Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bullying myth still prevails

Bullying isn’t part of our DNA. It’s a learned social behaviour that people pick up either at home or at school. They see the predatory side of their peers in the schoolyard and swear that it will never be them on the end of an attack. In order to do this, they adapt. They conform to social trends in appearance, entertainment and even snack food in order to minimise their chance of being the next victim.
We talk about change, but it’s a vast minority that is prepared to do the work that would be involved to obliterate bullying. We say that we are waiting for another victim that’s willing to be the public face of a campaign like this, knowing that it would be a rare individual who would do this. We say that it’s just ‘too hard’ and it sends the subliminal message to the bullied that the cause isn’t worth it. That they aren’t worth it.
The prevailing myth that bullying is something we all have to endure, either as bully, victim or observer continually echoes around us. Of course, if this were truth and not fiction, there wouldn’t be so many campaigns against bullying. As the years have passed, this statement has been eroded as we’ve become increasingly aware of the consequences of bullying. Earlier this year in America, a teenage girl took her life after enduring several months of bullying from her classmates. Take a moment to consider that last sentence. It was so bad for her that suicide was the only option that she could see. It has been reported that on the day after her suicide that her tormenters even went so far as to post ‘accomplished’ on her Facebook wall. Her tormenters have since been charged with a range of crimes including civil rights violation and criminal harassment.
Suicide as a result of bullying isn’t a new thing. In the past, it wasn’t reported or even spoken of, lest we inspire other victims of bullying to take that same path.
VICTIMS: If you are reading this, there are people out there who are willing to help you in the battle against bullies, but they can only hear you if you speak out and let them know your pain.
That being said, action needs to be taken now in order to eradicate bullying from first the education system. My suggestion is a change in legislation which would enforce a police-able zero tolerance bullying policy on all schools and educational institution that receives any form of funding from the government. This policy would cover the actions of not just students and teachers, but also outside contractors connected with the school. After it was installed, if a school were to ignore instances of bullying then there would be a monetary fine to be paid to charitable institutions that work with victims of bullying.
To make this change in legislation would mean a lot of work. It’s proposing that schools would finally be held accountable for ignoring the violations of human rights that occur within.
Bullying isn’t just something that affects the bully or the victim. There are further reaching consequences that we cannot know until they happen. And it isn’t just up to the parents to speak up about how bad things can be.
I feel like I’m rehashing the same things that we all know, or should know.
Things need to change. We cannot claim ignorance any longer.

Places to look for help:
Kids help line
Reach out

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Employment Services Code of Un-Practice

I was at my soon to be ex job network this morning, following their rules about only printing job seeking related documents (well mostly, but a girl's gotta have her hobbies) and I saw that there is a new laminated sign up on the wall. So immediately, you know that it is important because it is laminated...
Anyway it was an Employment Services Code of Conduct. I've never seen it in there before. It could be that because I usually sit at another computer that I don't see it or more likely due to the fact that I'm a little self-involved when I go there. I'm there to print, not to read the sign on the wall. Unless I'm taking photos to then mock on facebook.
So back to this guarantee. Most of it was pointless. But then I got to the part of what they do for their jobseekers and I just have to hope that this is a new thing, that it isn't something that has always been around. Because otherwise I will be really fricken annoyed.

~ Meet service guarantee - well as I never got shown or told about a service guarantee, it is possible that they did do this, but more likely that they did not.
~ Tailoring assistance to the job seekers personal circumstances, skills, abilities and aspirations - Yeah they totally didn't do this. I gave them the parameters of work that I could and would be able to do and it was never offered to me. Because I have bigger aspirations than check out chick or takeaway food girl it isn't easy for them
~ Using government funding appropriately to support jobseekers - I didn't feel that they met this objective as well as they could have. They paid for courses that they felt were relevant, but when I asked for them to pay for me to access an art based job search engine, I was denied this support, even though it is the sector which most of my skills are based.
~ Treating job seekers fairly and with respect - This NEVER happened. Because I wasn't an easy 'shove them into a job and that's the end of it' person, because I demanded that they find work for me where my skills would be an asset, skills that they had previously belittled, I was treated like I was some kind of freak.
~ Providing fair and accessible feedback service - Again, this NEVER happened. I struggled with this because these people were supposed to help me. When one of my many case workers told me that all the skills I got through work for the dole programs were not good enough, I was not allowed to point out that I had gotten those skills while participating in an approved program.

I don't know, I could be just random rambling here.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Let's talk: Bullying

I've been thinking a lot about bullying. Not a big surprise given it's presence in my local community at the moment. As you can see by the pic, I'm saying NO to bullying. This is part of a facebook campaign by the local youth services here in Ballarat to curb bullying in the schools. I've been involved in youth services programs off and on over the years but this one is close to my heart.
I was bullied and harassed as a child, teenager and as an adult. Each time I felt powerless to stop it, like it was somehow my fault that people found something to pick on me in a nasty fashion. It was as if the whole world was conspiring against me (cliche alert) to make me feel bad, or not good enough because people made me feel that way.
I like to think that I can handle it, that I'm strong enough to put it behind me and tell myself that I'm a good person and that these people (and I use this term only in the biological sense) are being cruel because they've got their own issues to deal with.
Of course, the scary thing is that is is a vast minority who believe that bullying is something that should be stopped. Schools say they can't stop it, that it's too hard to police and they have better things to do than ensure that their students human rights are not being violated. Because that is what it is. It's a violation of human rights (for more information please check out ).
The law protects schools as there is currently NO effective legislation in Australia preventing it or making the schools responsible for it when it does happen. They can say they know about it when it happens but adapt a 'hey what can we do about it?' attitude about it.
Kids who bully or are bullied are at risk of developing serious mental health issues as a result of verbal, physical or any other type of abuse. That is UNACCEPTABLE.
The truly ignorant out there believe that it is up to the parents to do something. That the rest of us Singletons (Bridget Jones term) should just sit back and ignore it because it doesn't affect us personally. Those people will then point out that it is hard work.
Well damn, what were they expecting?
Anything that is worth it on a scale such as this is going to be a lot of HARD WORK because it is worth it.
As a member of the community it frightens me that this is the attitude of those who are supposed to fight the battle instead.

I don't see a petition, just on it's own, being the cure to all this. What we need is a change in legislation, a bill that holds schools (and other educational institutions) responsible for instilling a police-able Zero Tolerance Bullying policy for their students, teachers and subcontractors. If they are unable to do this then they should be forced to pay a fine to charities that work towards helping victims of bullying.
I'm not looking for short term solutions. I'm looking at the picture, seeing the details as well as the scope.
Don't be ignorant.
Don't let others be either.
If you liked this post, please share it with someone else. Comments are always welcome.
Make a change. Be a leader. Promise that you won't be silent on this topic just because of another's cliche`d and ignorant perspective.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I don't get to sword fight when I write about my witch

I'm still in the midst of the faery vs witch story war and I'm not sure who is winning.
When I work on one, it's all I can think of, completely excluding the other from my thoughts. Although I did some up with a good idea for the witch story the other day. Keep part one and develop it as a novel. It's going to be a lot of hard work to do this, but it's the part of the story that I'm really getting involved in. Then I will release part 2 as an ebook sometime in the future.
The faery story's coming along. I still don't have a title for it, so at the moment it's known to me as it's file name. I did get to playfight for it last week as a part of my editing process. That was sort of lots of fun. Plus it helped with the crap day I was having.
My foremost problem with both is finding a feasible sub plot to write about and be interested in long enough to reach a conclusion.

Farey vs witch... Still at even positions. Each one pulling me a little more

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sunday Morning with Neitzsche

If life were easy, we'd never grow.
Or so I believe is one of the messages that we can take from the Nietzsche quote:
"Human beings must be plunged into a constant struggle to realise their own capacity for power over themselves and the world".

I'm a big believer in the idea that we need to go through the bad times to appreciate the good. In this way, we grow as people, seeing what we can achieve when we put aside preconceived ideas of what the human race are capable of. The changes that we make within outselves when we struggle are those that we carry through on the next part of our paths. In that way, we have gained power over ourselves, simply by knowing what we are capable of and we also have the capacity to change our immediate "world" through being a stronger person that other people can choose to listen to.

The quote was supposed to be a short story prompt, but I couldn't get my head around it so I decided to blog about it instead.

So, in other words:
Accept that life is going to be hard at times. It is how you emerge that makes you who you are

Thursday, November 3, 2011

It's faery vs witch vs stressed, broke (and broken) author

It's faery vs witch here at "the little creative space I call home" and it's still up in the air who will win.
Okay, so I don't really have faeries flying about the room. They're flying about in my head asking 'why aren't you paying attention to me?' and making a case for their story to be told.
I also don't have a witch in the corner, stirring a bubbling cauldron full of nasty either. I probably could have if I'd looked into halloween decorations, but that's beside the point.
What it comes down to is that I'm working on two different novel manuscripts. One is Dark Destinies (that's the witch story) and then the as yet untitled faery story. I'm trying to divide my time equally between each one until one emerges the winner.
Between that I'm struggling to keep my business running as people aren't paying their invoices when they were supposed to. I feel a need to start writing nasty "pay me" invoices coming on. How fricken hard is it to pay an $80/75 invoice people. You're all supposed to have these lucrative businesses that could afford to pay for the order I've given you, but no, you keep me waiting, and wondering about when I will see the damn money in the account.

Breathe, relax, take a step back.

It's faery vs witch vs anxious, broke author here and I don't know which one of us will win