lost in Translation …

February 8, 2009

dscf0306Keeping to the coffee theme of my last blog I want to tell you what happened to me in Auckland.  I was walking down Queen Street with my husband looking for somewhere to stop for a coffee when we saw Starbucks.   Recognising it as somewhere you can get said beverage, we popped on in. 


Everybody in the café appeared to us to be of Asian descent.  The staff, the clientele, even the cleaner.  Now, my husband is half Hungarian and the hairdresser often comments on how ‘asian’ his hair is (Hungary was overtaken by Attila the Hun at some stage in its history), so we blended right in.   We stepped forward and ordered “Two flat whites” and then stood to the side to wait for them, looking very inconspicuous.  We idly discussed what else we could do on our (more…)

Coffee Cup Competencies

February 5, 2009


dscf0310As I picked up eldest daughter from the town library, I thought we could sneak off for a quick cup of coffee.  The nearby café had recently scored a 10/10 score by our local newspaper’s coffee reviewer and that was enough endorsement for me. 




We sat down by the window waiting in anticipation for our coffees and proceeded to try to covertly eat our home brought sandwiches.  And then they arrived.  Nice.  Okay, here we go, little sip ….. yuck!  Now, I am not a coffee connoisseur and can not usually tell ‘good’ from ‘bad’ but I didn’t like this one.  It was just too hot!  Even I know that isn’t good because of something to do with overheating the milk …. Of course, eldest child being amateur gourmet chief said something about the milk being scalded.  Well, I don’t care how it was told off, I only know that it wasn’t nice.


Just Eat Your Veges!

February 2, 2009

copy-of-dsc000921Teaching is just like cooking a family meal.  Maybe I have a very fussy family, but no meal time in my house makes everyone happy. 


Eldest daughter has gone all ‘gourmet’ and likes her food to be grand sounding and preferentially French. She doesn’t want her potatoes to just have cheese on them; she wants them to be “au-gratin”.  Middle daughter prefers hers mashed up, preferably with tomato sauce, and the little one just wants her food – yellow. Now, I didn’t always know that she preferred her food to reflect only certain light frequencies, but I am a scientist after all and after years of analyzing patterns, that is the only hypothesis I can come up with, and the only one I accept as a (more…)