Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Tuesday Poem - Aerial Acts

In my dream, to teach
or learn,
I had to jump
three floors
from a railing
on to a small table
from there
down another floor
to a smaller table
and finally
on to soft sand
through which I trudged to class
only to find I had a no pen
and had used my task calendar
to make notes.
A student lent me a pen
and I found a diary
in the Mary Poppins bag I'd clutched
carefully as I leapt.
When I woke, reality was no different -
government cutbacks
five remaining weeks of paid work
education an aerial act
without a safety net -
but no one can lend me a pen
and my diary order was cancelled.

Catherine Bateson November 2012

I have decided to do a number of dream poems. Unfortunately, as stated in the poem, this dream was merely a more surreal version of reality.

Yesterday I received the official phone call informing me that my teaching contract would not be renewed due to government cutbacks in the TAFE system. Of course, I'd been expecting the phone call. It's happened right across the TAFE system - hundreds of people now without employment. Instead of saying 'hundreds of jobs lost' I think we should saying 'hundreds of people without jobs' - the former makes it so impersonal.

So lets make it more personal. In my TAFE a whole department has gone. GippsTAFE no longer has an Art and Design Department. Where will those teachers who taught painting, photography and ceramics be employed in the LaTrobe Valley? Where will students study who wish to learn painting, photography and ceramics in the LaTrobe Valley? This is happening right across Victoria, despite protests from parents, students and teachers. We are living in a state without any long-term vision of a viable future. We are living in a country which has no long-term vision of a future that includes education, art, literature - lets face it, that includes culture and civilisation. It's all about the money, folks!

But, down at the Tuesday Poem Blog things are different. We're here for the poetry, folks, so leave your wallet at home and saunter across to read some poems.

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