Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:
Spotted in Culture Magazine, The Sunday Times of Ireland.
I HAVE STARTED talking about major news items with my 11 yo daughter. This week, 10 items from the Sunday Times and Sunday Business Post caught my attention.
I hope to include Mia's voice with mine in upcoming episodes. At the moment, real life intervenes while we continue unpacking in a new house. The Spreaker clip below summarises my reading of two Irish Sunday papers.
[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative media for business on the Clonmel Digital Campus.]
Bernie Goldbach posted a photo:
Mary Hegarty, accompanied by pianist Gabriela Mayer, performed romantischer Lieder during a lunchtime concert in Old St Mary's of Clonmel on Saturday the ninth of March 2019. [Photo from maryhegarty.ie]
I have a finished object. I bought the thread and pattern for this in Nice in 2010 and probably started it there. I lost it in a house move around 2011 and it was missing for over a year until the next house move. Since then, it has been on trains in several countries, aeroplanes. Several rows have been ripped out and redone several times. It has cost me at least 1 if not two crochet hooks. It was done on Bergere de France mercerised cotton which doesn't seem to be available in these colours amy more. I used 1.25mm hooks (very fine) to crochet it and now it is finished. I really cannot believe it. #crochet #haekeln #threadcrochet #doily
A post shared by Me (@wnbpaints) on Feb 10, 2019 at 8:01am PST
This is The Doily.
I bought the pattern and the thread when I was on holiday in Nice in the South of France in 2010. I bought a load of thread at the Bergere de France shop – they’ve discontinued the product since which is a real pity. The doily has been under production since about then as I probably started it while I was still in Nice (bored, hotel room alone in the evening). It went through about 5 house moves, and was lost across one (so I started another one, from a pattern also bought in Nice with more thread also bought in Nice). I finally finished it about a month ago.
I’ve always loved the colour – I call it ballet pink and I like those pastelly shades for some reason. I wasn’t sure I’d have enough thread in the end (but I did, and have some left and now don’t know what to do with it).
I’m really proud of it because it took a lot of work. It’s not the first doily I have finished (there are two others, one of which I’ve lost so I hope it turns up in the storage boxes still in Ireland. In a way, I find it hard to believe that almost 9 years have passed since I bought the thread and started it. Life seems to be flying. But most of all, I love that it represents a simple truth: if you work at something, you will get to the end, at some stage.
I bought a pencil sharpener today.
As my sister pointed out, I probably actually have a pencil sharpener already (just a few) so…uh?
This is an antique/vintage one. It is an FTE Modell 120 – no idea when it was built, but late 1960s is favourite. It is manufactured out of Bakelite. It reminds me of an old telephone. It looks nothing like a phone.
[oh god the new editor is killing me here]
I like the shape of it.
I have a lot of sharpeners. There are various reasons for this a) finding myself caught in flagrante delit of needing to sharpen a pencil, b) losing them and c) hoarding good ones in case I lose them. My definition of good tended to be “Faber Castell”.
This was fine except I have now a lot of pencils and they aren’t all the same size. There are a bunch of pencils which are slightly larger than standard. I could not keep track of which pencil sharpener fitted which pencils but often, it was very much “whichever one fits this pencil is not one of the 7 sharpeners I happen to have to hand”. As an additional problem, I could not sharpen charcoal pencils in any of my handheld pencils without killing both blades and pencils. So in desperation one day I bought the Staedler rotary sharpener. Sure, it was more expensive than the hand helds I had, even the brass ones with the killer sharp blades, but then, so were the charcoal pencils that I was going through like they were going out of fashion. The only other rotary sharpener I could find at the time was the Caran d’Ache Matterhorn, either standard or limited edition, and being Caran d’Ache and solid metal, they were way over the odds for testing.
The Staedtler worked nicely. It’s plastic which I wasn’t so lost on but there’s decent capacity for shavings, and it sharpened the charcoal pencils. A month later I bought a limited edition Matterhorn for no other reason than I liked it. I refuse to sharpen the charcoals in it which is why I have two mechanical sharpeners on my desk. This brings us to today’s purchase of an FTE. I use pencils at work and I wanted a rotary sharpener. I wanted it to be a bit more solid than plastic, but not as expensive as the Matterhorn (which is jewellery level pricy). The vintage fair seemed a possible source and the FTE rocked up at it. The seller knocked 5 euro of the price, and it was much less than the cost of a new Staedler, so I bought it. It works. I’ve sharpened a Blackwing in it. So the FTE is going to work.
FTE was a manufacturer I wasn’t familiar with, so I looked it up. It was a factory in the GDR – and apparently when the sharpeners were sold in the 1960s they cost 13.50DM which by the standards of the time was not cheap.
I see a lot of them on eBay.de and they aren’t uncommon as such – the ex-East block seemed to make a lot of mechanical sharpeners as I’ve seen Czech models on sale too, nearly all Bakelite. I like the shape of this and it put a reasonably decent point on the pencil so I’m happy enough about it.
god it is a rabbit hole though, these mechanical sharpening machines. The standard colour of the Matterhorn is grey. I want it. I also want the Red limited edition (no longer available) and the Black limited edition (no longer available). And there are a couple of really nice AW Faber ones of which I want one particular one. I have visions of a shelf of about 8 mechanical sharpeners… and a lot of people going “what is she like?”
My social media sources flooded with IWD, with promotions, with hashtags, with exhortations to talk about the inspirational women in your career who helped you along the way.
I am not a fan of Women’s Day. Its existence reminds me that women are systematically discriminated against and expected to accept whatever small crumbs come our way. There is always some chorus of basses and tenors singing about the lack of a Men’s Day. (it is November 19th by the way; the fact that it appears not to be such a big deal speaks volumes about how much men care about it and campaign for it)
I wanted to think about the things that would make being a woman easier in today’s world. One of those things would be Not Being Embarrassed About Your Period. A sanitary towel or tampon falls out of your handbag? No big deal.
Being on your period? No big deal. You have an accident? No big deal – it happens to us all. For my lifetime, though periods were handled as something to be hidden, something to be embarrassed about. When I look back at some of the men in my life, they could handle discussing contraception; they could not handle me having sleeping problems because my period was due in 2 days.
Plus, as it happens today I accidentally flicked a sanitary towel out of my handbag while looking for a sketchbook. I’m now 46 so I don’t give a damn any more but I also know that for years, I would have been scarlet.
So that’s one thing.
I was also thinking about inspirations, and if I’m honest, one of the women who I wish was around when I was 18, 19, is Federica Mogherini. I think she’s great. But I don’t want to talk about her right now. I want to talk about someone completely different.
I grew up in Ireland and I was born in the early 1970s. I spend a lot of time on Irish social media and I can tell you, young people today really have no concept of what Ireland was like back then. Reeling in the Years does not even come place. I want to sing the praises of one, unknown, not famous woman who changed my life in a very significant way in June 1980. I don’t even know if she is still alive.
The rhythm of life in Ireland came with various rites of passage, of which the second major one after starting school at the age of 5, was, and remains for many people, the First Holy Communion. When I was a child, you got this in First Class.
So at the age of 7 and a half, one Saturday in May, I was clad in a short white frilly dress, wandered up the church, and got Communion for the first time. There was a sort of party in the school afterwards, at which my mother strictly ordered me not to even consider the idea of going near an orange, much less trying to peel it. Part of the deal with being in the Communion class was something altogether more secular. It was a school trip.
We didn’t have many of those in school in Ireland when I was a child, certainly not in most of the small local schools in towns where both major employers had challenges from time to time. But the Communion class got to go away for a whole day. By tradition, it was a trip to Dublin Zoo.
We lived 150 miles from Dublin Zoo, and the most logical way to get 80 or so 7 year olds to Dublin was to shepherd them onto a train into a reserved carriage, and have them picked up by bus in Heuston Station and then shipped out to the Phoenix Park to pay attention to the exotic animals we could not imagine. I had never been to Dublin and to be frank, I don’t think I had been on a bus before either.
Anyway, Ireland of the 1980 had a bunch of limitations which meant I think the sole option for bus hire would have been CIE’s Dublin city bus service. So a double decker arrived to take us to the zoo.
Most of the women I knew at that time were teachers, nuns or nurses. All of the teachers in my school were female. We knew the boys’ school for the Second Class and upwards (ie, older than us) had mostly male teachers but most of the men I knew at that time were mechanics, truck drivers, creamery managers or some such.
We had the Veritas encyclopaedias and in the page describing the kind of jobs people could do, women had just 2 of the 8 jobs described; teacher and nurse. Every other job was a man’s job. People talk about how important role models are in the tech sector today, in politics, and the idea of ensuring that language isn’t exclusionary. Images can be very exclusionary.
Anyway, back at Heuston Station, my all female cohort of teachers discovered something highly unusual about this bus. It was so extraordinary they made a point of pointing it to an army of 7 and 8 year olds who really only wanted to go to the zoo and see the penguins.
The bus driver was a woman. It was, to be frank, unique in any of our experience.
It is nearly 40 years since I made my Holy Communion, but I still think of that moment – almost a Kodak moment in my life; stamped on my memory – when I realised that if a woman wanted she could be a bus driver. That a bus driver did not have to be male.
We talk about the importance of role models. I don’t know who that woman was but frankly, she made a massive change to my view of the world when I was 7. And the impact of that change on my life has been immeasurable.
Anyway, I was busy, yesterday, on International Women’s Day and like I say, I just want periods not to be a subject of embarrassment or shame. But when we talk about inspiration and role models, we need kids to see them, not just teenagers, or early career researchers or students.
Bernie Goldbach posted a video:
Created automagically by Magisto during a mini Maker Meet in Clonmel.
ONE OF THE MOST ENDEARING memories I have on my third level campus came through the eyes of my 6yo son (in the photo) who remembers fondly how he won a rocket race during a Maker Meet. Today, Chris Reina from MakerMeet.ie visits the Clonmel Digital Campus to share how he has evolved his making and sharing from evening events into day-long classroom activities.
Chris will open with a 20 minute interview that forms the basis of a Congversation and then he will show several hands-on samples of his Maker Meet philosophy in action.
You can catch up with a podcast featuring Chris Reina and the Maker Movement by subscribing to Congversations with your favourite podcatcher.
[Bernie Goldbach teaches creative media for business on the Clonmel Digital Campus of the Limerick Institute of Technology. Every spring, he helps organise the annual ICT in Education Conference in County Tipperary.]
Jack and Amy interviewed Sean Gallagher at the CESI conference. Sean spoke about how his role as both teacher and principal in a primary school and Deputy Director of the PDST has informed his practice. He also spoke passionately about how digital technologies can be integrated across all subjects in the curriculum. Liston the interview to hear about the school’s escapades with a sparrow hawk …
Finally Sean shared his thoughts on the themes of creativity, collaboration and practice fro today’s conference.
Jack and Amy
Youth Media Team
Jack and Cara interviewed John Hegarty at the CESI Conference. John spoke about his workshop today incorporating microblocks, micro:bits and buggies. He also shared his experience as a teacher in the pilot for Computer Science at Leaving Certificate.
Jack and Cara
Youth Media Team
Amy and Denis interviewed Richard Millwood at the CESI confernce. Richard spoke about mental models and they can be used to solve problems and to predict the outcomes of solutions to those problems. He then shared his thoughts on the broader concept of computational thinking.
Richard is currently facilitating CESI Computer Science Community of Practice workshops which you can check out here.
Amy and Denis
Youth Media Team