Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Junior Achievement Session II

Today was the second session in the Junior Achievement programme I've been lucky enough to deliver to a local Grade 4 class.  The programme is "Our Canada: Innovation & Technology".

Included in today's fun - the students demonstrating the movement of society as a result of technology / innovation.  The chart started in 1925 with 49% of the population engaged in agriculture, 51% in manufacturing.  I took them back even farther, to 100% hunter/gatherers at the dawn of time.  So, we started with everyone in a circle ... then moving forward in time, about half are now agriculture, half manufacturing in 1925 - so the farming half are feeding the manufacturing half, and the manufacturing half are making the equipment and goods.

Move forward 25 years, lose half the farmers to manufacturing; forward another 25 years, lose another half of the farmers but whoa! add a new group - communication!  End up today - only a handful of farmers, most in manufacturing and a handful in communication.

Then we had an auction - each student got $20 JA money.  There were 8 items for auction.  One of the students was the auctioneer :)  The first item sold for $14 (a grammaphone), the next (record player) went for $8, the next (8-track player) went for $14.  The next item was pretty interesting - the bidding popped up to $20 and then everyone wanted to bid $20.  So it was a problem!  Lots of people had $20.  Prodded a bit and the student who first bid the $20 decided to let another student have the bid.

The next item was a cd player and the bidding popped up at $20 again ... and THEN ... one student pooled his funds with another student so they could share the item.  BINGO!  Light bulb moment!  And the student who made the discovery, is apparently one who often doesn't work well with the other students.  Got to talk about co-operatives, pooling resources, sharing equipment.

For the final item (mp3 player) we had teams working together in chaos as everybody figured out how powerful collaborating can be!

It was a great session - I think a little too intense - but lots of material to link to the curriculum and build upon.  Win - win - win.  Junior Achievement ROCKS!  http://www.jacan.org/

401 "Rolling Stop"

Last night on my way home from work, there was an overturned truck in the median where the crews were working on removing it.  The crews were all in the west-bound lanes, I was headed east so not impacted.  There of course was a big gathering of vehicles trying to get around the crews.

The next four interchanges, all of the ramps for traffic to enter the highway westbound were closed.  So there was no traffic at all going westbound - spooky!  Getting closer to home, there was a convoy led by two cruisers just creeping along, with all the backed up traffic in line behind them.

Chatting with my always logical SO, this is apparently a 'rolling stop'.  The clean-up crews and the traffic crews were all synchronizing, to give the clean-up crew time to remove the wreckage ... and not have the travelers on the 401 have to find their way on an emergency detour route.  Likely would take less time for those trapped in the rolling stop, than to actually drive around the road work.

So while I had been thinking how frustrated I would have been to be behind the rolling stop, it most likely works better for everyone - safety for the cleanup crew, safety for the drivers in not having to find their way in unknown territory.  Rather cool solution!

Monday, January 23, 2012

JA presentation

What a fun day - this morning I delivered a presentation for Junior Achievement, at our local elementary school - "Our Canada - Innovation & Technology" for the grade 4's.

I've done lots of teaching and training and presentations - for adults - not kids!  It was terrifying awesome!  They were a great group - tons of questions, answers, curiosity.

One of the fun things - all the student chairs have tennis balls attached for noise dampening.  It's been a while since I've been in an elementary classroom - it was a welcome surprise to see these on all the chairs.  When my youngest was in grade 3 (a few years ago) this was an experiment - to try to help her focus on work rather than being distracted by the scraping from wriggling students.  And - it was a wonderful example of "innovation" - solving a problem - finding a better way to keep the noise level down in the classroom.

Another fun thing that happened - I did tell them that one of my interests is quilting - there was a display up on the wall of line drawings - triangles, wavy lines, crosshatches - all these gorgeous designs that would be perfect quilting designs!  You just never know where you'll find inspiration, eh?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stashbuster update

Progress has been great!

- wide backing for Michelle's quilt - 2.1 yards of wide backing (that must count for more right??)
- the top for Cricket's baby quilt is done - supposed to be a baby quilt size but just wasn't right until it got to be a bit bigger than twin.  Total in this just about 5.7 yards.  I'm keeping track of every slice from the fabric to try to get a close measure.  So ... 7.75 yards out!

Working on a 'casting shadows' quilt that will travel to Germany ... making good progress but I'm thinking I'd better count as 'out' when the quilt is ready to go??

This morning, in my usual mad rush to get myself ready for work (why is it so tough to drag myself out of bed??) , realized that my van needed refueling before I left.  So, refuelled, resigned to being late and resolving to stop this nonsense, had to take a couple of extra moments to soak up the beauty of the sunrise ... and the humungous deer prancing across our field.  It was a moment to refresh and nourish my soul for the day :)


Saturday, January 7, 2012

2012 Goals

Should they be resolutions or goals??? No idea - and usually don't make resolutions!  But I need to make some serious changes - get some aspects of my life back under control.

One of the forums I follow (http://mqresource.com/forum) has two challenges I'm participating in.  Like many quilters, I do have a "wee" bit more fabric than I really need ... maybe even a substantial stash.  And I really need to give my knees some relief.  So ... I'm going for a 50-50-50 win.  Reduce my stash by 50 yards (majority of the mqresource players deal in yards so I'll play along with that); lose 50 pounds; in 50 weeks.

The stash reduction is a net - and I can reduce any way I want - donate, give away, make projects, sell.  So I'm keeping track of the cuts as I'm going when I'm doing projects.

Sounds like fun.  And I'm off to a good start.  Lost 1.5 lbs this week.  Working on a quilt for my great-nephew who is scheduled to arrive shortly; quilted my youngest's summer project quilt.  So I get to count the backing and binding for that quilt as they went on in 2012!  Have to tally that all up-guesstimating that to be 8 yards already.

Cut Up New House Celebration

Cut Up At the "Pieces of Magic" Quilt Show held by the Oxford Quilters' Guild this May, Sew Sisters' booth had a beaut...