I spent two mornings as a tutor for high school students who were attending a week-long school camp at a nice resort called Living Springs over the Port Hills from Christchurch. It was very disappointing discovering that everything I've learned about the NCEA education system was largely true, with predigested assignments given to students without context or connection and no incentives for doing any better than the bare minimum to pass. Most of them could not even articulate basic ideas like what subjects they enjoy or do more than give plot summaries. I enjoyed teaching the 5-paragraph essay structure and helping out with talking through assignment guidelines and arguments. What was ridiculous was that the NCEA worksheets (which should be given to teachers, not students, because it has hard-to-decipher learning outcomes and policy things like the number of credits all printed right on the front) had errors themselves. You really shouldn't give students examples of things that have spelling and punctuation errors on them. Who created these materials anyway?
|The Living Springs camp is nestled up in these hills|
|The view from Living Springs|
|The view coming down the road to go home|
There was an interesting lecture on China as a Great Polar Power, but it is based on unpublished research so we aren't allowed to discuss it. Suffice it to say, I didn't know about the recent Chinese movements near the Aleutian Islands and we might want to be concerned.
I can't understand why people are okay with sausages being served in white bread slices instead of buns. It's just not the same.
There were massive winds unlike even the worst ones we've experienced so far. Weather reports said there were gusts of 150-160 km/hr (90-100 m/hr). The glass in the window panes was shaking and it sounded like a massive storm. All kinds of things were blowing down the street.
We prepared and planted the garden with new seeds and are hoping for another successful year. I bought more strawberry plants to add to the existing bed, but everything else is starting from seed.