Sunday, 12 January 2014

Holiday Howdy.

So here we are, four weeks into the summer holidays and I'm only just now sitting down to get moving towards the blogging goals I set myself for my summer break. Time to step up Mrs R-P!

I was pretty well out of action the first three weeks of the holidays due to some eye surgery that has had a ridiculously slightly longer recovery than we were expecting. I'm still quite unsteady on my feet and am walking into the odd wall but that's not overly unusual for me... I'm not the most graceful gazelle in the herd.  I've struggled with the enforced 'quiet' time, but have used it to catch up a few podcasts and TED talks.

Here's a sampling of my playlist over the last few weeks.

Sir Ken's TED pic.
Sir Ken Robinson: I will stop whatever I'm doing pretty much anytime to listen to this man. He is funny, insightful and BRILLIANT.
His TED talk 'How Schools Kill Creativity' is wonderful (and can be watched here); and his Google 2012 Zeitgeist talk 'The World We Explore' stayed with me for days (and can be watched here).
For a bit of a change in pace, here is an RSA Animate adapted from a talk Sir Ken gave about the changing paradigm of education. (This one is good to watch rather than just listen... Although having already seen it, I enjoyed listening to it again.)

Rita in full flight during her TED talk.
Rita Pierson: Oh my goodness. In this TED talk she says: " Every child deserves a champion - an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be". I have this written in my school diary and look at it every day.
There are piles of Rita's funny stories around also... My husband had a good chuckle at this one.
Kid President: Yeah, OK, not the most intellectually stimulating stuff of all time but the concept is fantastic and the kid is awesome. Kudos to the family that created such loving and strong relationships that this is the outcome. Check out his photo here - how can you not love him?
Josh Clark & Chuck Bryant: Oh you don't know them? Bwa ha ha. Josh & Chuck are the presenters of one of my favourite podcasts of all time: Stuff You Should Know. The basic idea is that Josh & Chuck (and I presume a team of researchers) unpack and delve into a range of weird and interesting topics and present a twice weekly podcast. So, for example, you might choose to listen to 'How the Rosetta Stone Works' (here) or maybe 'How Braille Works' (here) or just for something completely out of left field 'What's the Most Expensive Toilet in the World?' (here). (I've only listened to the first two of those three, but believe that the short answer to the third  is that it's made of solid gold and can be found in Hong Kong.)  I've played a few of these to my 12 & 14 year old sons and they love them. I'm pretty sure that some of them would make great classroom listening too.

CC by 2.0 Michael Janssen
Music: pretty much anything my husband chooses. He's the music man in our family so for the most part I defer to his judgement. And he's pretty good at picking the mood of an audience.  Otherwise, if he's not around, I'm loving Check it out, it's good.

Just a sneak into my summer break so far. Now that I can cope with more than a few minutes in front of a screen I've big plans for blogging this coming week. Stay tuned. In the meantime... How are your holidays? Or alternatively for my North American friends: I hope you're coping with the fall out from the polar vortex. Stay warm if at all possible. :)


  1. Research shows that kids who experience abuse and neglect but have at least one safe adult who believes in them have greater capacity to cope with the trauma with lesser ongoing effects than tgeir peers who don't. Yes, every child needs a champion.

    1. It quite amazing how these kids blossom in front of your eyes. One of the best parts of my job.

  2. I'm lovin' that feisty woman Rita Pierson - have head the name for many years but never delved into her videos before today. Thanks for the chuckle. The BEST lessons are embbed in GREAT stories.

    1. I was really sad to read that she passed away in August last year. The world is a poorer place for her passing, but a much richer one for her amazing life.