Skip to content

Archive for

late night worries… (a random moment from life)

Last night was one of those nights where I was reminded what is truly important in the most gentle and lovely way.

I had tucked my son in his bed and no sooner had I sat down at the computer in the next room, that I hear a faint, but persistent call of ‘Mummy-‘ I must admit to feeling tired at hearing that call so soon.

I went quickly into the dark room and asked, ‘What is it?’

He was upset, a bit tearful and he sat up and put his arms around me and said, ‘It’s just, [sniff], well, I’m not sure I’m doing a very good job of taking care of you, mummy.[sniff, weep, sniff]’

I was a bit confused and completely taken aback. When I was 8 is that what I thought of? I’m sure I was thinking about whether or not I could really fly and whether I should test this by doing more than jumping off the sofa onto a  pile of cushions when I was 8. I did lots of comforting and reassured him that actually children, and especially 8 year olds weren’t supposed to take care of their mummy or daddy…

He said, ‘but we’re all supposed to take care of each other, aren’t we? and I’m not doing it very well.’

I think my heart melted. I reassured him again, that his talking to me, playing outside with me, sitting near me, helping me cook, and even helping me with levels on games was all taking care of me.

In the end we all (the whole family) decided that we are actually all good at taking care of each other, and that we each have different ways of doing that.

I know this isn’t a typical subject to write on a blog about, but it made me stop, and just writing it in my book of children’s quotes didn’t seem enough. I am very aware that sometimes learning and life and everything happens when I am least expecting it. This was exactly one of those moments.

Photo CC licensed here:

Just a dollar….

This is a #Musiquality update, and boy am I proud of what we have been able to accomplish. Where are we at?? Well, my 5 students and I have raised the money to cover our flights, room & board and expenses for our trip to California to work with students and teachers from Righetti High School, Professors from UCLA and Cal Poly, parents, and grade school kids, oh and can’t forget the two amazing alumni coming on the trip. This is Open Education at its best.

We’re going out there to share what we know, teach, create, and also to learn from those around us. Sponges. That’s what we all are.

So what’s the news?!? We have arrived at the final push, and it’s really a way to get YOU involved. If you have been following the project, you will know that we want to document everything- we will be recording music and sounds, interviewing people, and making it all available as free downloads afterwards. (no, we don’t have funding for any of that, but at the moment we are just doing it out of love and it is something we really do believe in) We also want to make a documentary about it – how often does this happen? Kids and adults, across so many different backgrounds, coming together to celebrate life and learning together – not for a class, not for a degree, not for anyone but because the love it and want to learn. -It’s like I said; we’re all sponges for learning and sharing, and it connects us in amazing ways.

The push –

we have a kickstarter and the clock is ticking. What we really want is to create a sort of educational roll call of supporters – and we want you on that list. All we’re asking is that each person donate one dollar. That’s not even a cup of coffee in most places, but how amazing would it be if we had 5,000 people behind the project.

very. very. amazing.

So just like the song – we’re going to share our story with you. Will you share your dollar with us?

(cue the tune…) hey hey hey, I need a dollar…

Join us here! <– that’s the link to the kickstarter page where you can pledge your dollar

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 07.49.48


Dollar photo CC licensed:

The man, the keys, and the cup of tea

This is one of those posts about something that really happened, it was just yesterday –

There was a knock on the door and I opened it to find the postman asking me to sign for a parcel, and I noticed a car stopped in the road (we have a sort of drive that goes above the main road, and we can see the main road from our house) and there was an older gentleman explaining to the police that he had locked himself out of his car. I thought, ‘ah, poor man. What an unfortunate thing to do…’ and went back in the house. A good hour later I happened to walk out of the front door, and the man was still there ! He was leaning on his car, standing, with his head resting on his arm leaning above the door of the car and he looked really weary. I went back into the house and thought ‘poor, poor man. I should do something.’

So I did.

I went out there and asked him – I said:

Excuse me, are you ok? I overheard that you locked yourself out of your car a while ago, and you’re still there. Would you like a glass of water, cup of tea, or a marmite sandwich or something? Would you like a chair?

He looked so pleased and said:

Actually a cup of tea and somewhere to sit down would be wonderful.

It turns out he had a cup of coffee in the car and it spilled. When he stopped to shake the spill off his newspaper, as he shook- the keys slipped out of his hand and into the car, and as he turned, the door shut and autolocked with the keys inside!

It was so easy. But before I said anything to him, after I saw he was still there, I went back in the house and for half a minute I wrestled with myself – oooh, I really should do something, ah, but you don’t just invite strangers to lunch do you? -that second thought didn’t last long, because sometimes I do just invite strangers to lunch- in a matter of speaking. I did what I would want someone to do if I was in that situation.

So out came a garden chair and a cup of tea and that man stopped leaning wearily on his car, and I brought him a pencil and he did the crossword puzzle while he waited and kept watch. First the AA car rescue people came, and then they called in a locksmith. I guess all electronic newish cars are hard to break into without damaging them. There was of course an hour wait  for each of these people to arrive. Good thing it was a nice day out! I came out to chat to him and make sure he was ok, and I said that if they finally fixed it and I wasn’t around, it was fine for him to just go. And in the end (nearly 4 hours later!) he did.

The magic of the story is that neither of us ever knew the other’s name. His wife was having a reunion with some people she had taken a course with at the university where I teach, and it would have been easy to say – oh I teach there, I’m blah blah blah, but giving him a rest and a drink wasn’t about me, and it was delicious to think that I could be remembered as a random nice stranger.

So to the man in his little red car, I hope your wife believed your story when you eventually picked her up, and I hope she wasn’t cross that your shopping trip took a *little* longer than expected. Safe journey home.