Posted by: jkirkby8712 | July 10, 2011

Saturday, 9 July 2011 – quiet reflections on belonging and mixed study classes!

Did not rush up this morning, and when I did, found that Susie’s two cats were also not interested in moving from their basket in the laundry. They were still there after I had spent researching some hints that had come through from Ancestry.com.  Certainly, the birds outside the back door were taking advantage of the absence of the cats, finishing off some scraps of food that had been left for the felines yesterday!!  By 11 am, quite pleasant looking morning outside –  sunshine, though no doubt probably not that warm, was encouraging enough to invite one for a late morning walk!!

There’s a publication called ‘Platform’ which is put out on an occasional basis by one of our University/FAFE colleges – a copy seems to appear every now and then in the studio at the radio station. It’s part of a ‘Youth Strategy project aimed at ensuring that language and literary skills, which are the foundations for learning, employment, and community engagement, are readily available to all students to develop those skills so that they can participate in life long learning. One avenue of doing this is by giving them the opportunity  to have their work published – and ‘Platform’ allows this to happen. As the Editorial in the latest edition I’ve seen says – ‘Platform is one of VU’s finest outlets for community expression. This is who we are, what we are, collectively willing to share with each other about our inner and outer worlds through our own expressive filters. Together, writers recognised or aspirational or sharing, we paint the pastel picture of our time’.   One of the contributions this time came from Lina Musico, A VCE Year 12 student at VU [Victoria University], called ‘Belonging’, and it began as follows.

‘There is a group of very special people in this world and they all come into a room together a few times a week. These people are of different colours, these people are of different creeds, these people are of different ages, but there is something that brings us all together and makes all the differences go away. These people are the ones I call classmates. We all come together over one common goal. This goal is to better ourselves and to be the best we possibly can be, so that at the end of the year we leave the Adult VCE Program with our heads held high and out certificates in hand. Each of these classmates mean something to me; they are like the family I never really had. My teachers are like guiding parents who only want the best for me. My fellow classmates are like siblings should be, always encouraging and willing to help you out if you are struggling, willing to tell you you’re wrong but it’s okay, willing to back you up when you need it most. This group of very special people understand where I’m coming from and don’t judge me for it, they just accept me for who I am’.

Similarly from a composite group of  students, we read that about ‘A class profile’  ‘There are twenty-six people in our class from ten different countries across four continents. There are four males and twenty-two females. The age range in our class is between twenty-four and seventy-one years old. Twenty-three of us have children. Class members have been living in Australia for between two and thirty-seven years. We have come to Australia for many different reasons. Most of us are immigrants, but nine people came to Australia as refugees. All of us are full-time students and some people work part-time. Everyone lives in the western suburbs, in the Brimbank, Maribyrnong, Hume and Melton areas. People have a wide variety of occupational backgrounds. Some people are professionals like lawyers, teachers and accountants, while others are homemakers and factory workers.

What I get out of these pieces is that regardless of cultural and religious backgrounds, so often those things can become positives rather than the perceived negatives, especially through such things as study, training and sport, with their opportunities to meet new and friendly people, and to develop language skills and a knowledge of those other cultures and their peoples.  Just my little thought for the day!

But we must give a brief update on the overnight Stage 8 of the Tour de France:  Aigurande – Super Besse Sancy (192 km):   Portuguese rider Rui Alberto Costa won the eighth stage of the Tour de France after withstanding a late attack from Philippe Gilbert in the final climb Saturday, while Thor Hushovd kept the leader’s yellow jersey. The race entered the mountains for the first time in the 189-kilometer (117-mile) trek from Aigurande to Super-Besse, featuring a sharp category 2 climb up Col de la Croix and a final climb of 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles).  Gilbert of Belgium made up a huge amount of time before crossing 12 seconds adrift, with Australian cyclist Cadel Evans finishing 15 seconds behind Costa in third place. Surprisingly, Norway’s Thor Hushovd is still one second ahead of Evans and has been wearing the yellow jersey since his Garmin-Cervelo team won last Sunday’s time trial. I’m waiting to a response from my brother in respect to the manner in which the progressive placing system is calculated!!

Cadel Evans attacked on the final climb. A great race animator. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
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