If you’ve been following my journey through the dissociative disorder known as depersonalization, thank you. Writing about it, and knowing it is being read about, has helped me cope a great deal, and that means a lot to me. Maybe my words are helping you understand what I’m going through, or maybe you’re going through depersonalization too and my words are helping you feel less alone. I hope they are helping someone. Read The Long Road
Saturday was our General Election in New Zealand, and I personally found it quite exciting that so many people got out to vote — a record number of us voted early! — and that the results are quite close.
Under an MMP system (Mixed-Member Proportional for those of you not in the know) in New Zealand, several parties are elected, ranging in number from 1 member to the maximum of 120 members, and this election delivered a doozy.
Our two major parties — National (conservative) and Labour (liberal) — ended up with no clear majority. In Labour’s case, they would have to do a deal with the Greens (also liberal) to be close to National’s numbers at this point in time.
Neither group — National by itself, or a Labour-Greens coalition — can probably govern alone because they have too few seats to have a majority. In our Parliament, a party usually needs 61 out of the 120 seats to have a majority to govern.
So there are options, interestingly enough, and one party — New Zealand First, led by Winston Peters — holds the king- or queen-maker position. They can go with National, or they can go with Labour-Greens, to form our next Government.
I personally find that really exciting because there are options out there.
Read After an Election
The New Zealand 2017 General Election officially falls on Saturday, 23 September 2017, but early voting is already taking place. Noel and I decided to vote early this election cycle as the polling station in Northwood is no longer around — it was really nice to be able to walk down and vote — and it was one less thing to do on a precious Saturday.
When I was a senior in high school, there was a big movement to register younger voters and encourage them to vote. MTV even had “Rock the Vote” going during that time. I vividly remember Jamie Royal coming to my classroom (Sociology, I think), and she registered me to vote in the hallway across from my locker. I was so nervous and scared and excited at the same time.
So, the week finishing today has thrown me a lot of different emotions. A diagnosis, a major fire, a victory, a good-bye, a frustrating day, and, finally, a “down” day.
Read My Topsy-Turvy Week
Seriously, though, yesterday was a very difficult day for me. It honestly didn’t start out that way. I woke up early as I had an appointment with the sleep specialist to check on how my CPAP machine was going. It went very well, and it made me very happy, which made my mood quite bright and cheerful.
On to our second chore while we were out: work. I needed to swap over the back-up drives (which I’d forgotten to do last Friday) and also some work on allocating student loans to the appropriate Public Trust accounts. The second part really didn’t need to be done yesterday, but because I was at work, I thought it would be easier to get everything done in one fell swoop, so I could spend the time during this school holidays actually relaxing without much work at all instead of working every day, a little here, a lot there, and forgoing the whole reason of having a break like I normally do. One of the things I am learning in counselling is I need to step-back and have some “me” time a lot more often than I have been over the past 20 years or so.
This week, with the second anniversary of the devastating 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake approaching, I’ll be blogging about several issues relevant to our situation here in Christchurch and natural disasters in general.
I have never been the biggest fan of bureaucracy. Personally, I feel the definition of a bureaucrat is a person with far too few skills and little common sense who is paid way too much to sit behind a desk all day and try to be as obstructive and obtuse as he or she possibly can be. (This does not define 100% of all public servants but a good chunk of them.)
The Canterbury and Christchurch earthquakes have pretty much shattered any last little vestige of faith in bureaucracy and Government agencies in general that may have been cowering in some little dark corner of my mind. Okay. I admit that I do understand sometimes why it is in place: to protect us against those who would otherwise try to take advantage of Joe Public. My understanding extends to bureaucracy attempting to stomp out dodgy traders and people, and setting up hurdles to stop people out from getting a quick buck from hurting people like your little old sweet Nana. But sometimes the bureaucrats go a little (or maybe a lot) power crazy and stomp on the good people too. They frustrate good people who have the best intentions or can even bring inspiration, wealth, knowledge and creativity to the community and, overall, hurt the economy and public rather than protect them at the expense of stopping the small minority of bad guys.
I have some follow-up information to add to my blog a few days ago “Bureaucracy is Bad (Part 47)“.
As you may recall, I received an email from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) late on 23 November 2012 with regards to a data cleansing exercise they were doing on their data warehouse. They were going through their records to find out which components they felt were not science-based, and they were seeking input from Tertiary Education Organisations (TEOs). The Excel spreadsheet they sent me had 2 components we offer out of 34 science-based components. I asked them why there were only 2 components on the spreadsheet and not all of them.
To my surprise, I received a reply back within a week (turnaround time is obviously improving…), but it has not improved my opinion of TEC in the slightest.
TEC responded that they were only putting components that might not be science-based (or they believed were not science-based) in the spreadsheet, which is why there were only 2 listed.
Their official response was:
We have 34 science classifications listed on our site. The two classifications we sent you were identified an anomaly, as the name of the course did not appear to relate to science. The data cleanse is to ensure all the Science classifications are correct.
What we want to know is do they fall under the science classification and if they don’t then what classification do they fall under.
The problem with this scenario is this: Both of the components are the same (but for different intakes) and they are both entitled, “Anatomy and Physiology for Manicurists”. It seems pretty straight forward. This component will teach manicurists and nail technicians the anatomy and physiology they need to know.
The same spreadsheet has another workbook on it called “Science Classifications”. It basically lists all the subject areas TEC considers science-based. And, you probably guessed it, number 2 on the list is… “Anatomy”!
What is frustrating me is this is a total waste of taxpayer money, TEC’s time, and my time.
All I could think to write back was…
I’m not sure how they can be “anomalies” considering their title starts with “Anatomy…” and, according to the list of science-based courses listed on the “Science Classifications” tab, the second field down is “Anatomy”…
Has anyone really thought any of this through?
Your tax dollars hard at work, people.