You may have read the article in the NZ Herald recently, written by Alex Hazelhurst, entitled ‘I’m talented. I’m hardworking. I’m blonde. So why can’t I get a job in London? This article was quickly followed up with a response, also published by NZ Herald entitled ‘I’m nearly 40! I can write! I’m bald!’
The authors of both these articles chronicled their experience of trying to find work in London during their OE. Just like Alex’s article, the second article, written by Mark Hucke, was thoughtfully written and was about his experience on his OE in the 1990s.
Many of us have done OEs, usually undertaken during our mid twenties. Each of us has a unique take on living in London. The point that Mark Hucke made was that it doesn’t matter what decade the OEs were / are taken in, the experiences of trying to find a job in a very large city overseas are remarkably similar.
Unfortunately, in this day of people being able to post anything anonymously on social media, Alex was ridiculed. Her life story was dismissed and she was ridiculed by many who were very quick to label her in any number of denigrating ways.
Why is it, that some people cannot respect others’ stories? Why is that they feel the need to publicly ridicule a real life experience that someone else has? As Alex wrote: I am someone who wrote about my experience. An experience that was, and is, like many other experiences of those who move to London. But it is also an experience that may not be like others. And to them, well, we are all different, and I guess you were one of the lucky ones. However, that doesn’t mean my story has any less weight.
We are all entitled to have an opinion about anything we read. We are allowed to accept or dismiss the content as being either relevant to us or not relevant. But I believe the line gets crossed when we publicly set out to humiliate and dismiss the person and their story.
Let’s raise a generation of children who learn that it is not OK to ridicule and humiliate, even (or particularly) hiding behind the anonymity of a Twitter user name. We need to encourage our children to critically examine the message and have an opinion about that, not critically examine the person and make judgements about them.
Tournaments of Minds
As part of our GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) programme, Alison Laxon facilitated a group of Years 5 and 6 children who participated in the Tournaments of Minds. TOM is a problem solving programme for teams of students across secondary and primary schools. Teams solve challenges from a choice of disciplines: applied technology, language literature, maths engineering, social sciences. They have to do everything themselves, adults are not allowed to make any contribution, either with suggestions, feedback, assistance with props. It has to be entirely developed by the students. They have 10 minutes to present their final product to the judges. This was held on 29 August and this is what Molly had to report:
Being in the Tournament of Minds VAS team was Amazing! It was a fantastic experience and was a lot of fun. It was cool getting to work with different Year 6s AND Year 5s. Sometimes we struggled a bit, planning, budgets, costumes but we broke through and carried on. Practising the play was hilarious!! With our costumes ready we were able to experiment a bit, try funny voices, MORE ACTIONS, always facing the audience with your face not with your back! I think that we did really well co-operating, I had expected at least some arguing with parts for the play and things but we did really well with that and it made everything a lot easier. It was definitely disappointing not getting through to the Nationals but I really hope that VAS enter again next year and make it through. Thank you, Ms. Laxon, Miss Bridgman and Mrs Adamson! I loved being in the team and I wish that I could do it again!
Molly O’Leary Year 6
Click Here to view the Tournaments of minds on our BLOG PAGE
Getting Messages to Children
If you need to get a message to your child about a change in pick up arrangements, please do it through the office. Please do not email your instructions to teachers after 1.30 as they do not access any emails during teaching and learning time. By the time they get to their emails, the children have left for the day.