Categories
#blogjune Review teaching Work

#BlogJune Day 14

So I’ve been an avid avoider of anything and everything AI related (as much as I’ve been aware, that is). But earlier this week, I attended a Webinar on ‘GenAI in schools’ and, from that, figured I should probably find out more for myself. Engage with it, at least, so I can be familiar with some of the concepts in the conversation… so I did.

Yesterday I discovered something amusing. I’m currently starting a unit on A Midsummer Night’s Dream with one of my classes, so to cut down on my workload I thought I’d ChatGPT some of the significant quotes in Act One.

So Act One has two scenes. Scene 1 shows Duke Theseus and others in Athens; Scene 2 shows a group of ‘mechanicals’ (actors) who are preparing to rehearse a play. Neither scene shows any of the fairies: Oberon (King), Titania (Queen) or Puck (mischief making sprite). But check this out:

See the explanation after each bolded quote? Oberon! Then Titania! And so then this happened:

Ha! Humans for the win right here! (Although I didn’t use question marks when asking my questions, so I feel like I’ve lost a bit of credibility there too…)

Still, have a winning day yourself, dear Reader 🙂

  • KRidwyn
Categories
#blogjune teaching

#BlogJune Day 9

Gone 5pm and I still haven’t blogged. That’s ’marking time of term’ for you!

But I *did* get the time to walk Kiya just now… and check out the entrance to one of my neighbour’s properties!

The colours don’t do it justice, I’m afraid. God is so amazing the way He uses the colour palette He designed!

Here’s wishing you a colourful day as well, dear Reader!

  1. – KRidwyn
Categories
#blogjune Blogging challenges teaching Work

#BlogJune Day 3

I left home at 6.45am. Arrived back at 6.15pm. That’s an 11 1/2 hour day, people!
No wonder I’m tired. And my photography skills aren’t as sharp. But hey, it is what it is 🙂

I hope your day was a shorter one, dear Reader!

– KRidwyn

Categories
Life Random thoughts teaching Technology

20/52 On accordions

I think I was about 10 when I decided I wanted to play the Piano Accordion. I did for a while, too! It was pretty cool 🙂

The other day, I was completing some online planning for work when I unintentionally hovered over a heading, prompting a notification. “Click to expand or collapse the accordion” it read.

Blink.

Accordion? What?

Since when is a menu, or downward facing arrow, or three dots (usually vertical, but not always) called ‘an accordion’?

But how apt! I love it.

I’m going to be using this phrase a lot more from now on. ‘Click to expand / collapse the accordion.’

Have an expansive week yourself, dear Reader!

  • KRidwyn

 

 

Categories
Life Random thoughts teaching Work

11/52 On marking

It’s a lovely feeling when it’s done! But my current marking is still firmly in the ‘present’ tense, so when it comes to writing this blogpost I’m rather time-poor, I’m afraid.

So here’s a photo Mum found the other week – me when I was 5, in Bristol, England – for you to smile at:

and I’ll see you next week, dear Reader!

  • KRidwyn

 

 

Categories
Reading Review teaching Work

9/52 On reading

Books I’ve read recently:

H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. I figured it was time; that I should read it at least once in my life. And it *was* good. I can see why it was such an influential novel in its time… but it was the introduction by Orson Scott Card (in the version I was reading) which impressed me more in its insight and readability. He’s an impressive writer, Orson Scott Card!

The Joy Luck Club: I picked this one up because again, it was one of those “I should really read this at least once in my life” moments. Halfway down the first page, I realised I’d already read it, probably a decade or two ago now! And I’d enjoyed it… but seeing as time is fleeting, reading takes it up, and I’d already read it before: I finished the first chapter then skipped to the final chapter for a quick re-read before putting it down. It’s the mark of a brilliant writer, I think, that Amy Tan can make me cry in just those first and last chapters! Although maybe, being half-Asian myself, the story resonates with me more…?


Hangman’s Curse by Frank Peretti. I enjoyed this more than I thought I would! The Christian overtones weren’t as ‘in your face’ as other Christian novels I’ve read, and as for the depiction of bullying in high schools: I don’t know if much (at all!) has changed in the intervening years since it was published in 2001.

And now: The Janson Directive by Robert Ludlum. Considering his Bourne series has been one of my favourites since my teens, this is proving to be quite an easy read. Again: what a writer, huh?


And that’s it from me this week. Now I need to go and get through those class sets of draft marking which are waiting patiently for me!

Have a great week, dear Reader 🙂
⁃ KRidwyn

Categories
Life Random thoughts teaching

4/52 On happiness

I’ve decided that I need to slow down; be aware of where I am and what I am doing.

You see, the other week I was told I’d be teaching a Year 7 Art class this semester. To be exact, it was to co-teach with the Art teacher… but my first reaction was to panic.

So I’ve reflected quite a bit since then, coming to grips with ‘why do I feel this way’…and I’ve realised that it’s my ‘busy-busy-busy’ mindset that I’ve developed over 49 years that’s caused it. The way. I figure: if I “cram as much as possible into life” then certain things are more valuable, time-wise, than others. In other words, I’m “too busy” to sit and draw. Or sit and paint. Or sit, even. (Even when watching TV with Hubby, I’m back to crotcheting, seeing as I now no longer have books to cover.)

I’m not sure I particularly like this about myself. If I’m rushing through life, am I even enjoying it? Hubby said once that I made roadrunner look slow. Which was funny… but in hindsight, also an indictment?

So I’ve started trying, intentionally, to be observant of my ‘moments’. Which brings me to my beetle, and my puppy.

You see, I had my beautiful bug serviced the week just gone. And it was discovered that the back pair of tyres was 7 years old. The front pair, however, was 22!

So on Tuesday just gone, I drove it back up to Cooroy to drop it off, and then collected it Thursday evening with 5 brand new tyres. And on the drive home, my 12 month old kelpie, Kiya, sat beside me.

And life was good. Driving my beautiful bug, kelpie by my side, happy and healthy and at the beginning of a long weekend (happy Australia Day, for those of you who celebrate it!) was such a pleasure! And all the more so, realising that I was ‘awake’ in that moment and knowing it for the joy that it was.

Sigh. May I be cognizant of many more… and I wish the same for you too, dear Reader!

Have a wonderful week 🙂

Categories
family anecdotes teaching Work

3/52 Final day before the chaos

Yes, that’s right. The 2024 school year starts back tomorrow. It’s been a wonderful holiday… not the least of it due to family gaming time.

Decades ago now, Hubby was an addicted gamer, to the extent that I was a ‘computer widow’. Since I couldn’t beat him, I joined him, and once multiplayer games became a thing (yes, I did mention ‘decades’, didn’t I) we had some pretty amazing sessions, some of which bordered on the truly epic.

Fast forward to sometime in 2021, I introduced our son to Caesar II and the Age of Empires franchise. Fast forward again to the 2023 / 2024 summer holidays: we had our own Mum-Dad-two-teenagers slaughterfest on AoEIV (Anniversary Edition) where it was me getting slaughtered, Hubby barely hanging on, and our daughter (who’d only just started playing two days earlier) just narrowly being beaten by our reigning champion son. Hours and hours and hours of fun was had! And humbling experiences too, I must admit, for me, as well as Hubby…

Seeing my little computer villagers building castles got me inspired to also spend some time re-reading one of my favourite trilogies: The Heaven Tree series, written by Edith Pargeter (who also wrote as Ellis Peters, of the Bather Cadfael series). The protagonist is a master mason who dedicates his life (literally… he gets killed as soon as its done) to building of a castle on the English border with Wales. It’s a magnificent story, and the writing style is sublime 🙂

And then, to bring it all ‘into the real world’ as it were, this showed up in my Facebook feed:

What a simply stunning piece of architecture! Isn’t it inspiring that someone had the courage to design such magnificence – let alone the bravery of the people who built it (and maybe even, who lived there!)

Anyway, I just wanted to share these thoughts with you, some reflection time, just prior to heading into the chaos of this school year.

Happy first week back of school, dear Reader!

  • KRidwyn
Categories
Life More about me Random thoughts teaching

On ‘schooling’

So my two school-aged kids are at the same school again, for the first time since June 2021. It’s Brisbane School of Distance Education, and they’ve completed the first week of Term 4.

And so far, it seems to be going well! Miss15 started last term, so it wasn’t ‘all new’ for her, but my taller-than-me-now Master14 has been at it for a week… and he seems to be tracking okay 🙂

Such a relief. This parenting gig is harder than it first looks… and wow but that pregnancy bit does NOT look comfortable!

I’m always second-guessing myself. Should I “let” Miss18 have a gap semester or a gap year – or just figure it out for herself? Will the benefits of Distance Education outweigh the issues for the other two, or have I just made yet another foolish decision? Will they be able to support Master14 with his autism, more effectively than at a regular school? After all – that’s why I’ve moved him…?

And when on earth does it all get easier?

Still. BSDE schooling *seems* to be going okay, at this moment in time, so here’s hoping that this will continue… Wish me all the best, dear Reader!

Til we meet again 🙂

  • KRidwyn
Categories
momentous events teaching

Excuses and a photo

Yes, I know. It’s been a while. Life, you know?
On the homefront, Master12 started High School this year, meaning all three cherubs are at the one school again. What a relief! The school notes, the synchronising of term calendars, the transport issues – all cleared up! But yes, settling him into High School was more problematic than I’d expected… but that’s more my excuse for the dearth of blogposts, rather than the reason I’m putting fingers to keyboard today.
Because check this out!
Yup, that’s me! Third on the list of ‘Top Contributors’ for the conference I attended, the last two days. #NESB2021 – the National Educators Summit, Brisbane, 2021 – was absolutely brilliant, and helped me get my tweeting mojo back again, something I secretly hoped for.

Plus, oh! The learning! Getting back to a space where I can hear latest research on issues from Evidence Based Practice to ensuring diversity in the Library collection, not to mention the joy in listening to authors Aleesah Darlison and Peter Carnavas, and (of course) the networking opportunities presented – wow! So it was a stuff-as-much-information-as-possible-inside-your-brain kind of two days, and now I’m exhausted and happy and eager to start planning what ideas I’ll be implementing first. Because there were just SO many!!!

Thank you to all the presenters for giving up their time and sharing their cumulative wisdom; thank you to the organisers ensuring it all ran smoothly, and also a huge thank you to my boss for covering my classes on Friday, and agreeing to the cost from the PD budget. It was well worth the money 🙂

And now, let’s see if I can keep up this whole ‘blogging’ thing which I’ve wrestled with for over a decade now. Hopefully more regularly than has been, so far this year!

Have a wonderful week, dear Reader 😀

– KRidwyn