The Interview with his Excellency Sir Peter Cosgrove went well.

He provided some rich and interesting answers for the students to the questions I listed yesterday. He favours leadership strategies based on inclusion and positive reinforcement (surely unusual in the military). Of the many medals which he has been awarded, he has an emotional attachment to the Soldiers Medal earned at the end of the Vietnam War for bringing his troop home alive and of course his inclusion in the Order of Australia.

He proffers the meat pie as a possible national dish.

I am exhausted and have brought work home with me, even though it is valentines day. But a rom com and some canoodling is sounding mighty tempting about now.

Worth sharing: Humble bundle have put together and extraordinary pack for a ‘Freedom Bundle’ Including matched contributions, proceeds to a variety of charities fighting the Trump admin Muslim ban.




Put Your Hand Up

Tons of laminating, data entry, a spot of printing and some wrestling with IT systems to allow our class tele-interview with the Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove tomorrow.

My approved list of questions for the GG, chosen by the class with some additions by me and N:

What should Australia’s national dish be?
How often do you correspond with the Queen? Do you have to visit England often to do so?
What are your favourite fiction, biography and nonfiction books? (Audience is 10-12 Years old)
What did you want to be when you grew up as a child? Did you achieve that goal or what changed?
As a leader and manager of people, what techniques and strategies do you use to quickly get the measure of people?
As a leader do you have favoured techniques for quickly fostering group cohesion/unity?
What is the most interesting or enjoyable part of your job as Governor General?
Of the many medals you have earned, are there any that carry a particular emotional significance to you?
What is your morning ritual?​

Falling asleep in my seat and I’ve a maths sheet yet to modify.

I’ll leave off with this:

Which I heard played on Double J over the weekend and have had it stuck in my head since. And this lovely account of the writing process for ‘Arrival‘.


Planning cont.

Less creatively productive than I might have hoped this weekend. I did finish all my marking, accomplish a significant chunk of planning and create a number of resources. But I did not; put my new tools to work, finish L’s costume, or paint anything.

I also failed to run or workout, which is simply not good enough. Working on the second draft of my philosophy of teaching statement for school planning documents this evening.





A very hot day in which the only sensible thing to do was hide in the aircon, build Lego and mark maths tests.

One of my best friends arrived in Melbourne from Germany overnight and we watched ‘Arrival‘ this evening.

On first impression it is a sublime film.

Tense, exciting, moving and clever.

Fittingly, I have read and enjoyed the Ted Chiang Story it is adapted from but didn’t make the connection until the credits.

More thoughts with time.

Week One

A long hot first week done. A big weekend of making ahead.

Heat, late bedtimes and marking have eaten a few nights in a row.

Today was swimming carnival day, fortunately for me I was on leftover duty at school not out in the thermonucular blaze of the midday sun. We wrote haiku eg.

Cobar summer heat

Sweat sticks my shirt to my back

The cold tap runs hot

We also made tessalation art, played tiddlywink golf and tried a out a Taylor Mali lesson called ‘Build a Better Metaphor’. My favourite result of this last was:

‘The huge watermelon of happiness’




In addition to a small terrarium I have yet to fill. I now have a large glass tank containing a roughly 1.3m long Southern Carpet Python called ‘Molasses’. He’s a beauty. Unfortunately I haven’t yet gotten a decent picture of him as he arrived in class at midday and meetings consumed my afternoon.


Witnessed a motley collection of children chasing a startled rabbit with every intention of catching it, killing it and taking it home for dinner. It got away, this time.

Marking yet to do.

A Good Day

Gone in a blur of first day activities, heat and paper. Week one, which is actually week three of the NSW school calendar begins.

This evening I moved and mucked out the hen house, modified the freshly 3dprinted Cardboard VR goggles to accommodate my phone and pulled a few hundred cat head seedlings out of the back yard, not even exaggerating. Everything else in our garden is half dead from the heat and alive only by effort of watering and yet every few days there is a fresh crop of catheads threatening to go to seed. The sheer quantity of seed in the soil and the germination and thriving growth given conditions is extraordinary. We are slowly sheet mulching the entire yard with cardboard and hay but in every nook and cranny, at every edge and in great swaths across every bit of open ground they reappear again and again. I am offended by their very existence as is N. All must die.

Also finally signed up to the local union for the frankly shocking cost of $550 for the year. I am proud to be a member of the federation but geez that stung.




As ready as I’m going to get anyway. Cleaning and laminating at school consumed much of the day. All the important stuff is done and the room is now clean and tidy, awaiting a tornado of students. Tomorrow I become one of the new most import people in 28 children’s lives for the next 11 months.

Tonight I have been playing with this auto colouring tool. Which produces spectacularly weird results. Note that in the image below I only gave it eye colour to work with for the Vodyanoi on the right.

Lots of typography work over the last couple of days making word wall headers, name labels and drawer labels to suit my needs. As well as some general teaching aides for the smooth functioning of my room:



Last thing to share today is this Bonobo clip that I have revisited twice now. It really is just supurb.


Build Complete

A hectic couple of days with late nights and early mornings. N’s new computer arrived as two large boxes and required assembly, which along with software installation took the better part of two evenings.  It has now been running smoothly with steady uptime now exceeding exceeding twenty-four hours. With thanks to the gods of technology

Colour me relieved.

It’s an i7700k with 16gig ram and a Radeon rx470 for those into that kind of thing. I went to r/buildapc for support choosing parts.

There were two hiccups during setup. The first when we went to turn it on for the very first time and nothing happened. It was apparently only a cable that needed taken out and put back in again but my oh my it gave me a fright. Then a genuine and still unexplained peculiarity, during driver installations the screen took on a bright magenta hue and could not be convinced to change back, despite many settings tweaks and restarts, the loading screens were coloured normally, only windows was pink. Anyway changing graphics cable types solved the issue and since then it has all gone swimmingly.

In addition I’ve had two extremely busy days of PD and preparation and I’ve spent every spare moment from those tasks creating more classroom resources now that I finally have my class lists.


A free worksheet for any who are interested is included below. Heraldry and fantasy elements are all tying in as I’ll be using Classcraft as my central reward system this year, I’m even going so far as to pay for it and split the fee with another teacher.


Speaking of fantasy elements, I haven’t made time to work on L’s costume in a week but I also haven’t shown the most recent addition. Cut from a 3 ply block of 12mm foam the blade edge is actually 12mm wide. There are two very fiberglass rods providing core strength. Lots of sanding and detailing to go. Painting of the whole costume is within reach now.


First Day

Back at work. The classroom is coming together. Mandatory online trainings are complete and planning is progressing.

Still cleaning my classroom which had a fair bit of teacher and student detritus and disorganised cupboards. Also whipping up a few more classroom elements; today word wall headings and bookwork layout guide posters. One of which I may need to remake at some point. For now finished is better than perfect.

Had a bit of a play with this pretty thing:

and this cool tool:

Both created by Jonas Wagner.

We watched Doctor Strange last night, which is fun even for one who has never read a single issue of his storyline. As with all recent Marvel’s it is more than a little bit silly, ultimately predictable and incredibly visually impressive. It would honestly have been extraordinary in 3D.