Saturday, 21 June 2008

Office artwork

Thinking that my office was a bit dull, I commissioned a couple of local 'artists' to prepare a couple of 'one offs' that would be the focal piece of my workspace. Check out the artists and their great work! I will hang them on Monday...and no, they are not for sale!

First Public Performance

The school had a 'concert evening', encouraging kids to play music in public, and display what they had learned throughout the year. Most of the kids were in school based music programs (mainly the piano), and this was the final part of thier lessons for the year.

Alexander and Cameron have been learning the guitar at home for a few months now, and are really enjoying it. When they heard that there was a school concert that they could play in, they wanted to join in! They discussed it with David, their guitar teacher, and they chose 'Monks Blues' - a piece where one of the boys strummed the chords, and the other played the melody, then they would swap over and repeat it.

The biggest issue in practice was getting them to keep the same rhythm, but they started to get it and it sounded great.

On the night of the concert, amongst the other 20 or so kids, the boys were the only guitar players, and did a brilliant job! It sounded really 'bluesy' and cool. The boys got a big round of applause, and lots of comments over the next few days. The whole evening was great, with lots of other 'first timers' and a few very talented, well practiced musicians.

Afterwards, the boys were plotting for next year. I think I heard Cameron asking Alexander where they could get a couple of electric guitars for a rock show.... look out!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Year 4 field trip

Last week we were supposed to go on a fielt trip through the Grunewald forest to look at "Habitat", it was bucketing down with rain, but the teachers thought we would go anyway. So, armed with jackets and umbrellas off we set! We got to the first corner, and decided to turn around. It was so wet, not even the bugs were out and about! So, hopefully we will get a chance to do this again another morning before the school year ends!

This term Alexander's class have been learning about Berlin. We went on a trip to the East Side Gallery, and looked at the longest remaining part of the Berlin Wall that is still standing. See previous posts in May about it.

The kids drew, wrote down "peace phrases", and enjoyed walking along the wall. Half way down we were asked by a car company if it was OK to use some of the kids to walk between the wall and the car as part of a photo ad in a French auto magazine.

After much discussion it was decided that only the kids whose parents were on the trip should be able to do it, incase there was a problem with the parents not wanting their child to be photographed without their permission.

So Alexander and 3 of his friends got to walk up and down this panel of the wall while a photographer took photos.

Then the men allowed all the kids to take a turn to sit in the back of the car! This car retails for 900,000 euro! The kids were amazed (as were the adults). Alexander says "only posh people would drive this Mum!" (I would be too scared to even remove it from the garage for that price!!

After the wall we went to Treptow Park. There is this enormous Russian memorial garden, and it is overwhelming in size.

Behind the kids here, are 5 large squares of grass edged by small hedges. 5,000 Russian soldiers are buried under each grassy area. 25,000 soldiers in this space. A bit overwhelming to even think about.