Saturday, November 22, 2014
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
I have started using Every Day Fiction with the class. I have posted links to specific stories or to a menu of stories on Moodle and added a forum for learners to write their comments.
Moodle is a magical open-source digital learning environment. Students can work on it in class. There is time to read a story and write about it in one lesson along with all the other things we have to do. Using Moodle means that the more motivated students can also do it at home.
I made a start with the Halloween stories and they were very popular.
The students are mainly adults who don't read a great deal and some stories are going to be easier for them than others. The fact that stories have tags is very useful to guide them to stories they are likely to like.
I hope some of them will get hooked on Everyday Fiction.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Bob Geldof spoke for the nation when he told Chris Evans to shut up when the vacuous presenter was waffling brainlessly over Band Aid 30 on Radio 2 this morning. Band Aid 30 is aimed at raising money to help the victims of ebola. The abiding image used by Bob Geldof is of a mother who cannot hold a suffering child because ebola could kill her in turn.
It is typical of the media that they have sought to turn it into a ridiculous dispute between Adele and Bob Geldof. The idea of Band Aid - that celebs should use their fame for a good purpose is a million miles away from the trivial concerns of the gutter press.
The single only costs 90p but you can donate by text: Text AID to 70060 to give £5. By
And the government, well they are far too busy exporting bombs and drones to bother with ebola. Yet the ebola virus is just a plane ride away from Great Britain.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Hunt has announced an injection of cash to deal with the anticipated oncoming crisis in winter. However, the BMA has said that the funding is not new money.
Quoted in "The i" newspaper, Mark Porter, chair of the BMA council said "This announcement is merely a sticking plaster. It masks the fact that a funding gap of thirty billion pounds is opening up in the NHS and does not go far enough to address the underlying reasons why the system is under such extreme pressure."
The NHS is not safe in the hands of any of the politicians. We have to fight for it if we want a National Health Service worthy of the name and not just a meaningless "brand".
Wednesday, November 05, 2014
Monday, November 03, 2014
A painstakingly-compiled list of flash fiction sites. Pure gold
Saturday, November 01, 2014
There is all the difference in the world between the attitude of the working class towards remembering the war and the attitude of the captains and the kings. Trotsky remarked in "The Death Agony of Capitalism":
"When the small farmers or workers speak about the defence of the fatherland, they means defence of their homes, their families and other similar families from invasion, bombs and poison gas. The capitalist and his journalist understand by the defence of the fatherland the seizure of colonies and markets, the predatory increase of the "national" share of world income. Capitalist pacifism and patriotism are shot through with deceit. In the pacifism and even patriotism of the oppressed, there are elements which reflect on the one hand a hatred of destructive war, and on the other a clinging to what they believe to be their own good."
War is often enough a war between the rich and the poor. And the rich make absolutely sure that somebody else does the actual fighting for them.