Posted by: Colleen Ens | October 24, 2010

Firsts and lasts…

Recently, in reading Andre Agassi’s autobiography I read something I can say truly resonates with me, something I wish to share:Andre’s coach says to him: I won’t ever try to change you, because I have never tried to change anyone. If I could change somebody it would be myself. But I know I can give you structure and a blueprint to achieve what you want.

There is a difference between a plow horse and a racehorse. You don’t treat them in the same fashion. You hear all this talk about treating people equally and I’m not sure it means treating them the same.

As far as I’m concerned, you’re a racehorse and I’ll always treat you accordingly. I’ll be firm, but fair. I’ll lead, never push. I’m not one of those people who expresses or articulates feelings very well, but from now on, just know this: It’s on. It is on.

We’re in a fight and you can count on me until the last man is standing. Somewhere up there is a star with your name on it.

I may not be able to help you to find it, but I’ve got pretty strong shoulders and you can stand on my shoulders while you’re looking for that star, for as long as you wish. Stand on my shoulders

and reach… 

To all those who thought perhaps the earth had indeed ‘gone flat’ and I’d fallen off, I would like to apologize.

For those who are not familiar with the rigors of final assignments and the ‘fits’ and starts of preparing for the conclusion of an intense practicum, it would take more time than I have parsimoniously allotted to explain.

For those who have experienced what in essence may be compared to rewriting ‘Ben Hur’ for a seven year old audience, thank you all for your patience in what may be my penultimate creation for your reading pleasure.

We will call this installment –firsts and lasts: Since it has taken me so long to communicate, I won’t spend time worrying about chronological order here. Knowing that in just under a month I’ll be back in Canada and this will be but a memory, I’m sure the lines will blur as our memories have this way of behaving.

OK, here are the bullets “A record of firsts”. This means firsts not just for me but for Australia in my time here:

  • First time since 1983 the Aussie Dollar is on par with the U.S. Greenback 
  • First hung parliament since 1929
  • First woman prime minister
  • First time in ten years that the Wivenhoe dam opened to reduce the amount of water being stored there
  • First time in 128 years – Birdsville races are rained out (there is a piece on Birdsville further down – it won’t be as detailed as I would like due to my time crunch but it turned into a ‘first’ for me to accompany a news crew in a private flight from Birdsville to Alice Springs…
  • First time in fifty years Australia appears to be green from one side of the New South Whales to the other

My own first and lasts

  • My first ‘pumpkin festival’ (more than 500 contestants ‘bowl’ pumpkins down a hill and the furthest distance wins a prize – no, I didn’t win)
  • First touring flight over New Zealand, which turned out to be the a first for the pilot who had never seen the coast so clearly
  • First time teaching a room full of seven year olds in my last practicum
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