The Most Important Thing I Learned About My Deaf Child From Deaf Adults

Source: The Most Important Thing I Learned About My Deaf Child From Deaf Adults


Celtic – football song

original Glasgow Celtic embroidered blazer badge of Alec McNair

I couldn’t find the Celtic football song on the internet which my dad taught me. So I thought I should put it here. He taught me this in about 1963. He was born in Australia in the 1920s. His mum and dad were Scottish and migrated to Australia. I don’t know who taught him the song. GCFC means Glasgow Celtic Football Club. This is the original Glasgow Celtic embroidered blazer badge which was owned by Alec McNair who my dad had possibly heard of. Here’s the song:


Here we go in a row

Up and down the middle-o

Hi ho hi, hen upon the griddle-o

One shot, keep it up

Tackle one and all

For there’s not a team to beat them

When the Celtic’s on the ball.

Will you look at the style of them
the courage and the skill
Thousands of miles away
you hear the people thrill
Here we go in a row …



By the way, I think the game needs to change. Heading the ball should be outlawed. The long term CTE effects are devastating.

3 Lucky Fish

Sign Language is not as hard as people think. You may not be a native signer but you can affirm your Deaf kids and make sure it’s their first language. Cochlear Implant Therapy CIT can come later if the kids want it.

Mothering three deaf daughters - my journey...

“Mama, me Deaf?” asked my littlest a few weeks ago.

“You are correct,” I answered. I answered her with smiling eyes, as I want her know that I think that her being Deaf is okay.  In the beginning, the burden of arriving in unexpected, unprepared for, un-welcomed “Holland” made everything I said and thought seemed grey, and I certainly didn’t think that my girls being Deaf was okay. I would have done anything to have changed that. Anything. But change that I couldn’t. Despite any efforts to teach them to speak, they’d always be deaf and most importantly to me, is that they know that they are loved and accepted irrespective of their communication mode/s or audiograms. There was one thing that I could change,however, and that was the way we saw “Holland”.

“And Tahlu? She also Deaf?” she continued to question. It was evident that she was trying to make sense…

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New Zealand Reading list


Friends coming to NZ often ask me for a reading list. Here’s what I emailed one friend:

Best convenient maori-english-maori dictionary is Reed Pocket Dictionary of Modern Maori

Be aware that in the last few years there is a huge shift in proper pronunciation of Maori. A lot of even well disposed pakeha don’t pronounce stuff correctly and a lot of racists enjoy mispronouncing. One of the keys is to pronounce all “au” sounds as the vowel in toe or hoe. Thus Hauraki Gulf is Hoe-ra-ki, Taupo is Toe-paw. Best guide is usually younger announcers on Radio NZ National. Older announcers try but sometimes get it wrong. Maori Channel 5 on TV is unique – the closest thing in OZ is SBS TV.


Absolutely brilliant are Waitangi Tribunal Reports on various cases. They set out the history and are available in the city library on open access and probably on their website.

Penguin History of New Zealand, 2003, Michael King is THE classic. Unfortunately some of the paperbacks were released to market with some pages repeated and some missing. So flick through to see if your copy is a good one.

James Belich  two volume work A History of the New Zealanders, consisting of Making Peoples (1996) and Paradise Reforged (2001). (I haven’t read this one, but Joanna recommends)

A wonderful piece of writing for kids and adults alike is ‘The kauri and the willow : how we lived and grew from 1801-1942’ / Elsie Locke. Wellington Government Printer, 1984. Each little story in the book is only one or two pages and it’s easy to dip in and out of.

Dick Scott has written heaps of pretty accessible and good stuff, but he’s no great academic so you won’t get earth shattering new syntheses.

Joan Druett wrote ‘Tupaia, Captain Cook’s Polynesian Navigator. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger; (2011) Auckland, New Zealand: Random House
her history is of the mold of Anna Clendening and Anne Salmond using available sources to tell the story from an aboriginal viewpoint

Jack Lee’s brilliant little book, Bay of Islands, sets out early white history of north island quite well. Colonial irony that greedy gun trading which armed indigenous people allowed them to fight off white aggression and land grabs.

For south island early white history (sealing and whaling insights) see The World of John Boultbee, 1977 by A.Charles Begg, Neil C. Begg. The Begg brothers also wrote a good book about Captain Cook in the Pacific

Social history:

Speaking for Ourselves Alwyn Owen, Jack Perkins 10 oral history interviews FROM 1986 AWARD-WINNING ‘SPECTRUM’ RADIO SERIES

Gavin McLean is worth a read – he’s a nice chap and works for the History Group of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage (I wish Oz had full time historians. He started as a maritime historian, which is how I know him. I haven’t read his recent publications which from the Ministry website include “Frontier of Dreams (2005, co-edited with Bronwyn Dalley), Heartlands: New Zealanders Write About Where History Happened (2006, co-edited with Kynan Gentry) and two widely acclaimed 2007 centennial publications for publisher Reed Books.”

For Chinese in NZ try Stephen Young’s website

Patricia Grace – Maori writer I love!

The Bone People – Keri Hulme. Wonderful humanity but don’t let anyone do a plot spoiler for you.

Elizabeth Catton – The Luminaries – not to my taste. I couldn’t accept the improbables or wade through it all.

Of course the old classics, Katherine Mansfield, Janet Frame

And don’t forget the islander culture in NZ.  I quite enjoyed Albert Wendt’s Sons for the Return Home

All NZers know Edmonds Sure to Rise Cookbook

Another wonderful insight from an early Polish visitor is:
Tikera: Or the Children of the Queen of Oceania Hardcover – March 15, 1973. published 1877. by Sygurd Wisniowski (Author), Jerzy Podstolski (Translator from Polish) Dennis McEldowney (Editor)  Wisniowski was in NZ in 1860s but did not visit war districts

NZ On Screen film archive
great collection of NZ historical film and TV
Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, includes nz dictionary of biography


tags: fiction literature poetry

Science or Pseudoscience – 10 point guide



Ten points for detecting a pseudoscientist – finding even one point should arouse be a warning.

Point 1
Pseudoscience “research” is sloppy.
Pseudoscientists clip newspaper reports, cite other pseudoscience books, and pour over ancient religious or mythological texts. They don’t check the reliability of their sources. They go for unverifiable eyewitness testimony, tall tales, hearsay, rumor, and anecdotes.

Point 2
Pseudoscience only looks for evidence to support it.
Pseudoscientists ignore evidence that doesn’t fit their beliefs. They cherry-pick data and cherry-pick studies. They refuse to look at the big picture and make a sensible assessment based on all the data. For example, Jo says putting X on her head cures headaches. Hundreds of people try X for headaches but it doesn’t work. Jo doesn’t want to hear. Any scientist who runs the test must be biased she says. Jo doesn’t understand the power of the placebo.

Point 3
Pseudoscience won’t test its claims
Pseudoscientists never carry out proper experiments. If one pseudoscientist claims to have done an experiment, no other pseudoscientist ever tries to duplicate it or to check him, instead they believe him.

Point 4
Pseudoscience contradicts itself
Chapter 1 says that dowsers use newly cut twigs, because only “live” wood can channel and focus the “earth-radiation”. But Chapter 5 says dowsers use metal or plastic rods.

Point 5
Pseudoscience deliberately creates mystery
Anything can be made “mysterious”. Simply ignore what we already know. Then present imaginary details instead. “Bermuda Triangle” books are classic examples.

Point 6
Pseudoscience loves technical jargon
Pseudoscientists imitate science jargon by spouting gibberish that sounds scientific and technical.  Baffle them with bullshit.

Point 7
Pseudoscientists use rhetoric, not logic – the Galileo ploy
The pseudoscientist compares himself to Galileo and says Galileo was condemned by his contemporaries therefore the pseudoscientist must be right too, just as Galileo was.

Point 8
Pseudoscience appeals to real science when it suits
The fact that someone got away with simple magic tricks in one scientific lab is “proof” that he is a psychic superman, while the fact that he was caught cheating in several other labs is ignored.

Point 9
Pseudoscience knocks science and goes for emotion
The statement “Science cannot explain” is a favourite. Often the real science is clear, but this is ignored. Instead, emotional appeals are used – if you feel good, it must be true, if it works for you it must be true.

Point 10
Pseudoscience says “skeptics” wreck the “energy”
Radios work. There is no radio which won’t work when skeptics are present. But a man who claims to be a concert-class violinist, but refuses to play when anyone is around might not be a very good violinist.


Don’t forget to use the cosmic structures in your brain. They are bullshit antennae, but be careful how you use them. As you get used to them you’ll find they focus on interesting things about the real world that can make a difference: it will change your life. Cosmic.

Dog controls angry human

Close-up of angry Chihuahua growling, 2 years old

If you let a yappy little dog upset you then you’ve given that yappy little dog power over you. You’ve given a little dog power over your emotions. Just think about that for a moment. Horrifying and stupid, isn’t it?

Likewise, if you let people upset you, the you give them power over you. You give them power over your emotions. Do you really want to give them power over you?? Really?

If you say it’s their fault for making you angry or sad or whatever, you’re wrong. It’s your fault. Sorry to say it but I had to learn this too. I was my fault for letting other people control me.

Take a deep breath or two, relax, smile and remind yourself who’s in control. It’s hard to be angry when you smile.

I’m a firm believer in the power of positive thinking. Give yourself a positive mantra and say it again and again and again. Science shows that it works. But it takes practice.

Sign Language Interpreters and Broken Microphones


Too often we can’t see the Sign Language interpreter on a live TV shot.

Imagine if a speaking interpreter suddenly found the microphone was broken. I think the interpreter would stop interpreting until the mike was fixed.

So when a Sign Language interpreter realizes they are not in the camera shot maybe they should stop until it’s fixed. And maybe they should make a fuss about it.

It’s a big ask for a Sign Language interpreter to be the Director like a movie Director, but I don’t see an alternative.

Maybe before the cameras roll the Sign Language interpreter should get the speakers’ agreement and the agreement of the media on site that they will be included in the shot.

Maybe a little more assertiveness should be encouraged to make this happen. Maybe they could turn up with a water pistol like BSL comedian John Smith and squirt them? That would be funny and would defuse the situation. It would get the message across. They should announce before the cameras roll that they are armed and dangerous. Squirt! Squirt! Squirt!

This is in addition to getting authorities to agree on a code of practice for using Sign Language interpreters.