Wednesday, August 31, 2011


This one looked a bit like fancy knitting, hence the quotation.

Today's Gratitude Item: Learning how to program a simple macro in excel. Said macro compares the values of two cells and then outputs a statement using a message dialogue box. One of my students had to help me to reference cells in the macro as its not quite as simple as stating if B12 > C12, then ... Instead, you have to say if Range("B12").Value etc. Its complicated for first timers but with a bit of practice it's not too bad.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fire Ferns

This one might be a bit "strong" for desktop wallpaper. It took 10 hours to produce a high resolution version for Shutterstock.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting a six panel advertising brochure in the post. This is probably one of my stranger GI's but said brochure is perfect for sharing with my Computing students who are in the process of learning how to lay out pages / fliers / newsletters and brochures. The plan is to show them the brochure and have them critique it before they go on to create brochure of their own. Should be a fun session.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Peace Star

Originally created in blue, this one looked better with the colours inverted.

Today's Gratitude Item: It appears as if my projector has been fixed *again*. Here's hoping that this time, it stays fixed. I think that it should be OK as it is a lot quieter than it used to be. That has to be a good thing.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Incredible Knowing

Its good being able to find quotations which match the image :)

Today's Gratitude Item: Finally getting a whole bunch of odds and ends sorted. I love weekends as they are a great time to nap and play "catch up".

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Brick Work

This one was easier to create than you'd think.

Today's Gratitude Item: Being able to acquire some brown sesame seeds. I needed them for some baking and finding them proved to be quite a challenge. Our local veggie store which used to stock them no longer does - this lead to us rediscovering our local spice shop who had said seeds at a very reasonable price.

Friday, August 26, 2011


Had fun with this one. Took a fair bit of time to get the colours to look half way decent.

Today's Gratitude Item: Making progress with my computing students. Most of them are working reasonably well which is something of a relief. This could have something to do with the fact that I make them email me their work at the end each period and note down who has not done so. The result is that most of the students end up doing what they are meant to be doing.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Time Thief

Procrastination is usually a bad thing, but not always.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting 20c a litre off petrol - needless to say, this makes quite a large difference to the price at the pump.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


This one looked like a whirlwind. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.

Today's Gratitude Item: Ready made geometry tests! I had not realised that it was my turn to set the Geometry assessment for our 9th grade classes. Happily, my boss had a ready made assessment that we will be using so organising this test took less than 10 minutes.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Curved Patchwork

This one took longer than you'd think to create. Its probably the only time when its OK for a patchwork quilt to have holes.

Today's Gratitude Item: Hot soup. What can I say? Even with spring around the corner in this part of the world, it's still quite cold at times.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Thinking Machine

Sometimes I worry that my computer is smarter than I am - after all, when it comes to creating fractals, it does most of the work.

Today's Gratitude Item: Not having to do duty at morning tea today. Our lovely relief co-ordinator gave the job to someone else. Given that I had a full day, not having to do duty made it that little bit easier. The only bad news is that "my" projector has died *again*. I was under the impression that when "they" took it away for one very painful week, they actually sent it off to be fixed. It but it turns out that this was not the case and in fact "they" held on to it, turned it upside down, and when it started working again, put it back in my room despite the fact that the fan was still making distressed sounds. Why it took over a week to get "fixed" when it was not even sent off site is open for debate. Now it appears to have given up the ghost for good. One can but hope that this time around, it will either get fixed or replaced. Thankfully with my change in timetable, I only have to live with the horrible temporary projector for two of my classes (rather than all five).

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Rich Night

For some reason this one reminded me of Van Gogh's paining, even though it looks nothing like it.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting half way through setting the end of year Maths exam for our 9th grade cohort. Its a time consuming process but at least I have the raw material to work with and enough time to get it done. Said process will continue this week and I'm looking forward to getting it finished.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Woven Fire

This is one of the few times that there is fire but no smoke.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finally catching up on some sleep. It turns out that change can be exhausting and even though I'm loving my new classes, getting used to new students, a different way of doing things and a new timetable has all taken its toll. Being able to recharge has been wonderful.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Not so Quick

This one has more to do with accuracy than speed. I should probably share the quotation with my Math students.

Today's Gratitude Item: Being reasonably ready for next week. I've planned for most of my classes which means having time to get some important (but not yet urgent) stuff done. Happily, all this work can (and will) wait until after Shabbat.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Irish Patience

Loved the quotation. Needed patience to create this one.

Today's Gratitude Item: That a colleague looked after the students doing a resit after school today meaning that I could go to a "MyPortfolio" taster course. It helped that said course was rather worthwhile.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ideal Experience

Another experiment that worked. Only problem is that it took forever to find the right gradient.

Today's Gratitude Item: Figuring how to create macros in Excel. I need to be able to do this for the Computing class that I now look after. Hearing the kids moan about it, you'd think macros were really difficult but the odd thing is they are dead easy to record. Perhaps my students just need some hints on how to read help files.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Seek / Find

This is even more abstract than usual. Hence the Picasso quotation.

Today's Gratitude Item: Figuring out how to stretch / distort Word art to a given size in Office 2010. It was much easier to do in Office 2003 where you just created the text and dragged it to size. Now you have to drag the box to the size you want, then go "Format", locate the "text effects" button which is tiny, go "transform" and choose "warp". Its a lot of effort to resize text and its not exactly obvious - so being able to do it must be worth at least 50 geek points. Of course anyone using Word for stuff like this and not Indesign / Illustrator should automatically lose 100 geek points! Would it be OK if I said that a friend needed to know this and asked me how to do it??

Monday, August 15, 2011

Mystic Ocean

This one reminded me of the various treasures lurking in rock pools - even though it looks nothing like a rock pool.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting keys to my new classroom before I needed to use them. Lets just say the "property" guys at school are very, very good at their jobs. Not having to struggle to gain access to my new classroom was great. I now teach in two different classrooms - the only problem being they are at opposite ends of the school which can be problematic when it is raining. Still, it could be worse - last year I was constantly on the move as I taught in four different spaces!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Digital Suffering

This one finally came together - after considerable "suffering" on my part.

Today's Gratitude Item: Actually looking forward to going to school tomorrow. I've "lost" my most challenging class for the next 11 weeks and as I'm taking over several IT classes. This is an exciting opportunity and I'm looking forward to getting started and meeting my new classes. Hopefully this won't be a case of "out of the frying pan into the fire".

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Road to London

This fractal is paving the way for the next Summer Olympics. I know its still some time away but with these things, it pays to be prepared.

Today's Gratitude Item: Getting my marking done. The only disappointing thing is that this took much less time than anticipated because a number of my students did not adequately prepare and thus wrote very little. Here's hoping they get the hint that they need to study if they want to pass!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Fashion Rebel

First came the fractal, then the Scottish quotation. It made me smile.

Today's Gratitude Item: A new opportunity :) From Monday, I'll be switching some of my Maths classes for IT classes. Whilst I'm not thrilled about losing the Maths, getting to teach IT was too valuable an opportunity to pass up. If it goes well, there is the possibility that I'll end up teaching IT next year. If not, I will revert to being full time Maths. This is basically the teacher equivalent of "try before you buy". Will be interesting to see how things work out.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Curious Boredom

A sphere that is spiky rather than smooth.

Today's Gratitude Item: Having a really good session with my 11th grade class. I evicted the most disruptive student and am kicking myself for not doing it earlier in the year.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Change Star

Had fun with this one :)

Today's Gratitude Item: My projector at school has been fixed! After having to rely on the small portable projector for 5 excruciating school days, its wonderful to have my regular projector back on the job. Its funny how such a small thing can make a massive difference.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

True Wealth

This fractal has coins in it, hence the idea of "riches".

Today's Gratitude Item: That updating some documentation for an assessment did not take nearly as long as feared.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Tisha B'Av 5771

The text in the tear drops is from the book of Lamentations - one tear drop per chapter. This feat was made possible by tagxedo - although its worth noting that the tear drops were created one at a time.

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: Andy Felt's nifty little worksheet generator that lets one make worksheets with codes for kids to break which will show them if they have done the sheet correctly. I generally create a symbol code and then put in my own questions and answers. Whilst this is time consuming, its a lot easier than starting from scratch.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Awake Soul

This delicate offering was a total surprise and I love the way it turned out.

Today's Gratitude Item: Discovering that it is possible to insert .pdf files into word documents as Objects. In Word 2010, the inserted "object" behaves a bit like a graphic for the purposes of cropping which is extremely useful. Its opened up a whole lot of possibilities for me :)

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Style Button

This one reminds me of one of those large buttons that can be found on certain types of fancy coats.

Today's Gratitude Item: Finding another new book from my favourite author. Said find was unexpected. Said book extremely enjoyable :)

Friday, August 05, 2011

Logical Imagination

Post processed a bit and am not too sure if the result is good or bad.

Today's Gratitude Item: Managing to generate a list of all the teaching staff at school with their teaching codes. Being relatively new, it has been a real challenge to figure out who everyone is and having this list will make a lot of things a lot simpler.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Whole Truth

This one was a surprise - partly because it looks best with a white background.

Whole Truth

The wallpaper version is available at the preceding link.

Today's Gratitude Item: My colleagues like my idea for "book day". It turns out that school is having a "book day" on Monday and all the staff are supposed to dress up as characters from a book. There are a number of us in the Mathematics department who hate "dress up" and in previous years, the "costumes" (and I use the word loosely) have been extremely lame. This year, we are going all out in the "lame" department. So can anyone out there guess what we are going to do for our "costumes"? The answer will be revealed on Monday (if I remember).

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Sky Lights

Reminded me a roof of a cathedral - complete with sky lights.

Today's Gratitude Item: That my colleague agreed with the marks that I awarded to my students for a recent internal. This is good because it means we are being consistent and I don't need to go back and remark.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Great Advance

Hopefully this one is seen as a step forward.

Today's Gratitude Item: That my "dead" projector is one step closer to being resurrected. The "property" guys came over and removed it from my room and it has been sent off to be fixed. I'm hoping the process is quick because the small substitute projector I'm currently using is easily bumped which means having to re-orient the board far too often. Of course having any projector is better than no projector so I really should not complain too much.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Enjoy It

Love the advice on this one. Trust me when I say that the translation is inadequate.

Today's Gratitude Item: Having access to a "spare" data projector at school. My normal projector died and needs to be professionally fixed. Thankfully I have the use of a small "desk" projector. Ie: Said projector sits on one of the desks with the front propped up by a textbook. Its far from perfect but its a lot better than having nothing - especially as most of my content is on my laptop and is shared using a projector and electronic whiteboard. Here's hoping my regular projector gets fixed soon.