Archive for August, 2009

Third 12 Word Story

I was so excited to catch my third 12 word story displayed on the 12Words homepage!  All stories appear there briefly, I think, but I never saw my first two go up.  Thought this one would be especially good to share, as I think it’s something with which many teacher-types will identify with – if not the smoking or coffee, at least the sentiment!

12words3Let me know if you are using this with your students, or if you are writing for this project too.  I made a handout for students in my class (click to download), using information lifted straight from the 12Words website – why don’t you make a few copies and hand them out in class?  Or in a Faculty meeting 🙂



12Words: kmcg2375

Using the same username as I do on Twitter, I have been posting my own ’12 word stories’ to the 12Words website, which was launched at the start of the month.

The objective is to use 12 words or less to “tell a story, convey a mood, or give a glimpse at a person”.  You can only submit one story per week.  These are the two I have submitted so far:

12wordskmcg2375Yeah, I’m hoping to refine my skill over time 😛

My suggestion to other teachers in my faculty is going to be that we:

  1. All English teachers write a 12 words story, and students vote for favourite
  2. All students write a 12 words story, and these are collected end of each day and put up on a noticeboard for all to read
  3. Depending on interest, we could also offer book prizes for best student stories, judged by Head Teacher!

I just love this idea, and am going to promote it to all of my classes 🙂

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Hottest 100 Women

Well, turns out the answer to the question ‘what kind of people do you reckon will vote in the Hottest 100 Women poll?’ it looks like the answer is…people like me.  I love this top 10!

  1. “Respect”, by Aretha Franklin, from USA, in 1967
  2. “Wuthering Heights”, by Kate Bush, from England, in 1978
  3. “Cornflake Girl”, by Tori Amos, from USA, in 1994
  4. “Glory Box”, by Portishead, from England, in 1994
  5. “Cannonball”, by Breeders, from USA, in 1995
  6. “Piece Of My Heart”, by Janis Joplin, from USA, in 1968
  7. “Nothing Compares 2 U”, by Sinead O’Connor, from Ireland, in 1990
  8. “Son Of A Preacher Man”, by Dusty Springfield, from England, in 1968
  9. “Seether”, by Veruca Salt, from USA, in 1994
  10. “Hyperballad”, by Bjork, from Iceland, in 1995


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HSC Drama students hard at work on their scripts while I ‘teach’.  Thanks for sharing this girls 🙂


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Champions Megamix

Thanks to everyone who suggested songs on Twitter for my Champions Megamix CD, which played on the way to the Senior Debating State Final last Friday.  In case you were wondering, here were the tracks I went with, in order of play:

  1. Eye of the tiger – Survivor
  2. We are the champions – Queen
  3. O Fortuna
  4. Without me – Eminem
  5. With a little help from my friends – The Beatles
  6. Hold on – Wilson Phillips
  7. Long way to the top – AC/DC
  8. Playing to win – Little River Band/John Farnham
  9. All fired up – Pat Benatar
  10. Simply the best – Tina Turner
  11. Champion – Kanye West
  12. Stronger – Kanye West
  13. We are family – Sidter Sledge
  14. The way we get by – Spoon
  15. Today – Smashing Pumpkins

It’s a killer playlist!  Put this on and you will be able to take on the world!  I made copies for the students to listen to while they study for HSC Trials 😛

What would you put on your ultimate champions playlist?  What is your ‘eye of the tiger’?

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State Debating Finals

I was so proud on Friday to take my AWESOME Senior Debating team to the State Final.

Our team valiantly argued the Negative side of the topic That we should publish school league tables.  It was a close debate, and we had a lot of support from the crowd!  Ultimately the other team won the debate and the Hume-Barbour trophy, but as finalists our team won the English Speaking Union prize, and are now also eligible for the Elite Athletes and Performers Scheme at the University of Sydney (something we did not know, weren’t expecting, and were thrilled to hear!)

Watch the ABC News story about the debate.

One of my students gave the most moving thank you speech at the end of the debate I have ever heard…she said really nice things about me as their coach and we all started to cry!  Can’t believe another group of Year 12’s are almost leaving.  I have had so much fun coaching this team 🙂



Alain de Botton: Career anxiety and success #TED

An appropriate talk to listen to on a Sunday night before school, when bed beckons, and the marking pile still looms…

Alain de Botton talk about career anxiety and the philosophy of career sucess in this TED Talk:

For me, they normally happen – these career crises – on a Sunday evening; just as the sun is starting to set, and the gap between my hopes for myself and the reality of my life start to diverge so painfully that I normally end up weeping into a pillow.  I’m mentioning all this because I think this is not merely a personal problem…