There were definitely times when the UCSA building was more like home than whatever flat I was living in - when I hung around until there was no one else left.
I remember there being lots of little corners (and sometimes the whole UCR) where a young couple could squirrel themselves away for a quick... um...conversation.
I remember Student Health where they were always a bit cross if you let yourself get sick and every prescription was for three boxes of condoms.
Eating dubious food and drinking even more dubious beverages in Jimmies whilst calculating the speed of light in pineapple lumps per pico second or casting ourselves in an elaborate Lord of the Rings parody.
Sitting on top of the big brown heaters in the LCR with the man who would later become my life partner and snarking about the people walking past.
Walking in one day to find all the LCR furniture had been shifted round to resemble the deck of The Enterprise.
Like many of us I hadn't fitted in at high school and Uni was the first time I felt like I had a tribe. I haven't been in the UCSA building for a Lo g time and I've lost touch with many of the people I knew there but I liked to think about the line continuing.
We called those shorts "fanny crushers".
I remember mufti days as being incredibly high pressure - you only had a few days a year on which to make an impression so everything had to be perfect. My kids, who have never worn uniforms, experience no such pressure. They, and their classmates, dress in all sorts of ways - sometimes for comfort or practicality & sometimes to express themselves, but any status clothes afford does not appear to come from money or conformity to a standard.
My memories of wearing a uniform involve being cold in winter & hot in summer, wearing Monday's stains all week because I only had one pinafore, my mother stressing over whether my blouses were ironed, and always, always wearing shorts underneath so I could swing on the bars without embarrassment.. If schools must have uniforms they should be cheap, flexible and easy to care for
One of the things I like best about NZ Twitter, is how often I find myself talking to a public figure about something completely ordinary like kids, or pets, or recipes. I'm not sure if it's a feature of our purported egalitarianism or just that we are a smaller, and therefore, safer-feeling community, but it's quite a lovely thing.
Emitting the sort of screechy laughter that startles my family. Thank you.
I don't think it's unusual for couples to have periods where one partner isn't able to, or doesn't want to, have sex for a while. In healthy relationships this isn't seen as on-going refusal because the other partner knows not to pester. It might be reasonable to assume that certain types of relationships are sexual ones, and it's fair to be disappointed if they turn out not to be but it doesn't mean anyone should have to have sex they are not fully enthused about because they "owe" it to you.
The first time I voted it was in Ilam for anyone-who-isn't-Brownlee. We've recently moved back into the electorate and I am beyond glad that the not-Brownlee candidate, this time, is someone I actually want to vote for.
I was very devout as a primary school child (to, I am am sure, the dismay of my atheist parents) though I suspect I viewed God more as an invisible friend than an omnipotent deity - I recall singing Him lullabies after my nightly prayers. I went to Sunday school with a friend and had no desire to opt out of religious instruction. I don't recall any threats of hell and damnation at either but there were lots of stories and crafts which were things I enjoyed a lot. My father countered the programming by teaching me rude words to Christmas carols.
Even though my experiences were fine I am glad that my children's school doesn't do religious instruction. I believe this is an area that they need to find their own path in without being told what they should believe. I'm sure they garner some of my atheism but I do try to present it as my ideas rather than a universal truth.
Some classes at their school do say a Karakia in the mornings and I know a few parents have questioned this. I've never felt uncomfortable with it as the Karakia we use addresses the ancestors rather than any god.
If we want attitudinal change we need to start, at the beginning, with kids.
We need to stop treating bullies as a terrifying other and own that any of us, on a bad day, can engage in bullying behaviour if we don't watch ourselves. I've seen kids stunned when you point out that their behaviour could be viewed as bullying and kids with "mean girl" tendencies attempting to start anti-bullying campaigns. We are so invested in protecting ourselves from the boogieman-bullies that we rarely stop to examine our own behaviour.
We need to teach our kids, and especially our boys, to deal with their emotions without shame. It's ok to feel angry, afraid, jealous or frustrated but we need to express these feelings without lashing out at other people.
We need to teach kids what healthy relationships look like. That control and obsession are not the same as love.
Communication, compromise, and conflict resolution are learned skills that I don't think we focus nearly enough on them.
True, the number of men who publically voice utterly hateful opinions about women may be similar to the number of men who hold those extreme opinions, but beneath them is a titanic-sinking iceberg of 'unreconstructed blokes' who think that women have it pretty good these days. The kind of guys who, while they mightn't make such a joke themselves, think the Wicked Campers are kind of funny, who pride themselves on being a bit useless around the house, who roll their eyes and think we're hysterical when we talk about the pay gap, or privilege, or, heaven forbid, rape culture.
Even within my, significantly more liberal than average, social circle there is a reasonable percentage of men (and a few women) who I just wouldn't have these conversations with because of how dismissive they would be.