Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New Job, New Library

My poor neglected blog. I've been busy finishing one job, starting another, selling one house, buying another and commuting from the capital city to the Kapiti Coast. Fortunately all is going well and I'm enjoying my job at Paraparaumu Library.  

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cheese Making

Yippee, it's the spring school holidays at last. I spent this afternoon making cheese with a couple of friends. Fortunately Mary had some experience with the cheese making process and she had the equipment, ingredients and recipe ready. Unfortunately we made a mistake in the first step! However we continued on with the process and hopefully we'll have some edible brie cheese in a couple of weeks. The photo below shows the the partially finished product.  It still needed to be turned a few times, soaked in brine and left to mature. We also made some ricotta cheese with the leftover whey. It was quick and easy to make and tasted good with crackers for afternoon tea.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

In Front of the Camera

Every now and then you have to do something that terrifies you. Today was that kind of day.  When someone says they want to shoot you coming through the door that's pretty terrifying - even if it just means shoot as in film.

Some time last term I agreed to take part in a film being made by the National Library about 21st century school libraries. Suddenly it wasn't just a note in my diary for some future date, it was today, and I found myself in front of a GIGANTIC camera. Me, the person who hides behind the camera was in front of one for two whole hours. Okay, maybe the camera wasn't gigantic but it was a big one like they use for TV not a handycam.They filmed me doing typical things around the school and library, and then they did a one-on-one interview with me about the Amesbury School library. I also organised groups of students to do various activities in the library and a couple of other teachers were interviewed too. The film crew were at school for five hours and by the time they left I was both exhausted and exhilerated.  They said they were really pleased with the the material they had which was a relief. After they had filmed me working with children one of them asked me if I had a background in performance arts. That took me aback for a moment but then I realised that all I had been doing was normal teaching stuff and interacting with children as usual. I guess teaching often is a kind of performance as you're always thinking about the way you present yourself to children to engage them in learning.

So despite my nerves and fears that I wouldn't say the right thing or express myself articulately I ended up feeling pretty good about the whole thing. They will have hours of film from about four different schools and in the end I suppose there will only be a few minutes of us at Amesbury. Hopefully those minutes will be a true and worthy reflection of Amesbury School library - the place, the people and the learning.

Mike, the cameraman - agreed that he couldn't object to me taking a photo
of him after pointing the camera at me for so long.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sharon's Visit

I was delighted to have my friend Sharon from Hamilton come and stay for a few days. Not only is she a good friend (so we had a lot of talking to do) but she is also a children's book author. On Friday she spent the day at Amesbury School. She spoke to all the students and took a group of 15 students for a writing session.  They were thrilled to work with her and afterwards made comments such as "I'm a better writer than I thought I was" and "I can write confidently now and not be afraid to put my ideas out there and know I can do it".

Here are some related links:
Sharon at Amesbury School
Sharon Holt (on the Book Council website)
Te Reo Singalong website - these books are just great for using Te Reo Maori with young children in a fun way.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

About Time for Another Post

Oops, another month has disappeared and my blog is looking a bit neglected.  Work is busy, busy, busy. One of the teachers I work with went to a meeting at Parliament today to talk about a submission made by Amesbury School to a select committee inquiry into 21st century learning environments and digital literacy. One question they asked was how many hours a week she worked. I wonder if they were surprised when she told them the facts - daytime, evening, weekends - and certainly not just 9am to 3pm. I wish I could work 9 to 3 and enjoy 12 weeks holiday a year!

The school library is also busy and it's great to see the children coming and going during the day.  Most of them can issue and return books independently using our RFID scanning system and we now have a dozen netbooks, some iPads, iPods, Android tablets and eReaders.  Some of the children still need adult help of course. One five year old approached me the other day and asked how to spell her last name. "Why do you need to know that?" I asked. Her reply was, "My parents have secrets and I want to use Google to find out their secrets". Priceless!

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Time gets away on me and suddenly it's the winter solstice and I haven't posted anything on my blog for a while.  Today is also Matariki (Maori New Year) and I went to a Matariki celebration at my nephew's school last Saturday night.  The show included the school kapahaka group, the Police College kapahaka group and a band called My Golden Soul. Zak is a real fan of Matiu who fronts the band and also teaches the school kapahaka group.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


I officially graduated with my Post Graduate Diploma in Information Studies on Wednesday. I decided to go to the graduation ceremony even though I didn't study on campus and I was glad I went.  Alison, Dad and Robert attended and celebrated with me, including a lovely meal at a Mexican restaurant afterwards. I sat next to another woman who had studied online and was in some of my classes so we compared notes about what we were doing now. It was quite special to have a karanga and haka as we entered the auditorium and although my time on stage was fleeting (a few seconds amongst a large number of graduates) it seemed a fitting way to complete my studies.