It’s All Over!

I remember it well. On the first day of my extended holiday (a whole five weeks) I had the feeling that it was gonna last forever, that it was going to be such a long holiday I couldn’t even begin to imagine it ever coming to an end. But how time flies! I really should know better, I’m old enough (and supposedly wise enough) to understand that nothing lasts forever – especially the good stuff. The key, I suppose, is to enjoy the moment and be thankful that we manage to get the good times at all; the world is full of people less fortunate than ourselves for whom the good times never seem to happen. Perhaps it is all over, but something equally exciting has just begun – I may have finished my holiday but I’ve started the final semester with my fabulous class and we have so many exciting things to look forward to over the rest of the year. Maybe the good stuff doesn’t stop after all, perhaps it just changes for other good stuff; like the saying goes, “When one door closes another one opens.”

I’ll leave this post with a few more photos from my holiday to Manchester and one from Manchester United’s visit to Perth.

Me and Ian Brown

United in Perth

A bee tribute to those lost in the Manchester Arena Bomb.

Holiday!

It finally happened, I actually ran out of energy. Well, not really, I just decided to take some extra holiday time and visit my mum and father-in-law in the UK. They aren’t as young as they used to be so it’s important to keep contact as much as possible. Anyway, rather than waffle on too much, I’ll just leave a couple of photos of life here in sunny Manchester (I hope they turn out okay as this is from my iPhone).

Manchester Bee

Great Mates

Cute Canal

In The Spotlight

How many times have you looked at an advert with a smiling model and thought how it must be such an easy way to earn a living? I’m not saying that I have (unfortunately the old and worn-out look is yet to find it’s deserved place in fashion), but if you have then you’d be quite wrong. There’s so much more to it than simply turning up, smiling and having a snap taken. The same is true for acrobatics, although I’d be surprised if anyone has ever thought that would be easy! Two of the students in LA14, Ruby and Yasmin, are experts in these fields; Ruby is a competition gymnast and Yasmin is actually a real live model. So, if you’d like to find out more about these amazing girls, pop over to their new site at YouRownstyle.

Colour Fun

There’s just no two ways about it, you have to have control, and you have to have discipline, without them education falls apart. We can’t have the kids running wild, screaming, going crazy, having fun and creating mess everywhere. School is about hard work, following orders and doing what you’re told. All of this modern day focus on allowing the kids to have fun at school is just pandering to them, giving them what they want; all too soon we’ll be asking the kids for permission regarding what we teach them. It’s just a slippery slope to the destruction of education as we know it. There’ll be kids laughing, running, screaming, creating chaos… Take it from me, control and a firm hand is what we need. By the way, here’s a photo from our crazy colour run.

 

High Flyers

To some, especially those not from Australia, it can look a little like a mass, semi-organised brawl. To many Aussie’s, though, Australian Rules Football is the ONLY sport worth watching. Even though I’m an ex-Brit, I can still appreciate the skill, speed, strength and excitement that the average “footy” game has to offer. It’s a sport enjoyed and played by both boys and girls, and our particular boys and girls have been lucky to have the students from the local high school specialist football programme visit to share their knowledge and skills. Check out the photos below and you’ll see some spectacular “marks” being taken by the students, flying high in tackles on the high school students.

Got Style?

Of all the things I’ve been known for, fashion has never been one of them. In fact, most of the time I’m fairly happy as long as I haven’t made a complete fool of myself. Fashion-wise, I tend to sit somewhere in the middle of the road – jeans, tee-shirt, maybe a fancy short sleeved shirt at a push, but that’s about it. What I really need is some decent advice – and I know where to get it!

Scroll down the class list on the right and you’ll see a strange name – Darmya. Two incredibly innovative and creative students in my class have chosen to follow one of their passions and start a fashion blog. Darcy and Mya (Darmya) have enthusiasm, energy and expertise and both are simply buzzing to be able to share their thoughts with everyone. If you have a question give them a shout and they’ll look into it for you. Did you know grouping your wardrobe into themes helps you create a cohesive look much easier? They did, I didn’t – maybe that’s where I’ve been going wrong.

Blogging Task #3 – Mental Health

We all need to take care of ourselves! If I’m honest (which I am) I can’t think of any issue on a personal level more important than our own mental well-being. For too many it’s something that we come to realise mostly when it’s way too late, when our mental health has taken a hit and we are left with the stressful and debilitating consequences. The problem is that we tend to take good mental health for granted, a bit like a well running car; why tinker with it if it’s all fine? However, to keep running smoothly we need to maintain ourselves, especially during the good times, or one day we may just find ourselves in a big mess.

One way of staying mentally healthy is to make sure we give ourselves time for something we enjoy. My stunning little MG F isn’t only my car, it’s my hobby, my interest and a thing that I thoroughly enjoy. I suppose part of it may lie with the fact I used to be a car body repairer, dismantling smashed vehicles and fixing them up like brand new. I’ve still maintained a great interest in cars and I’m always looking to tinker with my MG and improve it (although it does drain my bank account a little). Doing this ensures I make time just for me, to do something I like and that takes my mind off the pressures of everyday life. This new blogging task is to take a photo of your pastime or hobby and post it as a new header with an explanation of what it means to you. How does your hobby make you feel? Does it give you space and time alone? How long have you been doing it? If you don’t have a hobby, how do you find time for yourself to relax?

Surprise!

It could be flowers, it could be breakfast in bed, it could be a nice meal at a restaurant, but whatever it is, a surprise is always a great gift for mum on Mothers’ Day. This year the students followed a tried and tested process of creating that special surprise. The results can be seen in the images below, but in essence the students used measurement, learned woodworking skills, manipulated images and developed patience and care in a creative process. By following the process, and by taking a level of care some of the students had never experienced, a photo of the students was transferred to a piece of wood which was finally sealed when complete. As you can see, the results were great and I’m sure the mums enjoyed their lovely surprise.

James

Iman

Ryan

Back To Reality

Sometimes it feels like we’re all living in some sort of mixed reality. Time seems to move at different speeds depending on nothing more than how old you happen to be. I remember when I was a child (yes, a very long time ago), a time of my life that seems to play out in slow motion, through sepia movie reels and faded Polaroid images, days bathed in sunshine and smiles. I can recall desperately yearning to grow up, thinking it would never happen, that time was some sort of eternal punishment that had condemned me to a foreverness of being a child and having to do what I was told. I even worked out how old I would be when the year 2000 ticked over and thought it just too impossibly far away to ever actually happen. Time just moved so slow! Then, at some point, I seem to have blinked and here I am with way more questions than answers. How can it be term 2 already? Didn’t we just start the holiday fortnight? Where did all that eternity disappear to? Why are my few remaining hairs so grey? Term 2 is, in fact, up and running and there’s no turning back. The students have their leavers’ shirts, the lessons have started and we’re doing our best to keep up. As I observe the students, I realise there are two opposing realities of time alive and co-existing right here in my classroom – I wonder how Einstein would have explained that?!

 

Timey Wimey

“How much time do you have?” That’s the question I’m going to ask you when you say, “What have you been doing lately?” Well, just to save you a little of that extremely precious and increasingly rare commodity (time, that is), I’ll give you the short version.

We’ve been improving our skills in narrative writing, developing descriptions of character and setting, adding emotion and turning a 10 second moment into a whole narrative. Our understanding of symbolism has also developed immensely and we found a second story hiding inside the obvious one during our viewing of My Place. We’ve looked at 24 hour time and converted time measurements in maths, and we worked hard, fighting the technology, to carry out a survey of TV genres. Some of the students also visited our local high school to get a taste of where they’ll be next year and some of the girls took part in (and won) a footy competition. We’re also about to embark on our first virtual reality tour.

Has that answered your question? Just got time for a cup o’ tea, I reckon (if I’m quick).