quadrant

A friend was told me: “I’m a terrible procrastinater!” I contradicted her at once. “No,” I told her, “you’re an excellent procrastinater. In fact, you’re probably the best I know.”

Of course, we all put things off. Back in my shared household days, one of my housemates was a fellow teacher. When it came to report time, she would always busy herself with housework to a much greater extent than usual. One year, I had the Friday off and I – perhaps rather perversely – made sure all the normal household chores were done: Dinner cooked, bathroom cleaned, dishes done, lounge room vacuumed. She came home, looked in the kitchen, looked in the bathroom, then dragged the vacuum cleaner to the lounge where I told her, “I just did that ten minutes ago!” Rather than being grateful for the chance to start her reports, she returned to the kitchen, emptied every cupboard, cleaning it out and wiping down the shelves – a task which took her several hours. I would have helped, but I figured that she must really need her procrastination.

Anyway, you’ve probably noticed that little chart with the categories of Urgent/Non-urgent and Important/Not Important. And yes, I probably should have started talking about that straight away, but like I said, we put things off sometimes. Anyway, Steven Covey (the “7 Habits Of Highly Effective People” guy) suggests that good things happen when we begin focusing on the top right quadrant: Important but Non-urgent.

If you think about this, it makes perfect sense. We don’t have the time to do everything, and, of course, we prioritise the Urgent and Important. To use a hospital as a basis for comparison, obviously the patient presenting with heart attack symptoms takes precedence over the one with a possible broken arm. Of course, to the medical people in the Emergency Department, all will have some sense of urgency, if only because the patient is right there, asking for attention. While educators rarely have anything as pressing as a heart attack patient, we have daily events and incidents that demand our immediate attention and action. Some will be legitimately as urgent as the hospital emergency ward, but others will only feel urgent. In the hurly-burly of the day, it’s very hard to make the distinction. And because we so often feel the sense of urgency, when they’re not in the Urgent side of the ledger, we often place both the Important and the Not Important into the same category.

At one school, I remember the amount of time and attention given to a “uniform blitz”. This occured every  Tuesday and it was accompanied by a couple of minutes of one of the Assistant Principals reminding us of the procedure and telling us how important it was to check the students’ uniform. I mention this, not through some anti-uniform rejection of the school’s rules, but simply to point out that this was given a sense of Urgency. But only Tuesdays. (It occured to me that you wouldn’t have to be the sharpest student to notice a pattern here…)

While we all have slightly different ideas about what’s really urgent and what’s really important, it might be worth taking stock from time to time and checking to see if you’ve started focusing on the Urgent and Non-important ahead of the Non-urgent and Important. Maybe you’ll find that you’ve even started to focus on the Non-urgent and Not Important simply because, well, it’s easier to spend time cleaning out the cupboards than writing your reports. (Actually to be circumspect here, cleaning out the cupboards probably fits into the top right quadrant.)

Anyway, a few months ago, I created this little chart which I intended to fill in:tasks

However, I just never got around to it…

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Rossleigh's Education Blog

Two Quotes from The Godfather:

Bonasera: Let them suffer then, as she suffers. How much shall I pay you?

Don Corleone: [shakes his head ruefully] Bonasera, Bonasera. What have I ever done to make you treat me so disrespectfully? If you’d come to me in friendship, then that scum that ruined your daughter would be suffering this very day. And if by chance an honest man like yourself should make enemies, then they would become my enemies. And then they would fear you.

Bonasera: Be my friend. Godfather.

[The Don shrugs, Bonasera bows toward the Don and kisses the Don’s hand.]

Don Corleone: Good. Someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this justice as a gift on my daughter’s wedding day.

Bonasera: Grazie, Godfather.

* * *

Michael: Sonny…

View original post 1,651 more words

Ok. call me sexist, but I’ve always felt that having a woman around the house was more likely to lead to a cleaner house, so when Kevin moved out and Julia moved in, I figured that the house would be just as clean. And – if I’m being honest – I never really noticed much difference.

Wayne and I were aware that the basement did need a good clean out after the Great Flood of 2007, but the sandbagging he and Kevin did protected most of the house even though it didn’t stop the flooding in the basement. (By contrast, my friend’s shop in the next suburb was washed away and he only recently got a job.We just kept on going to work and figured that the levy bank would either save us or not.)

Right from the beginning of the flood, Tony and Joe had been in my ear.

“They’ve built the levy bank too high. You’ve wasted all that time and effort, not to mention the cost of all those sandbags,” they told me.

“You’d be better off with us as housemates,” they assured me.

I nodded politely. At that stage I was just thanking my lucky stars that I still had a job and wasn’t facing bankruptcy like my friend in the neighbouring suburb.

But it was only after Julia’s complaint that I wasn’t treating her fairly because she was a woman, that things changed. Now, I may be a little sexist, but I certainly don’t like it when a woman points it out.

It was then that Tony and Joe told me what a mess the basement was in and that the landlord would probably throw us out; I grew a little bit concerned.

“Look,” said Wayne. “Most households aren’t even aware that they have a basement. And you’ve never even been down there.”

“But what will the landlord say?” I wanted to know.

“I’ve already spoken to him, and he says that so long as we keep the rest of the house clean, we can fix it up in our own time.”

Tony and Joe told me that wasn’t good enough and that I should demand that Wayne set a deadline.

I’ll spare you the long complicated story of how Wayne failed to meet the deadline, why Julia moved out, Kevin’s fleeting visit and why I felt like I’d be better off with Tony and Joe. It’s what’s happening now that concerns me.

You see, Tony and Joe gave me certain undertakings before moving in. They agreed that they wouldn’t touch anything in my room, and the household kitty would stay the same and that we’d be able to clean up the basement.

When they told me a couple of weeks ago that I’d have to put an extra $7 a week into the kitty, because of the mess in the basement, that sort of made sense. Until they told me that the money was going to a fund which was going to look at the reasons for flooding and ways we could prevent it in the future. In spite of my questions, they didn’t have much detail on how the money would be spent.

“Trust us,” said Tony.

“Yeah, our overriding promise was to clean up the mess the others left.”

When I suggested that they could start by doing the dishes or the vacuuming, they scoffed. Besides didn’t I have friends who’d lost their jobs and just sit around doing nothing? Couldn’t they come over and do it?

Last night, I came home to find some of the contents of my room on the lounge room floor. “What are you doing?” I demanded.

“We’re cleaning up the mess,” said Joe.

“But you’ve got all my stuff on the floor.”

“Your previous housemates enabled you to accumulate all this stuff, it’s just getting in the way of our cleaning up the mess. We’re checking through it and throwing out what you don’t need,” said Tony.

“But it’s mine!” I insisted.

“Come on,” said Tony, “we all have to make sacrifices.”

“We’re just going to sell the stuff you don’t really need,” promised Joe.

I nodded and started toward the kitchen to make myself a coffee.

“You can’t go in there,” said Joe.

“Why not?” I asked.

“We’ve made the kitchen more efficient,” said Tony.

“What?”

“Yes, we sold it to a chef. He’ll cook all the meals, and that way we won’t have people wandering in there all the time, using up electricity and being inefficient with the purchase of food.”

“That’s ridiculous, won’t we have to pay for the chef?”

“No,” said Joe, “just for your meals. Privatisation, it’s the only way to go.”

“Ah well, at least it’s giving someone a job,” I said.

“And Pedro is very grateful for the chance to work in this country. He’s earning far more than he would back home,” said Tony.

“He’s foreign. Shouldn’t we have given the job to someone Australian at least?”

“No, that’s being racist and disgusting, as our Uncle Rupert says.”

“Shouldn’t you have asked me before you did any of this?” I wanted to know.

“We did,” said Tony. “Before we moved in, we told you that we going to clean up the mess and that’s what we’re doing?”

“Right,” I said, “so how much did the chef pay for the kitchen?”

“We can’t tell you that. It’s a confidential arrangement,” said Joe.

“Well, where’s the money going then?”

“Into the basement,” said Tony.

“You’re going to pay someone to clean up the basement?”

“No,” said Joe. “We can’t afford that. We’re just going to put the money into the basement until we find a use for it.”

“But isn’t cleaning up the basement you’re number one priority?”

“Not so much,” said Tony. “Our number one priority is stopping those kids from stealing apples in the backyard. And we’ve done that. If anyone jumps the fence, we have a security guard who grabs them and then locks them in the basement.”

“Isn’t that illegal?”

“Stealing apples is illegal,” insisted Tony.

“Doesn’t it just add to the mess in the basement?”

“The mess in the basement isn’t so bad,” said Joe.

“I thought it was a crisis.”

“Yes, well, it is,” he explained, “but not a very serious one,”

“Ok, I’d like everything put back in my room the way it was. And then I’d like you two out of here,” I told them.

“You can’t mean that,” said Joe.

“Yeah,” said Tony, “we’ve been doing such an excellent job.”

“But you lied to me. You’re doing all these things you promised you wouldn’t do!”

“Who told you that? Have you been talking to Wayne?” asked Joe.

“Yeah, you shouldn’t listen to him. He was one of the people in the house when the basement flooded,” added Tony.

“Look, we promised we’d fix this mess and that’s what we’re doing!” asserted Joe.

I looked around. All I could see was chaos in what used to be one of the neatest rooms in the house.

“And one other thing, from tomorrow, you’ll need to ring the doorbell to get in. We’re having the locks changed,” Joe informed me.

“What?”

“We don’t want those people who caused all the mess to get back in, do we?” asked Tony.

“But don’t I get a key? I mean, I live here.”

“Yeah,” said Joe, “but it’s not like you own it or anything!”

“Hi, can I have the joint credit card?”

“Why?”

“I want to book a flight.”

“Where to?”

“Noosa.”

“Why?”

“Well, I remember that waiter there who was so nice when I lost my wallet. I want to go back and thank him.”

“Didn’t I thank him at the time?”

“Yes, but I think I should too.”

“Couldn’t you just send him a card?”

“No, it’s best done in person.”

“But aren’t we trying to save money?”

“Yes, but this is one of those things that will make me more popular with the Australian people and you can’t put a price on that.”

“What about our budget emergency?”

“That was just something I said when you wanted to spend money. This is something that I want to spend money on, so it’s completely different!”

“Ok, I see what you’re trying to do here. You’re trying draw a link between the Prime Miniture’s visit to the Netherlands and your visit to Noosa, but I think you’ll just end up sounding like a complete prat!”

“This has nothing to do with Tiny Abbott. I accept that he’s going over to the Netherlands to thank the Dutch and that’s got nothing to do with trying to extend the one story that’s boosted his standing in the polls.”

“Don’t write that.”

“Why not? Is it because I shouldn’t politicise tragedy?”

“No. Politicising tragedy is fine in certain circumstances. Like when people die installing insulation because Labor funded it. You can criticise them for a lack of oversight. No, you shouldn’t write that because it’s not true!”

“You don’t think he’s going there for poll driven reasons?”

“No, I don’t think it’s true that it’s boosted his standing in the polls. I mean, have you seen the poll at the bottom of this page?”

“Seen it? I wrote it.”

“And I never said any of this. So why are you pretending that you had this conversation?”

“It’s like when Liberals claim that they’ve consulted – it’s called fiction!”

Ok, if you hit this web address (at least I think it’s a web address, it could be a web site or possibly an envelope) http://www.abbottlies.com.au then it takes you straight to the Liberal Party website. (Cut and paste it if you think I’m playing with the link!)

So which smart lefty thought of doing that? Well, actually it was the Liberal Party themselves. Apparently someone thought they could beat Labor to the punch by registering the name, then redirecting traffic to… well, one could say the actual lies.

Now if that’s not a spectacular admission, I don’t know what is!

“Tony Abbott’s lies are up in lights for everyone to see at abbottslies.com.au,’’ Mr Shorten said.

I guess this means Senator Brandis, Eric Abetz and Kevin Andrews don’t qualify for the most spectacular stuff up of the week.

Kevin Andrews – for those of you who missed it – had to clear up a memorandum issued with his authority, which said that the following would not be considered gainful work when considering reduced waiting periods for unemployment benefits: ‘domestic or gardening tasks” at the applicant’s house of that of a family member, work ”for the purpose of achieving election of the person to public office” and work that involves nudity or is in the sex industry.

Mr Andrews has since clarified that people doing live modelling for artists would be considered to be working even though they were sitting perfectly still.

Similarly, those working in the sex industry will be considered to be in “gainfully work”. Of course, one wonders why it would have been excluded in the first place. Was it that Kevin Andrews thought that sex was too much fun to be considered work? (Highly improbable). Or was it that he felt that people doing work of which he disapproves should be punished. (Possible, but then the list would have been much longer!)

Whatever the reason, people can rest easy. Those forced into sex work because of the Abbott Government’s six month waiting period can breath a sigh of relief knowing that they’ll be treated just like everyone else.

Yep, you can’t say that this government isn’t fair.

Particularly on social media if you’re a public servant. They’ve forbidden it!

“Sorry, I can’t stay for another beer – I’ve got a doctor’s appointment.”

“You what?”

“I’ve got a doctor’s appointment. I have to go and get a mole checked out. My wife thinks it might be skin cancer.”

“No such thing, mate.”

“What do you mean?”

“This skin cancer stuff is just a conspiracy so that scientists can get more money.”

“How do you know?”

“It’s just my opinion. But I did read something about it on the Internet, and someone rang up a talkback show and said it was a load of crap and the host said that he wasn’t convinced that it existed either.”

“But what about people who’ve died of skin cancer?”

“They did ask anyone who’d died of skin cancer to ring in and nobody did. One woman tried to say that her husband had died of skin cancer, but they said that they weren’t going to rely on hearsay.”

“I had a mole removed last year and my doctor said that I should get any changes checked.”

“Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he? I mean, they’re all part of the conspiracy.”

“So you’re saying that the doctors and the scientists are working together just to make us part with our money?”

“Exactly. I mean, it’s supposed to be caused by the sun and the sun is a naturally occurring part of nature and plants need it to grow so how could it be bad for us?”

“I suppose, but it’s hard to believe that so many people would be trying to mislead us.”

“Scientists have often got it wrong. I mean look at that Climate Change crap. There were all those predictions that we’d all be underwater by now, and it’s only the beachside suburbs that have been submerged.”

“All right, I will have another beer. I can afford it now I don’t have to pay all that money to go to the doctor.”

“Yeah, that was a good idea of Abbott’s. Taxing people $200 every time they visit the doctor.”

“Well, it certainly got the Budget in a much healthier position.”

“And it stopped people rushing off to the doctor every time they felt a bit crook or severed an artery.”

“And it’s certainly cut down on waiting times. Last time I went there were more doctors than patients.”

“Say what you like about the Liberals, they’re certainly sound economic managers.”

“Yeah, that idea about fining anyone who didn’t finish secondary school and charging the ones that did for the cost of their schooling was a stroke of genius.”

“It’s great to know that the Budget’s will be back in surplus by the year 2043.”

“Apparently it’d be a lot sooner if unemployment hadn’t hit 68%.”

“Well, at least we don’t have to fork out our taxes for those lazy bludgers any more. Demanding that all those on Work-for-the-dole have to buy a new uniform every day should have been an enormous boost to our clothing industry. If only those lazy bastards had done it instead of saying that they didn’t have any money because the cost of administering the scheme was being deducted from their benefit.”

“You’d think that they’d want to give something back to the community.”

“Nah, they’re too lazy, mate. I saw one who claimed that he was homeless. And I said why don’t you buy a house then instead of just sitting around. I mean, it’s not like he didn’t have time.”

“Yeah, people who vote Liberal have a different mindset. When Sophie Mirabella lost her job, she went straight out and got that job with that submarine thingy. But those Left wing types just wait around expecting someone just to hand it to them.”

“Yeah, if I’d paid any income tax last year, I’d be really pissed off.”

“Me too. That was another great move by Abbott. Abolishing income tax on anyone earning over $200,000. Really gives people an incentive to work harder.”

“And there’s plenty of jobs out there. The social media unit of the PM’s office is always hiring. I believe that it has over nine thousand staff now and they still can’t keep up with the criticism.”

“Typical of Australians. They’re just never grateful. I mean, if it wasn’t for Abbott we wouldn’t have unemployment of 68%, interest rates of zero, and six of the richest people in the world living in Australia.”

“Yeah, we’d still have all those buses and trams clogging up our roads.”

“Lucky we voted Labor out when we did or the deficit’d be even bigger than it is?”

“What is it these days?”

“Dunno. It’s an operational matter. Apparently, it isn’t in the nation’s interest for anyone to know.”

“Let’s have another beer.”

“Yeah mate, after all, I’ve just read somewhere that drinking doesn’t cause any harm and that it’s all a big con to enable governments to tax it.”

“Cheers.”

“Cheers.”

’m sure you’ve all heard about Jacqui Lambie’s disgraceful performance on the Kim and Dave show. No, I’m not talking about her description of her perfect man as “well-hung” – I’m talking about this, when she was asked about her body hair:

“Right now the state I’m in, I can tell you what, you’d want to bring out that whipper snipper first.”

I mean, what sort of example is this for an elected representative to be setting? Surely, she shouldn’t be using the fact that she hasn’t been in a relationship for eleven years to justify her lack of waxing.

Sexist? Double-standard?

Yeah, I guess we don’t criticise Tony for his lacking of waxing.

But the whole Jaqui Lambie “controversy” has been another one of those moments where I feel like some people are inhabiting another planet. Why? Well, let’s look at how it’s played out:

Lambie goes on the Kim and Dave show and gets asked some personal (and dare I suggest, risqué and crude) questions.

She responds in a risqué and crude manner.

This is thought to be important enough to be widely reported.

Jacqui Lambie apologised to anyone who was offended.

Responses include Judith Ireland who told us that Jaqui “shouldn’t be let off the hook” for her comments, and Neil Mitchell who asserted that if a male politician talked about a woman’s breasts “there’d be fury” and various letters and comments along these lines:

“If any male pollie mentioned a part of a womans body he would be walked over hot coals. This type of ‘talk’ is not acceptable, she can try and paint it anyway she pleases. It is not ‘normal ‘ I would be absolutely horrified if I heard my daughter speak in this manner, women want respect, well she just lost a whole lot. I feel so sorry for her teenage son!”

And a number of articles compared it to the reaction when Tony Abbott described a Liberal candidate he was introducing as “feisty” and possessing “sex appeal”. The general suggestion being how come that Lambie , a woman, can get away with it, when Abbott was so severely dealt with.

All that sounds fine, except for the fact that it draws a completely different narrative from what actually happened. If we reduce the two incidents to the basic facts.

Abbott – at a political meeting – uses sexist language to introduce a candidate. He is criticised for it. He doesn’t resign. He goes on to become PM. He doesn’t apologise.

Lambie – on a breakfast show – uses sexist language after telling the radio audience that she hadn’t been in a relationship for eleven years because she’d been “physically and psychologically damaged” and the announcers decide not to explore that part of her answer, but instead find her a partner (because we all know that every woman needs a man!). She is criticised for it. She doesn’t resign. She DOES apologise.

I fail to see that one “got away with it” and the other didn’t, given that both faced a storm of criticism and that neither has – so far – suffered any consequences in terms of their public position.

Yes, her language was inappropriate. Yes, I am happy to condemn her for reducing men to sex objects based on the size of their penis. Yes, if a man did something similar, they’d face criticism and be forced to apologise. JUST LIKE SHE DID!

But, of course, I can’t imagine any breakfast announcer saying to a man, “You haven’t been in a relationship for something like eight years…”

Or asking Tony if he misses Margie on those cold Canberra nights!

P.S. The bottom of the page gave me the following warning:

“Warning: Title display in Google is limited to a fixed width, yours is too long.”

Seems appropriate.