Bonne Vacance de Paris!

15 12 2010

Hey guys, I thought I’d drop in on you and say hi before you all skate off to your summer holiday.  Speaking of summer – here’s your weather forecast and mine, side by side.  You guys have NO idea what cold is.  I can’t leave the house without a jumper, coat, & gloves.  Your winter is now my t-shirt weather.  I’m loving it =)

I’ve posted a bunch of photos for you in a MobileMe gallery – have a peek.

I’ve been in Paris for just over 3 months now.  Really interesting experience.  We’re living in an apartment on the west side of town just outside the outskirts of the Paris centre in a town called Neuilly-sur-Seine (pron. Neuhhh-yeee seeuur Seyne), which is apparently where the President Nicolas Sarkozy used to live before he was elected, and we’ve heard rumours that Johnny Depp keeps a little place around here.  We can see La Tour Eiffel from our hallway window – it’s nice to look out on the hour at night and see it sparkling.  There’s an amazing bakery, greengrocer, fromagerie (cheese shop), câve (wine shop), café, and a couple of alimentations (like an all-hours general store) all within dead easy walking distance.  The Metro is a little bit further away than that, and it’s the line that runs straight through the heart of the city along the Seine.  Subsequently, we don’t own a car.  Amazing feeling.  Plus, the way the French drive, I think I’m safer on foot.

Ok, so French reputation point #1, the food.  Interesting fact.  Parisiens don’t eat baguettes.  They live up to the stereotype of walking around with bread sticks, but they’re not baguettes.  Sure, you can buy ’em, but the real locals get this bread called a “baguette de tradition,” or “tradi.”  Much nicer.  Think like nice crusty Italian bread but with a softer crust, chewier bread, and shaped like a stick.  Butchers all have a chicken roasting cabinet outside.  You have not eaten chicken until you’ve had one of these bad boys.  On a more gruesome note, a lot of butchers have cabinets with whole pheasants and rabbits, skin intact inside to buy and cook.  Speaking of unsettling meats, I’ve added 3 species to my list of animals I’ve eaten.  Frogs legs are AMAZING.  They taste, predictably like chicken, but much more tender.  Snails are just disappointing.  A little bit chewy, and don’t really have a flavour of their own – they serve them in shells with garlic butter.  Horse is amazing – like really steaky steak.  French coffee is awful.  Like, weapons-grade awful.

French reputation point #2 – attitude.  The French are not rude, let me get that one right out in the open.  I’ve not met a single rude Frenchy since I’ve been here, and I’ve been a bumbling, can’t-string-a-proper-sentence-together goofball on more than one occasion.  I have however seen them fight fire with fire, if you’re rude to a French person, expect cordon bleu rudeness back – we were grabbing some lunch at the Louvre, fumbling our way through ordering in French (we’d been in the country 3 days) and the staff were being really patient and friendly.  Especially when my order directly translated to “I would like a neighbourhood of pizza.”  Anyway, a lady came up behind us at the counter, and started talking at the staff in a thick southern US accent, not even bothering to string a sentence together in English: “TURRRRIST AWFFICE.  TURRRRIST AWWFFICE?” – the dudes behind the counter pretended not to understand, pointed in the opposite direction to where the tourist office was, and she walked off.  Then they grinned at us, then charged us for our lunch in English.

The day before, we’d been to the military history museum, and seen an exhibition on Charles de Gaulle, a general and national leader during World War II.  The French aren’t arrogant.  They’re proud.  Large parts of France including Paris were under pretty heavy Nazi occupation during WWII, and it was a real struggle to regain their homeland.  It is an absolutely beautiful place, and the fact that it wasn’t handed to them on a silver platter and it was pretty hard-won puts that attitude into perspective.  I’ve seen a pile of tourists come in here with that “Bali mentality” of thinking that the residents of their holiday destination are their servants, when in fact they’re the hosts, and those tourists are the guests.  Paris is a hugely multi-ethnic city, so Parisiens aren’t opposed to outsiders, they’re understandably opposed to having people come in acting like they own the place.  It makes all the racist drama going down in Australia look pretty childish.

I’ve been doing some relief teaching at a little International School a 10 minute walk from home.  Nice place, nice kids.  Fingers crossed it’ll lead to some more stuff – they’re about to start boosting up their techie program, so a nerd like me should fit right in.

Anyway, maybe I’ll see you guys on Skype sometime today.  If I don’t – have a fantastic break.

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Aries Study Guides

6 12 2010

Hello Everyone,

In order to prepare for the final countdown on Aries, we will get one last opportunity to assist each other to prepare for this test by creating a study guide for each section.

Each committee group is to create a study guide outline of the information in their unit. I will do Unit 1 in dot point form.

It should be brief phrases and facts in note-taking, dot point, or outline form, not copied word for word information.

-It should be in digital form, and should encompass any info that you believe your classmates should have to prepare for the exam.

These will all be posted to the blog upon completion at the end of the day today – you will have periods 1 and 5 to complete this task and tomorrow we will play Unit 10’s game.  We will have a general review day on Wednesday and Thursday will be the Unit 1-4 Exam (p1) and the Unit 5-9 Exam (p4), with another study session p2.

Then Friday, you will take your final exam.

-Mr M

Unit 1:  Aries Unit 1 Summary

Unit 2:  Paige, Jessica, Adelle

Unit 3:  Aries Unit 3

Unit 4:  Aleks – Unit 4 – Networking Notes

Unit 5:  Unit 4 Networking- Chelsea, Andrea, Dylan

Unit 6:  aries paras

Unit 7:  ARIES POSTER Chapter 7

Unit 8:  unit 8

Unit 9:  Aries Chapter 9

Unit 10:





Aries quizzes to see if you are ready!

30 11 2010

Here is the Aries link again, as I see many of you scrolling through pages of blog entries to find it each time.

learning.aries.net/ashdalesc/login.aspx

I have opened up Units 1-4 (individually) for practice.  You can click on take exam from your homepage, and try to take these quizzes. to see how you go.  Your Aries course is made up of:

20% Unit 1-4 test,

20% Unit 5-9 test, and

60% Final Exam

I will open Unit 1-4 test once you have had the chance to practice using the activities above.

Good luck!





Charles Kingsford Smith

15 11 2010

During the roaring 1920’s and the turbulent years of the 1930’s, many amazing things were achieved by an amazing Australian Man. Charles Kingsford Smith has been named repeatedly the best Australian Aviator Ever!!

Your task for today is to create a Timeline of the achievements of Charles Kingsford Smith. Your timeline should span from 1897 (his birth) to 1935 (his disappearance) . Some great websites you may use to collate your information are:

http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/articles/kingsfordsmith/

http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/k-smith.html

http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/A090602b.htm

You of course are welcome to use other sites, these a couple you could start with.

Feel free to create your Timeline on your laptops, or on paper.

As always ask questions if you need any assistance.





Reading Plus location

7 11 2010

Just a reminder of where Reading Plus is on the server:  http://curric4181-03/readingplus/.

Take your time, use your re-reads and make sure you are giving each question the attention it deserves before answering.  Anything over 70% is progress!





Work in

1 11 2010

Hello All,

Here is the latest update…  Work in update 011010

Please remember that I will not be accepting any more of the previously due work after Wednesday.

Books should be done for tomorrow’s practice reading activity.

Art projects should be finished and reflections completed for marking.

D&T will continue to be marked with Mr Pearce when I can schedule him in.  If you haven’t done reflections for that work, it will affect your mark.

Tomorrow we will also look at where we stand for the exhibition through our committees.

-Mr M





Work in update

27 10 2010

Hi All,

Tomorrow is the second to last day of painting…  2 hours tomorrow and 4 hours on Friday.  Come in ready to go.  Everyone should be finished by the end of Friday in order to do a reflection and have it all wrapped by the end of next week.

Here is the latest work in update:  work in as of 271010.