Each year, as an ice-breaker/getting to know you activity with my pastoral care group at the beginning of a school year I try to involve them in a collaborative origami megastructure:
Many hands made light work of the 90 sonobe modules, folded from Terracey colours (red, black, white). From little things, big things grow, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts (roll out the well trodden metaphors).
The construction has taken an age – 5 false starts until I discovered the module grouping – in the end it turned out to be alternating 5s and 6s on each vertex of each 6. Each sonobe module contributes 1/3 of a pair of adjacent points – and with careful colour planning no 2 colours are beside each other (well, that is nearly the case – in 2 places I was forced to break this rule, but you really have to look to find them).
90 modules take time, and most of the kids in the pastoral care group folded at least one – a true collaboration that results in a lovely spikey ball that will join the other treasures from previous years.
The story of the moment is COVID-19, and the unprecedented effects the global pandemic is having on “business as normal” across the world.
In out little corner of the planet, things continue to be weird. As a teacher, I am still at work, with 1700 boys in a fairly confined space. The current government position is that it is “business as usual” for schools, as we gear up to deliver online learning as part of our “continuity of learning” plan. I want to say I feel good about things, but we all deal with uncertainty our own way.
Australia is many things to many people. Currently, in the media, it seems like Australians are being portrayed as panic buying essential items in huge quantities, in preparation of an on-coming pandemic. EDIT – (that is waaay less lethal than normal Flu):
The first such item was Toilet paper, with viral (or bacterial) footage of people fighting in the aisles of supermarkets for the last bulk pack.
All I am saying, is give peace (and common sense) a chance, people.
This is Jo Nakashima’s Toilet Paper Crane, a fitting symbol of restraint. I only wasted 3 “poo tickets” (“Kenny” reference) in making it, so do not panic, unless that is something you do to increase likes on Instagram or Tik Tok.. … imagine going down in social media history as a toilet paper “influencer” – bahahahahahaha.
You should consider making this – sit somewhere, calm down, unclench and fold some bog roll for something other than wiping your bum.
Human Corona Virus is in the news, the news is alarming:
It is difficult to know the extent of the emergency, the effectiveness of treatment, the vector of infection, the spread and infection rate, the facts.
Social media and websites masquerading as “news” agencies love a good headline, and this mixed with Survivor in the jungle, celebrity red carpets, sham impeachment, Corona Virus “influencers” on instagram and fad diets makes navigating the facts difficult.
Public warnings and travel bans aside, what constitutes a pandemic? What is the appropriate response?
I took a 3×1 rectangle of white/natural Ikea Kraft and … well … doodled and came up with an all too familiar image – a face-masked regular person. In an odd bout of synchronicity, Sebastian Limet (@sebl) had the same idea. His fold, as usual has lots of character.
Much has been made in the media about the current bush fire situation in Australia. Truth is the scale of devastation is impossible to grasp, in terms of sheer acreage of scorched earth, number of homes lost, lives lost and livelihoods ruined. When we add the effects on environment, habitat and wildlife (flora and fauna), the effects of the 2019/2020 summer will have long-reaching and potentially permanent ramifications:
I want to say that our leaders are on top of this, but have never had confidence in politicians, and am not convinced any can see past getting re-elected to make the hard decisions necessary for our continued existence. Indeed, when our PM chooses to go on holiday during the worst of it, when he and his colleagues continue to deny climate change, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence. They display a vandalistic attitude to environmental policy, and offer reckless abandon to fossil fuels and non-sustainability.
Their lives in our hands. “They” are our children, their children, the animals and plants that make up the biosphere in which we live. The “they” are US.
Most cultures have myths and legends, developed over centuries, to explain how things work. The Chinese Zodiac and New Year is at odds with the western Julian calendar, but none the less interesting:
2020 is the Year of the Rat – interestingly my socials are full of mouse diagrams, but for me there are few iconic origami rats, and this is my favourite – designed by Eric Joisel, I just love the character this chap presents.
Tomorrow in Oz the next chapter of the Star Wars saga opens in cinemas. I am not likely to see it until the crush of “real fans” abates but thought on the eve I would fold something relevant:
This I have labelled “Deathstar” because it bears an uncanny resemblance to the space station the Liberator encountered just out from Far Point, while captain Mal and his rag tag band of cylons, and their computer Aurac, cruised the belt looking for replicants (how many scifi franchises are hinted at here? :P). Continue reading →
…then my wife casually asked if I could line some cake tins:
A simple fold, unequalled as a way of protecting a fruit cake from extended baking – the outer layer is 35cm square kraft paper, inner is 25cm greaseproof paper, they fit snugly in the tins. Later they will protect the maturing cake as it regularly bathes in rum. Continue reading →
People I work with know my OCD tendencies. When it was casually suggested that I might consider folding a Nativity scene for the end of year celebrations, it was a forgone conclusion that I would:
The assembled figures (each nearly 30cm tall) form quite a striking display – hopefully one that works for the display space – we shall see. Clearly Christmas is just around the corner, with this scene, it is beginning to look a lot like … well … christmas.
We have on the left, 3 kings, bringing gifts (bronze waterbombs are quite the thing this year). Centre there is an angel, looking over a mother, father and child. Bringing up the rear is a random shepherd … because … the scene needed balance.
I have this image in my head – last day of Dalek highschool, a bunch of Daleks more and more excitedly rattling off “Matriculate! Matriculate!”:
Yesterday another cohort of seniors left school to join the journey to the next phase of their life. I am blessed to have taught some of them. For a teacher there is no greater gift than an enquiring mind that wants to learn. Continue reading →
For what seems like an age, Australia has been torn apart by a divisive postal survey that the incumbent government decided was the best way to determine what the right thing to do was:
Ignoring world trends, common decency and justice, we “voted” on whether 2 people who love each other should be allowed to marry. Labelled the “Same Sex Marriage Debate”, it became an embarrassing mud slinging match as conservative bigots surfaced all sorts of reasons why this was a bad idea.
Thankfully, the majority (61%) of Australians said “Yes”, this (theoretically) now means the government has a MANDATE (hahaha, sorry, my inner 7 year old took over for a moment) to change our constitution so “Marriage” becomes a union between a loving couple, regardless of gender, orientation, hair colour, religion, IQ or political ideology. Continue reading →