Saturday, November 27, 2010

2 degrees of separation

is what is reckonned to be the case in Aotearoa NZ rather than the worldwide 6 degrees. So much so that one of our local mobile phone networks is called 2 degrees.

I've never had much difficulty accepting this as a concept, after all Quakers have the effect of shrinking the world's networks from what I can work out. But in the last week or so in the light of the Pike Valley mining disaster it has been brought home more strongly.

29 miners died in the explosions. None of whom I expected to have any connection to.... after all Greytown is down on the West Coast of the South Island - somewhere I had been in April, but not somewhere where I know anyone. But as the news of the explosions unfolded I discovered that the husband of a friend of mine headed over as part of the rescue team (I'd even stayed with Ingrid and Martin en route to Greymouth!). Once the second, and definitely fatal explosion happened my cousin George put as his facebook status that he'd sat next to the sister of one of the miners on the plane as she flew over from Australia, then in the hope still of rescue. Next thing I knew Natalie posted this link about quilts for the miners families on my facebook page - being a fellow quilter she rightly thought I'd be interested in contributing. Her comment along with the link was that one of the miners was her Nan's (who I've met several times) brother's nephew.

So, so much for my 'don't start anything new until the last project is finished' theory... although I did finish a project this morning first. I've a stack of 29 hearts waiting now for me to get some calico on Monday, then I'll get the squares finished and off to Rangiora ~ where incidently several relatives of mine live/grew up and where one of them, now passed on, used to be Mayor.

It's a very small world around here.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Hmmmm, still plodding along with that quilt! Not helped by the fact that other projects have usurped it's place on the priority list....


Kua mutunga ahau te tau tuatahi o Ara Reo! I have completed my first year of Ara Reo! Our last class was on Wednesday. In some ways it will be a relief not to have a rather rushed Wednesday each week but I'll miss it too. Those of us who have been together on this journey since March have really become whanau ~ if we can get through all three years of Ara Reo together (you sign up for a year at a time, not all three at once) that would be tino pai - just the best!

I've got a post mulling around in my head about the similarities between a Noho Marae (Marae stay) and a Quaker residential weekend at a Meeting House - but I'll come back to that one....

I've been going through my Teacher Registration portfolio stuff again today. A few weeks ago I realised that with the changes in Registered Teacher Criteria coming in next year I really needed to get my written work signed off this year or I'd have to use the new format. Having got so far with the old, that thought did not appeal in the slightest! (this year was the transition year). It took me until a few weeks ago to finish writing up last year, yes you read that right - last year, and the first two (of four) sections. I don't know if it was partly to do with the dimensions I was covering or simply because it is damned hard work reflecting on a difficult situation but it took me an absolute age to get anywhere with it. I must admit most of the delay was procrastination - I simply didn't want to go there. But when it came to writing up this year and the final two sections I was amazed by how fast it all started to come together.

Partly this was because I had been collecting stuff throughout the year and some of it just needed filed in the appropriate place, but a lot was to do with the fact that I'd actually been able to put into practice what I'd been taught without feeling like I was trying to get water to run uphill. Also I've been to some amazing professional development this year or PD as it is known in the profession. This also happens to be the same acronym for Periodic Detention - community service done by offenders! You have to be careful to whom you tell you are 'doing PD this weekend'!

Well anyways by the end of today I will hopefully have two more pieces of reflective writing done and then I'll only be one Satisfactory Teaching Dimension away from completion (which bright spark came up with that one? Collect 32 STDs in under 3yrs!!! That's going some...). The fact that I am completely stumped by that final one will hopefully be overcome when I meet with Carol to discuss it all tomorrow. Then all I need to do is clock up a few more weeks teaching (note to self - do not get sick, do not get sick, do not get sick....) which will probably have to go into next year to make up the month I missed (thankfully being sick over Term Break doesn't count against me!).

So having almost completed the shopping side of Christmas presents (but not the sewing...) yesterday in Kerikeri - it really does feel like I might just get everything done that I need to before I head off to the UK for 5 weeks in a months time... fingers crossed and touch wood!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

having a tutū

please bear with me - I'm playing about with new layouts and options etc and don't seem to have managed to quite get the hang of it all yet!

And it all started 'cos I clicked on something I didn't mean to! Ho hum...

Sunday, November 07, 2010

double blogging

As if I wasn't having enough problems keeping this blog up to date I now have another one to contribute to too! Our kindergarten has a blogsite - it's not public yet, but the plan is for it to become so in the future. Watch this space for updates...

We started off early this year just getting used to using it, writing posts, uploading photos and video links (practicing with inserting the Wonky Donkey on a page before we tried putting any footage of the children up there!). Now after a recent workshop with our mentor Tanya Coutts of CORE Education we're ready to open up to parents... we've another meeting with the whanau group (families group) coming up where we'll explain it all to them and then the next step is having online folders for the individual children as well as having their physical kupenga pukapuka (lets just call them scrapbooks... ask me if you want a full explanation of the name which is a 'gathering net' book! It's quite poetical really but long-winded to explain)

It's all quite exciting really - and at least I get to blog at work!