Posted by: jkirkby8712 | May 16, 2012

Tuesday, 15th May 2012 – cars, coaches, school issues and the like!!

A couple of early morning text exchanges with Heather – more blood tests and other medically related factors she had to get through today, wished her well in all of those things!  Personally, I could have done with a sleep in this morning, but Susie had signed up for a first aid course in the city today, and asked me to drop her off at the train station. That suited me, because shortly afterwards, I took my car to the local Ultra Tune service station for a bit of a check up. I had undertaken a few more trips in it than previously anticipated, and wanted to have a few items checked out. First time I’ve had to pay for a car service [my own car, that is, ignoring the ‘kids’ I’ve helped out] for five years, and today’s little venture will no doubt not be without some cost!!

Decided to walk home rather than catch the bus – but stopped at the Jolly Miller café for a cappucino & toasted ham sandwich along the way. Interestingly, a young lady in the café – reminded me instantly of a young Shirley Clyde [now French] of 40 years ago – a wondered if she had a niece down this way, the girl just looked so familiar!! I’ll ask her one day. Meanwhile, the walk from Sunbury township, up past the high school to Fisher Court – well it was a little tougher than I recalled, and was uphill virtually all the way!!

Rest of the day at home – a cold overcast day, busy at the computer, etc, and awaiting phone calls, principally regarding a pick up time for the car – had a couple of those concerning items that had been found and a fix up was advisable  – each phone call, I could see the dollar $$$ signs getting bigger!!!  During the afternoon, another awaited message came through from a nervous Heather  – her operation, to her knee, was set for first thing in the morning, she was first on the list, now all she had to pray for was that the surgeon would not find an excuse not to go ahead, as happened twelve months ago. I must admit to a little concern about the state of mind this girl would be in if such an event occurred! Positive thoughts required here! In the meantime, mail, two days in a row from this friend, almost makes collecting the daily mail a pleasure, never know when there will be a surprise there.

Meanwhile, the mail in my inwards box included the weekly message from the ‘Coaches Box’, Brett Ratten, coach of Carlton. This should be interesting, following last night’s ‘performance’!!

‘Dear Bill
Behind closed doors in the aftermath of last night’s 24-point loss at Etihad Stadium, the players and I homed in on the drop-off in intensity from the first three matches as opposed to the next block of games.  There is obviously a discrepancy there. The fanaticism shown in getting after the ball and the man is not quite at the level we’ve seen of this team.  We also discussed that little period of time towards the end of the third quarter of last night’s contest where it looked like we were beginning to get our mojo back in that vital area of the game. Clearly we need to get it back for four quarters, together with our ball use going inside 50 and the drop of the ball in our back half. The opposition got 11 inside-50s for eight shots on goal in the first quarter and that’s hard to live with.
Obviously we’ve been faced with two scenarios this season where we’ve been behind and on both occasions when we’ve been up against it we’ve also kicked inaccurately. In the second quarter of this game we kicked 3.5 so the simple lesson learnt is that when you’re trying to claw your way in you need to be able to kick goals. In saying that, while we did have to deal with some structural issues in the fourth round match at the MCG, last night was more about our intensity or lack thereof. Put simply, it was about our inability to roll up our sleeves. Some have questioned the pressure of expectation given the significance of a victory in the lead-up to last night’s match, but I suspect that’s a scenario that plays more into the hands of the opposition. Perhaps the opposition players thought “Gee, are they looking more at the final siren rather than the first bounce?” and maybe that afforded them a little more energy. At the end of the day we had a fair bit to play for, although nothing was said about it going in. There was no need to talk about the outcome – it was more about how we were going to win – but we were beaten by a more aggressive, intensive group who got in our faces and didn’t allow us to dictate terms.
Talking of intensity, our next opponent Adelaide presents a massive challenge in what is a short turnaround time to next Sunday afternoon’s game. The Crows are at the top of their game right now and we’re faced with some massive challenges as we seek to regain that intensity we on show through rounds one to three. Once again Etihad provides the backdrop for what will hopefully be an ample turnout of Carlton Members, and it’s to all Members I offer my sincerest congratulations for smashing our all-time Membership record last week.
Despite last night’s loss we feel we’re continuing to build something special at the club – and through the course of this week those of us on the coaching staff and in the playing group will be feverishly working the phones through Wednesday and Thursday to help drive our membership towards 50,000.
Kind Regards

Brett Ratten  [Member #1018372]

That was the word from the coach, whom I to some degree, critised in last night’s summary. Perhaps in the above, I might have liked to see him admit to some fault, but then that would obviously come over as a major negative. Best left unsaid!

On a local matter, a bit of attention has been directed in the media to one of our local schools in Sunbury – the Sunbury Downs Secondary College [which school Jodie attended, on I was a member of the School Council, included a couple of years as President]. I became a bit annoyed at some of the biased comments and unfair generalizations, on the basis of a couple of individual students not having the ability to fit into the school’s culture,  that were directed towards the school as a result of this, and responded accordingly on the Face Book page. The story itself appears in this week’s local ‘Sunbury Weekly’ newspaper, written by Tara Murray.

‘SUNBURY Downs College has defended its policy of compulsory parent-teacher interviews despite having apologised to the family of a student with a learning disability who was suspended. Last week, year 12 student Brendan Mason was suspended by a vice-principal after his non-attendance at two detention sessions imposed after he and his parents failed to attend interviews. Brendan’s father Andrew said he was disappointed by his son’s suspension. “As Brendan has a learning disability and [has] a learning aide, we speak with them regularly about his progress; so it’s not like we don’t have contact with the school,” he said. “We were away for those couple of days when the interviews were conducted … it’s the first two days I’ve had off in eight months.” School principal Brett Moore later apologised to the family, saying it was a misunderstanding. Mr Moore said that because of the regular meetings between Brendan’s parents and his integration aide and teachers, they weren’t required to attend the interviews.  “It was a misunderstanding and Brendan shouldn’t have been issued with the detention in the first place.” Mr Moore said parents and students were aware that they were required to attend the interviews. The school newsletter states students who don’t attend the interviews will face two detentions. Mr Moore said the two previous schools where he worked had similar policies and they worked successfully. “The school works hard to communicate with students and parents,” he said. “We are the only school in Sunbury that has two orientation days at the end of the year and another at the start of the year. We have a great reputation for being supportive of our children.” Mr Mason said his family was pleased the suspension had been lifted, but he was disappointed with the handling of the situation. “Brett was good and, as I expected, he was unaware. But there is no excuse for the rudeness of the vice-principal, who hung up on me. We achieved what we wanted, which was for Brendan to return to school. “I don’t think it will happen again.” He said he didn’t agree with the school’s policy. “The child should not be penalised because of parents’ action. “It is up to the parents if they have an interest in their child’s education.”’

Obviously, this policy has come into the school since I lost contact, as I don’t it been enforced in the nature referred to a few years ago, but there were certainly at the time, a number of parents who did not attend parent/teacher interviews in those days, when it was a preferred option, though no penalties were applied. In my own case, I think from memory that I attended all such interviews at both Primary and Secondary level – but I did so either alone, or occasionally with the child in question. I don’t ever recall Shirley attending!  My comments on Face Book, were along the following lines, and were partially a response to the comments of a parent whose child for whatever reason, couldn’t fit into the school’s requirements, was withdrawn, and obviously did better at the subsequent school, yet the original school has been blamed for that child’s problems ever since, without any consideration that perhaps the fault lay with the child in their younger years! Maturity was beginning to set in at the time of the second school. Whether that is a fair or unfair assessment [my myself], my gripe here is with the constant unfair and biased degradation of the school’s value because of one unfortunate situation, and here we see the same type of thing happening. Anyway, my major contributions were that:-

·         Don’t judge a school on the actions of one, a poor judgement was made and has been apologised for. The news seldom reports on the achievements of a place, those kind of things are not what people can be bothered reading about these days!
·         From someone else -[I think it depends on the child and I really don’t think Brett Moore deserves all the negativity he is getting. If it is so bad why have enrolments nearly doubled? Obviously some people still think it is an ok school and going in the right direction].
·         There’s been a constant vendetta and unwarranted criticism against Sunbury Downs by some people for years, and as a former SC President, I consider the school was getting close to the equal of SC when I left and some wonderful advances have been made under Brett. So yes, let’s get on with life and not retain personal grievances!!
I picked up my car late this afternoon, after it’s service  – cost not too bad, although any money spent on car servicing is painful, and the bad news was that it was considered I needed 3 new tyres. I had been concerned a little about one of them, but from my perspective, I would not have considered them close to been unroadworthy!! Such is life!  That was followed by a ‘long’ wait at the station for Susie’s train to arrive from the city – a more painful wait for her, almost an hour at Sunshine station, while police and other emergency personnel dealt with a person threatening to jump from an overhead in front of a train!! This delay did not improve Susie’s view of the convenience of public transport!!  Meantime, she had gone to the city today to do a short First Aid Course, think she is going to do some part time work at Jodie’s work place, and required that status. Seems to be the air – Shirley was over this evening using my computer so that she could watch a cd on first aid, a requirement she needed to update herself on! Eventually, my computer was free later in the evening, to allow me to prepare the sports report for tomorrow morning’s radio ring-in!!

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