Ancient Pokemon Civilizations and Donald Trump’s Dong Dong Jiang

Catchup post following the CNY Grandparent Tour we take each year at this time...  Updated 13 Feb 2017: Rockstar was asked to amend "Pokemon" to "Rylandians," write about humans (:D), and add a currency; slightly concerned his project had taken a wrong turn with the Pokemon, he went on to recycle bits from his beloved mountainous pile of Legos to use as mode of exchange...   1) The Ancient Civilisation of the Pokemon We get back mid-week after mostly putting down our tech for the duration of the tour, and start to work on Rockstar's writing assignment in earnest: As culmination of the school learning unit of inquiry, "Where we are in place and time," Rockstar's homework assignment was to create and write about "Mylandia", his very own ancient civilisation:
  • "Characteristics of civilisations and societies (Form)
  • Connections between past and present (Connection/Reflection)
  • Processes involved in collecting, analysing and validating evidence (Function)"
This was following a term of theatre and museum trips, class projects including art or modelling, building their own virtual ancient civilisation during ICT (think: computer version of Lego on steroids). "Narrative writing A major component of this unit are the rich narrative writing opportunities for the children. They have been developing their story writing skills by describing characters, settings, complications and using figurative language and exciting vocabulary. The children have been exposed to a variety of openings and endings which go beyond 'Once upon a time' and 'happily ever after'!                                                                                                                                                                                    After striving to get out of him what he learnt last term before losing his marbles over Break  revising, Rockstar is turning in "Rylandia" (naturally haha), inhabited by ancient Pokemon who lived near a river for food and water source, and built a fort to keep Pokemon Egg poachers and Pokeballs out.
mypokecard.com

mypokecard.com

They also worshipped Legendary Pokemon who, I agree with him, had spooky similarities to ancient Egyptian gods.
This is the Legendary Pokemon Articuno and the Team Mystic crest based on the same

This is the Legendary Pokemon Articuno and the Team Mystic crest based on the same

This is Horus, Egyptian god of sky, air and hunting (pic from pinterest)

This is Horus, Egyptian god of sky, air and hunting (pic from pinterest)

Rockstar concluded his essay late last night (he would rather do that and most anything, except sleep haha) with " The Pokemon civilisation really did end up living forever - in video games. They continue to evolve in our imaginations, show(ing) up in human children's homework assignments and virtual reality." Uh.... I have no idea if he gets in good or he gets in trouble, but kinda had to tell myself throughout the whole Pokemon Ancient Civilisation of Rylandia thing that the point was getting there <sheepish> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Because shifting from Ancient Pokemon to President Donald Trump is as easy as having your own blog... 2) President Trump created his own "dong-dong-jiang" over the recent CNY holiday by executive order that refugees and travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries – Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen - be banned from entering the US. So, human rights activists, the International Rescue Committee, the American Civil Liberties Union, officials from some of the seven Muslim-majority countries, and basically A Whole Lotta People, are very upset with President Trump right now. Why is anyone surprised by this latest thing?   E! Entertainment personality Giuliana Rancic married his first "Apprentice". President Trump is someone known on tv for - wait for it - 2015-01-23-TRUMPGIF5 President Trump is a pretty fearless businessman. In one of his books, as well as per his daughter's description, he apparently once walked past a homeless person he frequently gave money to and said, "This man has more money than I do. I owe people millions." I don't think President Trump is necessarily aiming to stick it out for the 4 (or 8) years of presidential office to begin with. Nor is he tha-at interested in approval ratings. Certain guy named Bill went the potential impeachment route with far less heat than that, and lived to tell the tale... My_Life_Bill_Clinton   Clinton_Giving President Trump is not exactly someone who's ever driven to the middle ground in order to be liked by everyone, not when he had the pageants, not when he did reality tv, not even when he needed to get elected to the Presidency (there's a parenting/ personal lesson for all of us - how far you can still go when everyone hates you haha) so why would he do it now he's in office.. There's a lot you can say and get done simply from running for office. From winning office. From your first 100 days. From erm, being there for however long it takes before people catch on that you're not necessarily in it for the long haul. He's here to make Changes Tsunamis Waves. Therein lies Rockstar Career Advice #6-or-however-many: Personality plays a vital role to success in career choice, possibly even more so than sheer IQ. You should not fear an IQ so much as you should fear Burning Ambition (you know the rest of the moniker right, "Burning Ambition At All Costs"? But oh, the opportunities in trading and investments right now. Especially if no one has done the proverbial "big short" about President Trump not staying full term. Waves mean investment and trading opportunity (and every time someone says "opportunity" we should hear "opportunity ergo also risk.") Buying is technically only one side. There is also selling, and the combination of the two that derivatives would allow (legally, of course :D) Just that we're usually more comfy or regulated to do one side over the other side - but what you really want is movement, in either direction (barring regulatory restrictions, not your own view restricting your ability to see)... The best buying opportunity in Hong Kong was sadly during SARS. It's not during happy hunky-dory times. It's not during times when everyone expects the outcome because Zero Sum Game. Think The Big Short.
pic from Wikipedia

pic from Wikipedia

  If you throw away everything you learn however - including what they tell you in college that financial statements and reports are supposed to tell you - it's not a bad idea to do something. It doesn't have to be a lot, unless you are one of those people who is fine with Losing Big To Win Big and have no other commitments you need to think about (you know not to go in big unless you are prepared to lose it big as well, right?? Because of the NFL (No Free Lunch rule)... Used to refer to that as "At Least Entertainment Costs," with my RMs. Every time you hit the market, it will cost you something. If you've made more than it costs you, you're ahead. If you don't, but you learned something/ were hugely entertained by news and screens and over a gadzillion dim sum lunches then you were basically paying for an entertainment, an education.... bunch of golf games abroad or ski trip maybe cost you about that too? So, actually more fun than a casino. Casinos can't hold a candle to CNN, BBC. That's your reality tv show right there. Why not make your own?
pic from dailymail.co.uk

pic from dailymail.co.uk

Have a good week back, dears...  
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Rockstar’s School Book Week (Or, Where Kids Learn To Fish)

"...give a man a fish, you feed him for a day; teach him to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime...” - the quote spans many cultures and religions; ever thought however, how true that is of instilling a love of reading? dbc6648eea92c0903f8d32f8ee81a5c1 078825979e891726d1984c40b0d153d5 769d7d8b020d40348c04271635c4986e 9c479723327a191564ebf78512d09198 7e8eae3a44436e51f61b21b187f0e1e8 Classroom doors turned into giant books (Some of these pictures are from our school newsletters; if this is not ok someone please shoot me a note and it'll be gone ASAP) The culmination of Rockstar's school Book Week is Dress-Up Like A Book Character Day, and Rockstar went as one of the Malfoys from the Harry Potter series.
This was taped to a pillar when I went to pick him up...

This was taped to a pillar when I went to pick him up at the end of the week...

So this is Scorpius munching a chicken sandwich on the way to the bus stop

So this is Scorpius munching a chicken sandwich on the way to the bus stop

These are the "real" Malfoys on Broadway - pic from Brit.co

(These are the "real" Malfoys on Broadway) - pic from Brit.co

Now, Cursed Child is a relatively new screenplay Rockstar picked up over Christmas, having finally gotten into the world of J.K Rowling via Fantastic Beasts, also a screenplay after the hit movie... krdjhkejrh 4jkh4kj4h6 (pics from mentalfloss.com) (Speaking of which, at least one kid apparently came as Newt, while there were several Harries, Hermiones and a Ron Weasley, according to Rockstar).
Couldn't resist adding this Eton Alumni pic - "Newt Scamander" is number 17, and Prince William is number 20

Btw this is  the "real" Newt Scamander, Eddie Redmayne - no. 11 in this Eton Alumni pic, while Prince William, future King of England is no. 20 - pic from Dailymail.co.uk

Anyway, when Rockstar comes home remarking that almost every kid he spoke to in his year made the distinction he was Scorpius, not Draco Malfoy I am impressed - there are 8 preceding novels - awful thick things of convoluted storylines, where Harry Potter's nemesis Draco features prominently. Cursed Child then features also various alternate realities thanks to time travel, picking up on multiple threads from the first 8 books. There is a movie that isn't out til next year... and almost every Y5 kid Rockstar spoke to has already read enough to differentiate Scorpius-the-protagonist's role from dark Draco's, from the >300 page screenplay?  How much and how quickly are kids reading nowadays?
And btw this is Rockstar's current prescribed reading for Chinese. No he is not in the strongest stream designated for native Chinese speakers)

(And btw this is Rockstar's current reading for Chinese. No he is not in the strongest stream designated for native Chinese speakers.)

Rockstar brings home 4 books every week from the school library (albeit he always picks one for Queen E and it's usually about caring for hamsters or horses or earthworms or dragons - while Queen E has her own Kindy Library Time and Quiet Reading (I think every single day) after free play, the gesture of having her older brother bring her something - and a book - is a biggie for her.) Anyway. Rockstar's library activities - not inclusive of class-prescribed reading couple times a week with a book based on the child's reading level and for which parents sign their reading diary. In other words, nowadays if your kid doesn't like to read, they're in for a pretty miserable childhood. You can send them to umpteen tuition classes (probably making them more miserable), o-r you could really appreciate when your child's school has Book Week. Welcome to the world of:
  1. Book buddy system

    Book buddy system (older kids working with their Y1 buddies to make/ write books and stories)

    Rockstar: ...so (Little Bus Buddy) apparently really loves planes now. So he wanted to write a story about all these plane characters. We're calling it "Planes!" Isn't that cute?  Me: (and I notice Queen E has perked up) Yes - (Rockstar interrupts to keep talking about the storyline they're developing)..... Did you know there is a "Planes" movie? Rockstar: What? Really? No. Why would I know that? Me: So you learned something new from Little Bus Buddy. Queen E <authoritatively>: There are a few movies, Mum-may. 
  2. Otherwise Potentially Nerve-Wracking (particularly in the heavily oversubscribed Dragon Zodiac Year) Admissions Interviews being conducted by Wally, various pirates and cowboys
  3. Ok this is not an admissions interview, but I think this is another teacher hamming it up during Book Week (are those dog ears)

    Ok this is not an admissions interview, but I think this is another enthusiastic teacher hamming it up during a Book Week activity..

  4. Additional story/reading times at Break, which from the looks of it are quite popular

    Rockstar tells me this is additional story/reading time at Break, which from the looks of it are quite popular (I don't see any chains or cuffs on the kids so I take it this is voluntary :D)

  5. Big Book Swaps

    Big Book Swaps... which allow the kids exposure to many other books and authors amongst their friends

    (and again - say the word and it's GONE immediately if the pics are not ok...!)
Rockstar tells me there was a big Teacher vs Student book quiz, where <ddrrrruum-rollll> the students won. Naturally ;D ps: If you're gonna read J.K. Rowling's work, you might want to also read the transcript of her speech at Harvard, The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination.
Her Royal Imaginative-ness

Her Royal Imaginative-ness at Harvard

You may know her first and foremost as Fantasy Author Extraordinaire, but in the speech she is also candid about her less-than-stellar moments. How decidedly un-glamourous poverty is, from struggling to make a living of what you really want to do. Yet there is another story to tell - instead of well, retiring on the warm sunny beach of some island, to be served a drink with a little umbrella in it, she went on doing something she loved. (In fact, she could probably have bought herself one. Island that is, not little umbrella.) She just kept getting better at what she did. That's the true goal isn't it, not just competing to be the best - finding a way to make a living, potentially an unconventional one, from what you're good at, from what you love. Each time Rowling went back in to write something, given her past successes, she risked facing "failure". Coming up short. The higher you fly, the harder you can fall, and all that. She did it anyway. 10 years after telling the Harvard kids the importance of failure, she's still a risk taker. Now go back to Book Week. One small step for a little kid who's trying to decide if reading is a joy or chore. Friends who challenge them, have fun learning, gift them meaningful books they themselves enjoy. Teachers who put on dog ears and a funny voice. 900 kids in a school. Maybe 899 who range from rabidly book-loving to meh about reading. One who maybe becomes the next Rowling. Ever wonder if the future King of England looks back at his school year book photo and thinks Wow, I Went To School With Newt Scamander?  Thought for the mid-week, dears...  
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Rockstar Watches Dude Perfect

So you thought Professional Nerf Gun Player wasn't a real thing... (These guys don't think it's a real thing either, but this hobby of theirs ended up taking them on Youtube tour in New York, made them Nerf ambassadors, and more...) Also Professional Trick Shot Makers Remember when I said if you love doing something you'll probably fight for a way to make a living of it? They keep saying they want to do something else eventually (at least one of them is now a dad, even), but for now there's 5 college/ fresh out of college guys and a panda who've turned one-upmanship (initially basketball) trick shots and Nerf guns wars into a lucrative hobby... (Not... advocating skipping school to do this, but between vegging in front of the tv and doing this then definitely this?)
pic from dudeperfect.com

pic from dudeperfect.com

Queen E disapproves.
She thinks The Dragon should have the Panda's job (pic of Roger Daltrey's Wheels on the bus off Youtube)

She thinks Argon The Dragon should have the Panda's job (pic of Roger Daltrey's Wheels on the bus off Youtube)

So anyway Dude Perfect. More than 15 million Youtube subscribers. Almost 20 million mobile game downloads. More than 17 million Facebook fans. Where your worst online controversy would be whether your latest trick shot is real. Like, of course they sell t-shirts. (It's like, everyone has t-shirts these days. Months ago I went to Stanley Market looking for stuff for Rockstar's last birthday, and found a teenager screen-printing in a stall, one break. He was swamped. He spoke English with an international school accent. Among his half-done orders and samples were various international school tees and club logos. Turned out he was also quoting higher than someone else on amazon in the UK who immediately replied my online order request with, "I notice you bought the maximum number I had - I could make more of them, how many more would you like?" <rrrespect both these kids ok>) But back to DP - they also wrote the book: Go Big. Making Your Shot Count In The Connected World. 4.5 stars out of 5, on amazon.com.
Cory Cotton is the younger of the twins in the group

(Cory Cotton is the younger of the twins, who both studied Communications and did the DP branding - the others are Wildlife & Fisheries, Architecture majors)

I mention because there is not "a doctor, lawyer, dentist" in the bunch. They got into this among others to avoid the usual college temptations to party. Proving it's not the degree for the degree's sake (or the job, or the...) It's what you do with it that counts. I once said using financial derivatives was like giving a monkey - or a sushi chef - a sharp knife. You can train in both savvy and self control, and produce a delicacy by removing the poison sac in the fugu (pufferfish sushi), or you can well, whatever it is monkeys might do with knives. Like the investment products and derivatives <shrugs> and... the internet and social media.... If DP hadn't been doing trick shots, they'd probably have ended up still at least moderately successful at work, their attitudes and determination are the real asset, not the ball-playing Nerf-shooting prowess... What "sushi" can you make with your "Nerf" 😛 ? Thought for the week, have a good one dears...    
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