I’ve been hunting through hundreds of old notebooks, trying to find stories I’ve written in the world of Dwarves in Space. It’s been eight years. Like George RR Martin, I’m due a new book. Unlike Martin, I am not able to spin this into hundreds of other properties while I avoid finishing the next one. So I’m back on the trail.
I found that while travelling on trains, I would write down what I was hearing around me. After one particularly disturbing incident, I wrote down the following:
Little snippets of information from people on mobiles to friends or dates.
“Huh, yeah, still at Cheltenham. Hmm? No. The train’s stopped. We had to climb down while some guy held the doors open.”
“I dunno. The ambulance is here. I thought the train had broken down…”
“…no, the front carriage came off. They’re not letting the people at the front get off. God. I’m going to be late.”
“The train announcer guy is saying ‘until further notice, there will be no trains on Platform 2’ What the hell? Come get me.”
“Oh my God. We ran over someone…”
“Yes, ma’am. It was an accident. He fell from the platform.”
“You know, it almost happened to a friend of mine. Yeah, she was running down the ramp. In high heels, no less. And I wasn’t running for a train, no way. Anyway, she tripped, slid down the last bit. Could’ve fallen onto the tracks.”
“Look at that girl. She’s in shock.”
“Were you with him, darl?”
“no, not with him. Well, not before…”
“Miss, your partner says he needs a blanket. “
“You tell him I’ll get him a blanket when I’m done out here. Go on.”
“Did you know he was here with a girl?”
“The one in the red?”
“Mmm. Poor thing’s in shock. She’s just staring straight ahead. Anyone wanna share a cab into the city?” “You know if these guys are even organising buses?”
We’ve hit that age. The age of colonoscopies and regular skin checks and worrying about spots and not being able to eat anything you want. I mean, I say we, but I mean me. You might be in your prime and looking at me with dreadful fascination. God I’m glad I’m never going to be that old.
Believe what you gotta believe.
Anyway, we’ve had a few scares over the past couple of years and my daughter is now eyeing us both sideways and initiating conversations about what we want to do with our remains after we go.
And yes, I know that I could unpack that train of thought a lot more. But I choose not to.
One of the more interesting of these discussions was when she said:
“We could cremate your remains and turn them into gemstones and then have them placed in your skull and keep it on display.”
And now I can think of no other way I want to be memorialised than that.
I would absolutely flat out haunt that skull. It is a skull made for haunting. I would be remiss if I didn’t haunt it. I pointed that out to my daughter.
She no longer wants me to be a skull.
But we stuck with the remains being turned into gemstones idea. She suggested that I could be turned into a series of gemstones that could be bequeathed to my nieces and nephews (she specifically didn’t mention keeping one for herself). At this point, I am starting to feel Horcrux vibes. Either that or a quest in a few hundred years where a group of my descendants have to track down the gems and bring them together to… what? Save my immortal soul? Prevent an apocalypse? Power a robot me? I’ll think of something.
So now I am intrigued. Is it possible? Pause for research.
So apparently, a large cremation diamond will take 6-8 months. My family will need “200 g ashes or 10 g hair”. Wait a moment! I could get my diamonds done early! (hunts for clippers)
I can choose my cut (Princess cut, anyone?). How many ashes will I produce? Could I create enough diamonds for four niblings? And I feel like I should give one to my daughter, even though she doesn’t want one. Five is the magical number for remains diamonds especially if there is going to be a future quest.
OK, so about 6 pounds. 3 Kilos. More than enough for five diamonds. I’m not going to look up the cost. That is definitely someone else’s problem.
That’s two options. My wife wasn’t overly keen on having my skull cleaned. Maybe an Infinity Gauntlet?
My previous idea for afterlife eternal peace was to be turned into a tree. There are a number of companies that turn you into a tree, having your remains buried in the roots of a sapling which will absorb them and you and the tree become one. Haunting a tree sounds nice.
Both wife and daughter want to be scattered. Tasmania, Halls Gap, up in the mountains. If I was to be scattered, it would be at sea. But the haunting possibilities seem a bit slim. And the opportunity to become a sad drowned cursed spirit seem high. I am more and more happy with the skull idea.
When my daughter floated the idea I immediately thought that I could have the skull placed inside a teddy bear. Chucky and Annabelle eat your heart out! Do I even know a voodoo priest?
But honestly, I fully intend to be uploaded to the cloud when I die, and I can’t imagine being overly worried about what happens to my mortal remains after that.
Oh, just so that it’s on the record: the hospital gets to keep the useful bits before the rest gets turned into diamonds. Make sure you’ve ticked the organ donor button people!
Because the possibilities for haunting and possession go through the ROOF when we’re talking hearts being implanted into other people. I’ve never heard of a haunted liver. I could be the first one!
Every time I go to the doctor, she adds something to the list.
Last time I went, she looked at her screen and took a deep breath.
“OK, So you have high cholesterol. You have sleep apnea. You have psoriasis. You have hemochromatosis, halitosis, osteoporosis and myxomatosis.”
I might have gotten those last two wrong. Do men get osteoporosis? And I’m not sure even rabbits get myxo now. Don’t they get the Khaleesi virus? Wait, no, that’s Game of Thrones. “BOW DOWN BEFORE THE MOTHER OF BUNNIES!”
What was I saying? Oh yes, old.
Old so that the teens wince every time I walk towards them carrying snacks and pronouns. I heard my daughter saying to her friends: “You have to make allowances for the old people. They come from another time.”
I remember rocking up at home in full goth regalia and an earring to shock my parents. It didn’t work. Anyway.
I mean, they’re right to wince. I’m a middle-aged white guy. They have to be wary! We don’t have a good track record. I feel that desire to judge people and pigeonhole them, welling up inside of me, because of my race and social status.
But I will rise above! I created a list. A sort of BIGOTPATCH(TM) that I can use when I’m feeling especially judgemental.
“Damn you, you…” (quick check) “Audi drivers!”
“I really hate… companies that insist on surveys about their performance!” (I really do. Seriously. “How did we do?” Well, you did the thing I paid you to do. Do you want a medal?)
“Go to hell… right-handed people! You have ruined my life!”
Yeah, you know who you are, with your neat handwriting and your ability to use scissors.
Middle aged is a stupid term. And probably needlessly optimistic.
Nevertheless, I got rid of my life insurance this year. I mean, there’s a kick in the teeth for your Peter Pan complex. You’re basically betting a company that you will die before you pay them more than they will pay you!
Not to mention the effect it has on my wife. We bought life insurance and all of a sudden I was worth more dead than alive! I had to look around nervously when I was at the top of the stairs. I kept tasting almonds… in my almond milk latte, but still. That’s how you would do it. And whenever I leave the seat up on the toilet I catch that look in her eye. That speculative gaze, weighing up my earning potential against the instant influx of cash if she bumped me off.
So I convinced her to ditch the insurance. I didn’t mention that it was because it disagreed with my philosophical stance that I will live forever, or that I was stressed out by the target it painted on my back. Just that it was too expensive.
Why did this come up? I was thinking about the possibility that I would see Halley’s Comet again. It swings by every 76 years, and the last time it visited I was in Grade 6. The next time is 2061. I’m not saying it’s impossible – I still have two grandparents well older than the age I need to hit to see that. But I’m nowhere near as fit as they are (see above list).
I need to get better at computer programming. I might yet be able to live on in the cloud. Bring on my robot body!
Note: stuck in my house, I’ve been starting to go through old files. Trying to clean up my pictures directory, looking through old story ideas. During this process, I found this text file, named FORCASS.TXT.
It’s an email I send to a friend of mine, Cass Brain, who I haven’t seen in decades. It’s a very melancholy diatribe, but it definitely gets into my head. It’s an email from 1998, so here’s a slice of Damo from more than 20 years ago.
I may have deleted some of the completely irrelevant bits, to leave the reflection intact. Enjoy.
One last bit of background: I was living in Park Street in South Melbourne with Dave at the time. It was a glorious apartment with views of Crown Casino. So the walk along St Kilda road took me home via a lovely walk through the gardens.
So much to say. So many thoughts and feeling running through my mind. So many of them gone now that I am in the safe comfort of my home and not out on the streets, marveling at the city I now call home.
When I left to go to Kyabram, the place that I have always thought of as the town I grew up in, Shereen and I commented on how good it would be to get out of the city. When we got to Kyabram, we pointed out the sun, and how much warmer and brighter it was in the country. We noticed the spaciousness, the (this is a totally inadequate word) quaintness of the houses, and I remembered what it was like growing up in a small town. I didn’t remember how I was tormented for having parents for teachers, for being “the fat kid”, for being useless at sport in a town where everyone played football in the winter and cricket in the summer.
I didn’t remember the derision or the loneliness. It was a day – beautiful and blue, warm and peaceful in a town where you could walk certain streets for hours without seeing a moving car – for remembering the good times. I remembered swimming in the town pool, playing water tag and scarecrow. I remembered going to the tuck shop at lunchtime for a dollars’ worth of lollies that would last you for the rest of the day.
I remembered my old houses. The treehouse out the back, our pet chickens, my dog, who was older than I was, up until she (but we called her a him) died. I did a jigsaw puzzle. I caught up with some old friends. Made some new ones. It was a 21st we were going to after all, and when you’re talking around a drum with a fire in it at 3am you tend to make new friends. Everyone’s willing to talk and to laugh at 3am in the morning at a 21st.
And when it was time to go home, I thought about what Jerry Seinfeld said about Melbourne being the anus of the world, and really found it hard to disagree.
When I got to Melbourne again, I wandered along Bourke Street up to the mall. It was evening, and I had a free ticket to go see a movie. I thought I might go and see The Night Flyer (the new King Flick). I ended up seeing The Opposite of Sex. A weird movie to say the least. Before that. I walked past Hungry Jack’s, when this tall thin guy with Einsteinian hair came charging past with his girlfriend. He had his hand cocked over something he had stowed in the hem? Lining? Top of his pants. My imagination running wild, I was thinking gun, and already was working out how to put it into a story idea. I watched the couple as they walked off, and he was smiling as if telling a funny joke and gesticulating wildly. That’s Melbourne for you. Never a shortage of weird people. I love to watch people in the city.
I walked to Hoyts and bought my ticket, then went to the bathroom. When I came out I figured I’d go and get something to eat. I walked out of the cinema into a police barrier. When I got to Hungry Jacks I asked the guy behind the counter what had happened (there were police everywhere). He said there’d been a stabbing and the police were asking everybody for info. Yay. I love this city. I went back to the cinema, but told a policewoman what I’d seen, just in case. It could have been a knife rather than a gun, and it was at the same time.
When I got out of the movie, I decided to walk home. Have you seen LA Story? Steve Martin, disillusioned with the shallowness of his city, is saved by it in the end. Incidentally, he finds true love as well.
I walked through the night streets of Melbourne and marvelled at my city. Remember how I told you that I was awed by the work of man over the work of nature? I love to walk. I love to go up to the mountains and see scenery and smell fresh air. But I am always moved by what man, a selfish egotistical self-destructive race of beings, can create with the pure, passionate part that makes up humanity.
I gave three dollars to a guy who was asking for money. He commented on my dream catcher necklace and wished me a good night’s dreaming. I stood and looked up at the Arts Centre – the first time I’ve seen it from below at night for a while. There wasn’t a tram in sight, so I decided to walk home. It was a brisk night.
Nippy but not uncomfortably cold. I walked across the bridge of the Yarra and stared at it’s muddy waters. Then I turned and looked at the Yarra on the other side of the road. The lights of Flinders Street and Southbank reflected off the water and the polluted river was transformed into a thing of beauty. The Arts Centre, a towering spire of cold hard metal glowed with the blue light and flashing bulbs that turn it into a sculpture of light. As I continued to walk, I heard the sound of the tram. I looked over at it as it pulled to a stop, the familiar green and yellow creature that is such an integral part of the city. This one had a sign across the top: NOTHING GETS YOU GOING IN THE MORNING LIKE VEGEMITE.
I could have caught it then, but decided that I would walk the rest of the way. I just can’t believe how much the city changes at night. I walked past the memorial to “Weary” Dunlop. Then I went back, walked up the stairs and read the inscription on the plaque. I stared at the statue for awhile. I think I had a huge astounded grin on my face. I had never looked twice at that statue until tonight. I went onto the flower clock. A clever use of nature in a clearly man-made architecture. I walked past the statue of our first governor-general. The flowers below it, just recently planted, read “Red Roses for Cystic Fibrosis”. I looked at the statues of athletes in the botanic gardens. I marveled at the way the lights lit up the fountain that sprayed water in structured hoops to make a beautiful pattern. I was nearing home. And then I saw, lit up by huge spotlights so that is always seen, night and day: The Shrine of Remembrance.
Do you know, I haven’t been there since 1990, when our year level came up from Kyabram to do the sightseeing thing? Like everything else, it was transformed in the night. I went to see it. My heart was filling with awe and respect. I walked up the stairs and stared quietly at the Eternal Flame for a while. I walked up the next flight and came face to face with the ancient gods. Pressed into the stone before me, a frieze of deities. Not God, and Mary, Jesus or the Saints. These were the ancients. Humans in the sky. Understandable, with faults of their own. These were the deities that guarded the memory of our soldiers. I walked around the side – should I say this? – tears in my eyes at the beauty of the sculptures before me. The lions pulling the carriages. Flanking the message of the Shrine. Can I remember it now? Did it have that much of an impact?
“All men know this. That this is sacred ground. This shrine…”
No. I don’t remember the exact words, but it was a powerful message embossed into the stone, and the shadows cast by the light on the engraved stone was a stunning sight to behold.
The flying foxes, fruit bats, whatever, screeched and fought in the trees around me, another part of Melbourne, especially the gardens. Imagine that, in the midst of a city, teeming with life and spewing death into the sky, that there are these beautiful gardens, stretching for what seems like an eternity. A hideaway from the city, but still a part of it. Definitely. I walked down the stairs and across the neatly kept, soft green grass. Down to the fountain on the corner at the Domain interchange. Flanked by a turtle spewing water into the center and sea horses or fish or maybe ducks and topped with Pan and his water-flowing pipes. I love turtles, and the mythology of turtles. I walked home along Park street, slowly coming back into reality in the knowledge that Dave and his girlfriend would be waiting and this epiphany of Melbourne that I had just experienced I could not pass on to them, sitting in front of the tv.
I thought about my city for a while. We have two brothels and a nightclub on our street, another nightclub around the corner. The Crown Casino, the most decadent structure in the city within walking distance. And as I stare now out the window over the lights of the buildings and vehicles, watching other Melbournians go about their nightly business totally unaware of the soul staring out over them, I have only one thing to say:
F*** you Jerry Seinfeld. I love this city.
Well, two things. Melbourne’s so much better when you’re sharing it.
Afterward: the thing I miss most about being locked in are the evenings where I just jump on a train and head into the city. This hasn’t helped my out-of-home-sickness in the slightest.
A few years ago I put together a bucket list of things I want to do before I die. Last night my daughter was talking about creating her own bucket list, so I thought it might be time to update my own.
But first, let’s have a quick look at the first one. From that list, I came incredibly close to buying a purple suit, but balked at the last second. Now that I have a bit more money I think I need to do another trip down to Rosebud.
No penguin costumes, no troll costume, no replaced eyeball.
In fact, I have to say no to most of the old bucket list. Let’s see.
I have had a play produced – had a couple in fact – through GemCo. You can even buy the scripts. There was a link, but now you need to email them.
all is what it seems and it’s pretty mundane once you figure out the why of it.
is what it seems and the glitches in the Matrix are the only hints at the real
world hidden behind the illusion.
We live in
a world where, if a dragon landed on the street in front of you, most people
would just wander up to it, trying to figure out whether it was a hologram or
I’m reading Chasing Embers at the moment – good read, check it out – and the main character is thinking that if someone looked up and saw a dragon they would scream and panic and then call the police.
I just don’t
see it. If I looked out of the window into the night sky, and saw a dragon
flapping merrily through the night, I could justify it in a dozen different
ways. It could be one of the new drones, with a cloth shell. It could be a
projection. It could be a bat/bird/flying lizard that just looks like a dragon.
It is most likely a stunt for the upcoming season of Game of Thrones.
It would be
cool, don’t get me wrong. But it wouldn’t be a dragon.
once the dragon started burning houses to the ground and making off with our
virgins, I might be persuaded otherwise.
I am always
amazed by the world that we live in and the technology we take for granted.
In my head,
I am planning lessons for my students next year (check the calendar – yup,
still next year) where they model a piece of furniture from their classroom and
then I import that into our virtual reality classroom for us to shoot with
paintballs. My year tens start the semester by programming drones. The Year
Sevens make robots that follow a black line around the classroom (before
creating their battle bots and destroying their opposition). They make computer
games and short animated videos, podcasts and movies, all on their laptops.
normal for them.
I can make
a dragon fly across the sky using Maya and After Effects and post that on
YouTube and – even if I did it perfectly – nobody would be fooled.
footage was blurry and the camera jumped about a bit and you couldn’t really
see the dragon, then maybe some people would be taken in.
it take for you to believe in dragons? Ghosts? Aliens?
don’t think that even seeing one up close and touching them would do it for me
any more. It would be always in the back of my mind that someone had just come
up with a better illusion.
Is this a
good thing for humanity?
Or just a
very sad indictment of our lack of faith?
My wife and I were going through a number of random topics –
our viewpoints on things are either very similar or almost completely opposite,
so this can be a fun pastime – and came across the following hypothetical:
If you couldn’t be convicted of any one type of crime, what criminal charge would you like to be immune to?
It required some thought. You don’t want to waste your immunity on
something stupid. Likewise, you don’t want to waste it on something you would
Here are some of the things you can get done for, vaguely ordered from
less naughty to quite naughty indeed:
Traffic violations (speeding, parking)
Pirating videos/downloading TV shows.
Pirating (parrots, wooden legs)
I’ve left off things that I wouldn’t even consider. And probably a lot
of things that I would consider, but I didn’t think of.
Then we started thinking about why we would need immunity from them. Is
it because it’s something we’re likely to do on a regular basis? Or because the
punishment is so severe that we don’t want to face it?
I mean, the punishment (as a middle-aged white guy) for taking drugs, jaywalking and shoplifting aren’t so bad that they warrant immunity from being charge for them. Same with speeding and parking fines. But if you were constantly speeding, or taking speed, it might be worth it for the savings.
On the other hand, in today’s political climate, it might be worth being
immune to prosecution over acts of treason, terrorism and assassination. We’re
only a bad decision away from being labelled treasonous or a terrorist. And I’d
hate to be blamed for moving that piano using a dodgy crane just as the PM was
walking underneath. It was an accident I swear! Same as last week with the piranhas!
The punishments for the big things might make that choice worth it.
You know, if you planned on doing it more than once…
…Or blogging about it.
Maybe choosing something that you might do accidentally. It’s easy to
stuff up a tax return, or walk out of a shop carrying that bag of oranges. Or
dressing up like a bat and protecting the citizens of Melbourne from criminals.
I meant speeding. It’s easy to accidentally speed. Dressing up like a
bat is quite difficult, especially with a bit of a pot belly.
Some people might suggest that putting murder and assault on the list
might be considered a little bit evil. But here’s where the idea of being
immune to prosecution for a crime starts to sound a bit more tempting:
Sometimes you REALLY want to kill someone, but it is considered illegal
in this country (and most other countries). And fair enough too. I don’t want
murder to be made legal. I just want it to be something that I personally can
get away with. It wouldn’t even be considered legal, just something that I get
Hear me out. I don’t want to go around randomly killing people. But if someone killed a family member and got away with it, I have a few friends who would help me bury the body.
I honestly don’t know whether I could kill someone. Probably not. Maybe
I should just stick with vigilantism.
I did not panic. I was disgusted. Surely if you are enterprising enough to write this letter and distribute it to your list of stolen emails, you should be savvy enough to go into business with someone with a basic grasp of the language you are using to threaten people with.
I mean, sure, this might not be his main focus. And the point is made: give me money or get acid in your face. But strangely, I didn’t take it seriously. But as the mangled missive percolated in my mind, I realised that I could actually do something about this!
So I present to you my version of this email. It’s public domain. Please don’t acknowledge me when sending it out to potential victims.
I run a site on the Dark Net. I outsource all kinds of services – mostly destruction of property and occasionally breaking someone’slegs. But I am infamous for my skills at linking customers to murderers-for-hire. My usual customer is a victim of unrequited love, or people with unwanted business rivals.
So, this week, a woman contacted me and said that she wanted me to throw acid in your face. It’s a standard option in my line of work. It’s easy to do, and leaves you scarred and in pain for life. I happily took the case. To be blunt, I only get paid after I perform the task. But I looked you up. You seem like a decent sort. I want to make you an offer before I go ahead: pay me to walk away.
I don’t offer this to just anybody, so take me seriously. If I don’t see the money from you, then my man will be contacted, and believe me: he will fulfil his mission. If you transfer the money to me I will, as an added incentive, tell you who it was that hired me.
Taking you out is going to be a real hassle. I must source an acid thrower, and then I have to get rid of the guy once he’s done the job to remove any links back to me. You see the incentive for me here: I get $1350 (which pays for the information about my client) and I don’t have to do anything, or I get $4000 from the client, but with a lot of work attached at my end. I’ll take the financial hit for the lack of work, and because you seem like a nice guy.
I take money in Bitcoin. Here’s my Bitcoin address…. Blahblah blah.
This feels like it would get a better reaction, don’t you think?
OK, so the legal issues:
What happens if I email this guy with my improvements and he uses them for evil instead of good… well, I mean, he’s hardly going to use them for good. What happens if he uses my words for evil? Am I liable because I made him a more effective blackmailer?
Shouldn’t I be able to send him a bill for a percentage of any money he makes using this updated letter?
Please. I need your advice!
Imagine what I could do with that “I’ve been recording your webcam!” email.
Reading over the last post on bullying, I agree that it was a very personal piece without a lot of interest for others not in that situation. To that end, I would like to just flesh out the concepts behind the specifics. My daughter is in Year Eight and that is a time fraught with emotional outbursts and changing loyalties and differing levels of growth and therefore tensions are rife. Not to mention the fact that boys and girls start buying into the “us versus them” mentality.
I look back at me and I can see that I was arrogant. I was top of the class without trying. I liked and was liked by most of my teachers. And the ones I didn’t like I gave a hard time. I was volatile, partly because of the Roaccutane I was taking for horrible acne. I wasn’t good at sport and I was one of the original computer nerds. And debating nerd. And theatre geek. On coming back from Canada to Year 10, I was furthermore a world travelled teenager in an insular tiny country town.
I read everything, especially horror. I fell in love easily.
I stayed up late and got up early.
As a teacher I look at some kids that just scream “target”.
I am sure that some of my teachers thought the same way. I am soooo glad I
didn’t grow up with the Internet.
I don’t remember feeling lonely, although I am sure I did.
I remember being
scared of some of the people who threatened me. I have mentioned the moron who
told me in class that he wanted to push my head through a wall. I remember
going all the way around the school and hiding by the bins so that I didn’t
have to confront him.
I kind of wish that I had just confronted him. Let him hit
me. Gotten that fear out of my mind and out into the real world where I could
deal with it. Surely it wouldn’t have been that bad. Maybe it would have. I
I have been in exactly one fight. The boys in the class
pitted me against someone else that they didn’t like. We snarked at each other
for a couple of days and then agreed to fight up by the cricket nets. A group
surrounded us. He hit me in the stomach. I fell over. That was the end of it.
It was incredibly humiliating, but neither of us could be bothered keeping up
the animosity after that.
I remember feeling
incredibly betrayed by people I thought were my friends. We went to parties
together in primary school. We played in the yard. Our parents were friends.
And then they weren’t friends. They ostracised me. They laughed at me. They
held Year level parties that I wasn’t invited to. Funnily enough, they invited
me to a party at the end of year 8 as a going away. There was some snarking but
on the whole it was an ok evening. They were happy to be nice knowing that I
It wasn’t as bad in Year 10 – they just couldn’t keep it up.
There were pockets of idiots, and I didn’t get along with most of the year
level, but I had friends, and wasn’t being actively bullied, except by a
couple. Shereen and I broke up over something that was absolutely my fault and
then the friendship group disappeared again. I spent most of the year in the
library. A weeklong camp in the city was hellish. I repaired a lot of that
damage over the year and in year 11 and 12 I had some good friends. VCE still
sucked. Our year level was mainly terrible – the worst group to go through the
school in eight years. VCE was new and we all hated it. My design for our year
12 jumper was: VCE – in line for the dole queue. But I survived.
God, how depressing… having to say that you survived high
My wife and I tell
our daughter, and I tell kids at school, that high school is fleeting. At
University, you find people accepting of your differences. Those people who are
popular in high school, rather than nice (you can absolutely be nice and
popular – hi Cate) will find that that popularity goes away outside of the artificial
construct that is the school system.
But it absolutely doesn’t help while you are in high school.
It doesn’t help when your entire life is immediate and the future is a concept
that means nothing compared to girlfriends and grades and being part of a
My diary from years 10-12 was mainly concerned with girls. I didn’t focus on the bullying; I have always been good at hiding from my problems. I read through it again last night and this is ALL I could find that even came close to referencing bullying. Lyndon is the guy that I thought was Shannon (sorry Shannon).
I remember being ruled by my emotions. I was not a rational
being. I look around at my students – at twenty different facial expressions
while they write a test – and have to remember how I felt in those days. It’s
hard to do when you’re forty-four.
Mum and Dad offered to move me to another school when I was
in Year 11. I refused. I think I refused because I was 1) scared I would be
forced to do more work and 2) terrified that it wouldn’t be any better and all
the tiny supports I had built up would be gone.
Every little thing that I have done in my life has led me to
here. I like here. There are so many mistakes I would prefer not to have made,
but they all got me to this place. As a teacher, I am hyper-vigilant for
bullying. My experiences got me to this point where I can help others.