Monthly Archives: February 2013

Seeing the daffodils⤴

from @ blethers

Yesterday I posted about suddenly realising I could still feel what it was like to experience the world as when I was a child. And today I read the next bit in Michael Mayne's This Sunrise of Wonder and began to think again about this business of how we see the world around us. Is it simply the realisation that our time here is so limited - and getting shorter by the day? Is it also the fact that as we shed responsibilities - job, mortgage, family, aged parents - we are allowed to become like children again? (And if so, it's the best argument yet for not raising the retirement age).

Anyway, this is what John Updike has to say on the matter: (and yes, Mayne is quoting Updike; I'm not quite at the bonkers stage yet) :

Like my late Unitarian father-in-law am I now in my amazed, insistent appreciation of the physical world, of this planet with its scenery and weather - that pathetic discovery which the old make that every day and season has its beauty and its uses, that even a walk to the mailbox is a precious experience, that all species of tree and weed have their signature and style and that the sky is a pageant of clouds. Ageing calls us ... into the lowly simplicities that we thought we had outgrown as children ... The act of seeing is itself glorious.

Today, the sky is a perfect blue. The sea is darker, and in the open water there are small, north-wind-driven waves. But under the wall that faces the sun, there are daffodils in bloom.

RAK report⤴

from @ Bobby R's ePortfolio

In class we have been doing R. A. K work and we are going to be doing stuff like putting thoughtful notes in AR books or library books. We are all ambassadors. I am the ambassador of inspiration and there are twelve types of ambassadors like caring, loving and friendliness. We decided to write a letter for our reading buddies and we told them our name and told them a little bit about our self like our hobbies that we do in our spare time. For example, I do football and I play with a football team and my football team is called Stenhousemuir. Also I made my reading buddies a book too and mine was called New Friends and we are going to give each of our reading buddies a copy of our book and they can let their mum and dad see the books that we wrote especially for them. When I read the book they really enjoyed it and there are other people in class that done it too. The reading buddies will be really happy when we give them the books on Wednesday :-) :-) :-).

Tune in on-line to learn more about ActivInspire⤴


 Have you been using ActivInspire, but find yourself lost? This session via webinar ** will provide you with a clear overview of each of the browsers and how to navigate through the program. Date: Wednesday 27th February Time: 8–8:45 p.m. (GMT) The main objectives will be to (a)  Identify and explore the browsers in ActivInspire and […]

CEOP and Microsoft Launch new Windows 8 App⤴

from @ Highland E-Safety

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP) have teamed up with Microsoft again and today launched a new App to promote their support and resources for children, young people, parents and carers. It’s free and downloadable from the Windows App store. The full press release is here

Windows 8 CEOP App

This is another great addition to the ways in which CEOP is being promoted. They have a number of social media, browser plug-ins and networking site profiles now including  Youtube  Facebook Twitter Firefox Plug In Google Chrome In Scottish Schools we have access to the digital network Glow and each school can add a Glow CEOP tile so that it’s there ready for them to explore as soon as they login. The main website is still the place to go for all of their key resources, it ‘s great to see CEOP doing all they can to promote their support for creating safer online communities.

LIfe in the bubble of wonder⤴

from @ blethers

On the boat
Originally uploaded by goforchris.
Do you remember being a child? Oh, yes ... all these years ago ... But do you really remember? Do you ever find yourself re-inhabiting that wonderful bubble that could enclose you when you were small, when your imaginative world was the be all and end all; when the world of adults was an enabling machine, but little to do with you? Or are you so caught up in the business of being a grown-up that the bubble has long since burst, scattered like the rainbow, now only a damp circle on the concrete of your life?

I'm reading Michael Mayne's book This Sunrise of Wonder - at last, Jim, if you're reading this! - and it's fair got me thinking. Especially after last weekend, when I was visiting a Thomas the Tank Engine paradise with my four grandchildren and their assorted parents. Before we all headed away from the hotel and the theme park, we spent a couple of hours in a nearby playpark. The contrast with the theme-park rides was striking. Yes, there were swings and roundabouts, but there were also climbing frames and the wonderful galleon in the photo. And it was the galleon that kept all four of them playing together the longest. I could hear the oldest allotting roles to the others, who weren't really paying much attention; the smallest child was ferrying sand to the top of the chute that is just visible exiting the hull in the bottom corner; another had purloined a bottle of water the better to demonstrate the drainage the same chute afforded. There was another hiding under the deck, and the strange child that found himself in the middle of the gang was pressed into service as a pirate. And no-one wanted to come away.

And the combination of the book and the grandchildren's enjoyment of imaginative play brought an epiphany. I could remember my childhood bubble. And what was better: I could remember it in such a way that I could feel it again, feel it the way I did when I was under ten (the family moved house when I was ten; it's a useful watershed in my library of mental images of childhood). Here are some of the stand-outs:
  Sitting on the grass in front of our holiday house in Arran, around 6pm on the first of July, gazing at the hills at the head of Glen Cloy, smelling the bog-myrtle on the breeze, ready to burst with happiness because the summer was a lifetime long and I was back in the place I loved more than any other.
 Walking behind the rest of my family after a trip to the cinema - alone, because I was in a movie and Byres Road was actually Dodge City and a dangerous environment.
  Playing under and on top of the kitchen table, because it was a boat. The trick was to get onto the top without falling into the sea of the rest of the floor.
  Spending hours in a hollowed-out rhododendron bush with a few friends as the Arran rain teemed down, happy as could be because our 'house' kept the rain out.
  Looking forward to time alone - on a bus, on a train, in my bed - because I wanted to "think" - which I now realise was re-entering a bubble which was always there.
  Climbing rocks on the shore in the conviction that I was on a sheer rock-face on some distant mountain.

I could actually go on all day. Even writing these makes me feel I want to go out to play. The point is that it was all wonderful. Imagination took me way beyond what anyone else would have seen. On the odd occasion when I have a grandchild to myself, I like to put that child into a situation where they too will wonder at something I love - is this because I now need an excuse to be child-like?

Dammit. I don't need excuses. I'm fortunate in that I worked with young people for my whole life - ok, they were teenagers, not tots, but they were amazingly easy to make young again with a little encouragement. I was able to avoid growing up. I grow old, I grow old ... but I'm not going to succumb to the equivalent of Eliot's rolled trouser-bottoms: no. I may have reached the cardigan/tweed skirt era beloved of a previous grown-up generation, but there's nothing appealing there. Who cares what the world thinks?

I've had a taste of life in the bubble again. The life of wonder has been re-awakened, and it's ... wonderful.

GlowPlus? The Agile Solution⤴

from @ Charlie | Charlie

In my previous post I posed several questions. How can a small agile development group ensure the delivery of a service to over a million users, the security of their data and the platform? How can they provide great support for mobile technologies and meet the expectations of a user …

The Risk of Learning Without Prospects⤴


In the 1980s, German philosopher and provocateur, Peter Sloterdijk, proclaimed ‘the end of the belief in education’. Despite society’s declaration that Knowledge Is Power, young people, he said, live… …with the risk of learning without prospects. Those who do not seek power will…not want its knowledge…and those who reject both are secretly no longer citizens […]

answers to higher unit 2 practice NAB⤴

from @ fizzics

Here are my solutions to the practice NAB for unit 2.

Check your own answers carefully.  Did you;

  • mix up the equation for charged particles with those for capacitors?
  • remember to calculate the period of an ac signal in seconds?
  • make the correct substitutions for V1 and V2 in the differential amplifier question?
  • use “it” instead of nouns in your explanations?

Don’t Leave it⤴


I am currently reading “The Spirit of Success” by Norman Drummond, the found of Columba 1400. This is a fairly easy read and hugely important for anyone in a leadership role whether at work or at home. The main thrust of the book is about balancing our head with our heart which is something I need to keep,working at.

The following wee section can be found in many other places on the Internet but I feel it is worth repeating here without any other comment.

There was an important job to be done and everybody was sure that somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that because it was everybody’s job. Everybody thought that anybody could do it, but nobody realised that everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that everybody blamed somebody when nobody did what anybody could have done.

Music and Cognitive Ability⤴


Honest debate impels me to include points of view which do not match my own. In this regard here is an article in which it it stated that parents who invest in music lessons for their children, in the hope of improved academic ability, are wasting their money. Whether or not you agree with this does not change the fact that having instrumental lessons, not through love of music, but in the hope of improving other abilities does seem an odd approach – why not just study harder?