Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Trumpets and prejudices

Was much taken by this morning’s bible reading by the inclusion of silver trumpets (anyone remember that old song, “Send me down my silver trumpet, Gabriel”? Ah, I thought not. An oldie, but a goodie), so here’s the meditation poem resulting from that:

Meditation 86

If I had a silver trumpet
I wouldn’t use it
for anything holy.
I’d use it for this:

expressing shock
at an unreasonable demand;
showing pleasure
at a particularly good film;

or if someone
has offered me chocolate;
ending an argument;
or starting one;

indicating when the working day
is over; heralding the weekend.
There’s nothing nicer
than a silver trumpet.

Except, of course, two.

At work, we’re in the midst of Equality and Diversity Week, and everyone has been enjoying the seminars. Sadly, I haven’t been able to go as I’m too busy with meetings, but I’ve been enjoying the fun “how prejudiced are you?” tests. These can be found here and I’ve already done the first one about gender allocation. Apparently I’m in the top percentage of people who strongly believe that men have careers and women have families – so an eye-opener to me, for sure. It was noticeable that, during the tests, I had to think more consciously about the times when they wanted me to add a man’s name to the family grouping section or a woman’s name to the job section. Well, I did grow up in a home where the men worked and the women looked after the children (which was very much the northern culture in our family), and I’ve never thought of myself as having any kind of real career at all (of any ilk). Plus I fantasise about being able to give up work entirely, and I only have a part-time salaried job, so inside this kick-ass 21st century female is obviously a 1950s eyelash-fluttering Disney heroine waiting to get out. Hmm, in my dreams maybe. Anyway, I shall have to take the other tests and see what kind of out-of-step gal I truly am. Watch this space …

Meanwhile, as I sit in my virtual typing pool, I am still attempting to organise meetings for the whole world (hmm, thus catering to my apparent inner conviction that girls are secretaries, and boys are bosses??... Lord preserve us, I feel the need to step into a corset and adjust my bustle, or something) whilst smiling – so perhaps there’s a while to go before true liberation sets in, at least in my head.

Took an early lunchtime today and met Jennifer of Goldenford for coffee in Starbucks (a decaff cappuccino – at last, phew) to sort out the handing over of the website maintenance and what happens to my books, as I’m no longer part of the team. So that’s good, as it’s nice to have it off the to-do list. Also interesting to catch up with Jennifer’s action-packed life – makes me feel quite exhausted just thinking about it!

This afternoon, I have to take the minutes for the Student Affairs Committee, which is now starting later than anticipated and ending earlier – always the right way round, of course. Mind you, as I appear to have gone insane and booked a three hour meeting instead of a two hour one (why did nobody mention this to me? Am I really that scary that none dare say??), I doubt that will really make much difference.

Tonight, I’ll pop into see Gladys and fill up her birdseed quota. UPDATE: she wasn't best pleased to see me, as usual at the moment, and got very grumpy when I dared to offer her a chocolate. Sigh. Really, old people are so cantankerous these days - is it something they put in the tea?? Visiting the old bird isn't exactly a bundle of laughs for me either - honestly, today was the first time I've walked back to my car and seriously wondered why the hell I go anyway. Habit, Carruthers, habit, and a sense of duty only, I fear ... Lord preserve me from ever being a carer - I'd be pushing the caree down the stairs within ten minutes, let alone after years. I have every admiration for those carers that bear the strain of it all and every sympathy for those that don't. Ah well. I wasn't cut out to be a saint. Obviously.

Back home it’s another night staring at the TV wondering when (when, oh when??) something decent will be on. Tut indeed! Mind you, the fact that I've just received the signed updated contract for Painting from Life from Eternal Press has put the smile back on my face, hurrah!

Today’s nice things:

1. Trumpets
2. Poetry
3. My secret 1950s mindset
4. Cappuccino and chat
5. The Painting from Life contract

Anne Brooke
Anne's website - surprisingly old-fashioned but with a killer instinct ...


Jilly said...

What a minefield diversity and gender etc is! Personally I think we wouldn't need rules if everyone treated everyone else with courtesy and consideration - but maybe that's too simplistic!

Anne Brooke said...

You're so right though!!


Anonymous said...

I couldn't resist it and had a go at the test - I scored a moderate association between family and women, which doesn't surprise me at all. My parents belong to the generation and class that practiced serious gender divisions and it's only growing up and wanting to have a career of my own that's changed my outlook. Within my family, I look like a pioneer, but not so much outside of it, I fear.


Anne Brooke said...

Well, you're a lot more modern than I am, LL!