Friday, 28 November 2008
But standing today in the middle of a huge new school complex, with its scattering of intimate "academies" for small groups of children to call home, and its big statement shared buildings, like this one behind me, is just so exciting. Clifton Hunter School is rising up from the rocks and as you can see has a very strong, hurricane proof heart, but just seeing the excitement in the eyes of the warm hearted people here on Grand Cayman as they pass by is enough, for now.
It's been a very good day indeed.
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
lucky to find a moment to visit the International School at Camana
Bay. It's a new build full of lovely features like this sun screening
canopy of overlapping sailcloth.
The only problem is taking it down as the hurricanes pass by, which
they do quite often here. Mesh can work even better than sailcloth
because it allows wind, and a little diffused light, through so you
avoid that venturi effect of accelerating air underneath. This one
looks really lovely though, doesn't it?
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
How anyone could see all this and still think that a one-size-fits-all school or education system would ever engage anyone beggars belief - this is not a criticism of Thai schools, by the way, but of that whole factory model of learning that characterised education in most countries in the last century and has surely no place at all in this one.
Monday, 17 November 2008
disappointing schools - not a patch on Bangkok's inspired TK Park..
...or I could share this wonderful scenery of old volcanic plugs and
crater lakes that you can just about wriggle into via tiny flooded
caves - it really is all as beautiful as this. Diving off the boat
with a gang of young backpackers to watch the monkeys... Mmmm!
Interesting by the way that all my childhood physical geography cut in
at first sight of this lot and I immediately became very boring about
Sunday, 16 November 2008
The prop (on this one the whole unit is reversed so that the propellor is in the boat for "parking") operates just at surface level, but I'm not sure why this is faster than fully immersed. The result is a whopping "cockerel's tail" of water - fast showy and cheap. Oh and fun too - feels ten times the speed!
Thursday, 13 November 2008
...these loos in the excellent Sofitel Hotel are 35 floors up (I was staying even higher on the 48th floor), so privacy is good, surely and the views out over the MCG in Melbourne are spectacular... but it is faintly un-nerving to, ahem, use them with this big open window alongside....
...not sure why.
Sunday, 9 November 2008
Sending this from my iPhone, as its precise GPS location guides me back to the hotel from the library, with Google Earth with its detailed star charts, accompanying Google maps, it is humbling to remember just how little information these intrepid early navigators had. Brave...
This was his star-sphere - it has constellations and stars carefully mapped onto its surface. Hard to imaging him sitting with this bauble in his hand looking up at the sky to recognise familiar Northern hemisphere constellations (like Orion's Belt) that he could still see as he sailed South.
Thursday, 6 November 2008
Teddington's space in particular has interesting furniture - with stand-and-type height surfaces which the children like a lot (as in many workplaces too these days). My only small suggestion to them was to mirror the wall so that the faces of children sitting towards it can be seen, along with their various screens. Cheap mirrors transform pedagogy in tech rich environments. Peter was on very good form, as was assistant head teacher Kevin Watling (pictured). I await the film with interest!
Saturday, 1 November 2008
...amongst a host of interesting explorations of furniture were these wonderful fibreglass stools looking like giant stacks of books. Fun, playfully Harry Potteresque, very light and affordable. I just had to order some right away - for a school in West London where I have an interest - and for home!!