#CommuteSoundtrack: August 2017

MalHeadphones2To quote a line from Pump Up The Volume by M/A/R/R/S, “This is a journey into sound…”

I’m continuing on from last month’s musical journey  with some more classics and personal musical favourites. These are selected for the pleasure of the music. Plenty of good vibes intended to brighten up any social media timeline… Enjoy!

7 August: The Monday Throwback Edition Robert Howard (Blow Monkeys) & Kym Mazelle – Wait!

7 August: The Monday Throwback Edition Prefab Sprout – The Sound of Crying

8 August: Edie Brickell & New Bohemians – What I Am

8 August: The Christians – Forgotten Town

8 August: Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Enola Gay

8 August: Always On My Mind by Tiki Taane

9 August: RIP to the Legend…  Glen Campbell – Wichita Lineman

9 August: Tracey Ullman – They Don’t Know

10 August: #ThrowbackThursday: Blondie – Atomic

10 August: #ThrowbackThursday: Marc Almond & Gene Pitney – Something`s Gotten Hold Of My Heart

10 August: #ThrowbackThursday: Buffalo Gals – Malcolm McLaren

10 August: #ThrowbackThursday: Eurythmics – You Have Placed A Chill In My Heart

11 August: #FeelgoodFriday Edition: Lily Allen – Smile

11 August: #FeelgoodFriday Edition 2: Vanessa Paradis – Be My Baby

11 August: #FeelgoodFriday Mashup: DJ Earworm – Summermash ’17

11 August: #BlastFromThePast: Soho – Hippychick

11 August: #BlastFromThePast: The Cardigans – Erase / Rewind

11 August: #BlastFromThePast: (With the war of words between USA and North Korea, I’m hoping this isn’t about to happen…) Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Two Tribes

11 August: #BlastFromThePast: Talk Talk – Talk Talk

14 August: The ‘Kiwi Classic’ Edition: OMC – How Bizarre

14 August: #MondayMotivation: Deep Dish feat Everything But The Girl – The Future Of The Future

14 August: #MondayMotivation: Lighthouse Family – Lovin’ Every Minute

15 August: The #TuesdayRushHour Edition: a-ha – Take On Me

15 August: The #TuesdayRushHour Edition: INXS – Need You Tonight

15 August: The #TuesdayRushHour Edition: Finley Quaye feat. William Orbit – Dice

15 August: The #TuesdayRushHour Edition: Hurts – Better Than Love

15 August: The #TuesdayRushHour Edition: Soul II Soul – Back To Life

18 August: The #FeelgoodFriday Edition: The (English) Beat – Can’t Get Used To Losing You

18 August: The #FeelgoodFriday Edition: The Specials – A Message To You Rudy

18 August: The #FeelgoodFriday Edition: The Beloved – Your Love Takes Me Higher

18 August: The #FeelgoodFriday Edition: Daniel Bedingfield- Gotta Get Thru This

21 August: The Monday ‘Back To Work’ Edition: Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield – What Have I Done To Deserve This

21 August: The Monday ‘Back To Work’ Edition: A Flock Of Seagulls – Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)

21 August: The Monday ‘Home Time’ Edition: White Town – Your Woman

21 August: The Monday ‘Home Time’ Edition: Gwen Stefani – Hollaback Girl

21 August: The Monday ‘Home Time’ Edition: Robyn ‘With Every Heartbeat’

21 August: The Monday ‘Home Time’ Edition: Alexis Jordan – Happiness

22 August: Tuesday ‘Classic’ Edition: MGMT – Kids

22 August: Tuesday ‘Classic’ Edition: Hellogoodbye – Here (In Your Arms)

22 August: Tuesday ‘Classic’ Edition: Calvin Harris – Acceptable in the 80’s

22 August: Home Time: Swedish House Mafia – Miami 2 Ibiza ft. Tinie Tempah

22 August: Home Time: Peter Gabriel – Games Without Frontiers

22 August: Home Time: Radiohead – Creep

23 August: Hump Day Special Big Audio Dynamite – E=MC2

23 August: Hump Day Special The (English) Beat: “Save It For Later”

24 August: #ThrowbackThursday: Lorraine – I Feel It

24 August: #ThrowbackThursday: Duffy – Mercy

24 August: #ThrowbackThursday: The Cardigans – My Favourite Game

24 August: #ThrowbackThursday PM Edition: Adamski & Seal – Killer

24 August: #ThrowbackThursday PM Edition: Beats International – Dub Be Good To Me

25 August: #FeelgoodFriday AM Edition: Des’ree – You Gotta Be

25 August: #FeelgoodFriday AM Edition: Sydney Youngblood – Sit And Wait

25 August: #FeelgoodFriday PM Edition: Usher – DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love ft. Pitbull

25 August: #FeelgoodFriday PM Edition: Saint Etienne – Only Love Can Break Your Heart

25 August: #FeelgoodFriday PM Edition: Lady Gaga – Paparazzi

25 August: #FeelgoodFriday PM Edition: The Cure – Close To Me

25 August: #FeelgoodFriday PM Edition: Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag

28 August: The ‘There’s Nothing Like A Bit Of Goth On A Monday Morning’ Edition: Sisters of Mercy – Dominion

28 August: The ‘Monday Dance Afternoon’ Edition: Kosheen – Catch

28 August: The ‘Monday Dance Afternoon’ Edition: Groove Armada – Superstylin’

28 August: The ‘Monday Dance Afternoon’ Edition: Robert Miles – Children

29 August: Blast From The Past: The Shamen – Progen 91 (Move Any Mountain)

29 August: Blast From The Past: Leftfield/Lydon – Open Up

29 August: Blast From The Past: Praise You – Fatboy Slim

30 August: The ‘Hump Day Blast From The Past’ Edition: Double Trouble ft. Rebel MC – Street Tuff

30 August: The ‘Hump Day Blast From The Past’ PM Edition: Chicane feat. Bryan Adams “Don’t Give Up”

30 August: The ‘Hump Day Blast From The Past’ PM Edition: Electronic – Getting Away With It

31 August: #ThrowbackThursday: S’Express – Theme from S’Express

31 August: #ThrowbackThursday: The KLF – Justified and Ancient (Stand By The JAMs)

31 August: #ThrowbackThursday: Snoop Dogg – Signs Ft. Charlie Wilson & Justin Timberlake

31 August: #ThrowbackThursday: De’lacy – Hideaway

 

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#CommuteSoundtrack: June/July 2017

I’m really enjoying listening to my iPod on my commute to and from work lately. Here’s a selection from the last month or so… It’s a lot more pleasurable than a constant feed of ‘repeat news‘. Enjoy!

30 June: The Friday Edition – The Beloved – Sweet Harmony

30 June: The Friday Edition 2 – Talk Talk – Living In Another World

30 June: The Friday Edition 3 – Prefab Sprout – If You Don’t Love Me

30 June: The Friday Edition 4 – Stock Aitken Waterman – Roadblock

30 June: The Friday Edition 5 – The Associates – Party Fears Two

6 July: The Pop Playlist Edition 1 – Madonna – Justify My Love

6 July: The Pop Playlist Edition 2 – Scritti Politti – Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin)

6 July: The Pop Playlist Edition 3 – The Primitives – Crash

6 July: The Pop Playlist Edition 4 – McAlmont & Butler – Yes

7 July: The Friday AM Edition – Nelly Furtado – Promiscuous ft. Timbaland

7 July: The ‘iPod Random Shuffle’ Edition – The Blow Monkeys – The Day After You

20 July: The Laidback Edition – Groove Armada – At The River

21 July: I’ve become so numb… RIP Chester – Linkin Park – Numb

28 July: The ‘Long Time No Hear’ Edition – Tears For Fears – Mother’s Talk

 

 

 

 

 

No More ‘News’

Image: https://pixabay.com/photo-763731/

It has taken me the best part of a month to write this post. There have been a few major news items that have dominated the headlines and made this difficult for me to be neutral. No doubt, there will be something I have overlooked. I have probably overthought this but I *think* I’ve now got the wording right… Oh well, here goes!

On the morning of Friday 9th June, I quietly made the decision to stop following all ‘news’ feeds on Facebook. This means I’m saying farewell to ‘reputable’ news outlets like BBC and the Guardian from the UK and the NZ Herald and Newshub here in NZ. (You can forget the other extremist ‘news’ outlets like ‘The Pun’ or ‘Daily Fail’ which I have never followed.) 

My rejection of news sources on Facebook is about ‘having a rest’. I have had enough of the media rhetoric. I don’t want to have to endure the sensationalist ‘clickbait journalism’ anymore. I’m also over the effects of the echo chamber that social media has now become. 

It’s been over a month now and I have to say Facebook is a different, more pleasant experience for me. I’m relieved to not have to troll through endless versions of the same story fed to me by the ‘distorted algorithm’. I’m now viewing far more posts from real people. Life through the lens of FB is good again. 

I get the impression that people don’t want to see the news stories that I repost as I don’t get any ‘likes’ for them. I also don’t want to repost them as this contributes to the information overload. By not reading the news in my FB feed, I’ve found out my likeminded friends actually have a voice and I’m even enjoying reading the opinions of my not so likeminded friends. 

But to come back to why I’ve typically had enough of reading the news for now, take a look at the following example of what has become of the ‘neutral’ press: 

http://theguardian.fivefilters.org/?v1 

It’s not for me to tell you how to think. I leave you to draw your own conclusions on this. For me, the above article by Five Filters speaks for itself. For me, this is the straw that has broken the camel’s back. For me, it highlights just how wrong the media outlets have been with recent events in the US and UK. It also leaves me to ponder on where do I now go to read unbiased news stories easily and for free? 

At some point in the future, the news outlets may make a return to my FB feed. Maybe this enforced ban is here to stay. I’m inclined to think that at least for now, I’m better off without the white noise… 

“Slactivism Of The Lowest Order”

I’m going to keep this post as short and as simple as I can.

Whilst I know the intentions of all the ‘Please share for the awareness of…’ memes that occupy social media space are of good intentions, I have to agree with the sentiment of the above screenshot.

This is just my opinion. I’m going to use the following analogy to illustrate it. Facebook statuses of this nature are like wallpaper. One ‘pattern’ or message is repeated and ends up blending into the same pattern (or another one) and the good intention the message is conveying just gets lost.

Please read the message in this screenshot. It was written by a friend of mine who lost someone dear to him not so long ago. The message could easily apply to any number of other illnesses or diseases or states of mind. If you can, where you can, you should donate your money or time or unwanted goods to charity if you want to help out.

I’m happy to be put straight on this matter. Please let me know if you disagree with what I say here.

Thanks for reading.

My week on @PeopleofNZ 


If you know me well, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of the concept of Twitter. I like how I’ve made professional connections and that I can use the networking capabilities I’ve experienced for professional development.  I like how interactions can grow organically and how personal connections can be made without ever meeting who you connect with. But lately I’ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with how social media in general, has recently taken over the ability for everyone to freely express their own opinions without undue criticism or unpleasant ‘trolling’.

For me personally, Twitter used to be informative and a bit of fun and a place of discovery and connection. It’s now an echo chamber of opinions and misinformation that I don’t seem to be enjoying anymore.

So, many months ago, I decided to sign up for curating the ‘People of NZ’ Twitter account. I thought it would be a great way to get a snapshot of the different people that occupy this online space. I have a bit of time on my daily commute to and from work, so what better way to while away the journey…

Now, I’ve kept my sign-up to this as a secret from mostly everyone I know… My week at the helm of this social media experience has just finished. I made this small announcement beforehand: https://twitter.com/mfcuk2/status/861115488515932161

I was quite nervous of being the custodian of the account for the week. I didn’t want to stuff up the experience for the regular followers of @PeopleofNZ.

My aim for the week was to be honest and fun and light hearted. I did have a loose idea what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it, but I didn’t want to meticulously plan the week out either. A reassuring tweet from the administrator and words of support put me at ease…

On the morning of Monday 7th May, I started ny tenure off with this tweet: https://twitter.com/peopleofnz/status/861290289717170177
Then this: https://twitter.com/peopleofnz/status/861292311568711680

I’ve really enjoyed being part of this. Some of the conversation threads have been really easy to engage with…

What podcasts I’m listening to… https://twitter.com/peopleofnz/status/861444264642756608

Some of the pictures I take every day… https://twitter.com/peopleofnz/status/861650498549465088

Activities at school… https://twitter.com/peopleofnz/status/861809907661643776

Pet pictures… https://twitter.com/peopleofnz/status/861821063394500609

Robust debates… https://twitter.com/peopleofnz/status/862029279260852224

Learning more Maori language in Aotearoa… https://twitter.com/peopleofnz/status/862182711137521665

Random stuff… https://twitter.com/peopleofnz/status/862386619550121984

Chocolate preferences… https://twitter.com/peopleofnz/status/862534547816169472

#FeelgoodFriday… https://twitter.com/peopleofnz/status/862753943901806592

#CoffeeSelfie… https://twitter.com/peopleofnz/status/862755088116338689

Music and going to gigs… https://twitter.com/peopleofnz/status/862901895639162884

And the odd serious topic… https://twitter.com/shoregirlygirl/status/862776818117492736

Oh, and #PicOfTheDay… https://twitter.com/peopleofnz/status/863147081417973761

The weather…  (Dylan Reeve replied to my tweet!) https://twitter.com/peopleofnz/status/863211814103928832

I think people have enjoyed my thoughts… https://twitter.com/andreajnz/status/862604877603655681

This process has made me realise I need to have a rethink of exactly what I want out of Twitter… https://twitter.com/peopleofnz/status/861838409349832706

The ‘People of NZ’ have a love for fun, humour and integrity. They also have a social conscience and a sense of caring.

My ‘week of tweets’ has been fun and not a burden at all… I’d recommend it to anyone that can spare the time. So, that was that. Time to say this:

Thanks for giving me the opportunity NZ… Until next time!

#PicOfTheDay – February 2017

This may be the perfect antidote to the current funk that is currently attached to many social media posts over the past year… A sudden urge to drop this on Feb 1st albeit with some slightly different rules. I was partly inspired after seeing this Jamie Livingston ‘Photo of the Day’ video on a recent Facebook post.

Enjoy the 2017 season. Who knows, I may decide to continue this indefinitely…

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#PicOfTheDay #010217 “(Last) Xmas Pop-up Market” #Filter Fame

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#PicOfTheDay #030217 ‘Karikari Sunset’ #NoFilter

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#PicOfTheDay #030217 ‘Karikari Sunset 2’ #NoFilter

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#PicOfTheDay #050217 ‘Outrageously Blue Water’ #NoFilter – at Karikari Peninsula

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#PicOfTheDay #060217 ‘Beach Buddies’ #NoFilter –  at Matai Bay

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#PicOfTheDay #060217 ‘Not A Cloud In The Sky, Barely A Soul On The Beach’ #NoFilter  – at Matai Bay

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#PicOfTheDay #060217 ‘Mangonui Fish Shop …Because It Would Be Rude Not To Stop By!’#NoFilter 

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‪#PicOfTheDay #080217 ‘Rangi and I’ #Filter Stark‬ 

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‪#PicOfTheDay #090217 ‘Sky Tower Blue’ #NoFilter‬

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#PicOfTheDay #100217 ‘#JuryService #coffeeselfie‘ #Filter Fame

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#PicOfTheDay #110217 ‘The Lighthouse by Michael Parekowhai’ #NoFilter ‬ 

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#PicOfTheDay #110217 ‘The NightLighthouse by Michael Parekowhai’ #NoFilter ‬

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#PicOfTheDay #120217 ‘Where’s Toto?’ #NoFilter 

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‪#PicOfTheDay #120217 ‘Where’s Rangi?’ #NoFilter‬ 

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‪#PicOfTheDay #140217 ‘Seriously Messing With My OCD’ #NoFilter‬

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#PicOfTheDay #180217 ‘Generational Gap’#NoFilter 

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‪#PicOfTheDay #190217 ‘Too Hot For Cats’ #NoFilter‬

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‪#PicOfTheDay #190217 ‘It’s Hot Enough, I Think I’ve Earned One Of These’ #Filter Fame‬

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‪#PicOfTheDay #230217 ‘Dawn Moon’ #Filter Radiant‬

 

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‪#PicOfTheDay #230217 ‘Rainbow Walk’ #Filter Fame ‬ 

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‪#PicOfTheDay #240217 ‘The Isaac’ #NoFilter ‬ 

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‪#PicOfTheDay #250217 ‘Monarch’ #NoFilter‬

Dropped: #PicOfTheDay 2017

5. * BRITISH informal
 

(of a DJ) select and play (a record).”various guest DJs drop quality tunes both old and new”

* informal
 

release (a musical recording).

https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=definition+dropped&rlz=1CDGOYI_enNZ730&oq=definition+dropped 
It’s the first of February. I’m dropping a new #PicOfTheDay for 2017. 

Word of the day: Dropped.

Some of you may be thinking “I didn’t know you had started #PicOfTheDay again this year…” Well, Ed Sheeran has dominated the music charts all over the world within 48 hours of ‘dropping’ Shape Of You and Castle On The Hill. If dropping a new release good enough for Ed, it’s good enough for me! 😉 

I’ve been reinspired (Is reinspired even a proper word? I seem to have a red wavy line underneath it…) to do this after seeing this Jamie Livingston ‘Photo of the Day’ video on a recent Facebook post: 

Just to set the record straight, I’m starting again, but I’m doing things somewhat differently to my self-imposed rules from 2015:

  • I’m not committing to publishing a picture every day but I may publish more than one picture for the day 
  • I’m not committing to the full year but I may commit to doing this for longer than a year
  • Once in a while, I might work to a theme. (I’m open to any suggestions made to me.)
  • I’m also doing this as a gift to you. 

So, here is the first of this series.

‪#PicOfTheDay #010217 “(Last) Xmas Pop-up Market” #Filter Fame ‬

Maybe this is the perfect antidote to the current funk that is currently attached to many social media posts over the past year. Maybe you will be inspired to try for however long you want to do this for. I hope you enjoy what I hope to enjoy…
Peace. Xx

Three weeks in… 

…and I’ve been attempting to sum up the first couple of weeks of my new job for the best part of the last week! I’m finally done…

This is the start of my fourth week in my new job. It’s a new challenge in a different environment. A new classroom to get used to with different things surrounding me. A ‘new’ MacBook with a different operating system to what I’m used to. New acronyms and terminology to work out. Different faces and names to remember. A new timetable to be familiar with. A different structure to the day. But essentially I’m doing what I have done for around 16 years. Facilitating students in their learning at school. I have been made to feel welcome by all my new colleagues and the students alike. There are 14 classes, 7 each in Year 7 and Year 8. There is a half-year rotation for the specialist subjects (Art, Music, BioScience, Te Reo and Technology) and this term I’m only teaching Year 7. 

It’s a bizarre feeling when every kid knows your name and says ‘Good morning Mr Clarke’ or ‘Hi Mister’ after just a few days, even when I haven’t taught them. 

I have also had some funny moments in my first week. One of the kids challenged me to a race across the courts at morning break in my first week. I accepted this challenge. ‘Why not?’ I thought. It’s a bit of fun and he will obviously be faster than me. We both ran to halfway across the quad and to my surprise, my challenger just gave up and I won the race. No stamina! I’m walking to my classroom the next day and a polite kid says good morning to me. As I walk away, I can hear him saying to his mate “That’s the teacher that wasted Darren in a race yesterday…” 

As part of the kotahitanga (getting to know my students), I had the choice as to what kind of programme I can deliver this term. I chose to do some coding with Scratch (scratch.mit.edu). Most of Year 7 have never done any coding before so I thought this would be a great place to start. We are now three weeks in and the classes are beginning to make some connections with their learning and with each other.   


So, as I settle into my new role as a Digital Technologies teacher, I’m thinking about the next year ahead when DigiTech becomes part of the NZ Curriculum from Years 1 to 13. http://www.education.govt.nz/news/digital-technology-to-become-part-of-the-new-zealand-curriculum-and-te-marautanga-o-aotearoa/ 

This recognition is a huge step and is welcomed by everyone already teaching in this field as well as those in Tertiary institutions and the Tech industry. 

As one of the long term goals, my school aims to provide future-focussed learning to the students. I see my role as a developing one over time. I’ve always taken the stance of being an early adopter in any new initiatives. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to the challenge of a new curriculum to implement, whatever that will look like. Bring it! 

I’m Moving On…

This was only going to be a quick social media status update just to inform people of my next career move. I’ve decided to write this as a proper blog post as I feel that it deserves more than a few words on my timeline.

Term 4 sees the start of a new job in a new school. This is exciting as it will be a new challenge back in Auckland. It’s a Digital Technologies position, which is the first time I have seen such a role advertised in an intermediate school. This is indicative of how schools are beginning to change and it is what I found appealing which attracted me to apply for the job in the first place.

I’m pleased not to be starting from scratch. The school will already have some robotics kit and 3D printers to play with. There will be opportunities for the kids to tinker with other stuff such as electronics, computer programmes and experiments with sound and visuals. Most of all, it will be a chance for kids to develop their critical thinking and to work collaboratively. The role also gives me the chance to work with other teachers to integrate digital tools into their classroom teaching.

Working for The Mind Lab has been my dream job. I have learnt so much and gained an insight into learning with kids from 5 to 55! (Yes, The Mind Lab teaches adults too!) Starting this new role will just be a continuation of that. The difference for me will be I will get to teach ALL of the kids in the school. (That will be a first in my career!) I will also get to work with other teachers collaboratively like I have never done before.

Working for The Mind Lab has afforded me a great opportunity. I have reconnected with old mates and made some new friends. I’ve worked with amazing people in Auckland, Christchurch, Gisborne and Welly. I will miss the innovative and eclectic environment. I will miss the stories I tell as part of my introduction about robot spiders that crawl out of the air conditioning. Or Optimus Prime who comes out of the buildings across the carpark and throws all the cars into the sea. Or the genetically modified broccoli that tastes of marshmallows. Or George and Mildred, the naughty monkeys that take the blame for everything that fails.


I’m glad for the chance to do what I consider to be the dream job for the last 18 months. I’m hoping to build upon what I have learnt and be a change agent in my new role. I’m looking forward to teaching Year 7 and 8 again.

That’s it. The full explanation. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for reading… Over and out!