Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Skills for life

For: LATE SUMMER OF LIFE (still warm enough for paddling pools)
TEACHER: All that stuff out there what keeps happening and what she ponders on

SKILL: Being tactful
COMMENT: Molly can be extremely tactful when she's actually trying to be AND concentrating AND has registered that the person she is talking to is unlikely to be able to cope with brutal banter. However, Molly does appear to suffer from a very short brain to mouth fuse and occasionally she manages to find the single most clumsy comment that really either is the epitome of inappropriateness or simply an unintentional twist of a knife and yet still have sincerely never meant to offend. She hates upsetting people - anyone - but especially those she loves and she's got big loving going on.

SKILL: Being assertive
COMMENT: Like most people this would depend on the time, place, mood and those present. She has teetered along the fine line between assertive and aggressive when something had rattled her slightly unpredictable goat (mixed metaphor? Ooo I like those) or someone has peed all over some heart-felt values. But seconds later she can revert to a startled passive blob having a cup of tea, surprised but her own outburst. And then there's usually a giggle. Nearly always a giggle. Giggling is common punctuation for Molly.

She did once get a free meal in a restaurant by complaining...but that wasn't really assertive, the meal took two hours to arrive.

SKILL: Forgiving people that have upset you
COMMENT: Molly can't retain things for very long and she knows that most people she cares about don't really set out to's usually all just a terrible misunderstanding. And she's crafted at using communication to get to the bottom of those.

SKILL: Explaining how you feel
COMMENT: Molly is gooey inside with emotions. However, when a negative emotion is sparked up, she needs time to process it before she can share it with others. In fact it's best if she doesn't react in the height of emotion because it always comes out wrong and does more harm than good. Once she's on a verbal roll, however, there's no shutting her up and she will tell you about every corner of the emotions, their cause, what needs to happen...etc. usually long after the last person has gone to bed.

SKILL: Listening
COMMENT: Molly has made some progress in this subject. She can now listen properly in a face to face conversation and even refrain from interrupting if the person is reasonably interesting. She is still prone to bouts of over-excitement where she becomes fired up and can't help herself from frenzied verbals shooting out with extensive arm waving and repetition to really make a point. She's good at listening if someone is upset although she often steals their thunder by sobbing harder and louder than the person telling her their woes. Over empathising is a particular talent. She still can't listen to the radio or stories - too prone to wandering off into her own thoughts -no progress there.

SKILL: Giving compliments
COMMENT: To those she loves, she overdoes the compliments. They are three thousand-a-penny. To those she likes, there's a fair amount going on too. To those she's not overly fond of, she does try to find compliments for. She knows it's what 'big' people do. She also occasionally suffers from compliment misunderstandings where she has, with love and affection, given a compliment but because she has this accidental way of finding funny and bizarre ways of saying things and because she's tricky for some people, the compliment has been received as an insult. Imagine that.

SKILL: Being determined
COMMENT: If Molly is interested in something, best to step aside. A momentum made up of enthusiasm, single focus, impatience and absolutely determination will hurtle at the target and anyone in the vicinity is likely to lose a limb - at least.

SKILL: Asking for help if you need it
COMMENT: Molly seems to think she can sort everything out herself and does not like to ask for help. However, her main carer, Andy, does automatically provide a lot of help and thus Molly remains alive.

SKILL: Compromising
COMMENT: Molly is not overly good at this as she is quick to find an elaborate vision of how she'd like things to be and feels disappointed if the result is anything less than her vision. However, she can let go of the vision from between her teeth, feel a little deflated and then remuster more enthusiasm for a new vision - EVEN if someone else painted it. However, beyond the vision stage, Molly loses interest.

SKILL: Positive thinking
COMMENT: Molly is very good at this in theory and knows that it's a helpful thing. This does not, however, prevent her from fits of abandonning her ideals and feeding her dark side from deep pits now and then.

Could do better

To be completed by Claire Potter (Special needs co-ordinator)


  1. Go on, give me YOUR grades/comments/bests/worsts/other skills anything.....FOR YOU...pretty please

  2. Despite her unusual difficulties, Molly is progressing well. All looks very promising for her Autumn term exams. However, if she could just listen to me a little more, she could reach the stars.

    Claire Potter (SEN and Social Misfit department)

  3. I just *love* your fishing style :) Am I ready for this? Let me think about it.... give me some INTJ space first.

  4. I felt exactly the same Cogitator - am I ready to splurge all my inadequacies all over blogland? I'm not that E! A short summary may be possible!

  5. Why is the idea of doing this more interesting than designing a flyer for a Housing Association I wonder, no I mustn't, not now anyway.

  6. I think that I might agree on the short summary. In fact, summaries don't come much shorter than INTJ :)

  7. Cogitator is right ENFJ...

  8. Good idea: ENTJ. Needs to improve on ISFP.

  9. I do rather fear I have ruined young moll's Cunning Plan.....

  10. Yes, she is not going to be pleased with us! We're in trouble when she gets back from work. Let's hide.

  11. I'll do it later properly at length probably.

  12. Right class....that is appalling. You will stay in at break and do it properly.

    I was flexible...I said you could make up your own skills...don't even mind if you make your own scoring system, I am all for creativity...but a dog-earred piece of paper with four letters written on it will not suffice.

    (but it's also admirably and cleverly hoisting me on my own petard)

  13. Definitely not Codgi13 January 2010 at 17:45

    *hiding* or perhaps, taking a lesson from our educator, I should do the obvious, and disguise myself.

  14. Indeed, who is Molly Potter? Well I think this record sums it up nicely for the acadaemic late summer session. Graded on a curve, we can all do better...

  15. He started it miss. I just copied him. Ask Nick.

  16. I am pleased to know that Molly is the perfect specimen of a fully functioning human being.
    Knowing that gives me great comfort for I no longer feel isolated and alone.

  17. You did! You are the ringleader in this big pickle you've got us into and I think your punishment should be to write out all your faults and glories, in full, with grades.

    Actually, she seems to have gone off to do some marking or something anyway.

  18. Right, it's late, I may have been drinking a bit, not in a bad way though, here's my school report.

    Misanthropy: B+
    Nick's hard work has seen him adding whole new categories of things he dislikes to an already huge list. His monologue on "Cornwall in peak season" almost warranted a distinction, the words "it was full" would have sufficed. Work like this should soon see all signs of altruism wiped out, He should maybe think about a combined A level syllabus in "Misanthropy" and "General Grumbling".

    Art: E-
    If Nick continues on his current route of copying his old ideas and vaguely plagarising stuff from Creative Review, we could one day see him running his own Design Agency. He is also very good at lining things up nice, which is what graphic design is so it seems. well done!

    Craftiness: C
    Nick has progressed well, he can now stick whole sections of his son's aeroplanes to his hair with superglue.

    Cooking and that: A-
    His cakes are rubbish, but makes stuff up that tastes nice, although using Jam in some of his savoury recipes isn't always a good idea. Nor is putting chilli on things all the time. By the way, it's worth reminding him that Coriander is a herb, not a way of life. But at least he knows Bisto isn't a crime against the human race whatever Rick Stein says. His gravy is almost as good as his mums.

    DIY: F
    Nick seems to have lost all his impetus on this front over the last two years, he's "quite practical" apparently. I'm not sure if this is laziness or long term exposure to Wickes, something needs to happen, maybe consider that house in Thorpe that he can't really afford with the dodgy building regs. "A project" may get him to at least pretend he cares about what shade of beige "Mushroom flange" or "Ochre toss" are, plus there's nothing like a ruck with the planning to focus the mind. I suggest he buys some new chisels and not use them as screwdrivers.

    Sleeping: F
    Maybe he should try getting some, that would be a start. Look what it did to Margaret Thatcher...

  19. Part deux (it wouldn't let me post it in one go, note to self add blogs to grumble list).

    P.E: F
    Who is Nick?

    Taxi Driving: A+
    Nick has put a lot of work in on this, his practical experience of careering round the ring road dropping teenagers off at various house parties and dodgy looking clubs, and then picking them up with his pyjamas on under his jeans and jacket has stood him in good stead. It has been said he drives like a taxi driver by several people, they may be being negative, Nick is deluded enough to take it as a compliment.

    IT module 1: A* 2:D
    Nick is totally savvy with everything to do with Apple macs. But he's not the evangelist he used to be for some reason. Nick is totally not savvy with anything to do with Windows, so don't say "you're a bit of a computer expert aren't you" to him, as he isn't, he's a graphic designer who uses a computer, most accountants aren't "calculator experts" mechanics are not "spanner experts".

    Music B
    His theory is pretty good, he has examples of lots of genres, and a good knowledge of some dark corners and bits and bobs. I have however caught him stealing, this is unacceptable as is the excuse that "everyone else is doing it" or "but I've got it on vinyl already". He is aware you can never have too many copies of music in different formats. His collection of redundant formats is also impressive, spanning reel to reel to minidisk. As one of his friends commented, "if you hadn't bothered with minidisk you could have bought something nice". Ah yes, but he wouldn't have hundreds of Minidisks he can't really play anymore would he.
    His practical work is not so good, despite the gig going, he does tend to stand in the bar a lot. His Banjo playing is iffy, and he'd better use that acoustic guitar soon or his long suffering partner might wish she hadn't got it for him.

    Headteachers comment:
    All in all, not terribly positive, Nick that is, but then the report isn't either.

  20. OK, OK, gang, let's do our bit here.....

    Tact: B Codgi can be tactful when he tries, but generally believes that a full and frank exchange of views can often be the best approach. So he won't necessarily venture an opinion on something unless it's positive, but if you ask what he thinks, he'll tell you.

    Assertiveness: B Codgi can be assertive when he needs to be, but is sometimes seen as a little too agressive by people who don't know him. In fact he's quite shy.

    Forgiving people who upset: A+ Codgi has recently passed his advanced diploma in this specialist subject.

    Explaining how you feel: C Codgi has not had all that much experience in dealing with people who actually listen, so needs some practice in this area.

    Listening: A Codgi is known for a listening ear and an ability to make helpful comments.

    Giving compliments: C this is a skill that Codgi does not practice often enough. However this does mean that compliments from Codgi have a scarcity value that makes them all the more precious

    Being determined: A Codgi is good at seeing both long-term and short-term projects to completion, regardless of difficulties that crop up.

    Asking for help: C Codgi is naturally independent so asking for help doesn't always occur to him when perhaps it should.

    Compromising: C Codgi will often compromise, which is perhaps not always a good thing. He needs to become more discerning about where or not to compromise.

    Positive thinking: A+ Codgi is never floored by any disaster

    Empathy: B+ Codgi can tend to take on board other people's problems a bittoo easily, but on the other hand, that gives him a good perspective on the issue

    DIY: B Codgi does good and careful work, but is often slow compared to a pro. Minor househould emergencies and repairs however are dealt with swiftly and efficiently

    Grumpiness: B Codgi is working steadily towards his GOM (Grumpy Old Man) Part Three examinations which he is expected to pass on his 55th birthday

    Cooking: D he can follow a recipe when pressed, but rarely does.

  21. More like it...however I am on a training day today and you have a supply teacher (Mr Stripy pants) I will have to mark your efforts later.
    Looking good though I must say...except Claire...I don't see her paper....

  22. Goodie goodies!

    Actually I laughed out loud several times and splurted tea over my keyboard at the aeroplanes in the hair with superglue.

    I've been moved down to C stream so I don't have to do it!

  23. I did go a bit off-plan, but that's what midweek booze and slumdog does to you.

    Claire, you owe it to us now, I'm mixed ability, we need some C more streamers.

    I was tempted to just find an old school report and copy it, some of those were quite funny.

  24. Here goes and a few more:

    Tact B
    Assertiveness - B+
    Forgiveness - D
    Sharing feelings - A
    Listening - C
    Compliments - C+
    Determination - A
    Seeking help -B
    Positivity - A

    Getting distracted by blogs from doing proper work - A+

  25. OK, I guess it's only fair:

    English Grade B +

    This is undoubtedly the subject Claire is most passionate about. However, we cannot give top marks as we recently discovered that she has been spelling the word "wierd" (weird) wrong for over 40 years. When we informed her, she got very angry and insisted that she was right.

    Chinese Grade D

    I'm afraid Claire's enthusiasm for learning Mandarin is far greater than her ability. To maintain her dignity, she may be better to refuse when her Chinese daughter insists on having a pretend Chinese conversation with her in the Somerfield check-out queue. Frankly, she sounds like an arse.

    R.E. Grade E

    Claire has not embraced this subject. Putting white gloves on and sneaking out in the middle of the night to plaster the small, church-going, conservative town that she lives in with atheist stickers suggests an attitude problem.

    Geography Grade D+

    Patchy. Excellent on Japan, but if asked to point at Africa on a world map she often picks out South America.

    History Grade E

    Claire has no interest or historical imagination whatsoever, except for some sort of strange obsession with Anderson shelters. On our excursion to Herculaneum, she spent the whole time sitting on a Roman wall sulking and reading trashy magazines.

    P.E. Grade C

    Claire partakes fully in cycling as a means of getting from A to B, but might want to stretch herself a little more. Like not always getting off and pushing every time there's a hill.

  26. Right all papers in, much better, you may go and play now - althought you are lucky - I consider there has been far too much chatting, hiding and trying to cover stuff up in class.

    Another thing - the superglue, Andersen shelter, atheist stickers, trashy magazines and alcohol is kept locked away for a good reason.

  27. I'm liking the Atheist stickers a lot, and the Anderson shelters.

    you'll like this claire, this is my shed.

  28. Did you really do the stickers Claire? I'm impressed! I can't quite see you being bothered enough to...and if so, full report on my desk by 10 a.m. tomorrow....

  29. You do not know the passion (venom?!) within me! xxx

  30. Nick, I love it!!! What do you do in it?

  31. It's usually too full of all those useful things I never need to not do anything at my allotment to be of much use, but it is an Anderson shelter (or was) which I'm proud of. I do sit in it when it rains hard sometimes. usually on a big pile of broken flowerpots, some spare bird netting and a half a rotten pallet. I may blog about my allotment, as it's quite entertaining, particularly the drunk man next door.

  32. Yes, do an allotment blog...I want to read it.

    Why don't you have an Anderson shelter party? I mean a party in your Anderson shelter, rather than one where everyone comes dressed as an Anderson shelter. I'll come! (and be polite to you).

  33. I may have already blogged bits of it, I'm a Flickr addict, so I sort of blog through that, and have one at my domain too, which I use when I feel like it, but I'm a bit conscious at the moment of how much time I spend at work arsing around on the interweb, rather than trying to earn a living, being sel employed means I don't get paid if I don't do the work...

    These both showcase my dysfunctions/obsessions.

  34. That's why I don't blog despite Molly's constant nagging.

    I will take a leisurely look...


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