Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rosh HaShana 5772

Shana Tova everyone. This one comes with a handy calendar - at least for the first 6 months of the year.

You can access the large version of this graphic by clicking on the image above. Images that are related to Jewish Holidays live at the preceding link where you can browse by holiday and download the image in high resolution (for printing etc).

Today's Gratitude Item: Honey (and apples), Herring and a Holiday. I'm massively thankful that I don't have to go in to work tomorrow. Getting a break at this point in the school year where everything is truly insane is great. Here's wishing all my readers a happy, healthy and prosperous 5772.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Is this one busy enough to be barren?

Today's Gratitude Item: That we did not dance tonight. Was hoping to have a class but realised last week that there were not enough dancers able to make it so we decided to take a break this week. This turned out to be for the best as when I got home, there was an email in my box telling me that the hall where we dance was full of chairs for Thursday morning services.

Monday, September 26, 2011


This one required a fair bit of "genius" to create. Wish I could remember the precise steps.

Today's Gratitude Item: That a colleague sent me a very useful power-point which gave my students a clear idea of what they need to do for their final assessment in the technology class that I took over a while back.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pacific Beach

This one reminded me of waves crashing onto a beach. The pattern is inspired by traditional Samoan art, also known as "Siapo" patterns.

On the topic of things Samoan, I'm pretty sure the Samoan community is celebrating today after beating the Fijian side 27-7 in their pool match today. The bad news is that to make the quarter finals, they'd need to beat the Springboks and that might be a rather big ask. The weird thing is, I'm really don't like rugby but when its all you hear day and night, the outcome of certain matches becomes an item of interest.

Today's Gratitude Item: Setting up a wireless network at home. This was far easier than anticipated and my only regret is not doing it sooner. It will be interesting to see if my work laptop "likes" the network or not. Things are tricky as the set up at school is "special" and I'm not sure it will co-operate with the home system "as is". There may be settings that need to be "tweaked" (or beaten into submission).

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pacific Dawn

This is the second in my "Siapo" series. Original design blocks were copied from which means that they cannot be used commercially.

Today's Gratitude Item: Daylight saving starts tonight! In my mind, this is the official start of summer and I'm eagerly anticipating longer days.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Pure and Simple

This graphic is neither. Hence the quotation.

Today's Gratitude Item: Not having to teach junior classes. I realised today how lovely it is to only teach senior classes as these students are more mature and often better behaved. The really dodgy ones have left school and often, the ones who are not working tend to stay away from class meaning less distractions for the motivated majority.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cyber Siapo

This is my first attempt at creating a Siapo pattern. It took forever to make but the effort was worth it. Originally created to inspire my students in our Geometry / transformations topic.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding a massive heap of revision resources that were on my computer for my 11th graders. At the start of the year my boss gave them to me and I forgot all about them until rediscovering them today. The timing could not have been more perfect.

Yesterday's Mystery...

... has been solved. It turns out that the money was left as a donation to the synagogue where we dance by someone who has "mental health issues". Needless to say said donation will be returned to the synagogue when we next dance there. So once again, the world makes a crazy sort of sense.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cured Darkness

This is one of those images which real should be viewed at a larger size.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding $5.00 worth of 10c coins (in a heap) outside the hall where we dance. There were three of us who were the last to leave and as leader of the group I claimed the cash. I think I know who it belongs to and have sent an email asking if they want the money back. The cool thing is, this makes a great story. My dad and I regularly find money when walking and we normally change it into 10c coins and put it down the wishing well for Child Cancer, so finding $5.00 worth of 10c coins is pretty classic. It will be interesting to see how this particular story ends. Said story is a bit of a mystery at the moment and I'm wondering how someone managed to leave behind an impressive heap of coins and not notice! Perhaps its all an elaborate practical joke.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

All Roads

Reminded me of multiple roads converging on a central point - hence the quotation.

Today's Gratitude Item: That a colleague at one of the nearby schools agreed with the marks that I awarded my computing students in a recent Unit Standards assessment. It was my first time marking this type of work and knowing that I'm on the right track is great.

Monday, September 19, 2011

New Idea

Fractals are not new, but this particular style is new to me.

Today's Gratitude Item: That a colleague from another school responded really quickly to my request for help with moderation. I'm excited about meeting another computing teacher and exchanging notes. It will also be really great to get the moderation out of the way.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

World Changer

This one might not change the world, but it made my world better when it appeared on my screen.

Today's Gratitude Item: Not being tired! Am finally caught up on my sleep and am feeling great. Tonight will be an early night again so that I can start the week full of energy.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Sometimes "simple" can be quite good.

Today's Gratitude Item: Today's baking in session went well. I used oregano instead of rosemary and the change was for the better. Things did not go perfectly but the taste of the final product was really good.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Good Painting

Things don't always work out as well as this - but this time, the effort paid off.

Today's Gratitude Item: Most of my senior students have submitted the assignments that were due today. I'm hoping that they have done a good job and that there are not too many who have to "resubmit".

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Easy Carving

This one was neither easy nor a carving, but its close enough.

Today's Gratitude Item: Unexpected chocolate from the head of technology. Being thanked for doing small things is always a nice surprise.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Brain Paint

Whilst its not a painting, it has more to do with "brains" than "hands".

Today's Gratitude Item: That the files I need for an upcoming assessment are not lost forever as first feared. They were not in the files left by my predecessor but thankfully, they are safely in the possession of one of my colleagues. Having these files is a huge load off my mind and it will save me considerable amounts of time.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I was trying to imitate these images! Mine are completely different but that is not a bad thing.

Today's Gratitude Item: Having the genius idea to create an interactive applet to let my students check their coordinate geometry homework. This way they can drag the points around and check that their distance, midpoint and equation calculations are correct. The keen ones can download geogebra to do more complicated problems.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Woven Picture

After a week's hiatus, it feels great to blog again. It took longer to select the gradient of the image below than one might think. Was fun to make though.

Today's Gratitude Item: Figuring out how to get my computer to synchronise with the network at school. Had a mild panic when it looked like my work from last weekend had not saved! Resynching solved the problem and my missing documents magically re-appeared

Saturday, September 03, 2011


Many people are painfully aware that next weekend marks 10 years since the 9/11 attacks. I have decided to leave this post on my blog all week as a tribute to those who perished.

The image below contains all of the names of those who perished in the World Trade Center on 9/11. The names are from the CNN September 11 archive. The names that are highlighted in orange are those of fire fighters and police who died in the line of duty.

The extremely large version is available by clicking on the image above. This work has been released into the Public Domain and an SVG version can be downloaded at the preceding link.

This Week's Gratitude Item: That in the midst of the unspeakable (be it terrorist attacks, earthquakes or Tsunamis) communities can and do come together to aid complete strangers, repair damage and reclaim their city. The triumph of the human spirit at these times gives one hope.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Life is Good

I should probably share this one with my colleagues at work. Not sure our students would agree. This one has taken on a touch of irony given that I now teach Computing / IT and Mathematics and it looks like next year, it will be more Computing / IT then Maths.

Today's Gratitude Item: Being told by the principal of my school that I have a reputation for being innovative in the classroom and for taking risks (in a good way) when delivering content. No one has ever told me this before and it made my day.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Inevitable Change

Presenting something just a little bit different.

Today's Gratitude Item: That absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Its been more than three weeks since I switched some of my Math classes for Computing / IT classes and my old students keep telling me that they miss me. There is one particular student who really did not like me (he kept asking for a new Maths teacher - ironically) who told me he wants me to come back when I saw him around the school. So, either I'm a better teacher than I thought I was or people have a tendency to want what they cannot have.