2011 Posts

ZeehaenGifts Found in Unlikely Places

October 13, 2011
What you may call a disaster could actually become the greatest gift in your life. This is what I learned when Zeehaen, an eighteen-meter steel yacht my husband and I had bought to sail the world, foundered on a sandbar while at anchor.


Mothers Who Play With ‘Dolls’

September 15, 2011
“Here comes Pretty Woman…Paisley…” announced the host on Toddlers and Tiaras.  Out struts three-year-old Paisley dressed as Julia Roberts who plays a prostitute in ‘Pretty Woman’. She is wearing a look-alike outfit: thigh-high black boots, a white top that shows her bare toddler tummy, a skin tight blue mini-skirt, and a yellow wig.

Promiscuity: Loose Morals or Searching for Love?

July 26, 2011
A Timaru gynaecologist made a call to “stigmatise” New Zealand’s promiscuous women in an attempt to change their reputation as being “the most promiscuous women in the world.” But there are things he doesn’t know that lead to this behaviour.

National Standards and What Education is ‘Really’ About

June 19, 2011
Podcast: Des Mann, founding principal of Green Bay High School in Auckland, New Zealand talks about some alternatives to National Standards and what education is “really about anyway.”

The ADD Myth

June 09, 2011
A teacher, Peter Giddens, gives his take on the ADD epidemic affecting steadily increasing numbers of boys in schools.

About School

June 10, 2011
This post includes a poem handed into a teacher by a senior in high school shortly before he committed suicide. It highlights the frustration of many students at school and unfortunately, mine too.

Making Dreams Come True

May 30, 2011 and updated on October 25, 2012
Mark and Rowan Sommerset had a dream of creating children’s books when they first met ten years ago. Read about how they achieved their dream and won the coveted Children’s Choice Award in the 2011 New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year Awards, or listen to Mark’s story in a podcast.  A podcast of an interview with Mark is included at the end of this post.

Christchurch, and what can be learned from disasters

March 05, 2011
Pema Chödrön, a Buddhist nun who wrote When Things Fall Apart, stated that we need chaos and disasters in our lives to “wake us up”. As terrible as it appears, this is sometimes what we need to change the whole course of our lives for the better…

New Zealand’s Social Crisis

February 18, 2011
When governments remain fixated on reducing debt and growing the economy, they ignore the core social problems that cost billions and create ongoing cycles of poverty, violence, child abuse, health problems, and drug and alcohol abuse.

Treat Children With Respect

February 12, 2011
No matter how caring we are with our own children, during unguarded moments of stress we can unwittingly re-enact the way we were punished or abused as children, terrifying and confusing not only our children, but also ourselves. What forms can this abuse take and how can we change the way we treat children?

New Zealand’s Dark Secret

February 01, 2011
Today I read with shock and disgust and a sickening feeling in my stomach about  a two-year-old boy who was kicked to death by his mother’s boyfriend. The little boy had been sleeping on a couch and awoke to discover that he had wet it.

Jimmy Buffett: An inspiration to share your talents

January 30, 2011
Using one of Jimmy Buffett’s songs during a drama lesson with children and noticing their delighted faces, made me reflect on how connected we all are and that by sharing our talents, we can positively impact so many people and create good in the world.

Finding Utopia

January 13, 2011
It was the noise that started it…my sudden desperate search for Utopia. It began to intrude upon me like an unwelcome guest the day air brakes squealed and whiffed repeatedly as a huge truck…

The Spirit of Christmas

December 21, 2011
Have too many of us forgotten what Christmas is really about? Think for a moment that this can be a time for giving other things as well – non-material things that can ultimately have a much higher value.


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