Monday, February 28, 2011

M&M Monday - Clothing

You know someone is going to say something about "melts in your mouth not in your hands" . .

. . . but that would clearly be wrong;

because that line obviously goes with this picture.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

A journey around my classroom

My classroom stretches east-west, with the whole northern side made up of windows (in this part of the world, that's the sunny side!)
It's a long and fairly narrow room, which makes for challenges when it comes to arranging the tables in groups. At the moment I just have them in 3 long rows of 5 tables, facing the whiteboard, which is the other side from the windows. Please click to enlarge

If you come in the door and look left (east), you see this view

and this one

This is the view from the other (eastern) end, back towards the door:

Here is part of the western wall, with  students' work, 2 of the room's
6 desktop computers, and part of my desk -

My desk and the door through into my office.

 The south wall

Part of the southern wall including the whiteboard.

Looking out of the window


And straight across the quad to the Library

 Open-air seating outside the Canteen

These Animal Men - This Is The Sound Of Youth

01 - This Is The Sound Of Youth
02 - Soul Around The World
03 - Hooligan's Progress

These Animal Men

The Fuzz - God Bless The Radio

01 - God Bless The Radio
02 - Nailed
03 - God Bless Tha' Hard Core

The Fuzz

Cornershop - Lessons Learned From Rocky I To Rocky III (CD1)

01 - Lessons Learned From Rocky I To Rocky III (Radio Edit)
02 - Returning From The Wreckage
03 - Lessons Learned From Rocky I To Rocky III (Osymyso Mix)


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Thematic Photographic 135: Letters

Yay! Thematic Photographic's back! Join in the fun here.

I didn't need to go far to find some letters: a few days ago I took a lot of photos in and around my classroom, with the idea of sometime posting a 'journey around my classroom'.
Here are the Letters which a junior class made to decorate the walls a year or so ago:

And this one:

These were made as a fun activity at the end of the year. They worked in groups and each letter had to have some theme or unifying idea.
This E is one of the best:

You can get an idea of how they sit on the walls in this shot; the Excellence is under the whiteboard, the English down the far end of the room:

Muse - Supermassive Black Hole

01 - Supermassive Black Hole
02 - Crying Shame


Propellerheads - Spybreak!

01 - Spybreak! (Short One)
02 - Clang
03 - Velvet Pants
04 - Spybreak! (Long One)


Rival Schools - Rival Schools United By Onelinedrawing

01 - Green is Good
02 - Take One for the Team
03 - Always
04 - Where I'm From
05 - Be Real
06 - Contraire

Rival Schools

I Wish

The other day I went into Paddington to get some makeup for my wedding. As I do not wear makeup very often and like a very natural look, I have been looking for a makeup artist and the right makeup. And after meeting a lovely beautician on Thursday night, my journey took me into Paddington.

I am not a big shopper and yet when I arrived at Paddington, I heard the faint whisper of a Part of me that said “I Wish”... I was shocked - the voice said “I Wish I was rich...” In a second I thought about how I would go to the day spa all the time for facials and massages and “I Wish I was rich to go into all of the fancy clothing boutiques” and ”I Wish I had the confidence to go into the fancy boutiques”. And then in an instant I thought “I Wish I was more beautiful”,” I Wish I had perfect skin”, ” I Wish I had perfect features”, “ I Wish I had beautiful long hair”, “I Wish I looked all dressed up and fancy like the ladies passing by me”.

I was very curious about this Part of me...

Normally I sit in a place of Gratitude and Thankfulness for all I am and all I have. Very big in my Awareness is the fact that so many people live in poverty and struggle for their basic needs or even just people who are affected by sickness and disabiity. And yet here I was wishing for more.

And it is not that I can’t afford clothes in those boutiques - maybe one or two pieces (maybe a scarf) if I made it a Priority - yet it actually comes back to the larger Part of me that does not really like shopping. And yet I have noticed that there is this Part of me that is become louder and wants to wear nice things and wear makeup and look pretty. For a long time I did competitive Running, it was always about being faster - short hair, skinny, Running shoes, Running clothes, Running, training, competing - very Masculine and Yang. I even remember a boyfriend at the time who grew sick of my tracksuits and wished I wore more skirts - I still remember him saying that to me. And after I hurt my back I started wearing shapeup joggers to help my back, and they do make a difference - and yet now I want different. Now my Feminine Part of me, my Yin, is coming more alive, back alive - where I am finding myself wanting to buy magazines, wear pretty blouses, wanting to paint my nails - and even travelling to Paddington to get the right makeup that is right for me.

These thoughts in my head of “I Wish” only lasted about one or two minutes. I was then able to return to the Part of me that knows I am so fortunate. And then I also sat in a Space of what is really most important to me - what “I Wish” for the most - “I Wish my Mum didn’t have cancer”, this is the big number one - and “I Wish we have a baby soon”, another big, very important Wish.

Being in the Space of “I Wish” made me think of the Serenity Prayer - “God grant me the Serenity to Accept the things I cannot Change; the Courage to change the things I can; and the Wisdom to know the difference.” For me there are many things outside my control, some of the big things. And if my greatest ”I Wish” is about Family for me, I can continue to treat this as a Priority in my life.

And if I am finding my Spirit come alive and some excitement regarding matters of the Feminine, it does not mean that I have to get caught up in Consumerism, Materialism, Shopping - yet I can enjoy my trip to Paddington to buy makeup, I can buy and enjoy flicking through magazines, and I am really enjoying now that I am back again wearing more dresses, embracing my Feminine. And it doesn’t mean I have to spend a lot of money - I even enjoyed a look at St Vincent De Paul’s at Paddington and found a really nice designer blouse and also a dress - all for the total price of $18 - I was Excited. I don’t really care about the “designer” bit, although there was a Part of me quietly Proud as if I had bought it at full price - and the main Part of me loved the bargain. Mostly I always love the opportunity to be on a treasure hunt to see what surprises and delights me in second hand stores and I love the chance to Recycle and Reuse.

The “I Wish” related to the Feminine Part of me is loving colour and fabrics and fashion. My Spirit is highlighting that I could get back to sewing again - I remember with fond memories sewing clothes -back when I was about 16-20 years of age. I used to love sewing dresses and wearing them out. Perhaps a new hobby when the time is right. And I am also interested in expressing my creativity through photography - another hobby I once loved.

I am not going to say” I Wish I had more time”.   I know I have the power to manage my time so that I can focus on my Priorities and Values.

I just realised that if I stay in the “I Wish” Space for too long (more than a couple of minutes), I am almost sitting in powerlessness, almost waiting for someone to rescue me or make my dreams come true.

Instead if I use the “I Wish” Space as a window to when my Spirit comes alive and when I feel Inspired, I can decide if this is really my heart’s desire.  There is almost a childhood Innocence here -  I can ask my Innocence Part of me what I really want, and in the quietness listen to my inner voice.

For ages and always, since I have stopped Running over the last couple of years, whenever I see a runner, I always say to myself “I Wish I could run again”, and so today on my walk, I allowed my Self to enjoy a few minutes of Running, in between Walking, enough to make me feel the aliveness and Joy of Running. Wonderful!!!

From the “I Wish” Space I can also check to see what is underneath the “I Wish” and show Curiosity of how I can fulfil Needs for my Self, my Soul. As an example the “I Wish I was rich and I would go to day spas more often”, I know this for me is about yes being pampered, but most importantly just wanting time to relax and have “me time”.  And so this morning I made it a Priority to get up early and take a walk in nature, and this evening made time for a relaxing bath.

And so from the “I Wish” Space, which feels so distant and far away, I am able to move to a place of feeling Excited and Empowered.

A Higher Education

I pose a simple question: What percentage of the population of the United States hold a college degree? The answer will appear below the cyber-fold. I must admit I was surprised by the number. I assume that lots of folks who hold a degree estimate too high, I did a quick unscientific survey of a small group of individuals and found that those who do not have a degree give a slightly lower number but still aim a bit too high.

So you have a clue, your guess is probably too high, so knock off 5% maybe 10% if you have a masters or a doctorate, we know those advanced degrees really schew your perception of reality.

So what was your guess? The answer is that as of 2009, twenty-seven and one-half percent of the adult population holds a college degree.

Here is a very cool interactive map from the Chronicle of Higher Education that shows where these over educated people live. It's a county by county breakdown and here is the really cool part, you can track back from 2009 to 1940. You thought the college numbers were higher today, only 4.6% of the country were college educated in 1940. When I got my B.A. in 1969 the overall number had just reached 10%.

The map also has breakouts by gender, ethnicity and income. Before you leave the map, be sure to set it for 2009 and click the Asian button.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Catatonia - For Tinkerbell EP

01 - For Tinkerbell
02 - New Mercurial Heights
03 - Dimbran
04 - Sweet Catatonia
05 - Gyda Gwên


Longpigs - Jesus Christ

01 - Jesus Christ
02 - Sweetness
03 - Vagina Song
04 - Whiteness


Audioweb - Personal Feelings

01 - Personal Feelings
02 - Mission Accomplished
03 - Mediacrity
04 - Angel


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Memories of Christchurch

Some of you may have read my post earlier this week, just after the disastrous earthquake in the city in which I was born and brought up.
The news gets sadder every day, with about 100 now confirmed dead, and another 250 still missing. I have been thinking about my years there and the places I used to know well; these pictures are how I would like to remember the city.

For about 8 years of my childhood we lived in New Brighton. My strongest memory, apart from our big wooden two-storeyed house, is of the beach - stretching for miles, windswept, grey-sanded. There was a long wooden pier, dilapidated and dangerous, under which I very nearly drowned. Today there is a new streamlined pier.

When I was a teenager we moved to Sumner, another beachside suburb. In those angst-ridden times I often used to walk along the beach at night and sit on top of the Cave Rock (centre of picture). I always felt perfectly safe, and never came to any harm.

I attended Christchurch Girls' High School, in an old building only a block or 2 from the centre of the city. Today, there is a new campus on far bigger grounds, further out of the CBD.

Another view of the old building:

One of the best features of the city is (was?) Hagley Park, a huge acreage of recreational ground wisely set aside by the founders for their descendants.

There were sporting grounds, walking and running tracks, lakes and playgrounds.
A busy main road runs through the Park, and along both sides of it are beautiful cherries which make a stunning show in the springtime.

Of course they have been renewed and replaced many times over the years, but I am very proud of the fact that my father was responsible for the original plantings, when he was an elected member of the City Council.

Christchurch has always prided itself on its gardens. Through the city runs the Avon river (yes, named after the English one). I used to love being taken boating on the river,

and to the Botanic Gardens and Museum

In the background of these two pictures is the old University, which I attended. These days it is an Arts centre; I wonder how much of it has survived the quakes?

Christchurch had a small but busy port called Lyttelton. This is where the latest quake was centred

And finally, another picture of the iconic (yes, that word is badly overused, but in this case it's correct)

Thanks for reading.
These photos are by David Wall or from this site by Michelle.

Pixies - Debaser (Studio)

01 - Debaser
02 - Bone Machine
03 - Gigantic
04 - Isla de Encanta


Sub Sub with Bernard Sumner - This Time I'm Not Wrong

01 - This Time I'm Not Wrong (ed)
02 - This Time I'm Not Wrong
03 - Heads Will Roll (SS July 95 Inst D)
04 - Firesuite (SS 97 ver)

Sub Sub with Bernard Sumner

The Webb Brothers - I Cant Believe Youre Gone (CD1)

01 - I Cant Believe Youre Gone (Radio Version)
02 - Iris
03 - Nobody Has To Know

The Webb Brothers

Blog Archive