May 27, 2008
I visited Ladakh last year. Ladakh was opened up to tourism in the mid 1970s. As a child I remember visiting the village hall to see a slide show of a local mountaineer/traveller type who had visited, so the name of the country always stayed in my memory.
Because of the clear and recent change in policy Ladakh has been an interesting ‘test case’ of the effects of globalisation. Helena Norbert Hodge was a linguist studying Ladakhi folk songs in 1976 and she noted the effects of Westernisation on a culture that was largely harmonious both socially and ecologically. Her book Ancient Futures was an epiphany for me, it bought together in a logical framework so many things that I’ve observed on my travels and living in other countries (mainly Venezuela).
It seems that Bhutan is a generation behind Ladakh. Does this year’s move to democracy mean the begining of the end of the last Shangri La? Check out this video from (rather interesting) Current TV by Christof Putzel:
Lost in Democracy
Bhutan is different though. It is an autonomous state that is already famous for promoting Gross National Happiness before Gross Nation Product.
Also check out this podcast on Happiness (in Bhutan) By Michael Hawley of MIT. I remember listening it one night driving across the country to Norwich its from from IT Conversations.
May 15, 2008
The TDA (Teacher Development Agency) are responsible for attracting people just like I was 3 years ago into the profession. They put me in touch with a local school and I spent an afternoon observing. Great! but of course afterwards they had to pester me with over zealous forms AND phone calls to get feedback on my experience (service audit no doubt). I remember saying to one guy on the phone, hey give me a break I’m on the PGCE already.
3 years later after recieving another mail I have had to telephone the TDA (Teacher Development Agency) to try and get my name removed from their list. I must have tried via the unsubscribe link to remove my name 4 or 5 times in the past year. They keep on sending me mails along the lines of “Visit the Train to Teach Event…” so I Click on the unsubscribe link and receive
Your request to unsubscribe from the ‘tda’ mailing list has been received and will be processed shortly. You will be notified of the success or failure by email.
I never got notification by email. Today I got “It’s been quite a while since you expressed an interest in teaching science…” Er, I applied for and teach ICT. So something must be broken at the TDA.How can a Govt agency get this so wrong?
Has anyone else had this problem?