Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'd write some thoughtful post

If I had any thoughtful thoughts.

But I don't.

'tis the season...

... for endless concerts and events.

Gingerbread continues (one more!). Speech night next Tuesday (with our epic year 7 graduation song). Carols in a nursing home on Wednesday.

On Sunday afternoon we have Micah's first cello concert. He's had four lessons now, so it's time he performed! Micah is an independent little fellow. Unlike his older brothers, he practices without whinging (imagine that!), and by himself (!). Mummy, you don't need to tell me what the notes are. I don't know what all of them are called, but I know how to play them. On Sunday he's playing Tap Dancer (open strings and first positions, featuring his favourite bit in the middle where you tap the cello with the bow), Mary Rocks (can you guess how it goes?) and Hot Cross Buns. Classic songs.


RE over for 2011!


We had our end of year do yesterday for all the RE kids in the school. I made a star puppet (like this very cool one that Catriona designed) and we did a little skit... You can imagine how it went. The star says 'I am the Star of Christmas', Lenny the puppet says, 'No you're not... Jesus is.' Stars says, 'No, I'm the Star of Christmas'. Lenny still doesn't understand etc.... Then we told the story of the wise men and king Herod (showed the sand bible version first) and Andrew gave a little talk about the man who wanted to be the star of Christmas. You can imagine. I had my band of awesome playing christmas carols and everyone rocked out.

I had a few kids come up to me afterwards and say how much they liked Joy to the World. They asked if I wrote it. [I wish!] Have they not heard it before?!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

5 advantages of monastic life

1. It is life in community. There would be lots of people around all the time. I like this.
2. I could take a vow of silence for 6 hours a day. Bliss!
3. Enforced prayer times.
4. Lots of community singing.
5. No gingerbread house events.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

I'm thinking of becoming a nun

I'll go off to some place. Leave all this behind. No more marking. No more school politics. No one will speak to me for a few hours each day. Someone else will cook. I can be on a wash-up roster.

Maybe I could be in charge of music. I'll sit by myself most of the day and write a bit and choose cool songs for us to sing. Then my nun choir could sing them well. How many times a day do nuns do corporate singing? Five?

Good times to be had in a convent.

Who wants to join me?

[I'll have to make sure I find a convent that's good with me going off to the movies to see Breaking Dawn 2 next year. I'm also after one with body pump classes each day, a 25m pool and good internet access. Know any?]

final list for year 7 graduation medley

Intro - start of something new
year 1 / 2005 - Eye of the Tiger
year 2 / 2006 - Forever Young
year 3 / 2007 - How to Save a Life
year 4 / 2008 - Viva la Vida
year 5 / 2009 - I Got A Feeling
year 6 / 2010 - Count on Me
year 7 / 2011 - Someone Like You

Good times.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Edward never sparkled. Despite being outside in goodish weather.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Breaking Dawn, Part 1.

What was that?

Comedy? Romance? Horror?


It was like the producer read the book and thought, Oh man. What do I do with this? I can't produce something this sentimental and still respect myself. Maybe... these lines were meant to be funny... Yes, that's it! Comedy! And there were some lovely comic spots that provided nice relief from all the syrup. I wanted them to continue.

Then there were moments of horror. Like the cake made out of corpses. I quite liked that. And I had no problems with the blood bits at the end either.

The romance really was a bit hard to take. So corny. But laid on nowhere near as thick as the book, so I shouldn't complain. The nervous Bella walking down the aisle was tough for us all.

The werewolves were better done than in the past. Still not good, but almost scary at a couple of points. The wolf dialogue scene was really bad. Embarrassingly so.

Rosalie - the incarnation of beauty - was not. At points she kind of looked masculine.

Did you notice how pieces of music from the other movies came back in this one? It was good at first, then became a bit much.

The main odd thing about this movie was that the narrative wasn't nicely shaped. There wasn't really a climax. They tried to make one with some wolf conflict,  but it was all resolved a bit fast. Then they tried for a volturi cliff hanger half way through the credits. They needn't have bothered. We'll all be back for more next year anyway.

Yeah, I enjoyed it. 2.5/5? 3?

good things today.

1. I gave out 60 tuned up ukes to kids who ordered them at school. I felt like Santa. They were happy. I was happy.
2. Finally got the year 5s singing consistently well at RE. It's been our project this semester. The trick? They need to own it. Have year 5s song leading and playing. Give the kids out the front microphones. And choose cool songs.
3. Micah had his third cello lesson. He's doing well. Hot Cross Buns and Mary Had A Little Lamb this week.
4. I'm off to see Breaking Dawn right now.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I've made a few gingerbread houses in my time. I've got it down. The trick is to not fuss. If you fuss, your house will collapse. I can chuck one together and decorate it in under fifteen minutes. Then I wait, bored, for the next two hours while everyone else painstakingly builds their houses. Sometimes I help out by rebuilding the houses of those who have fussed.

For the last couple of years I've put no effort into decorating my houses. Because, let's face it, they all look fine when they are covered in lollies, dusted with icing sugar and wrapped in cellophane.

But I'm going to four gingerbread house making events in the next couple of weeks. It's time to change my attitude. This year I will put in effort. I think I'll have a different theme for each house. No time to buy anything special for tonight's, but next week...

A spooky theme?

going to Mackay for the weekend

Seeing a friend, giving a talk and making my first gingerbread house for the year. Should be fun.

Friday, November 18, 2011

39 episodes of Sea Change watched...

... Now back to real life.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

today I had the most brilliant idea.

An invention.

Something every kid needs in summer.

Would make me rich.

Marco Polo goggles.

I was going to patent the idea.

Unfortunately, I wasn't the first to think of it.

A shame.


... Tim Freedman's cover of You Weren't In Love With Me. It's fun.

You can't out-tragic the original, so I'm glad he didn't try.

beach day!

Skipping school today and going to the beach with friends.

I've just made a mix cd for the trip. Some good stuff on it including Tim Freedman's cover of You Weren't In Love With Me and some new Cold Play. Life is good.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

things should be wrapping up at work...

But they're not.

Quite the opposite.

Who'd be a music teacher at the end of the year?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

assessment found


I've lost all the testing I've done for an entire class

Reports due tomorrow. No idea what I'm going to do.

Why am I so hopeless?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Year 7 Leaving Song

This is going to be fantastic. Finally sorted what we are doing. The kids are super keen and so am I. Three weeks before the end of primary I've found a bunch of year 7 boys who sing well and want solo parts... D'oh! Remind me to do something like this earlier next year.

Anyway. Here's what we've got. A medley of songs. One representing each year of primary school - I tried to choose a song that charted well in each year...

2005 - Eye of the Tiger (remember? Lee Harding (Idol finalist) did it.)
2006 - Forever Young
2007 - How to save a life
2008 - Viva la Vida
2009 - Love Story? I got a feeling?
2010 - Fireflies? Hey Soul Sister?
2011 - Firework

I'll play piano. I'm putting together a band of awesome (Band of Awesome is the name I give to any group of kids I work with. Some are more awesome than others.)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

wasabi peas


I'm going to eat them till I have no tastebuds left at all.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Between the 25 episodes of Sea Change I've watched this week, I've also been trying to write a song picking up theme's from John's gospel. My last attempt didn't amount to much. This week's attempts have been consistently rubbish - so in my depression I've retreated into more YouTube...

This is what I'm up to now. Interesting metre - 10 10 12 6. It needs a chorus/bridge/refrain/something and another verse.

There is a life that can unlock the grave
A power great beyond all earthly laws
A love so fierce it reaches into death to save
then holds our hearts secure

There is a stream where thirsty souls can drink
A place the weary rest amidst the strife
There is a table laid with wine and living bread
Where seeking souls find life

sar 2011

how many episodes of sea change is too many?

I've just finished the second series.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

a lame excuse

I walked past the swimming pool at school today. Micah's teacher called me over. She was very unimpressed. Micah was sitting out of swimming. His excuse, "I have to do my homework this afternoon and if I go swimming now I'll be too tired to do it."



It's 3.30 and Micah has just finished his homework. Five minutes ago he asked Andrew and I to go away and leave him alone so he could work.

Again, no.

We feel we're in uncharted territory. Not had a child defiant in this particular way before.

Abide with me.

Rememberence day tomorrow. I can't forget it because I'm a music teacher. I have a small ensemble (Joel - bass clarinet, Nathan - trombone, a sax, a eupho and a few trumpets) playing Abide With Me. Today I have to source an adequate trumpet player for the last post. If I can't get a kid up to speed, I'll have to play it myself.

My boy can read!

Which is good, because he's 10 now. I wish I could give 2008 me (or even 2010 me) a snap shot of Joel now. For the last month he's been reading the Percy Jackson books. He's not a fast reader, but he is reading for hours every day. I have to take his books off him at meal times. This is amazing. 

Some history. It took us weeks in year 1 to teach him the alphabet and simple words like 'the'. In year 2 he still couldn't read at all. The G.O. did a full assessment (which was very interesting - (97th percentile for higher order stuff, 16th percentile for processing speed)). She said that a kid with his profile would learn to read when he wanted it badly enough. He would have to learn in his own way. Even though the G.O. suggested it would be a waste of time, he was withdrawn from classes for lessons in how to sound out words. [Basically, Joel reads with his right brain. The left side is the side that sounds out. The right brain cannot sound out.] He hated it and still cannot sound out words. But he's taught himself to read anyway.  He's getting the meaning of the stories completely correct, and most of the words right - except proper nouns. These are consistently wrong - but who cares?

He's reading. I'm now looking forward to year 7 naplan. In year 3, Joel did the comprehension task without reading the text at all. In year 5, he looked in the text for the answers. Perhaps in year 7 he'll start by reading the text! [But maybe not. I was a good reader and never ever wanted to read the boring text on a comprehension task.]

Hello Latvia!

I don't understand these stats either. 

Australia - 934
United States - 547
United Kingdom - 133
Latvia - 26
Netherlands - 20
Russia - 19
Ukraine - 17
Germany - 11
Georgia - 8
Poland - 7

But thanks for reading. Special hello to my friends in Latvia, the Netherlands, Russia and the Ukraine. Coach Bags, is that you?

This lesson is brought to you by youtube.

Yesterday I taught 5 classes about Pachelbel's canon. We listened to it, talked about how the chord progression works, played the chord progression, learned a few other simpler melodies in it, played them on our ukes and then played them against each other and against the chord progression. Then we listened to Vitamin C's rip off Graduation Song. Then we watched this. I needed to edit our a few words (with my handy mute button.) Interestingly, the year 5s enjoyed it more than the year 7s. Probably helped that Joel was in my first year 5 class - he set it up well by saying how funny it was. The kids believed him so found it funny and then excitedly spread the word it the next 3 year 5 classes.

Fun times post assessment. Alas, I've not yet written any more reports.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Diver Dan is about to leave Pearl Bay.

First time I saw it I was distraught.


What I'm finding difficult right now.

1. Having a shower
2. Finding clothes
3. Getting ready for work
4. Writing reports
5. Not watching sea change

What I find difficult #2.

Not doing (stupid) things that I want to do if there is no gun against my head stopping me.

(And even then I sometimes still do them and accept the bullet as an unavoidable consequence.)

Lentil stew anyone? Birthright? What birthright?

What I find really difficult.

Doing anything at all that I don't want to do.

Man. I'm 36! Surely I should be more disciplined by now.

Just. Do. It.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

watching series one of sea change

I should be doing other things.

Cooking dinner with head phones on and youtube playing.

right unhappy

My friends and I are helping to look after a friend's two year old while his mum is in hospital.

His little world has been turned upside down and he is sad. He'll play well for a while, then things will fall apart and he'll tell us firmly that he wants his dad or he wants his nanna. But his biggest want is never expressed to us. Mum.

I want him to be happy but in a way I'm glad that he's not. Someone is missing so it's right that there is a hole. The hole is testimony to his relationship with his mum. Praying, though, that we can fill in enough of it to let the weeks pass as quickly and happily for him as possible. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Twilight Running Festival

I'm going to do this. 10km race on the 18th March next year.

I know I can run 10kms, but I'm so slow. Yesterday I did 10kms in 1.19 which is pathetic. I might as well have walked it. My aim is to get it closer to an hour. Andrew thinks I can do it. I'm unsure. The training diary I've downloaded says I need to run 3-4 times a week - generally one long run, 1-2 40min runs, and one speed session where I go hard for a minute or two six times.

Anyone else want to join me? It's good to have a goal. This is quite a nice event. Sunday afternoon. Andrew did it last year (in like 42 minutes!)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Alex reads Twilight

I'm a little bit in love with this guy. Hilarious.

Friday, November 4, 2011

choral workshop

I went to a choral workshop today. Got some great hints on how to make primary choirs sound better and sang through lots of fantastic repertoire. 

I've gone to four of these in the last 12 months. This one was the best because he didn't dictate what kind of sound we should be going for (i.e. the sound of his choir!) When asked a question along those lines he said...

'The only thing two choral conductors will ever agree on is the incompetence of the third.'

Basically, everyone likes the sound that their own choir makes and thinks everyone else's sucks. Yep. That's my experience!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We won!

Not that it was about winning or losing. Of course.

We're all winners, aren't we?

They ran the line - we don't need more Australian tv because we already have enough. TV stations more than comply with the standards. If we stop importing TV shows, other countries will stop buying ours and our economy simply couldn't handle that. We also need imported TV in order to learn about other cultures.

I was proud of our kids that they came up with two rebuttal points on the spot for stuff that we hadn't talked about.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

the antidote to fear

Jesus - the first and the last.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. 
Revelation 1:17-18

Pace yourself! the Author is wrapping things up!

Al quoted this.

So soon you will be in that part of the book where you are holding the bulk of the pages in your left hand, and only a thin wisp of the story in your right. You will know by the page count, not by the narrative, that the Author is wrapping things up. You begin to mourn its ending, and want to pace yourself slowly toward its closure, knowing the last lines will speak of something beautiful, of the end of something long and earned, and you hope the thing closes out like last breaths, like whispers about how much and who the characters have come to love, and how authentic the sentiments feel when they have earned a hundred pages of qualification.

Powerful. Ten years ago I didn't feel like I was running out of time. Now I know I am. Got to keep running. Got to do things now I won't be able to do later... 

The Slap

I've been watching this. Not sure what I think. The main thing that's stood out has been that sex takes about 20 seconds. Efficient.

Anyone else watched it?

post catch up.

Hi everyone.

Things have been a bit quiet around here for the last little while.

Hope none of your hearts have broken over this. The space I've left has no doubt given you opportunity to discover new and more interesting places in the blogosphere. Perhaps I've even been deleted and replaced on your reader... [Tell me who has taken my place. I'll hack into their account and hijack their blog.]

Anyway... I thought I'd post briefly on a few things I've been thinking about. Comment if anything catches your eye.