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.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Amesbury Officially Open

Although we opened our doors to students in February yesterday marked the Official Opening of Amesbury School complete with an opening ceremony, VIPs, speeches, concert, and in the evening a disco for the kids. Hekia Parata, the Minister of Education, formally opened the school then was taken on a school tour by students.  She visited the library and showed great interest in what the children were doing and why.  The children in turn explained what they were doing and answered her questions.  She ended up rather behind schedule at the end and had to hurry off in time to catch a plane to Christchurch.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Weta Workshop

Our school staff visited Weta Workshop this afternoon to meet with Richard Taylor (I mean Sir Richard Taylor).  He began by talking about the development of Weta and the movies Weta have been involved in making.  But most interesting was a discussion about creativity, how to encourage and develop creativity in children, and the creative people who work at Weta. The emphasis was on artistic creativity (not something I possess) but the ideas could apply to other types of creativity such as writing or scientific inventions. When he employs kids (his words not mine) he looks for four things, the top three being passion, enthusiasm and tenacity, followed by talent. Many young people have talent but he believes they need the other three characteristics to succeed.

School groups and others sometimes do a tour of the workshop but they are finishing a highly confidential project - The Hobbit? - so we had to stick to the conference room off the entrance foyer.  Not many conference rooms are as interesting as that one however.  A glass cabinet stretches the length of one wall and it is chock full of collectibles such as Lord of the Rings miniatures. There is also an impressive collection of industry awards including the Oscars and BAFTAs shown in the photo below.