Sunday, 27 April 2008

"My Beautiful Mummy"

This book, by Michael Sazhauer, has caused a bit of controversy this week. It apparently deals with the issues encountered by children who have parents (mostly women) who have had cosmetic surgery to supposedly enhance their looks.
The author is a plastic surgeon himself, with a thriving cosmetic surgery business of his own - no doubt this book will enhance his business, if not the customers/patients who he operates on. I have not read the book, only the reviews and comments, but it appears that the publishing industry can at least be defended against accusations of promoting immoral values and such like.
The book won’t be available in bookshops, because it is only being published by a "vanity press"It won't be on Amazon or other online booksellers and it hasn't even been assigned an ISBN to make it easily findable. It has been said, however, by the Newsweek journalist who reported about it, that the author has produced a better piece of marketing than many trade publishing houses could ever have done. Also that without the article, no-one would ever have heard of this book or this surgeon !

I don't for one minute condone the content of the book - but it's food for thought about self-publishing and advertising yourself, don't you think?

Teachers Striking? Good luck to them !

Well, Ed Balls, the Minister for Schools, has said that most teachers do not want to strike. Of course they don't! Same as the other like professions - nurses, doctors, fire brigade, ambulance service, police - none of these want to hurt the people they are working with, but sometimes there is no other way to get through to this damn government.

Having myself taught across the whole age range, from primary to secondary to further education (though primary is my speciality) Though the job is VERY important and brings immense satisfaction (usually !) I would NOT recommend teaching as a vocation to my children, (and it pains me to say that) I know the anguish that it can cause and I know the tremendous amount of out of hours work that is involved - mainly due to our education system of testing, testing and yet more testing. Add in a ridiculous amount of target setting and the sorry discipline situation and it sometimes seems like there is little incentive to become a teacher at all.
Which is what the strike is all about.

If a suggested pay rise is paid at less than the rate of the pay back of a student loan, if you have worked all day and been up till midnight preparing the next day's work, if your job is often not even classed as a "profession" anymore - would you really want to go into teaching? Once again, it seems that those who have a vocation in life are being dissuaded from following it, by systems that do not work and are devised by "ministers" who are way out of "ordinary" life. Yes, today's strike is a day's work missed for pupils (and some parents) but one day's sacrifice could mean a future's change for the better.