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April 14, 2013

Strangely funneled sensation this week coming to the end of an 11 week first term: How much can I squeeze in?

Advice to beginners

Love this Advice to Beginners  from Ira Glass; reminds me to maintain a beginner’s mind.

So, to my week:

  • long-delayed fig tree removal from our front garden was saddening, but created a work-in-progress opportunity (hence this Pinterest board)
  • we made a final payment that eliminated our mortgage – grounds for celebration, plus more than a little shock
  • as a Humanities team, we initiated student tracking to embed ongoing monitoring of achievement
  • tutorial presentations by year 12 students responding to Gran Torino yielded fantastic shared insights to representations of gender, power and race
  • two days at a workshop exploring Australian curriculum implementation resulted in this Storify
  • yesterday staff and students from our school made a group visit to the State Theatre Centre for John Bell’s production of Henry IV

Anarchy meets monarchy? Yes.

So much else to delight: Brilliant opening sequence involving tetris-stacked/ union jack milk crates crashing down; awful potty pouring for the audience’s horrified gaze; lurid lycra-clad, helmet-wearing messenger staged arrival from an audience side entry – apprehensive glances into the crowd broke the power of that fourth wall; and Falstaff’s embarrassed flight from the crime scene in Act I  “recorded” on a tourist-victim’s digital camera, then later used in evidence by Hal.

Last, the play’s anthemic close:

Inspired, superlative, wonderful end-of-the-Perth-season performance (have to visit Sydney if you’re now keen to go).

More important for me are my students’ responses to viewing live theatre. What they made of the experience is not yet appearing in our Edmodo stream (I have asked). Like me, perhaps, they are still reflecting and I will discover more tomorrow, next term, next opportunity for extension beyond our class/ school experience.

As ever, I am learning with Hotspur that

 … thought’s the slave of life, and life time’s fool;
And time, that takes survey of all the world,
Must have a stop.

Shakespeare, Henry IV, Act I, sc.iv

Not such a fatal end for me, though; more an undulating curtain of certainty between Friday’s last class, and the beginning of second term.

Limitless potential for learning along the way.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 14, 2013 8:29 pm

    London Calling is my phone’s default ringtone. It’s perfect–nice and loud and a reminder of a favourite time, long ago. How’s that for off-topic…after all where i am it’s Sunday morning :>)

  2. April 15, 2013 5:24 am

    Hi Maurice,
    The Clash were cresting in the charts when I was 21 and living in London – resonates for me, too! Even the cast’s singing of “Jerusalem” gave me goosebumps at the end of Act I. Stunning performance.
    I am intrigued by re-purposing of music for a new generation; our culture is so thrifty. My daughters tell me it’s an old person’s riff to bang on about the past (quoting now), but Shakespeare shows there is nothing new….
    Always great hearing from you

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