7 Links

I was going through my Google Reader account, clearing out feeds that I no longer read, and I came across a post from ProBlogger that I thought would be a good starter for a post. It’s called 7 links, and you’re asked to provide 7 links to set themes. So here are my links.

  1. Your First Post – My first post on here is one titled The Importance of Something Different. It talks about the importance of having a passion away from your field of work, to allow your mind to have a break.
  2. Post you enjoyed writing the most – I think this would be The On this Day… series of posts, which highlighted an important musical event that happened on that day, for example this post on Belgian Composer Gossec
  3. A post which had a great discussion – The post which has had the most comments is my Pachelbel’s Canon arrangement, which I’m highlighting below, and they are mostly comments thanking me for the arrangement. So instead, the one in which I had great discussion was A Christian Gamer? which had a couple of really good quality comments on the post.
  4. A post on someone else’s blog that you wish you’d writtenHow to walk through Steel-Enforced walls. A great post that highlights some of the struggles we face every day. We have our own steel-enforced walls, and we have to find ways to walk through them.
  5. A post with a title you’re proud of“Shoot-em-ups” don’t kill people. People keep claiming that First Person Shooters are games that mass-murderers are likely to play, but that’s a long leap of logic. It’s not the games, it’s other issues in their lives. Don’t blame the games.
  6. A post that you wish more people had readHas Twitter decreased our internet safety. I believe that URL shorteners are a huge security problem that hasn’t fully been looked at. Being able to look at the URL in a status bar is a big part of judging the safety of the link. I think more url services need to add something like the TinyURL preview function, or have Internet Browsers filter shortened URL’s to show the URL they are redirecting to.
  7. Your most visited post evermy arrangement of Pachelbel’s Canon for Solo Violin is by far and away my most popular post, having had over 1700 views since I uploaded it, at an average of 108 views per month. I’m very pleased with this arrangement, and glad that so many violinists have been able to get use of it in a variety of situations all across the world.

There we go, 7 links to 7 posts. If you haven’t read them, have a read, there’s some great posts (if I do say so myself.

A call for a humane Asylum Seeker Policy

Still image from the documentary film "Wa...
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There’s lots of talk at the moment about Asylum Seekers, as both political parties released policies to “stop the boats” of asylum seekers, and how they are treated. Both of the policies include mandatory detention, locking up asylum seekers while their claims are processed.

While I can understand why this is necessary to ensure security, the method in which this is done has drawn criticism. Currently, refugees are sent to Christmas Island, to be held in a detention centre which is, in all senses of the word, a high security prison. The asylum seekers are kept here until their claim is approved, in which they get moved to the main land, or declined, in which case they are deported back to their homeland.
Where this plan is currently failing is that asylum seekers can be held in detention for months on end, in a high security prison, on an island where there is no fresh food available, with no guarantee upon when they will know whether they will get out of the centre – either into Australia or back home. Without that guarantee, they run into mental breakdowns, mental scarring that will affect the rest of their lives.

The craziest aspect of all of this is that the politicians believe this policy change will deter asylum seekers from coming to Australia via boat. However, our policy changes make absolutely no difference on what asylum seekers think, mainly because the news doesn’t get through to them, and conditions in their home country are so bad that anything – even detention in a high security prison are much more preferable.

The solution to this situation is to remove the politics from this issue, for the two major parties to sit down and develop a humane policy for asylum seekers that will treat them like human beings, while still being secure about who enters Australia.
The way I think this will look like is establishing a deadline by which a decision must be made on the status of an asylum seeker. While I would prefer that to be along the lines of 3 months, more likely it will be 6 months. If there are too many claims to be processed, then more workers should be employed to process these claims in the time required. Setting this time period will give asylum seekers the knowledge of when their claim will be processed by, and also ensure that detention centers do not get overcrowded.

Remove the politics. Insert humanity.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Good things come to those who wait…

… And I’ve waited a long time, so great things are happening to me.

I’m sitting in Soto espresso, a coffee shop in Perth, drinking a coffee that tastes fantastic.
Actually, it would probably taste fantastic if they served me international roast, I’m feeling that good at the moment. Well, maybe not. International Roast is horrible.

Anyway, I’ve had a fantastic week that goes a long way to helping me forget the previous six months. Come back with me on a journey, back to January 2010. I’ve gone on holiday and am just outside Mandurah. I get an e-mail from a school that I taught violin at. It’s a week before term starts, and they inform me that they don’t have any students for me, and I won’t be required to teach in 2010.

Fantastic. Way to ruin a holiday. Knowing that a week out from term I was unlikely to find any work as a violin teacher, I turned my hand to looking for jobs in where I had experience – administration. “Surely, with two years experience as an administrative assistant, I should be able to find an admin job” I thought.

Or so I thought.

Three months in, and not even a glimmer. Not an interview. I eventually asked someone at the salvos if they had a job going, and there was a 0.6 position opening up. I applied, and was chosen for interview. “Fantastic! Finally a chance”
After giving what I thought was a really strong interview, I was really disappointed not to get the job. Like, super disappointed. Since becoming a salvo, I hadn’t missed drinking, but that day I really wanted one. I was strong, somehow, and had a coke instead, but it didn’t help the feeling. And I know a beer wouldn’t have helped either, but sometimes you feel like it can.

So back onto the search, and the jobs kept getting applied to, and I kept not getting interviews. My fiancée and I started to think about getting a house, and after finding one, was about to fill out the application only to discover that we didn’t really have enough to survive. We could make it, but it would be tight.

At this time, I was sending in about 10 applications a week, sometimes more, sometimes less. And still nothing. Until I found this job with the uniting church. It was a fantastic job, doing similar to what I was doing at the council of churches. So I applied, was accepted for interview, and then didn’t get the job. This time, I wasn’t so disappointed. I guess all the rejections had kind of made me expect to not get the job.

Eventually, my fiancée and I decided it was time to bite the bullet and apply for a rental. We found one we loved, and put an application in, not expecting much. How surprised we were to get a phone call later that day, telling us that we got the house!

My good news wasn’t to end there though. God had been with me all the time, and had a plan for my life. Later that day, I got a phone call offering my a job interview for a position at my old church. I accepted, but God had more in line for me, not just a job interview, but a job!

The next day, I got a phone call from the Uniting Church, saying that the person who got the position I applied for earlier didn’t work out, and they were as good as offering me the position pending an interview the next day.
I of course accepted, rescheduling my planned interview time just in case it didn’t work out. I needn’t have worried, after going over the new job description, they offered me the job, and I now start on Monday.

So, in less than a week, I have gone from working two days a week, wondering how and where we were going to live as a married couple, to having a house to rent, and a job which takes me up to full time equivalent! I’m so incredibly happy that I even wrote this long blog post all on my blackberry while sitting under a heater at soto’s getting slightly uncomfortably warm.

And with that done, I think I’ll go, have a bit of a walk along beaufort st, before picking up my fiancée from work (whom I now work close to, three days a week) and start a wonderful weekend moving into our house!