Friday, April 28, 2006

Canberra ballooning - what a picture!

Canberra ballooning 2
Originally uploaded by margoc.
Well, earlier this week while eating my brekky, I looked out of our kitchen window to this! How lovely!

I grabbed the camera and stepped outside and immediately felt like I had just stepped into a painting! I didn't crop this shot, nor make any colour changes (OK I saturated them a little more ;oP)...

I could have reached out and touched the balloons! They were low enough to hear the rush of the gas (a colleague said they sound like dragons to her!) and see the flames!

Now, if I could engage teachers with this level of wonder, captivation and curiosity, I'd be laughing!

Some moments can last a lifetime! :o)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Exercise your right to be creative and inventive

I ripped my daily stars out of the paper last night, at the pizza bar whilst waiting for my pizza to cook...

If you don't like the thoughts that are passing through your mind, think different ones. Exercise your right to be creative and inventive. Dream up something inspiring. Contemplate a more appealing action. Don't be a prisoner of what, effectively, is only an idea. Others may feel that there's only one way to look at what's happening now, but they are wrong. Their horizons may be narrow but your's can be as broad and exciting as you want them to be. Your only enemy now is negativity.

...I was ripping it out before I'd even finished reading it! It speaks volumes about where I sense I am at right now. I say 'sense', because I've found it difficult to put my finger on the negativity creeping into my days, in relation to work.

I have noticed that this feeling has coincided with my studies. Reviewing the state of education, my role in it and looking into the future, has not been all that heartening. Why? Well, frankly, I'm not sure.

Part of my studies includes a subject on change management in educational organisations. One task is to pilot a short action research project. I'm thinking that perhaps I need to engage in a personal reflective action project myself, and have a good look at where I am, what I'm doing and why I'm here (there's that big question again!).

How could I act on this, perhaps taking the quote and adding practical elements to get the ball rolling? Well, here's one go:

  1. Think different thoughts. Commit to an action/activity, like writing a blog post without the guilt.
  2. Exercise your right to be creative and inventive. Use different senses. Get up from my computer.
  3. Dream up something inspiring. I like handwriting in my journal! Document stories related to daily work to inspire others. By practicing communication, I can refine it.
  4. Contemplate a more appealing action. Don't just think about an idea, do it! See how an idea works in practice, like developing movie clips for online help.
  5. Don't be a prisoner of what, effectively, is only an idea. Let go of ideals if they cannot be effectively communicated - or find inspiring ways to communicate them! it's OK if the idea is not original or mind-blowing; if it works, IT WORKS!
  6. Your horizons can be as broad and exciting as you want them to be. See the big picture and stay informed.
  7. Your only enemy now is negativity. Be kind to myself - some days are more fun than others! :o)
I have a project coming up for which I am the educational designer. I'm really excited about it. I'm also sensing some negativity as I anticipate the challenges the team will face along the way (some known, some still to surface). So, perhaps I'll revisit this list and act on it for this project. I might just be pleasantly surprised!

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Finding the Extraordinary in the Everyday

"If you don't fit in their groove, they don't want to know you," Hart once said of the Australian art community. Hart gained his widest recognition in Australia when he featured in a television carpet advertisement, painting a carpet with spaghetti, milk, wine and other foods. "Oh Mr Hart, what a mess!" was the catchcry (WikiNews).

Pro Hart's work for me, is summed up in this one advertisement, which left such an impression on me as a kid! It sums up the artist for me; he captured the essence of the everyday life in vibrant colours and vivid forms.

If we could all but see the world saturated in colour perhaps we would be able to do away with the terms mediocre and mundane?

It propels me to see more of the extraordinary in the everyday.

Image from Rueters

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Returning to study...

So, it's 5 in the morning, my eyes have blurred behind my glasses an hour ago and I have that fuzzy feeling like my body is wrapped in cotton wool (you know the way jsut as you're about to fall asleep?)...yep, I've pulled an all-nighter, my first in about 5 years, since I last studied in fact!

I've started a Master of Education this semester and boy, what a shock to the system, especially with the first assesment piece just completed! The essay was due on Friday just gone and it landed in the post box about 4pm and I was glad to see the back of it! :o)

Fitting study time into your routine is not easy. You not only need some time, you also need to switch your brain over to reflection, critical thinking, and geenrally be able to swim about in your thoughts and dive below the surface enough to know what it is you're getting yoruself into, scholarly speaking! :o)

So, what lesson have I learned from re-entry to study (via an assessment piece) at this point?

  1. Learning IS work! Treat it as such and the rewards will come.
  2. I am a different animal after midnight and it's nice to re-awaken different 'selfs' in this way ;oP
  3. Don't ignore your support networks and don't wait untilt he last minute to use that support, and
  4. Tea tastes weird in the wee small hours...!

I'm and so going to prepare for my next assessment piece...(hmmmm, we'll see about that!) ;oP

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