Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Every body counts

My eldest son (14yrs) asked me a couple of weeks ago about 'Why do kids at school say that TAFE is for dummies?'

It was so upsetting to hear that they say this.  But unfortunately not a surprise.  Kids used to say it when I was at school too.  It has always made me wince.

It is such a shame that we haven't progressed in our thinking.

I had to think of a way to explain how I believed it was NOT the case AT ALL without getting really CROSS.

Intellectual snobbery is abhorrent.

Humans should be valued on so much more than what level of educational certificate they hold.

It is one of the reasons I feel so uncomfortable about the question 'What do you think he will be when he grows up?'

I wrote about that here.

This is what I said to my son in answer to his question:

"Imagine how our society would function without garbage collectors, road workers, tram drivers, checkout operators, bakers, farmers, truck drivers, delivery people, artists.......the list goes on.

Sometimes the people who hold the University degrees RELY on the people who studied at TAFE to actually complete their jobs.

Imagine an architect without a builder.  A doctor without a nurse & medical supplies.  A corporation without someone at the front desk.

Does the picture make sense?

The answer is simple.

Our society would NOT function.

Humans are valuable not because of what & where they studied but because of WHO they are.

It's richness comes from it's diversity.

Thank goodness we have people who don't go to university."

As I am at home often I like to make myself really yummy lunches- it makes me feel nice & feeling nice is good! And important too!
This is a fave that I have often.
It takes under 10 minutes and is super nutritious and delicious.
The quantity is for one-as I usually am just making this for me

  • 100g Soba noodles 
  • 4 tablespoons kimchi (or if you are like me and love it, lots more!)
  • a handful of English spinach
  • 100g tofu, sliced finely(i use the Japanese style seasoned firm tofu- you can use whichever is a fave) 
  • a couple of teaspoons sesame oil
  • a dash of light soy
  • fresh coriander, chopped roughly
  • a spring onion sliced finely
  • black sesame seeds
Boil soba noodles (mine only take 4 minutes.)

I prepare everything else while they are  boiling.

Drain noodles and run cold water over them to cool.

Add sesame oil & soy and mix through - I use a chopstick.

Now add all other ingredients and mix well, sprinkle with Black Sesame seeds.

Serve & enjoy!

The same son I talk of above is playing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah at school today on the mighty Uke.  At the school they attend there is an opportunity every 2nd Wednesday to perform at 'Music on the Green'- live music preformed on a stage in front of the school- anyone can put their hand up. You just choose something to play and do it. Such a great idea. He is playing it as a duet with a friend.
Once upon a time there was musical snobbery in regards to the mighty Uke. I am happy to see that is making a bit of a comeback. It is a wonderful instrument.
Todays clip is of the amazingly talented Jake Shimabukuro playing his version of Hallelujah on the mighty uke.


  1. Alli @ ducks on the dam8 May 2013 at 14:27

    Great words Ruth. I have been to uni - but only for post grad. I have multiple pieces of paper that have all cost me many dollars to have..... over 4 different areas. Each is important in its own way but none is more important than the others - even the one that tells me that I am a Master at something. In fact that the one that is most USEFUL at the moment is my Tafe piece of paper.
    And that uke piece? Love it. So do our little misses. The littlest miss - 8- is learning uke at school at it rocks xxxx

  2. OMG, sooo true!
    after going through the experience of a child doing VCE and crumbling because she didn't get that "magic number" for uni entry, THANK GOD FOR TAFES!!! She now has a way to do what she wants to do, by entering through a back door.Furthermore she has far more personal experience and common sense than the people who got the "numbers"!!

  3. This is great Ruth. One of the issues I have with people protesting the uni cuts to fund Gonski is that not everyone goes to uni - and that uni doesn't make you smarter than those who do not!
    As for the mighty uke - long may it reign x

  4. What a wonderful way to explain it!
    I still get flack because I never completed my degrees. People are so much more than a piece of paper.
    I always get cross when the government cuts funding to tafes. Who's going to fix your car in 10, or build your house years time?
    Hooray for the Uke! We're going to purchase our three year old one for christmas.
    Hope you have a wonderful day.

  5. Technically I was smart enough (whatever that means???) to go to University but was always told I wouldn't have the discipline to succeed there. Those people were right but for the wrong reasons - years later I know that I just don't think in that very structured/timetabled way. I'm a proud later in life TAFE graduate and my time there taught me practical skills about design and graphics that I would never have received in a Uni environment heavy on theory.

    You know my favourite saying GG - "Why be normal when you can be yourself?"

  6. What a beautiful version of Hallelujah. Thank you.
    Oh you hit a raw nerve with me today. One of my daughters has always wanted to be a primary school teacher and gets so much flack as she is so academically 'bright', do law they say ! ...she is exactly who should be teaching in the future, someone bright, passionate and happy to be with little kids
    Also Mozzarella balls tonight, yay!

  7. I really really like your blog. Loved this post- you are a very wise lady.

  8. Sooo true, Ruth! My father always used to say "it would have been a disaster if every red indian wanted to be the chief" - probably a really bad translation (as he obvisiously said it in German), but you get the idea ;)).
    Too much pressure here on your VCE results. where I come from, everyone could go to uni (if they wanted to) and some kids with very low marks at school made great students, whereas some kids with great marks couldn't deal with uni life and found a profession where they could use their hands and/or creativity. Luckily, everyone is different and we should celebrate that fact! Eva xx

  9. What a wonderful post Ruth. Thoughtful and 100% spot on. x

  10. Great reply Ruth.
    My husband once told me about a trip into the city he made. He was going for a medical for a new job so left straight from work. There he was walking down the busy streets of Perth in his fluro shirt, shorts & work boots in a sea of suits. He said he felt invisible, like people ignored him because of his " work man uniform ". It made me sad to hear he felt like that because when I see him going off to work I can't help but see how far he's come from that 15 year old who left school to work in his family business....I think sometimes we judge ourselves more harshly than others.

  11. Very true, very, very true. And this topic is very deep in my heart as my oldest son has ASD and learning difficulties and won't be doing Year 11 and 12 at the school he's at. I will be over the moon if he can manage to study the typical courses at TAFE, not sure if he will be able to or will need to do special needs-specific courses. He is a fine young man who will work all his life, I am sure, and contribute a great deal.

    The other three... ? Well, I'm sure they will be able to choose much more widely from life's many career choices. But we are the world's least pushy parents so it's all up to them!

    Now I need to find out more about kimchi.

  12. You have just turned my day around, thankyou!! xx

  13. You really are the best example of a Mama I could hope to follow. x

  14. True. True. True. You are wise.

    I find that question of "what'll they be when they grow up? vexing. i think he's 3 years old...he thinks that he can do anything.

  15. Love how you replied to your 12yo!
    As a first time mum to a 6 month old cutie I am overwhelmed with how much love is possible to have for someone so small and I hope I am able to pass on wise words like yours <3

  16. Most nurses these days have a uni degree, just saying. It's a pretty intense 3 plus yrs. I think all doctors should take nursing subjects. It would make them better....IMHO as a nurse.

  17. You are so wise and that is so true....I thought something similar to myself - in terms of how you need people doing all sorts of jobs - when I passed a guy cleaning the outside of a shop while I was on my way to work this morning.

  18. So smart, Ruth. At the end of the day, it's horses for courses (excuse the pun!) Imagine how boring the world would be if we were all the same! Children need to understand that we're all special and all different, and that's what makes us unique. I'm with you, thank goodness we have people who don't go to uni, and thank goodness for Leonard Cohen!


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