January 4, 2011

Summer school begins

Hello there.  I’m now writing from the University of Melbourne campus.  All the associates are back from holidays.  I spent a whole day driving back to Melbourne with all my belongings packed into the car, singing (badly and out of tune) to myself and stopping at small country towns for a rest break.  Scary and exciting.


Now it’s straight back into classes and my first class tomorrow!  Yup, summer school has begun.  We’re teaching a bunch of year 8 and 9 students from different schools in Melbourne.  Australia doesn’t have a culture of sending kids to school over summer, so it’s going to be a bit of a challenge to engage the class, but we’ve planned some interesting activities so I’m excited about that.  Our theme is for them to prepare a bid for the Bionic Games.  They’ll visit the bionic eye and ear institute (can you believe they’re creating a crazy bionic eye?  Incredible).  Go on a tour of Etihad stadium.  Explore the campus.  Play Xbox Kinect Sports.   


What a way to spend your summer holidays huh? Winking smile


Today we had Rufus Black come to teach us about leadership and managing our psychological states under pressure.  We attempted to talk about our strengths, but it’s much easier to talk about what we’re not so good at.  Perhaps it’s just the culture we’re used to.  It seems so American to be constantly talking yourself.  I suppose it can be really empowering if you lack confidence and it’s worked for the students in Cohort 1’s classes. 


We did the Authentic Happiness UPenn survey of character strengths quiz and my top “strengths” were love of learning, and capacity to love and be loved.  Hmmm.  That’s pretty embarrassing to admit.  And not sure how accurate it is given it’s a self-evaluation.  Perhaps I’ll have to re-take it.   

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