Ive noticed one clear thing about my wife’s beautiful midriff – as the baby is steadily increasing in size it has having an interesting effect on her belly button. It’s almost as if the baby is having a bit of fun poking at it from the inside to see what happens!I’ve been reading this Blokes Guide to Pregnancy book – sort of a basic how to for men who struggle to get past page 3 of the Sun. The chapters are broken up into short sections of about a page or so long – perfectly designed for short attention spans. I must admit though I can’t be too patronising about the rather simple nature of the book – I am seriously looking forward to becoming a father but chapter after chapter about hormones, development stages, breast feeding etc etc any man is dying to get back to the Playstation. It does make me wonder where society places men in the process of raising a child. Certainly we are still very highly valued – especially in a loving and equal relationship which I am very fortunate to be in – but in many contexts I am sure men do not feel that same sense of value. One certainly sees these Fathers 4 Justice nuts complaining about their treatment – and yes they have a point in a way but as you look deeper into many of their cases you see their own failings. One also hears of the loss of many fathers in more inner city deprived areas when they just walk off, leaving the mother with the baby. That is perhaps the more poignant and realistic sign that in certain areas of society things are not well. Sure courts tend to favour Moms in any dispute but perhaps one of the key reasons why children are losing out on their fathers is that men are no longer being taught responsibility. That desire to support and care for not just your partner but also your child as well. So how do you teach that responsibility? That’s a tough one to answer – perhaps I will keep it for another blog. In the meantime though I’m just enjoying reading AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh to the bump and then feeling those soft movements under my hands.
My wife’s pregancy so far has been an exercise in appreciating the utter wonder and sheer freakiness of the human reproductive system. You’ve got to understand – although I came late to the Aliens film series that image of a baby alien bursting out of the chest of the some poor unfortunate comes to mind quite quickly (especially if you are a serious scifi devotee such as myself)Ridiculous movie analogies outside it has been a truly humbling time to see how my wife has been growing to accomodate that very precious bundle inside. She herself has obviously struggled with some of the practicalities of pregancy – clothes dont fit, wind, tired and grumpy – but to see that glow she has is fantastic. I am slightly terrified of impending fatherhood. I mean who wouldn’t be – with the thought of those nappies to change – but the thought of being able to hold my son or daughter is one I am massively looking forward to. So in these last few months of us as a ‘two’ before we become ‘three’ it will be a time just to gather those thoughts (get some sleep) and get ready for that fabulous day. My wife did have a very interesting thought – she did remark on how the engineering of a human body didnt lend itself to giving birth – passing a nice compact egg would be a lot better in her opinion. Now that image is even weirder than the alien one …
Having rediscovered the joys of twitter these last two weeks I have been thinking about how it could be used effectively within a school context.What is twitter to me? I see it as a form of communication which is only slightly removed from traditional IM. It’s almost like a non real-time chat session where you can shout all you like about something without caring whether anyone hears it or not. (but most people do care) Traditional IM can be used quite effectively within a school context but its weakness is that without the other person you wish to communicate with being signed your only option is to use an email. Most emails within a school either fall into the short category or the too long winded to really be effective (guilty of that myself) Twitter has a number of advantages over IM an email. Its brevity forces people to get their message across quickly – and the asyncrhonous nature of the conversation means that the message can be sent regardless of who is there to read it. So where can it be used? I was reading today abou the boy who was attacked with a claw hammer at a school in Swindon (http://tinyurl.com/cbrq5b). Those sorts of situations are hard enough to deal with (and for starters they should have had more teachers on patrol) but if all teachers had been equipped with devices that allowed them to twitter to a private network and had during the months proceeding the attack been twittering about any incidents of racial tension in the corridors the senior staff may have had enough intelligence (and im talking in the spy sense, not the stupid sense) to know that an issue was brewing. So what should this private twitter network look like? 1. For starters it would be a local implementation of a twitter server – not connected in any way to twitter.com itself.
2. All staff would be equipped with mobile devices that had the schools twitter service built into it (palm pre?) and all pc’s on the network would have the login built in for staff.
3. The twitter stream would be readable only by staff and not by students (although possibly students could post to it – could be a way for bullied students to alert someone)
4. The twitter application interface would be very simple – hit an icon on the mobile device and up pops a twitter box (identification is based on the login)
5. System also identifies which other senior teachers are online and watching the feed
6. Possibly have a drop down box as well containing short template tweets to allow for teachers to quickly tweet something useful (eg: trouble in east corridor)
7. Once a tweet is sent it appears on the feed which senior staff are monitoring
8. senior staff member identifies an immeadiate problem and responds with what action they will take
9. non essential tweets are logged and analysed In a large secondary school where issues can develop very quickly (and where staff may not have the time or energy to file a paper based report) this could be a useful way for staff on patrol and staff in lessons to quickly notify other staff of any potential issues. It has its problems – mobile devices would be an issue as well as the possibility that no senior staff could be watching the feed at any one time. However despite those I think a system like this could possibly work.
6. Tweets are automatically sent to senior staff computers (wi
I think its going to take me a while to get into this whole blogging thing. Coming up with succint and snappy blogs to attract hundreds may not be a really achievable goal! So why did I set up this blog? I guess its because I want to synthesise (what a crap ‘business’ word) all the different bits of my life on the net (twitter, flickr, deviantart, youtube etc) so that there is one central place with everything about me.Its the last day of the half term holidays. Damn its been busy – got through loads of stuff (half of which I cant remember) and managed to strategically avoid doing loads more. i am so behind on my coursework for my masters and have a large amount of stuff to do for school. At least the weather is getting better! I’ll leave it at that for now – as I say it will take me a while to get into this whole blogging thing.