We Are Human

We are all human. We are not girls and boys; we are not young and old; we are not black and white; we are human. Created in a womb and buried in the dirt. We are God’s creation. Skin woven together to hold our organs in does not determine our class. We are blood, sweat and tears, made to speak emotions, not to become a job. We are human. We are united by our similarities. We run on the same energy sources and live lives with the same needs. We wake with the sun and sleep by the moon. Because we are human.

We are not homelessness or poor government choices or malnutrition. We are not words on a page, or enemies or friends. We are human. We are not the clothes on our backs or the clips in our hair. We are not the endless race of who is better and who is faster. We are not broken relationships or torn families.

We are the kindness of strangers. We are the random smiles. We are the endless love that fills new parent’s hearts. We are human. We are the species that has a heart so fragile a simple sound can shatter it. We are one but we are many. There is nothing that unites us more than the feeling of love.

There are insects that spend their whole lives trying to eat children’s eyes from the inside out, plants which can kill us with a small touch; mosquitoes that are only 3 millimetres in length which are perpetuators of some of the worst diseases ever seen; bacteria which cannot be seen, yet we watch them take the lives of our loved ones. And yet what a person has between their legs determines if they are worthy of being paid or not. A person’s age determines their apparent ability. The colour of someone’s skin is the difference between having their say in their life, or not.

We still feel that we are a threat to each other and ourselves. We are our own worst enemy; we destroy ourselves so others can’t. We set up organisations, funds and protection programs with which to save us from us. We have created a world so hateful some would rather die than be who they are.

We are human. We smile with joy, showing white teeth and cry for many reasons with clear and salty tears. Children, reproduced humanity, drink white milk regardless of the hue of the breast by which they lie. Blood, spilled, stored or shared, is still red.

When we recognise our humanity, our similarity, and reinstate dignity and equality, we increase our integrity and solidarity. We create and affirm responsibility and let go of long held, closed-minded thoughts of normality.

We are human and the sooner we realise, recognise and remember, the better for us all.

With thanks and acknowledgement to Tahlya Andersen.

Tough life!

It’s a tough life!

I’m on an excursion today with my Year 11/12 English Communication class. We are here because we are learning about persuasive speeches. Yes, really.

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I know, it sounds unlikely. But despite appearances, this is a valid excursion. I’ve tried something new with my class this term. All the info I gave them was that we had to complete a persuasive speech for our assessment and they planned the term in a way that they would like to learn. Of course, they were quick to point out that they’d NEED to visit a theme park at some point.

“Persuade me,” I said.
“We could write about which is the best ride or theme park,” they said.
“Ok,” I said, “I’ll try.”

So I spoke to our Head of School, explaining the importance of the students taking control of their learning and being inspired to learn. I think I was a bit surprised when he said yes! The condition was that I have the requisite paperwork in the very next day and that I make use of MY persuasive skills to write the letter to parents. I’m pretty impressed with my efforts…

Excursion – Wet n Wild
This term, 11/12 English Communications are involved in the creation and monitoring of their term plan. During the first lesson of the term, students collaboratively developed a Term Overview and detailed what they felt they needed to learn in order to complete the assessment during the exam block. To motivate and inspire them to write an interesting persuasive speech for the exam, they decided to spend the day at Wet ‘n’ Wild on Thursday, 22nd October. Due to the in-class nature of the planning, this is an optional activity which is not included in our excursion schedule. We encourage you to allow your child to attend to encourage them as they take responsibility and ownership of their learning.

What do you think?

I sent some of the photos above to the HOS with the message,
“Wish you were here?” He was thrilled. This is the message I received in return,
“It’s important, she says…It’s for the students, she says…it’s valuable learning time, she says…💩.” Such support! 😜

I also received a few messages from my Year 11 class (or what was left of them; there were a number of excursions today).

J: “theirs only 3 of use that are in english… yay [sic]…do we still have to do today’s work?”
{I reply in the affirmative}
“Oh.”

G: “Here’s my work from today. It’s a bit quiet.”

G: “Hello again, I would just like to point out how creepy the front page of the pdf document is…sorry if I ever look like this in class 🙂 Feel free to add a caption.”

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I nearly fell off my banana lounge with laughter! That kid looks positively murderous! I’m sorry if ANY of my students feel even the remotest reason to look like this in my classes!

Caption away! I’m very much looking forward to what you all come up with.

So there you go. My day; my students; only 3 of whom decided to line up for a ride at the exact time we were to meet, were 42 minutes late and held up the whole bus full of those waiting. And they did apologise. After asking if they had time to grab a quick frozen drink!

And my new swimmers were a great success – to me.

Veritas, Eski

The Journey – A Creative Writing Exercise

This is the first day of me running a creative writing class for secondary students after school. At present there are two of us in the classroom. It was originally intended to be a Future Problem Solving class. I ran this last year for the first time and really enjoyed it. I started this year with 8 students and it has very quickly whittled itself down to one. Although not impossible, I’m afraid that running an extra curricular activity designed as participation in a four person team competition with one person is more difficult than I would like to take on at present. So here we are. Creative writing. Today’s task: Journeys.

We’ve chosen today to simply begin writing with a stimulus. In the upcoming weeks we will undertake skill builders and apply them to our work. So, today the stimulus comes in the form of travel brochures. Choose one that you like the look of, then flick through and find an interesting picture which sparks your interest. This is the stimulus for your journey writing. It can be any sort of writing: narrative (by far the easiest, I believe); essay; report; analytical. However, I find narrative easiest, so that’s what I’m going to do. 



The view was gorgeous. The approach to the castle was a breathtaking sight. Perhaps she would have been breathless regardless because of the steep incline of the winding ascent, but she had always like to put a positive spin on things, so she would be breathless from the view. Behind the castle, the mountains were gently fleeced with white mist that echoed the clouds of forced breath she did take. As she followed the broad, square shoulders and tugged the hand cart behind her, she knew that whatever occurred in the next few weeks was likely to be difficult, but already, her imagination was caught.

Julia needed refreshment and reinvigorating. She was bored at home and knew she needed to jumpstart her life. Writing had always been her passion, but she hadn’t written in a number of years. Well, nothing worth keeping, anyway. She’d been so caught up in her day to day dreary getting by that she’d let her passion slip away. So here she was, almost at the base of a Rhenish castle, ready to switch on senses long dormant. Fifteen days is all her current budget would allow and she was easy to make the most of them. Firstly, by exploring the dream setting she was slowly approaching. The slowness was her own fault. She had chosen to….

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Time is up! Now to move on to the next exercise. I’ve found a 12 Day Plan of Simple Writing Exercises over at “The Writer’s Dig” and so we are going to start there. Thanks, Brian.

Write 10 potential book titles of books you’d like to write:

  1. Close to Home – A love story. Isabel and Adam
  2. ‘Scuse Me, Miss! – A teacher’s view of the class room
  3. Toddlers, Teens and Tweens – A ‘How I did it’ parenting book
  4. Capturing my Family – Family Anecdotes
  5. God Stuff – devotional
  6. {Insert Book Title Here}

I found this far more difficult than I thought it would be! Will have to complete it for homework. In the meantime, why not comment below with a favourite sentence written by you? Mine is in bold above. 

Get creative!

Eski 🐛