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After receiving a comment on my blog (for those of you reading my MSN Space, the comment is on my other blog), the lately deceased goldfish will be named Sarah.
Chen recently asked for the most nerdy fish to be named after him, but seeing that the remaining living fish look pretty normal (except for the fat Zippo fish, in no relation to Zippo's body shape of course! It's just a form of identification!), we just picked one and named it Chen. Let me know though if you want a goldfish named after you - we have six living goldfish and one dead one yet to name!
Happy Hug an Aussie Day everyone!!!
I wouldn't celebrate this day as I kinda have a grudge against Aussies (not anything serious, just because they always beat us in sport and everything else!). I've made exceptions for a few people though, like Max, Toni and Peter, Wei-wei and Aunty Ivy (not really my aunty but you know how it is with Asian family friends - they're also not really Australians but what you could call 'de facto Australians'). Anyway, grab an Aussie today and HUG HIM (or her)!!
I shouldn't have chatted to Kat (my friend) about dead pets! We were talking about dead goldfish (I think). Now guess what? Another one of our goldfish has died! We're down to seven now. I only remember three dying though...
The latest fish to die (I think) suffered a long and painful death. It was sloooowly floating awkwardly at midwater level. We had no idea what to do with it, whether to end its life prematurely or to let it die slowly! I suppose this brings us back to the whole euthanasia issue. I won't get into that though.
Anyway, the unnamed goldfish died peacefully this morning and was buried by my dad. There's still enough time for anyone who would like this poor fish to be named after him/her to let me know!
The performance at a Dutch resthome went alright. Most of the audience were dribbling and half-asleep anyway, so they probably wouldn't have noticed if we made mistakes anyway. According to the lady who invited us though:
"They may look as if they're asleep, but they're really taking it all in, and after you guys have gone they go over the songs you played"
lol It's either that or the music we played was so soothing, or possibly boring (!) it made them fall asleep!
For most of the afternoon Aonghas and I were at Zippo's house playing Monopoly with her, Szelin (her sister) and their friends. They were bored so they wanted us to come over and try to liven things up. There wasn't enough money, so we had to play in teams. Aonghas and I paired up, but despite our best efforts, we still lost...to girls! Amazingly we never got caught for cheating!
Thankfully things are getting better between Zippo and me. She blocked me after I refused to share a secret with her (I've been improving guys...I can now be trusted!!!) She told me though that she just didn't feel like talking to me, but today she was slightly nicer to me than usual. She actually considered me as a GUY!...or so I think....
I chatted to Julie (from Chinese class) for the first time today on MSN, and she conveniently asked me if I had done my Chinese homework, which reminded me! Thanks Julie! That means I've got two English essays, Chinese homework, a chemistry test and a Chinese test to revise for during these holidays. So far I've done....none of the above. At last count I discovered that I have 13 assessments during term 2. I really better get started!
My family spent the day out at Otahuhu. Well we were mainly there for Yumcha. The hygiene rating, which used to be E, is thankfully D. We wouldn't go there but since it is probably one of the cheapest places around, why not! We were there for lunch, at a time when it was full of mainly older Asians.
We checked out Manakau Shopping Centre afterwards, mainly to see what their library looks like. We've got a bit of a problem - in week 5 of term 2 I've got to sit an NCEA Music solo and group performance, and I want to do both on accordion. The only problem is that I have no more duet music for the accordion! So we spent most of the day at Manukau library looking for music (till we realised it wasn't even bigger than our own Henderson library). The Auckland Library and Auckland University Library were massive though! We spent 2 hours in a traffic jam but managed to make it to the public library an hour before it was about to close. That library has HEAPS of sheet music for all sorts of musical instruments and groups, so if you're ever in need of any, check out the Auckland Central Public Library! Once again we were in a rush to photocopy an accordion book before the library
closed. The librarian at the nearby desk stared at Aonghas as he went through the book! Bad news is...we didn't make it. We did manage to photocopy the good songs though.
We next checked out the Auckland University library. That is definitely a cool library! It has lifts, drinking fountains and computers! I can't wait till I go to uni! We realised all the music was kept in the music library down the street somewhere and it had already closed (it was about 9pm by now!), so my parents checked out the Asian languages section. My dad now wants to hang round this section before he starts work more often now!
So yeah finally we went out! For most of this week my brothers and I have been practising the accordion for this performance at a resthome across the street from our house we have this morning (Friday).
I know I promised to stay away from politics and current affairs but I found this while reading the news. Unless you're likely to be stood down or suspended from school, it will be a cause for concern:
The Human Rights Commission is concerned about high numbers of students being expelled, however.
It wants to review schools' legal powers to discipline pupils and an independent body set up for students to appeal against schools' decisions.
Commissioner Rosslyn Noonan said she received many complaints from families upset about their child's suspension or expulsion. There was no independent appeal system if they did not agree with a decision.
-Fewer Pupils Suspended from Schools
Having been on the BOT, I'm sure many of these families who complain are often in denial or refuse to accept the blame for their children's faults. There are those who have legitimate complaints, but they already have a process they can follow to have a decision reviewed.
If disciplining children is considered as against human rights, how will we keep children at bay? Already smacking children looks set to be banned. You can't touch a child, you can't do this and that with a child. Very soon when they are untouchable, how will we control them?
(re: last comment posted) I admit I'm a bit of a political junkie with a slight stance towards the centre-left, but probably more of a social conservative. Anyway I apologise for my ramblings on politics! I probably should stop teasing those Nats, especially at a time when they're languishing in the polls!! Nah sorry only joking! They ain't doing too badly. Maybe conflicting poll results are a good thing for them...
Anyway I promise to everyone I will reduce the political content in this blog!
Not a lot really has happened so far, but its early days, only been through a weekend and half a day. I was playing touch/rugby (touch with kicking allowed anyway but only three touches instead of tackling) down the driveway with Aonghas and my 8 year old cousin, when I (stupidly!) tripped over the ball as I was trying to regather it, fell over and sprained my ankle! Thankfully the slight pain from the meningicoccal vaccination has had its best days behind it.
ONE NEWS Colmar Brunton Poll shows that there has been a huge increase in those who prefer him as prime minister - 3%. If Tamihere became prime minister...byebye gay rights, special Maori privileges and BACK TO THE KITCHEN WOMAN AND BAKE ME A PIE! Is that a good/bad thing?
The NZ cardinal Tom Williams has a 100-1 chance of becoming the next pope, according to online bookmaker paddypower.com.
According to paddypower.com, the odds are that papal name the next pope will choose will be Benedict, and it will take five days to choose the next pope
You'd have to wonder just what people would bet on. In fact, bets are being made even on Britney Spears' personal life! Odds are that her baby will either be called Lynn or Madison, and she will divorce in 2005. Not that anyone really wants to know...
We'll just have to wait to see how accurate these odds are... I'll post more weird and wacky bets/odds as I find them
Excerpt Ffom Nats vow takeover of failing schools:
In a keynote speech on education yesterday, National's leader Don Brash said the single funding system would lead to "total independence" for schools reaching the highest standards.
"Schools which have established a reputation for excellence should be given total independence of governance by allowing them to have the ownership of the property they use vested in their trustees on behalf of the community. We might call them trust schools," he said in a speech at Auckland's Westlake Girls High School. "They would have the right to borrow and expand, in principle taking over responsibility for weaker schools nearby."
He said later that the takeovers would be negotiated between schools, but would allow those doing well to set up new campuses.
The plan � which mirrors ACT policy � was based on systems overseas. It would go hand-in-hand with an end to zoning and the single funding stream would allow schools to bypass "cloth cap trade union" salary arrangements, rewarding teachers on a competitive basis.
This still doesn't really explain how well-performing schools taking of worse-off schools will help, unless they have the impression that trustees running these 'elite' schools will have the experience and skills needed to raise the levels of neighbouring schools.
According to the NZ Herald article 'Rangitoto Fits Elite Tag, says Principal' Rangitoto College principal Allan Peachey claims his school would be the perfect school to become one of the National Party's elite 'trust' schools. What I am interested in is that by giving the 'better' schools greater independence, how will it exactly help the poorer schools? It was stated that:
"Mr Peachey would not say if he thought Rangitoto College should take over surrounding schools."
How will this affect Rutherford College's situation? Would our school be good enough to be considered as a 'trust' school? And if not, which other school will take over us? I'll try read Mr Peachey's book on the subject for more details.
I also hope that just because Mr Peachey is a National MP this won't create any bias as I've previously mentioned on this blog. If any Rangitoto College students are reading this I'd be interested to know if your principal tries to influence you with his centre-right ideologies.
A leaked draft of Dr Brash's education reform speech was leaked. According to it though, under National, more funding would be provided to independent (private) schools, in fact lifting the state�s per-pupil contribution to 50 per cent. Funnily enough they criticised the level of funding being provided to the 'poorer' schools under the current decile system. If funding was excessive, why are these schools still poor? If they are mismanaging the money, then fair enough they deserve to be scrutinised, but most likely it is because they are smaller schools which receive less funding per student than the larger schools, and the families of students aren't exactly rich enough to 'donate' large sums to the school.
What National want to do is privatise schools, just like they are in favour of privatising everything else that is currently under state control. Sure they announced that TVNZ, Kiwibank and Air New Zealand would not be sold off within their first term in power, but who can trust this National party? What will happen if they get reelected for a second term? In fact, what can stop them from selling state assets off whilst in power? At the moment each of those public entities are making a profit for the government, which is (fingers crossed) being spent on the people of New Zealand. The government would certainly make money from selling these assets, but they won't have any money generators left (apart from the tax-paying citizen).
This U-turn by the National Party, along with the 'Cullen Fund' and 4 weeks paid parental leave U-turn is certainly suspicious. I would happily continue living under the Sisterhood rather than a Brash-led government. Fortunately the majority feel the same, according to the latest NFS TV3 poll, and the ONE News Colmar Brunton Poll (which, ironically, is supposed to be the most generous poll towards National, despite being conducted by a crown-owned entity) which all show Labour leading by a considerable gap.
Let's hope for another Labour win these elections! It ain't looking as if will be as easy as last time though...
We just got our meningococcal B vaccines at school today. Since my year level was last in the school to get theirs, everyone round school basically had theirs already and were hitting each other in the arm!
I was one of the last ones to be injected, and despite the warnings and fears other people had, it wasn’t actually that bad! I was kinda actually laughing as the health lady inserted the syringe into me! I heard that it takes a few hours before the pain sets in. Aonghas had his vaccine first thing in the morning, so by the end of the day he was clutching his shoulder. Poor Chen fainted as he got his!
Term one is finally over! I suppose it is the least stressful of all the terms, but towards the end I was getting heaps and heaps of homework! Today wasn’t so bad since we only had a half day.
I got my NCEA Biology 2.4 (Ecology) assessment result back today and I got excellence for it (probably only barely!) which is a miracle, judging on how bad the data I had originally collected was!
After watching this documentary DNZ: The Other Olympiad about several of New Zealand's brightest students who got to travel to Athens to compete in the Maths Olympics on TV ONE tonight, it kinda made me feel pretty dumb! They are students who are like fifth formers doing seventh form work, and here's sixth form me lying on the couch reading sixth form chemistry!
Whenever I think of the future I always think about how I'm going to raise my children. My plan? Play Mozart music, teach them to speak, read and do maths at a very early age. Oh and play music too!!....all in the hope of having a child prodigy *fingers crossed*!
It’s interesting to read how the co-founders of Google reduced their individual salaries to US$1 last year. Obviously they realised they didn’t necessarily need all that money. What difference would it make anyway if you’re worth over a billion dollars? What would you spend a $1 billion with? If I had that much money…well…I’d first probably put it in the bank so I could accumulate interest (unexpectedly!), then I would probably pay for our family to go on a holiday to
Of course money isn’t everything, and we’ve seen that in Prince Charles and Lady Camilla Parker Bowles’ wedding. Well I don’t know if she’s marrying him just for his money, but he isn’t exactly rolling around in cash either. Then again, he would be rolling around in more than I ever will! However, because Prince Charles decided against signing a pre-nuptial agreement, if Charles and Camilla happen to divorce, Camilla could come away with a lot more than she had before she married. When Princess Diana and Prince Charles divorced in 1996, Diana came away with a lump sum of £17.5 million to pay off her debts, and that basically crippled Charles, with him having to liquidate assets and sell off his investments. But who knows if history will repeat this time round. Camilla and Charles have been at it for something like 33 years? Unless they realise the juice has all dried up from their relationship, they’re most likely destined to be together for quite some time to come.
Sure money makes the world go around, but it can’t beat love (and I know this sounds stupid). As much as I hate to say it, the love bug is definitely spreading around school faster than anything else, and it looks to be incurable! At least it is making people a lot happier! I can think of one person in particular but thou shall not be named, who has been a lot upbeat and happier ever since she got together with her current boyfriend. All I can say is that I hope they last the distance! I think right now I could possibly name at least ten of my friends who are in relationships, which is a bit overwhelming. Everyone really is maturing and growing up! That’s a good thing though, we all deserve someone.
This morning I finally finished my NCEA Biology 2.4 Ecology assessment. I’m really worried though. I wasn’t sure if I had written enough on the species we focused on, the Nodilittorina antipodum (periwinkle). For excellence you are required to discuss environmental factors related to this species. I wrote two and a little bit pages, so fingers crossed that was enough! Now I only have the English formal writing assessment to go… My thesis statement used to be:
“Reality is Subjective”
But I found this too broad, so now I’ve changed it to:
“Emotions get in the way of truth”
It allows me to delve into overuse of emotion in news reports these days. How often do you notice news reporters using words such as SHOCKING and HORRIFIC? These affect our opinions of the matter and the way we feel. A news reporter’s job should be just that – to report.
It is due on Thursday, the day before my meningococcal vaccine :S
For the past two days Aonghas and I have been performing at our school’s Studio Show (performing arts concert). What made this performance the more special and memorable was that this would be the last studio show held in Room 90, our school’s theatre before it gets demolished during the holidays to make way for the new Information Commons Centre (flash name for library). Aonghas and I performed March Militaire by Schubert. The performance on the first night went really bad. We made heaps of mistakes! Thursday night’s performance was a lot better though and we made only a few mistakes. I feel sorry for the band that performed on Wednesday though. They played American Idiot by Greenday, and swore all through the song, and their lead singer swore at the backstage crew. Ultimately they got kicked out of the show.
Watching the rock band rehearse made me come up with an idea…what if Aonghas, I and a few other people we could find formed a band of our own? It would definitely break our stereotype of being geeks. We could name the band something like *geeksRus* and play cool songs like Stacey’s Mum, What I go to School for and Peaches! But right now it is just an imagination.
Hamish, Aonghas and I have been asked to perform at our cousin’s dad’s men’s group (or something like that) meeting, as well as at the Dutch village across the road form our house within the next few weeks. The performance at our cousin’s dad’s men’s group meeting clashes with parent teacher interviews next Wednesday so we might have to postpone it. I’ll probably have to follow my parents round while they meet my teachers and say embarrassing things about me. I’ll keep you posted…
One teacher they won’t be able to meet is my Chinese teacher, as she and basically all of my Chinese class (except for me and Julie, this other girl). They’re going to spend the term one holidays in