Sunday, April 20, 2008

Ready for Term 2. Bring it on!

Well it's been a good break: relaxing, but also productive. I've planned out most of my subjects all the way to the end of the term, and prepared most of the extra things I had in mind.

Yesterday night our billet arrived. Suzy is studying Education at CHC, and is here to do her first teaching prac in grade 2. She'll be staying with us for the next four weeks—unless my vegan cookery kills her first!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The other Boleyn girl

This afternoon, it being Tuesday and me not having to be at school, we went to the movies. We saw “The Other Boleyn Girl”.

I liked it, although I would have enjoyed it just as much with less sex scenes. (The ones there were, were done relatively tastefully, and a few were merely implied; but I'd have preferred more of the latter.) An exciting storyline, convincing characters, and a very dramatic historical setting. Considering that you already know who gets it in the end, they did a marvellous job turning it into a gripping movie.

Whether Anne really was that sly and conniving (and whether she really did commit incest) will remain a mystery, but I had no trouble suspending disbelief for the sake of being immersed in the storytelling.

We found the very end of the credits rather odd. There was the usual notice about “entirely a work of fiction, and any similarity to any real persons alive or dead is purely coincidental and unintentional”. Unintentional? Surely not!

Recommendation: See it, if you're over 18. (If you're not, you may not even understand it.)

Another (beautiful) wedding

On Saturday we (Laetitia and I) were official photographers at the wedding of one of my fellow teachers. It was a morning wedding up at Eungella (at the top of the range an hour's drive west of Mackay). As part of our “fee” we got to stay the night up there, at Broken River Resort. (This saved us from an otherwise very early start on Saturday morning!)

It was a lovely day. The bride had done a great job; everything was very well organised. It is always a pleasure to attend weddings of committed Christians, and these two are both from strongly Christian families. God provided the beautiful weather. But we still didn't see a platypus. (Apparently they're seen frequently in the river there.)

The ceremony and reception were both held in the park there at Broken River. A string trio played at the wedding, which was interesting for me: pieces I'm used to playing at weddings myself, only this time that wasn't my job. After the service, family photos at the edge of the clearing, then we went away with the wedding party for formal photos in three other locations nearby. Back to the park for the reception, which was a full-on picnic: blankets, umbrellas, fancy baskets full of food.

I took over 700 photos, Laetitia over 400; as I think I've said before, I've decided I like shooting weddings with a digital camera. You can see a few of my favourites on Flickr.

End of Term 1

*Phew*! Made it to the end of term 1. Much easier than last year, but still hard work.

The last day of term 1 was the cross country. I enjoyed running the course; the plan was I'd run just a quarter, in a relay of teachers in my house, but by the end I'd done the whole course. (They even gave me a point for my house!)

Now I get two weeks without students. I have three main jobs to do in that time, to prepare for what's ahead. One of those things is to get ready for my maths enrichment classes. Yes, I've volunteered for more work—because nobody else around here is doing it, and it really does need to be done. I will have weekly after-school meetings with half a dozen of our best maths students from years 8, 9 and 10. I will be introducing them to some interesting ideas from the rich history of mathematics, and challenging them with some tricky problem solving activities.