How to bow – the caterpillar lesson

I’ve been looking at some old family videos which we’ve recently digitised, and came across this one of my son’s second cello lesson.

Here he is learning to bow.

Or not.

My friend The Poshi and I decided we’d share lessons and get our sons learning Suzuki cello.

I even bought a cello to encourage him, though I never learned to play myself.

That’s where the whole Cellobella name came from.

We lasted a year or two but the boys hated it… well my boy did.

I think he was too young.

And in retrospect he must have found reading the music so hard given his undiagnosed need for glasses.

He plays the piano now and I don’t have to force him to practice.

And yes, I still have my cello.

In the back room.

Untouched by human hand for years.

Funnily enough I discovered that my boss also has an untouched cello which she’s never learned to play.

Weird huh?

Inside the Qantas Club

I’m sitting here in Qantas Club showing off to my colleagues. I have my laptop on my knee, a glass of Shiraz on the coffee table and I’m blogging wirelessly but it has to be said, noisily, while chatting with my colleagues (and now friends) waiting for our flights to all parts of the country.

Here is a really crappy video of us in the Qantas Club.

Now of course there are three levels of Qantas Clubness. The high rolling Chairman’s lounge, the platinum members “Business lounge” and what I like to call Pleb Qantas Club. Where we are now. Nice people, free drinks, busy.

Better than hanging out in the waiting lounge, just – although now they have access points for laptops it’s not so bad.

Today in Qantas club the conversations are punctuated with continuous cancelled or delayed flight calls.

What is it with Qantas these days?

Everytime I fly my flight is delayed – usually for last minute maintenance. Now I’m not upset they are making sure that the plane can fly but do they have to wait until the plane is on the tarmac to do it?

It’s ridiculous.

Do the maintenance regularly in the hangers Qantas – you are killing me with all these delays. IF there was ANY competition (that served free drinks) I would travel them.

Yes. That’s how bad you’ve got.

Please sort yourselves out because I like flying the flying kangaroo. I do. I get a little thrill of pride flying my national airline. I love the Aussie accents of the pilots. I hate the brown dresses but the suits are really nice…

You are letting yourselves, your country and your staff down… not to mention your passengers.

Please, I’m begging you. Sort. It. Out.

Thanks.

Are laptops for school children a good idea?

Homework

I’m sitting here with my daughter’s school laptop in bed (feeling crapola with a cold) as I write this so I’m aware that I’m being a bit hypocritical…

Here’s the thing. My daughter has gone to a new school this year. A school that insists that every child should use a laptop from Grade 5. Their argument is that we live in an age where computers and digital devices are a part of our lives and that we should make use of every tool we can to educate our children. And yes, I get that.

But since we’ve had this third computer in the house we barely see our 11 year old. It’s Youtube 24/7 – or until Groover goes mental because we’ve been shaped again. She doesn’t seem to read books anymore – it’s chapter after chapter of fan fiction.

We insist that she uses the computer in public and we’ve learned that you take the laptop away from her at bedtime – what I’m not seeing is a whole lot of homework done on the computer and given that, I wonder why the school doesn’t store the wretched things in the classroom. Do they really need to take them home?

The only good thing is that at least she’s not fighting with my son now over the second computer.

So here I am enjoying her MacBook interface on our wireless system (which doesn’t seem to work for my work laptop) and whinging.

Partly it’s the lazy parent in me that finds it hard to cope – I get tired of continually taking it away from her and telling her off for exceeding our bandwidth quota again.

And part of it is my old fashioned sense of media. I want my child to enjoy books as books! Not fan fiction. Although, having said that if she was writing her own stories… well now, that would be different. And maybe endless reading of it will lead to writing her own…

In the meantime my darling Dipp has earned a merit award at school. So maybe the laptop isn’t the monster I make it out to be.

Oh, you ask, why do I have precious time on the new toy? Ah, she’s out on her brother’s bike getting some fresh air.

I asked her first!

Some parenting tips please! How do you manage computer time in your home?

Creative Commons License photo credit: Apollo-Jack