I received my first ever snake bite yesterday. Completely harmless and entirely my own fault.
Molasses the python got a a little too eager when I opened his enclosure with my hand in front of his head. I freely admit that it got my heart going though.
A week of very long days has left little energy for making in the evenings.
In an exciting development I now have fish in the classroom. A small school of Jade Perch to be precise.
The aquaponics system is still some way off functional but we have transferred the fish into a pair of the system’s tanks and plugged in some air-stones to keep them happy.
A number of interesting things have caught my eye this week but i’ll limit myself to only a couple.
The animator behind this fantastic little gorgon battle has recently finished a four year odyssey to single-handedly animate a feature length hand drawn film. Very impressive and pretty cool looking to boot.
Deep in the disturbing underweb evil masterminds find perfect matches between pop rap hits and nightmarish children’s television.
A visitor from the other side of the globe enlivened our weekend.
My good friend Nils, who is over from Berlin to see his partner, drove with her up from Melbourne. They stayed Friday and Saturday nights with us, availing themselves of our camping equipment to pitch tent in the garden for privacy and defense from early morning pounces by little boys. We took it pretty easy, lots of good conversation, rich food and late nights.
I am hopeful of finding time to do a full dress photo shoot on or before the weekend. Getting ready to get started on the matching costume for F using what I have learned making this one.
I’ve also nearly completed the set of three photography sitting boxes for N’s soon to be studio, sanding and painting remain. At work I’ve been decluttering my storerooms and preparing to get an aquaponics system online.
Occasionally I love a good musical, not to often mind, and only if they aren’t too heavy on the soppy songs.
To me this film was beat perfect, a genuine unadulterated pleasure. The vibrant colours, the on point comic timing, the emotional maturity and the ever present set and prop homages to golden era greats. Musicals aren’t for everyone and a glace at the IMDB reviews reveals that even among the musical aficionados this is clearly a contentious film. I contend that it is worth your while, impressive, emotional and fun.
Yesterday I finally came upon a solution for a problem that has caused many failed prints and succeeded in printing the plunger for this cupcake paper press, also a working set of the golden mean calipers that were my first failed print. It turns out that coating the build plate with glue stick is sufficient to stop builds curling up at the edges and being knocked over.
Teaching myself Tinkercad so as to be of use as a teacher of it for my students, who will be learning the program so that the 3D printer can be put to work. It is a basic and quite powerful modelling program. The controls are a little bit idiosyncratic and it has a tendency to dump the user back the main menu when doing hard operations, though it has so far not lost progress doing so. My first self set challenge is an Order vs Chaos chess set.
I splashed out and bought a couple of rolls of printing filament from these guys mid week so that I can get some personal printing done at work guilt free.
On Saturday N and I made the Dubbo run leaving the children with grandparents. A shockingly expensive shopping and very long drive later we made it home safe and have cupboards chock full with food and a shed full of timber and paints for projects.
I’ve been commissioned to build a set of portrait photography boxes and among the supplies purchased were two sheets of 12mm ply cut down to fit in the car. This project provided me with the first opportunity to put my mitre saw to use and my what a pleasure that machine is. All pieces are cut and ready for building and I even ripped down some off cuts to make parts for a nesting box. Assembly to happen later in the week.
Tuesdays are staff and year level meetings each week, meaning that I am usually not home until near six. I have found out that there is a Judo class on from Seven in the school hall on Tuesday evenings. I would like to attend but the mental hurdle of returning to work is a big obstacle. Wish me luck.
I periodically return to the works of Simon Stålenhag (Sale site) Disturbing, fantastical and somehow totally believable they conjure a deeply uncomfortable alternative world. Someday I’ll commit and buy a print. I just haven’t settled on which yet.
Not pictured, the white cotton gloves I was given at work to complete the look.
It was a hot day for it but there were some truly splendid costumes from the students for Theodor Seuss Geisel’s (Dr.Seuss’s) 113th birthday. In my class I had a couple of Green Eggs and Ham, 5 Things (3 ones, 1 two and a three), a One fish, and a Blue fish (Two fish and Red fish were in other classes), A fox in socks and a couple of cats in hats, including yours truly.
I discovered to my horror that my school doesn’t do book week. Then to my immediate relief the librarian told me that we do four book fairs a year and a dress up day for the simultaneous story time event in May.
To add further excitement this year another bookish celebration has been added to the calendar. It is the birthday of a certain well loved American cartoonist and storyteller tomorrow.
In consequence this evening I have been fighting with the sewing machine again to produce an altogether different kind of costume. Build complete, full dress run is tomorrow.
Editing part 5 at the moment and stewing on alterations to the weekly maths program as I work.
Of course I found my macro lens just days after purchasing a replacement, but I was glad of it today. My principal caught two baby browns on school property this morning. I took the opportunity to get some closeups of the deadly little buggers.
Painted all of the remaining costume elements by hand today. I tiny bit of dry brushing and they are ready for clear coating and a build complete announcement. For now I need to get editing because filming was interrupted by filling up my 64g camera memory card today and there is no way I have room to store it all for long.
Sir Vader’s ruby meteorite Damascus steel short sword below:
I also did a fair chunk of manual labour helping move one of the principals aquaponics systems into the outer wet room attached to my classroom. He had a gravel bed system in use which needed mucked out. In the classroom we will be trying a suspended foam system. I am now expecting a whole lot of jokes about Mr.Langs ‘Hydge setup’.
In another exciting turn of events today we looked at properties around town suitable for N to use as a photography studio. Now that both boys are in care or at preschool at least two days a week she is feeling ready and keen to begin working. There are a couple of promising properties the best of which is only $100 a week.
For reasons unclear theses images simply would not attach to yesterdays post. All made using the machine learning AI painter Dreamscope.
A real flayed man leaping from Bodyworlds using the Greek Urn filter.
A real skeleton from Bodyworlds using the Picasso filter
Old and new cylons eye to eye using the Van Gogh filter
As I said yesterday I don’t feel that it has yet produced a truly extraordinary work for me like some I have seen. But it is entertaining and pretty incredible.
N didn’t make the Dubbo run today but likely will tomorrow. Instead we took a swim, sheet mulched cat heads int he garden and played games, real imaginary and computer and whiled the day away.
This evening I’ve made more planning progress on my maths programs in which I have two separate groups and topics to cater to. I take the top maths rotation which is mostly my class sans the year fours and a few more from the other 5/6’s. With that group for three to four hours a week we forge ahead in the number strand using the NSW year 6 and 7 syllabus as a guide, but with a whole lot more physical and creative based learning activities as well as some solid traditional bookwork and problem solving practise. For forty minutes each day I also take maths for my whole class and it is during this time I am expected to cover all the other strands of maths; Chance, Data & Statistics, Geometry and Measurement.
This is not enough time and so of course I am doing my best to cross pollinate ideas and build actually useful skills. For instance as a significant portion of all our classes were away for an inter-school swimming carnival during my last lesson. I taught circles to the upper rotation. It being very apparent that most had never used a compass before and even those who had, were never given explicit instruction into how to not mess it up every time. We will be building on that session in the week ahead when we will create pie charts to illustrate the common fractions using compasses and protractors. All this in the hope that by the time we get to angles a few weeks down the line we can move beyond classifying angles and into the elements in short order.
Planning ongoing and N is planning ongoing on a Dubbo run independantly tomorrow.
I’ve finally got a more cohesive plan of what and how I will teach English to my mixed grade classroom. I went into this term with less planning than I have ever started a year before. Mostly as a function of a lack of handover from the previous year’s staff member but coupled with a change of system and a whole host of familiar things relabeled with new acronyms. Anyway We are going to do narratives, persuasive texts in two forms and letter writing as our overarching English and reading themes.
With this in mind, I spent the morning giggling and crying my way through famous letters from history some familiar, most not, searching for excellent examples to use in reading and writing. My intent is for the class to compose real letters to their grandparents/elders and actually post them (republished post marking). I settled on a few examples, most notably the best cover letter ever and one of the great mic drops of history. but Ill need more than one a week through the term so the hunt continues. For narratives I’ll be using what is available of the Pixar/Khan Academy story writing course, supplemented by reading a class set of YA Fic fantasy novels in class.
I’m struggling to find really impressively good examples of the most hated format in writing, the five paragraph essay. But I’m not giving up yet and we will be making print ads as a second persuasive text type. For ads at least I have a mountain of very good examples.
L and I had a play with Dreamscope this morning. It has been a while and it has definitely improved and increased the number of filters since my last try. While impressed by the tech I haven’t yet managed to produce a really strikingly good piece. Inserting images into the post is being problematic this evening.