Monday, 10 December 2012

Snow Falling On Cedars

I just made a video which basically rehashes something i said on here years ago so i won't bother to discuss it. It's here:


No it's not - i can't be bothered to wait.  It'll be on the channel tomorrow.

and the link to the relevant blog entry is here.  Whoops, no - it's gone.  Never mind, it's bleedin' obvious anyway.  It's just as well nobody reads this, isn't it?  I'll come back to the title in a bit.

Moving on, i've decided to talk about bullying again:



The gist of what i'm saying here is that considering that children commit suicide as a result of bullying at school, even if withdrawing them from school was a bad option, it would have to be very bad indeed for it to be worse than them committing suicide.  However, things are of course not that simple because though i'm loth to admit it, some state schools are not quite as bad as others because some of them are in less deprived areas.  The problem with that argument is that it doesn't explain the image i have of public schools where institutional abuse seems to be rife, but maybe that's not what happens.  It also sounds like i'm being really down on people who have fewer advantages.  To get back to the matter in hand though, the fact that local authorities respond to school withdrawal by treating parents with suspicion rather than concentrating on the more important problem of bullying within the schools is itself reminiscent of bullying.  At the same time, however, i am a little unsure that "bullying" is the right word, or whether it's even worthwhile.  It seems to describe bad behaviour from a perceived position of power imbalance, and that's bad enough.  I'm not sure the word "bullying" adds anything to the concept.  I used to be a lot clearer about this but not at the moment.

Here's the summary from the doobleydoo:

Anyone who has watched Amanda Todd's video will realise the importance of preventing or stopping bullying. However, bullying in schools is not just between children. It can be between staff, children bully teachers and teachers bully children. This video is about what happened to my wife and me at school and university. I was not really bullied by other children at school, although there was a little mistreatment which i wouldn't want to emphasise.

In detail, my wife's story, and she hasn't spoken for herself here, is that she was bullied by other teachers and the head at her school when she was a teacher. She made two attempts to teach in schools and the experience was essentially the same.

My experience was that i seem to have been bullied by a teacher in an overcrowded primary school, after which my parents decided to move me to another school. In secondary school, although there was some friction with teachers, largely because of one's scepticism that i could be as bad at practical stuff as i really was, with the result that he perceived me as lazy, there was so far as i could tell no bullying problem at all between anyone there. I want to stress that this is significant - i'm not going to tar all schools with the brush of bullying because it is clearly not always the case. Why there was so little bullying there is unclear, but i would hope it's fairly representative.

Unfortunately, i experienced something like bullying again when i was at university. As i am still in touch with some of the people responsible for that, i wouldn't over-emphasise it because the situation has since been largely resolved by assertive dialogue between the other people and myself. I also got at least one short story out of it - 'Simone'. I think it's interesting that universities are to an extent more cliquey places than high schools and think this may be linked to the anxiety and difficulty many people have when they leave home or otherwise face new challenges.

Anyway, these bullying experiences were a factor in our decision to present the children with the choice of going to school or not. I feel that even if home ed was as bad as it's sometimes portrayed, it would still be a better option than having a child stay at school where the issue of bullying continues. If the choice is between suicide and home ed, it's very clear which is better, and it's highly dubious that local authorities sometimes respond to parental withdrawal of children from school by attacking the parents rather than addressing the problem at school. Maybe that's another kind of bullying in a way.


Anyway, who cares?  This is just a load of waffle nobody will ever read.

One more thing.  This:

seems to be using the wrong colours, at least as a thumbnail, so it may not work and i'm thinking of changing it.

And one, one more thing:  i'm about to start another channel and the first video on it will be this, which is a test:

video
It's currently 96K.  Admittedly it's boring, but i'll make more interesting videos in future.  Try it.  This webpage (which i imagine will move):

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/

is currently about a dozen times bigger including images and so forth.  Therefore, if your quota is large enough to load that page with all content on a graphical browser, it ought to be big enough to watch a dozen videos the size of the one above unless Flash and YouTube do something weird to it.  The other options, Feather and the HTML5 versions, might be better but i don't know.