You blink, and it’s been a minute!

This last week has been so stressful. A few of the days seemed as though they went on forever. On Wednesday and Thursday, my school had our fall Parent-Teacher conferences, and while they went smooth and I am always delighted to talk to so many parents, they are exhausting. Truly, I had some wonderful, enlightening and helpful talks with so many parents, yet 46 parent meetings in just2 days is tiring! 🙂

Another thing, in Design, my students don’t take traditional tests. They do not fill out forms, or anything like that. Instead, they conduct research, collaborate, talk and then write 4 to 8 page portfolios outlining their progress on their projects every 3-4 weeks. Now, having 112 students, means I’ve got a lot of reading to do and a lot of feedback to write…. but hey, that’s my job and I love it. And as of today, I’m all caught up on this front!! LOL

Anyway, Tingting shared this video with her family today and I thought I’d share it with anyone who reads this. Like the kid said, when he is stressed or sad, this song helps to raise him up, and I’ve got to admit, his singing totally helped to raise me up. Talk about a child super star in the making!

The things you find

Today, on a quick run to Forest Cafe for a couple of milk teas, I ran into this cute fellow.

Almost exactly 1 year ago, our paths crossed for the first time. I’m starting to think we are in some way connected! LOL

Story time!

I’m so happy that Leo seems to really love his story time. His favorite book so far is Cat In the Hat, followed by One Fish, Two Fish, and then perhaps Green Eggs and Ham. Ya, stereotypical, all Dr. Seuss, but the bold primary colors and poetic nature of his stories really appeal to Leo. I just introduced Winnie the Pooh and now Scooby Doo. I hope he continues to loves both as gets older. I’m a huge Pooh Bear and Scooby fan. I can’t wait to share the original 1960’s cartoons with him in a few years! 🙂


I consider myself a musician, though I admit I’ve never been as good as I wanted to be, could be, or as good as the people I’ve associated with throughout my life. I love music, I love everything about it. Music is such an intangible force that affects people in unfathomable ways, yet society takes it for granted in almost every nook and corner of our daily lives. Study after study shows that music can lower your blood pressure, provide mental focus, improve math and reading abilities in children, and even help develop neurological pathways that positively affect brain development in numerous ways. Lord knows we have all been in mood A, then hear a particular tune, and are suddenly thrust into mood B. Music is powerful!

When I was in college, I studied Russian language for a few years. I love the language, though sadly it was something I did not excel at. Regardless, I spent several months in Moscow as a result of my studies. One day, I stumbled across this piece of Soviet propaganda, illustrating a perceived fundamental difference between how musicians were treated in the West and the Soviet Union.

CCCP Propganda music

Of course the image is propaganda, but the message is somewhat true. Musicians are some of the most talented, hardest working, focused and skilled members of our societies, and will ever make enough money from their skill to pay the bills. It reminds of  a joke that explains it all.

“A man dies and is greeted at the Gates of Heaven by Saint Peter, who says “Welcome my child. Tell me, how much money did you donate to charity in your life.” The newly arrived soul lowers his head and says “Saint Peter, I’m sorry to say in my whole adult life, I never earned more than $5,000.” Saint Peter responds, “I see, what instrument did you play?”

Imagine a movie without music. The action scenes are better with them, so are the love scenes, the family time scenes, or practically every scene in any movie anywhere. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter, would all be boring and utterly uninteresting without music. I’m not sure why I’m writing about this today, I suppose it’s because I miss a lot of influential people I’ve known in my life who were talented musicians. . . .

Ya, let’s go with that. . . . . . Or how about this, go online, find your favorite album or two, and buy it from a legitimate store. Play it, enjoy it, and relive the good memories all over again.  🙂

SCIS UN Day 2018 :)

UN Day is among my favorite days every year as our school kids dress up in our national colors and gather for a school wide parade, followed by speeches and student performances. It’s always a great day.

Leo meets Spa

Tingting arranged to take Leo to a baby spa last weekend. The whole experience was interesting with mixed results for the kid. He was scared, happy, angry, laughing, and often confused.

He got to swim (float) in a baby pool thing with a floaty that really concerned me. Later, I spoke to a few “experts” who said, that if properly monitored, it should be totally safe. Indeed, it did not hurt or bother Leo, but he still did not seem to really enjoy the experience all that much. I’m guessing he’s still too young.

As the pool was right next to the windows, a number of locals stopped to stare and smile at the little western kid floating in the water. That part was fun for me! Haha

Will we go back, probably, but likely not for another couple months till he’s a bit older.

3D Printed Desk Organizer

As I said last time, here is a a simple desk organizer I printed. It warped as the material cooled, but it works mostly as intended! So cool.

Reading: Live Long and…

Today I started reading Live Long and… What I Learned Along the Way, by William Shatner. I expected this to be a typical book about the actor’s life, successes, etc., and while I’m only 15% in, I have to say it is a great book, that has already left me feeling positive and motivated for the days yet to come!

Shatner comes across as a calm, insightful, thoughtful and practical individual, providing down to earth guidance, that he admits we should not follow, and is only worth the price of the book minus the discount. LOL

If you’re a Star Trek or Shatner fan, I certainly recommend this book, at least the first 50 or so pages.

Where to buy?

Live Long and

Learning, building, sharing

I’m teaching a new unit in my grade 6 Design classes where the kids are researching, planning and developing some original toothbrush holders. As of this week, they are starting to print them using our 3D printers, which means in the last few weeks I’ve been teaching myself to use our school’s CAD/CAM software, and it’s been a lot of fun. I’ll post more pictures later, but today I designed and printed a 10×10 cm desk organizer, last week I made a 10×12 cm wall sign in the style of my university’s TU logo, and I made some 6 sided dice that used Roman numerals rather than the traditional dice. I also made some plant water trays today for another teacher. It’s amazing how you can get an idea, draft it out on the computer, and say “print”… then 2 hours later have a real, tangible, 3 dimensional object!!! The quality of our printers leave a lot to be desired, but they are rather amazing nonetheless.