Friday, October 30, 2009

Laws and Tamaki

What's in the water I wonder? I haven't had so much amusement from the news for ages as I have in the last 24 hours. On one hand we have Brian Tamaki, the self-anointed bishop of Destiny Church, appointing 700 men of his congregation as "spiritual sons" who paid $300 each to swear a Covenant Oath which was "binding, enduring and unbreakable" to defend Tamaki against criticism and in token of which they now wear covenant rings. All of which smacks of Hitler's hold over his henchmen in the early days or of cult leaders whose followers followed to their own graves. Destiny's not quite "ruling the country in four years" as Mr Tamaki prophesied in 2004, so I guess he's getting a bit desperate that God isn't listening to him and he's being forced to take things into his own hands.

And on the other hand we have Michael Laws suggesting that certain couples that form "the underclass" be sterilised to stop child abuse. He obviously doesn't realise that abuse happens in all sorts of households all over the country. Naturally he's not the poster boy at the moment for the civil rights people.
But it's all a bit of amusement for now, so long as neither of these fellows gains too big a following and too much traction.
At the moment, it proves we live in a fairly liberally minded country, that a mayor can say what Laws has, and that a chap who fancies himself as - well as God really, can have their time on the TV news and polarise people for a while.

If I thought either of them was likely to do more damage than they're doing, I'd be the first one protesting. But for now, crikey, there's little enough to laugh at in the news!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How can I keep from singing?

As previously posted, the G&T form filling exercise gave me the direction I needed, and last night I turned up at the Civic Choir rehearsal. Here they were, must have been the best part of 100 people, three weeks out from a performance of Dvorak's Mass, and I was given the music, introduced to the other altos and invited to join in. Now that's inclusiveness! Two and a half hours later (solid work this, no chit chat!) I knew I'd found a group I would be happy working with, and graciously declined their invitation to join their performance, but will certainly be back in January. I have only a little experience of choral singing, and enjoy the result and the challenge. So much easier than playing the piano! And although fairly unacquainted with Dvorak's music, being Catholic I found the words and format of his Mass completely familiar and effortless.
January. It's in my diary.
Handel's Messiah is on their programme for next year, I SO want to be part of that!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

G & T

At work we've been asked to complete a questionnaire about the work we do with Gifted & Talented Students (capitals because it's a category), and about our own gifts and talents so that we may be used to best advantage (of the school and the G&Ts). I've swung from being inclined to leave the section of my own gs&ts blank, or to attach an extra page and give full rein to them.

I read poetry.
A talent? Maybe. A gift certainly.
To take pleasure in word-pictures, and in the words themselves. The juxtaposition of them. (What a delicious word that is!)
And I have a collection of several hundred poetry books. No talent there, but they are gift to me. These shelves of richness also mean I've got a good chance of finding that obscure poem you wanted. Mind you, I could do it more quickly on google, but without the luscious pleasure of choosing a volume - not to be rushed, this - and checking the index. I adore indices! Full, rich, accurate lists with subentries! So I look along the shelves. . . I'm sitting on the floor as my poetry fills low shelves in that ridiculous part of the wall under the windows, and I'm revisiting old friends, and some that seem like strangers cos I've forgotten that I own them. Mostly they're from second hand book sales and galas, but there are some opulent brand new volumes, worth every dollar of their brand new price, or gifts from people who love me. And an hour or so later I'm moving stiffly, surrounded by books I've taken from their place, and vaguely wondering what it was I was doing before I started this quest....
I doubt this is what They meant.

I write.
Again, not talent, but gift.
Although I HAVE been published, and paid for it. Twice! Probably doesn't qualify me as talented though.
But writing is as breathing to me - necessary, automatic, life-giving.
I've already been asked to run a writing group, and They don't actually know that I write. I might put that down. "writing".

I cook. Sometimes with amazing talent. Sometimes much less so.
Likewise I sew.
I have no intention of running a cooking or sewing group.
It's probably not what They envisage G&T students should be doing anyway.
Special Needs kids often cook at our school. Don't know whether they sew.

And for all that I sing, and sometimes in public, I doubt They'd want me for that either. There are better than me. But I sing as I write, with joy and because it's part of what makes me Me.

I have a talent for getting lost.
Ahh this could be useful. Not the getting lost, but I have had to teach myself coping strategies for the times I find myself somewhere alien with absolutely no idea of the relationship between where I am and where I was or where I want to be. I could share coping skills.
Somehow I can't see that appealing either.

Diabolical sudoku? I could teach logic skills, predictive deductions....

I did have fun with the Kids' Lit Quiz team earlier this year - those kids were such hungry readers, with prodigious memories of everything they'd ever read! That was fun. I'll do that again!

It's all been a rather interesting exercise. Not on account of the G&Ts, but because I really need to get out and do something with other people. For months I've pondered the possibilities. But now I see where I might start.
There's a Poetry at the Pub on a Monday night. That's a possibility. Going on my own could be a challenge, to something like that. Or am I making excuses again?
And apparently we have an "all-comers civic choir"! From the website, "choir" isn't as classical or as boring as it sounds. They seem to have a very eclectic repertoire. They'd need to - I mean, how much enthusiasm can one have for "I love to go a-wandering along the mountain track"?
That's on a Tuesday night.
I might just go along next week.

And as for the G&T form, oh I'll put something.