From the week just gone, two topics have dominated my reading: politics in Britain, the Windrush scandal which intersects with Brexit so clearly for me, and the Referendum on May 25th on the removal/retention of the 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution. Two reads each on those two dominate my choices there, I’m making no excuses for nailing my colours to the mast (both Brexit and the 8th Amendment were/are poor outcomes of public discourse). I’ve broken this post up with some humour and History, when political dust settles we should always have time to laugh and understand our History.
After a week off, I had so much to chose from since #81. I don’t know what the choice each week says about me or my current state but this week I picked a piece on the misuse of History, on a movie from the 1960s about an uncertain future, one about a war that might or might not be over, a piece on a horror movie based on a classic novel by an Irishman, another the New York subway in all it’s crumbling glory, something lovely about a father, something deep about Shakespeare and a black flower.
Bruce Handy goes into fantastic detail on the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey (note colon).
A mixed choice this week, covering history (as usual), film, maths history, pencils, James Joyce and Paul Gauguin. Nothing if not eclectic me, if more people read this, one of them might be able to tell me what the trends in my choices are. If…
How the Holocaust Haunts Eastern Europe by Lev Golinkin is a fascinating History of commemoration and non-commemoration.
Image of the Week in The Siesta by Paul Gauguin came from here.
Christmas has come and gone, the reading goes on. This is a selection of the best things I read over the break, so it’s slightly longer than usual. Switching off the phone over Christmas for three days might not sound like a revolutionary act, but for me that’s extraordinary! So there’s plenty of interesting stuff still in the bank to share in the weeks to come.
First here’s a story about a basketball coach who can’t quit from Adam Zagoria. It struck a chord with me: teachers who have to suddenly stop on retirement must find themselves in a strange limbo sometimes.
This next piece is raw, honest and tragic. Mimi O’Donnell writes on the loss of her partner Philip Seymour Hoffman.
For a bit of fun head over to Instagram to see Accidentally Wes Anderson which does the job of location spotter quite well for the next Anderson movie.
I loved this piece by Theo Dorgan about the place he came from. Home is so important, and so is remembering where we came from
Most of the education reading I did over Christmas I chose to challenge me. This post by Katie Martin did just that on collaboration and teachers supporting each other.
If we want to improve skills and knowledge and the application of them in our classrooms, we must move beyond telling people what to do and get into classrooms to help them problem solve, reflect, tweak, and learn together and collectively figure out how to move forward.
Improving our practice is always worth it.
This is just a beautiful essay on the triggers that set us off remembering someone who’s gone from Roy Hoffman. A Sister’s Nurturing, in Countless Home Haircuts
Two podcasts now, the first is on Suffragism from In our Time. Very apt for the year that we are entering because (some, not all) British, and, by association Irish women were given the franchise in 1918. Consistently brilliant programmes from the BBC here, by the way.
The cover image this week is one of my favourite pictures: Hunters in the Snow (Winter) by Pieter Bruegel the Elder which we were lucky enough to see about fourteen years ago in Vienna. I used it in school all the time. Some great conversations began there. I got it from the very cool Google Arts and Culture.
I was very busy this week, a lot of driving, and not as much time for reading. So, luckily, a small few wonderful pieces of writing came my way.
First the least devastating, but no less moving, no less thoughtprovoking, Mosi Secret traces the lives of the first black boys to integrate the elite prep schools of the American South. Their struggles then and since are both a testament to their bravery and perseverance. (Keeping an eye Longreads always pays off.)
Now this piece by Sally-Ann Rowland on having, or not having, a baby tore me up. The honesty is so refreshing, the story is so heartbreaking, but such a rewarding read.
Kevin Toolis, like the previous piece found in the Guardian, writes about the death and wake of his father. It is so familiar to us Irish, but again here, the honest openness with which he writies is just beautiful.
I have an amazing podcast for you to listen to this week: first Jarlath Regan spoke to JP and Brendan Byrne about their book “Don’t Hug Your Mother” and parental alienation when families fall apart. Two amazing men.
And finally, this weeks cover image is of Nastassja Kinski and the recently late, but always great Harry Dean Stanton in Paris Texas. One Perfect Shot is the source.