Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week. – Joseph Addison
It’s the final Sunday of the summer holidays.
Well, it’s the final Sunday night of the summer holidays. It’s dark out there but the air conditioner is still going. Summer nights are like that.
There are still two days of the summer holidays to go, at least for we teachers, but the kids have a few more. They’re coming back on Friday, but we’re taking two curriculum days first off to get ready for them. Some schools around the traps are only taking one curriculum day and bringing the kids back on Thursday, but we’ll use two first off and leave ourselves only two more through the rest of the year. We can deal with that. We’re tough.
So there may still be two days left, but this is the final Sunday night. The final weekend is over. It’s back to work this week.
These last two days are bonus, stolen days for me. Do what you can, when you can, steal those last hours doing something relaxing and fun.
I’m not sure how I’m going to do it, but I plan to!
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“Computer games don’t affect kids, I mean if Pac Man affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in darkened rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive music.” – Gareth Owens
Saturday once more, and here’s another Saturday Kid Picture based on the School Spirit webcomic. Again, it’s drawn by a child in one of my 3/4 grades, this time from 2006, although unfortunately they didn’t put their name to it.
Instead, we’ll just have to admire the retro nostalgic feel of today’s piece and pay homage to the un-named little bloke who drew it. I’m guessing it’s a boy – from what I’ve seen, the style just looks like it would have been done by a boy.
Okay, if I’m honest, it’s because boys are lazy and don’t seem to care about drawing little scribbles on lined paper and calling it a finished piece! Girls tend to at least find clean paper first!
So here it is, Wendy in her ‘ghost’ disguise, mixed up with Pac-man and his more regular ghost enemies. I was quite amused by this one when I first saw it. Kids don’t seem to remember the importance of Pac-man any more.
Yes, I know the grammar is a little incorrect, but the kid was probably nine! I’ll let that pass this time. The picture is just too cool to pick apart!
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Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday. ~Don Marquis
Today I was up early and all prepared for a day (well, a morning and early afternoon, anyway) spent in the classroom again, getting things ready for the start of the year next Friday.
And then I’d be home around 3pm, and be able to sit down in front of the telly and watch the cricket Test on telly, content in a day well spent.
Good idea, eh?
I thought so.
I printed off a few displays last night, found fancy gloss paper in the back room on which to print them, gathered a few files together, and set down a vague list of things I wanted to get done today.
And then bundled it all into the car this morning at about nine o’clock. Laptop bag, resource books, printed displays, laminating sheets, my laminator I found on the top shelf, a box of plastic pockets. Along with some other various bits and pieces I thought I might need, one of which was a bag of lollies to keep me going.
Into the car, and off to town. First stop, the local Officeworks shop to pick up a few boxes of those little round velcro stickers, the hook sides and the loop sides. Just what I need to make up some name tags and activity tags to stick up on classroom timetables.
A bit of fiddly work, but I was looking forward to putting them all together and having them ready. I’m like that, sometimes.
Then it was a bit of a tedious drive back to the highway which wasn’t helped by taking a wrong turn, but then just took the scenic route instead and enjoy the extra five or ten minutes of driving.
Onto the highway, all good, once I got past the three trucks and the ute pulling a trailer that wanted to take up both lanes. No worries. All good.
And then, finally, I reached school two towns across. Pulled into the carpark, no one seemed to be there. No worries. I have keys and know where the alarm is, and besides, no one around means no one to get distracted chatting with.
So out of the car I got, walked to the gate, opened it, and reached into my pocket to get the school keys.
Which turn out are still on the kitchen bench.
So, back in the car, back down the highway, back home, park the car, pat the dog, come inside, see the keys, ignore the keys, go to the lounge room, turn on the telly, sit on the couch, and watch the cricket.
That was my day of preparation for the start of school next week.
At least the car is packed, eh?
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‘Our land is girt by sea.’
Happy Australia Day, everyone.
Although it meant missing the first session of the third Test in Adelaide on the telly, it was a good community gathering up at the local oval for a barbecue and a get together. The weather was great, the sun wasn’t quite hot enough to be a nuisance outside all that time, and they were serving onion with the sausages! What more could you ask?
Eventually it was time for the singing of the National Anthem, and we did both verses even though most people never remember the second one, stood and looked at the flag flying, and that was it. Official stuff all over and done.
Time to go get another sausage!
And when it quietened down a bit, say your hooroos, into the car, and back home to watch the rest of the day’s play in the Test match again.
No, there was no Australia Day swim in the pool or a trip down to the beach or anything like that suitable for the stereotypical Australia Day public holiday, but it’s how you enjoy your day, isn’t it? Not just what you do to commemorate it.
So… another Australia Day celebrated quietly because we know we get to be Australians tomorrow and every day for the rest of our lives.
And being a Thursday, most people will use their Australian ‘Right’ and take a sickie tomorrow for a nice four day weekend!
Meanwhile, here’s today’s School Spirit strip. Being Australia Day, it seemed right to give the strip the same theme. This is probably the closest I’ll get to anything political, but I tried to make it as simple and innocent as I could.
Cheers, and we’ll see you next Australia Day, just remember to bring your lamb chops and sausages!
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I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday. ~Author Unknown
Ever taken a moment to sit still for a bit and just look back at where you started?
Today is one of those days for me, at least, in regards to this little hobby of a webcomic I have.
It was over seven and a half years ago that I first scratched out the first quick scribbles that would become the first School Spirit webcomic strip. And that was really where it was meant to finish. I’m a teacher. I don’t have time for things like webcomics and silly stuff like that. Not to actually make it a regular project, especially. I mean, come on!
Yeah, and then I finished writing a primary school musical production with the characters I was now drawing… another story I might go into at a later date!
But yeah… here it is, and School Spirit last year passed the 1000 strips mark, which apparently very few webcomics ever manage to reach. Which was a great little achievement for me, considering it was something I didn’t expect to be doing two months after starting! And considering before I drew the first strip, I’d never read a webcomic, let alone knew they were out there!
But… today… School Spirit reached 1,111 strips! Yep, no nice, round number, but a row of four little identical digits.
I reckon that’s a great little number, so today I gave myself a moment or three to think back to where it all started and to reflect on how far all the kids I’ve gotten to know have come.
Here’s the very original, even though the first five were redrawn when they first went online.
Long time ago, isn’t it? Way back in late 2003, although it didn’t actually see a proper website for viewing until June, 2004.
A lot has happened with the strip since then. It’s been coming out three days a week since about July 2004, and so far I don’t think it’s missed a single update.
Sure, there were periods where it fell behind, and once or twice fell behind by a fair bit due to outside influences, but it always came back up to date with each strip filling in that regular three days a week schedule. When you just keep making these strips, the big numbers just take care of themselves after a while.
Characters that were never meant to even be part of the story just walked onto the page (ahem, I’m talking to you, Jacks! And don’t you go hiding and giggling in the corner, Didj!).
The kids all stayed the same age, but… they grew all the same. I suppose that’s not too far from reality though, even if age-wise the kids are still about eleven or twelve. Kids grow so much during even just a single year of their own life. None of the School Spirit kids have had a birthday yet, and maybe never will, but they’re growing in their eternal current ‘year’ of primary school all the same.
That’s kinda nice, eh?
So here’s today’s School Spirit strip, number 1,111. A long way from that humble little start, even if the strip is still just a humble little player out there in webcomic circles.
Okay, a humble little obscure webcomic with 1,111 strips and still hanging around. But that’s what perseverance is, eh? You hang on long enough for everyone else to let go and fall.
Thank you to everybody who has enjoyed and loved the company of the kids throughout the years.
I love working with them and seeing what they get up to, but I’m lucky in that case. I get to work with them closer than anyone, and even share a head with them.
You folk out there who come along to read, you get to share time with them on the page and escape into their simple little world too, and maybe they hide away in your head with you too.
If that’s the case, then I’m truly humbled to know a little bit of each of the kids can stretch so far across the world, however small and loyal their audience may be.
Thank you for being part of School Spirit, wherever you may call home.
We’ll hear from you soon.
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Summer vacation is the time when parents realize that teachers are grossly underpaid. ~Author Unknown
Okay, that’s pretty much it.
My real summer holidays are officially over.
Tomorrow morning I’m heading back into school for my first (and possibly only – depends how much I get done!) early day to start setting the room up and getting everything prepared.
There’s still a week more before the first official day when we have to be back again, but this first day of going in early is really the end. The rest are just stolen days of final summer afternoons, eh?
But that’s okay. It’s time.
You can feel it after a few weeks or so. Christmas is over. New Years has come and gone. A few weeks more and you’re looking around knowing there’s something you should be doing and bugger it, it’s going back to work.
Tomorrow is that time.
At least tomorrow will no doubt give me a few things to talk about.
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Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils. ~Louis Hector Berlioz
Isn’t it always the way? You’re enjoying yourself, having fun just contemplating the navel, and then you actually decide to pay attention to the calendar and it turns out it’s already most of the way through January and this week you really should head back into school to start getting things ready for the start of the year.
I suppose I really can’t argue though. I spent a lot of the beginning of the holiday, and the first week or so of January, building up a nice, secure little buffer for School Spirit. Quite a large buffer, matter of fact.
The good news is that I have enough webcomic strips all set and ready to go to last me right up until the start of the next holidays just before Easter. That was one nice little goal I got knocked over. I can focus the whole first term on teaching again, if I have to.
Drawing comics through this term, at this stage, will just be because I want to, not because I have to.
A strip or two each week and I can probably have half of term two filled up in advance before knocking out the rest over the first week of the Easter holidays.
Well, that’s the current plan, anyway!
So I suppose that was a good ‘waste’ of my time.
Although, I would have liked to have gone for a swim or something through the warmer days, but that just didn’t happen this year, at least not yet.
Probably for the best – no sunburn, eh?
The other major goal of the holidays was to build up some garden beds along the back of the house to clean up the area behind the dog’s little yard and the Shed, which meant some digging, some cementing, some bolting of big bits of wood together, and lots of shovelling top soil and mulch. The good news here is that, as of tomorrow, the last load of mulch will arrive, ready to go over the path between the Shed and the house, and the plants are in along the back of the house.
So I suppose that’s the main yard construction work finished too this holiday.
Doesn’t look like a whole lot from this angle, but there’s more to the left, and there are plants in there now!
So I suppose this holiday has been productive after all.
That and I got to sit down and watch three Test matches and lots of Twenty/20 cricket on telly!
I do miss the kids though…
I guess that means it’s probably time to go back to work, eh?
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Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present, which very few of us do. ~Jean de la Bruyere
Saturday again, and here is another School Spirit picture drawn by the kids over the last few years. This week we have a portrait piece of Casper, drawn by ten year old Jack back in 2008.
Cleary there was no specific inspiration for this picture, except that Jack wanted to draw a picture of Casper. He’s just standing there, captured in time forever. Almost like he’s just standing there waiting for the photo to be taken.
What I really like about this picture is that Jack didn’t bother to emulate the style that Casper is drawn in the School Spirit webcomic. He just drew Casper the way he would have drawn anybody. All of Jack’s characters had the same distinct eye shapes, for instance. Like the School Spirit kids have distinct large ears.
Which, ironically, Jack decided Casper didn’t need in this one!
So I quite liked this rendition. He used his own style to drawn a character he liked, but still made it clear who he was drawing.
If only more kids had the confidence in themselves to just draw how they wanted, rather than worry about whether it ‘looks right’, eh?
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It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend. ~William Blake
It’stime for another Friday Flashback, and as I’ve been working with the Girls in the latest storyline I’ve been drawing up for School Spirit, I thought I’d go back and have a look at what the Girls got up to earlier last year.
Like all girls almost reaching their teenage years, I found them fighting and arguing with each other!
I often think to myself that I’m glad I was born a boy and not born a girl. Girls seem to have so much more involved with their arguments. Boys are easy. We get grumpy at each other we give each other a whack over the head and then next lunch time we’re out playing footy together again. Easy.
Girls… just seem to take it all that much more personally!
Anyway, I’m sure those of you from the other side of the gender fence are more than happy to defend your side too, and fair enough!
Anyway, here’s how Chastity justified her cat-fighting with one of her friends to Miss Conway. Her logic is pretty sound, no?
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Not only does the English Language borrow words from other languages, it sometimes chases them down dark alleys, hits them over the head, and goes through their pockets. – Eddy Peters
I’m reposting this from several years ago, mainly because I think it’s a clever piece of writing.
Here’s a little poem that’s been a favourite of mine for a while. It was written by one T.S. Watt in the Manchester Guardian, which I assume is a newspaper from Manchester. As to the date, I don’t know. I’ve got it published in a hard cover book about the crazy language of English. It probably works best if you read it out loud – but be warned! Just because it’s using the same letter patterns for words, don’t expect them to all use the same sounds! I’ll just let you read it for yourselves!
I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble, but not you
On hiccough, thorough, lough and through.
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard but sounds like bird.
And dead: it’s said like bed, not bead -
For goodness’ sake don’t call it “deed“!
Watch out for meat and great and threat.
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt.)
A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there,
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear,
And then there’s dose and rose and lose
Just look them up – and goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart -
Come, come, I’ve hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive!
I’d mastered it when I was five.
And yet to write it, the more I tried,
I hadn’t learned by fifty five.
No wonder kids have trouble spelling, eh?
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