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The courage (and opportunity) to not know

Posted by Philip on 29 May 2017, 3:25 pm in , , , , , , , ,

When it comes to the future, we're pretty conditioned to expect certainty. Whether it's what we're going to say next, what's happening tomorrow, what the outcome of a project is going to be, or what life will be like in five years time, we want to know beforehand. We crave certainty.

Expectations are the outcome of this need to know what's going to happen before it does — and anxiety about things not going to plan.

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Grappling with myself

Posted by Philip on 21 May 2017, 1:36 pm in , , , ,

Nearly two months after getting my new car, I'm still deeply uncomfortable about driving it. Partly this is because of the things that have gone wrong since I've had it — being unable to get out of it and, as recently as last Monday, not being able to get in.

However, I also feel nervous driving it. It's very different than my Mazda, which I've had for around 10 years. From memory I felt much more confident driving it when I first got it, but maybe I've just forgotten. 

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Making difficult decisions easier

Posted by Philip on 17 May 2017, 12:10 pm in , , ,

Sometimes making big decisions, especially life changing ones, can be really difficult. Whether or not to quit a university course or a job, end a relationship, make an expensive purchase — how do you decide?

guy with angel and devil sitting on each shoulder whispering/shouting in each ea

Writing a list of pros and cons is the standard advice, but I don't find that useful. Often there are as many pros as cons and discovering that just makes it harder to decide.

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What we're not saying about porn

Posted by Philip on 10 May 2017, 4:38 pm in , , , , , ,

There's a lot of moral hysteria about pornography — sorry to state the obvious. The panic targets both the industry and its main audience, young men.

 guy watching porn on laptop

Summed up, the industry exploits women and its products create bad sexual attitudes in men towards women. I'm referring to straight porn — I think things are different with gay porn but that's not the point of this post.

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The picture is always bigger

Posted by Philip on 9 May 2017, 10:15 am in , , , , , , , , ,

My $100k+ car is still not sorted. I still have to clumsily put a key in the ignition. The dealers are working on it — it's gobbly gook to me, except the fact that they're having to liaise Germany to solve it.

I've been wrestling with the urge to get annoyed with them and become a pain in their backside but, realistically, they seem to be doing all they can in the circumstances.

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I am more

Posted by Philip on 23 April 2017, 1:22 pm in , , , , , ,

Life has phases, I think, which are seven years long. There are annoying awkward times in between each one. I’m in one of those now, I realise. It’s been quite long, too.

You know, like coming across food in the fridge and it's passed its 'best by' date. This version of myself has passed it's 'best by' date. But not yet expired.

guy looking into a fride wit a shocked look

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Suicide — what is it telling us?

Posted by Philip on 20 April 2017, 2:32 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

TRIGGER WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS CONTENT WHICH MAY BE DISTRESSING. This week someone I know killed themselves. I didn't know them well and I had no idea they were struggling with mental illness, so I am really quite shaken by it. Looking back, it explains some of their behaviour, but I didn't put one and two together. I hope I'll learn to recognise it in the future.

In a rather unusual text conversation, a friend and I were discussing suicide. I know, not a conversation you'd expect to have by text but hey, the upside is, I've got a record of it to paste into this post.

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Trapped by the prospect of my new-found freedom

Posted by Philip on 15 April 2017, 1:26 pm in , , , , , , , ,

As I posted on Facebook, yesterday I got trapped in my new car. I literally couldn't get out. My wheelchair was secured to the floor of the car and the boot wouldn't open to allow the ramp to deploy.

rear view of white skoda yeti in driveway

After being freed by the AA, who were amazing, I reflected on the emotional toll it took on me, even though I was in my own driveway with my friend Jude there for support. It was really quite scary. And given the prospect of freedom it offered me, I can't help feeling a sense of betrayal, especially as it was such a large investment of money.

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With privilege comes context

Posted by Philip on 9 April 2017, 4:11 pm in , , ,

I've been reflecting on privilege over the last week since it came up during the last session of Be. Leadership. The questions I've been grappling with are: Should you use your privilege for your own benefit? And how do you use your privilege for the benefit of others and the betterment of society, even humanity. Having just watched I, Daniel Blake, I have some answers.

I-Daniel-Blake-Poster

The movie is a testament to privilege — particularly its contextual complexity. It's raw and British-made — the story of a middle aged carpenter who is denied state welfare after having a heart attack and who supports a single mother in a similar scenario. Notably, it critiques a cruel, unfeeling bureaucracy that is designed to create enough resistance to make people give up fighting and go without welfare assistance. It also presents an older man, Daniel Blake, who is unwell and a younger solo mum, Katie, both of whom have different forms of privilege, as well as a lack of it.

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Assessment – where it works and why it doesn't

Posted by Philip on 8 April 2017, 11:32 am in , , , , ,

The issue of assessing students has come under fire in recent weeks, with international tests revealing student performance is plummeting. Science presenter and particle physicist Professor Brian Cox has said, "if the measurement of ... a student’s progress ... is removing time from practical science, then it had better be bloody useful because practical science is bloody useful."

Students taking a test

The problem I see with assessing students in the uniform way in which most schools do — most usually through written assignments and tests — is that it's a one size fits all approach to measuring performance. It doesn't work for many because students are complex, dynamic and  diverse.

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