Mind Blown.

Mind Blown: A story from my Year 10 history classroom.

The classroom was quiet although full of students; the only sounds were made by a page turning, someone typing, or the occasional movement of a foot on the carpet as students worked individually on the task that had been set for them.


One boy sniffed noisily. I glanced at him, but he was too focused on his work to make eye contact with me. At the back of the room, another boy sniffed, gaining more traction so that his friend had done. I could almost feel the lump of whatever that was in my throat, and my stomach lurched. The boy at the front of the room sniffed again.


“Okay, guys… the sniffing has to stop. Did you know they make these squares of fabric called handkerchiefs, that you can use to clear your nose? They even make disposable ones, called tissues, so you don’t have to deal with them or their contents again later.”


“Sorry, Mrs V,” said the young man at the front desk, looking suitably repentant.


“Wait!” said another young fellow. “A tissue is a disposable hanky?”


“Well, yes.” I grinned at the obvious surprise on his face.


“I’ve never thought of it that way before!” Caught in the spell of his ‘penny drop’ moment, his eyes were wide and his smile was one of discovery and wonder.


“So, it’s your mind that has been blown, not your nose?”


He nodded, laughing along with his classmates, then returned to his work as industry and silence once again took custody of the classroom.


I really enjoy teaching these kids. They’re pretty great.
And they seem to genuinely appreciate the fact that I am a comic genius.



No correct answer.

This morning my students were laughing as they told me the story about the black eye one young lady among them is sporting, due to accidentally being hit on the bridge of the nose with a spoon by another student. 

The wielder of the spoon got to the point where he was laughing uncontrollably.

“It’s because I’m a comic genius, isn’t it?” I asked him.

Still laughing, he looked at me and almost said no, then stopped himself.

“You know, there’s no correct answer to that question!” said the student next to him.

The laughter stopped, and he said, “Yeah, I’m just not going to say anything.”

I win. 

Comic genius, it is.

Christmas Adam. 




2015-11-30 20.25.42


A blend, or portmanteau, word is one which is created by blending parts of two different words to make another.

The example posted above also carries the elements of humour, pun and cold, hard truth.


Meeting Politicians the ‘Strayan way.

It’s been a funny old day in Australian politics.
On the front page of the national newspaper today was a picture of Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia, being “bunny-earsed” by some kid at a reception for the Diamonds, the Australian representative netball team.


I really enjoy this picture, because it looks like it’s Bill Shorten, Leader of the Opposition, doing it. That would be funny, too, although perhaps a bit harder to justify as an innocent prank.  The second picture definitely shows that it’s a kid’s arm behind the PM.


Personally, I think someone should give that kid a knighthood, or at least a medal. With one gesture, he has summed up the feelings of many Australians. Moreover, it’s humorous and typical Aussie larrikin behaviour, without causing any harm or any significant disrespect.

Let’s face it, giving someone bunny ears in a photo has been the Australian way for generations. How many years worth of school photos do we all have where someone is doing the bunny ears, or crossing their eyes, or wearing someone else’s glasses?  Those are the things that make actually getting those photos taken worthwhile.

It’s also a reminder that we are very privileged to live in a country where we can meet and mingle with our national leaders without getting tasered or spear-tackled to the ground and, in the case that we should survive that, arrested.  I can’t imagine being able to get close enough to Vladimir Putin, or Kim Jong Il, for example, or daring to “bunny ears” either one of them. And taking on the POTUS bodyguards? No. No thank you. I’ll be good.

Australia really is a great country.  It’s a great place to live, especially if you’ve got a bit of a sense of humour and don’t take yourself, or your politicians, too seriously.


Word Nerd Alert on Howard Street

Today I was driving in town with LMC. She was hinting heavily that she wanted to go into town and look at some shops.
I said, “We’re going down Howard Street.”
Bemused, she asked, “Howard Street?”
And I said, “Yes, Howard Street…” and as we crested the hill and she realised it continued into the main street of town, I said, “Howard you like to go down the street?”

She rolled her eyes, and then she said, “Actually that was pretty good. Did you make that up yourself?”
“I did.”
“Just then.”
She smiled, thought for a moment, and said, “How odd.”

I smiled too, because that is possibly the word-nerdiest thing she’s ever said.



LMC: Hey, do you want to see something creepy? 

Me: Creepier than you??

LMC: Oh, it IS me, though! 


Fickle love.

LMC: I love Bruno Mars.
Me: Are you going to marry him? *chuckle at old joke*
LMC: I’d do anything…
Me: Would you take a grenade for him?
LMC: *looks disappointed* …no.


Things kids say in the library #3

Two boys ran to the door of the library and looked in to see which teacher was on duty.
One says to the other, “Ohhhh rats, it’s the mean one! She doesn’t let us play games on the computers!”
Both looked at me with a mixture of misery and disgust on their faces, then walked away.

Go me.


Things kids say in the library.

Girl 1 to Girl 2, who has very long, straight hair in a ponytail and no fringe: Did you have a haircut?

Girl 2: [Flipping her ponytail over her shoulder] Yeah, I did.

Girl 3: It actually suits you.