Mar 23, 2008

Melbourne and the 150th Post

Alright so as this is both my 150th blog post (after just over a year and half of blogging), and also a moment in my student teaching I have some time to post stuff (we get a 5 day break around Easter).

As I've been unable to post about the MANY things that have happened to me since my second departure from Canada I figure this is as good a time as any.

So imagine a month and a half ago to the beginning of February...

The Scene

I was here in this place. Melbourne Australia.

To meet up with my lovely girlfriend Rhownyn for her birthday before we both had to head back to Dunedin for skool.

The City
Melbourne is a very fun city architecturally.

With buildings sculpted to look like organic slime.

Tall modern sky scrappers, and cool cone domed malls... remember that dome it comes up again in a second.

Old factories INSIDE malls...

Enclosed in cone shaped domes... in a mall.

The Museum

Rhonwyn and I hit the museum (as you have to really!). I won't go into too much details as Traumador might be popping in there sometime within the next month or so...

I knew I was going to like this place right away, as it had a Dinosaur to greet you in the lobby. Not just any Dinosaur but one I'd never seen before (cast or real.... this was a cast of course) Amargasaurus.

There was also a life sized Great White Shark. So you knew this had to be a good museum...

It had an enclosed forest inside it too... in fact Melbourne had the most enclosed things that don't normally go in buildings I've ever seen in one city.

A nice upper walkway between the various part of the museum that included more cool fossils. In this case a Glyptodon which I'd also never seen (to my memory... I may have seen one when I was little, but I'm not sure).

A rather nice, but small Dinosaur Hall with Rhonwyn for scale... (Traum will be going into further depth on this... so rather than steal his thunder).

A fun insect hall. With large giant spider. The funny part is this pic was taken BEFORE Rhonwyn noticed the giant arachnid above her.

The Aquarium

We also popped into the aquarium for a lookesy. This is the best picture I've ever managed of a Trigger Fish ever!
They had two never seens before again... Sea snakes! and...


The warm up to the big attraction was a Leopard Shark.

Followed by the big shark tank (just like the one in Auckland in size and configuration, only theirs wasn't split into two separate enclosures so their sharks were more spaced out, and harder to catch up too).

The Zoo

The last major tourist attraction we hit was the zoo. Here we of course saw lots of the most famous Aussie critter...

More than lots of them really...

I was excited to see yet another Monitor lizard (both the museum and aquarium had living ones too, but I didn't grow sick of seeing them!)

Sadly no visible Otters, but cool photo of the fish in their enclosure.

How much more zoo can a photo get than this one really?!?

An Aussie Waterhen... very similar to kiwi Pukeku.

Rhonwyn with a fresh water dwelling snake.

Galapagos Tortoise.

Officially the cutest photo I've ever taken.

The second most. Both nominated by Rhonwyn.

Chinese New Year

We were in town just on the tail end of Chinese New Year, and as our hotel was in the middle of China town there was plenty of things to see during our first day in town.
We also had to take Rhonwyn out for authentic Chinese (she's picky about such foods having lived in China for a while) to celebrate her B-day.

Overall Melbourne was a fun and cool place to visit. My only complaint was we only got 4.5 days there, but it was better than nothing.

We have of course since been in good old Duners for the last month and a chunk. Plenty of things have happened in that bit of time, but I'll have to fill you in on most of them later. Though I'll leave with a minor:


My student teaching is just over half finished. I had my major inspection last Thursday just before Easter break. Here I was observed by both my assigned advisor professor, and the head of my program. Unlike other inspections of last year these went quote "brilliantly" and I had minimal points to improve on (unlike last year many major points). It is appearing that younger children and me are the perfect mix.

Also Traumador got his first major non-photo appearance in over a year this week in front of the kids, and he was a big success.

Mar 16, 2008

In Control of Control... Thus far.

Well of course having failed one of my postings in a kids classroom last year meant I'd have to repeat it again. I just this week took total control of teaching and running the day to days of a nice grade 2/3 class.

So far things have been going magnificently. Granted there is lots of room for improvement, but thus far for having only done 3 days it feels a lot better than previous bits of actual teaching (which is a LOT different from how I've worked with kids in the 8 years before this program).

Here's the students of my class. Well here's how they've drawn themselves. Not wanting to risk any legal or moral complications this is the best you're getting for now.

Anyways being a full on teacher I once again have no time or life to speak of. So things like blog posts (mine or Traumador's) are going to scarce till April.

Rhonwyn Update

I hinted in my last posting that Rhonwyn came down "sick". One weekish later she is on the mend, and nearly back to full health again. This picture was selected due to it being funny, and my not being allowed to take that alone post a pic of her in ill form.

She sustained a nasty infection to the back of her knee which swelled up, and went feverish on my B-Day. By 4am that morning her whole body had a pretty full on temperature, and so at my very strong insistence we went to the hospital. There she was put on antibiotics and given crouches.

Funny enough if you follow the adventures of Peter Bond both he and Rhonwyn suffered the same thing within a month of each others. Only due to his much worse suffering I took my cue to not risk anything and get Rhonwyn's checked out early, and thus made her's a lot less intense than poor Bond's. On the downside she won't have the kick ass battle scar as a memento...

Anyways for my next post... the 150th of my blog... I'll take you back in time to 2 months ago to my trip to the far off land of Melbourne.

Mar 8, 2008

Garfield without Garfield

A great page was brought to my attention at Laelaps called Garfield without Garfield.

The site describes itself as:

Who would have guessed that when you remove Garfield from the Garfield comic strips, the result is an even better comic about schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and the empty desperation of modern life? Friends, meet Jon Arbuckle. Let’s laugh and learn with him on a journey deep into the tortured mind of an isolated young everyman as he fights a losing battle against loneliness in a quiet American suburb.

Here's a sample.

Again here's a link to the site with many more great strips like this one.

A major life update post is coming... just not now.

The trailer for it goes something like this (imagine in a cool full on hollywood preview announcer voice):

A student teacher on the brink of his last placement. A birthday he wasn't too keen on. A present with potential unknown. A girlfriend getting ill very early in the morning.

He is Student Teacher Man!!!