September 9, 2010
The jewels are falling, Polly is collecting, Linus is losing, Tina is grooving, King David is distributing, so now what?
I get suspicious if anything grows too fast. Friendships, food, block towers. I appreciate firm foundations and ethical intentions. Fads come fast and go.
Arithmetic Village has had a gentle, slow beginning. But now I find myself with this enormous urgency to push it out into the world.
It is not surprising, my intention all along was to have this way of experiencing math concepts available to the general public.
So, now the books are printed, the activities are available, how will I let everyone know about it?
I’ve never been a fan of advertising. Especially in schools. I think it is deplorable.
I’ve found a few sites that will list Arithmetic Village as a resource in return for loading their banner on my site. I don’t want bill boards all over the village.
It’s a bit of a dilemma, really, because advertising works. Why do you think super bowl ads cost so much? Advertising does effect consumers and consumerism. But so does quality and word of mouth. It just takes longer.
So, what will I do?
Will I go for the hard sell? Will I hire out bill boards? Or will I simply plant the seed and hope that it grows like chamomile?
For now, I think I will follow my instincts and patiently plant seeds…..
September 8, 2010
My middle daughter wasn’t feeling well again today, so stayed home. I’ve had altogether 12 hours child free this term. James had to go into the city for some work and Zuva didn’t want to go to kindy. I’ve also volunteered to chair a big meeting tonight at school and am feeling overwhelmed by the content.
I was a bit grouchy. I complained a bit this morning. James would have none of it. He reminded me of the great things that have already happened before 9am. Our children are not always healthy, but are fabulous. We live in a beautiful place and love what we do and I received a lovely offer to write a review for the books this morning. Surprise support keeps coming1 He was right.
The minute I started thinking of the bright side, everything shifted. I ran into Kate. She is going to help me with the meeting tonight. Then I waked into a cafe. It was mildly busy, with all sorts of people scattered about. I smiled and loudly said “Good morning! Only on Waiheke can I walk into a cafe and know every single person in it.” They laughed and one person said that some times that isn’t such a positive attribute to living on a small island.
Today, I disagree.
September 6, 2010
The web site is up, the activities are ready, the videos are loaded, the books are ready to order! Really. Ready or not, here comes Arithmetic Village.com !
August 31, 2010
A couple of days ago, I woke up and the bed was spinning. I quickly ruled out needing an exorcist or being drunk.
Swine flu has been going around the island and my children have been sick. I thought that maybe, just maybe I had bragged a little too much about not getting it. For the first time in four years I stayed in bed and James took over.
The next night, when I fell over on the way to the bathroom, I knew something was very wrong. You are not suppose feel like you are on a roller coaster walking from your bedroom to the kitchen.
I researched the internet and went to the doctor. The cute young guy ruled out stroke, ruled out swine flu, and finally diagnosed an inner ear infection. I was happy for the diagnosis and even happier I would not need to take a boat to the hospital.
Nothing to do but wait. One week to two months.
One week to two months!
I’m on my fifth day, I still do not drive (and I love to drive). I got dropped off at a playgroup where I tried as hard as I could not to appear drunk. It was hard, but I think I pulled it off.
I will be better soon and this will all be a wacky sort of memory. I now have great sympathy for people with debilitating, but not obviously debilitating conditions.
I am still trying to keep to schedule for the business. It would be easier if the computer would just stop spinning…..
August 29, 2010
The good new is – you can order ¨Arithmetic Village¨ online on amazon now! The bad news is the photos aren’t up. The good news is – you can order the books though me much cheaper. The bad news is – it is impossible to sign them. The good news is – if I signed them they would be a collector’s item. The bad news is – there are two glaring typos (one in Arithmetic Village and one on the back cover of King David). The good news is we are fixing them. The bad news is – I have a debilitating inner ear infection. The good news is – I am recovering.
My goal is for everything to be working well (including me) the first day of spring, September 1st. Now, that would be really good news!
August 27, 2010
As I approached the door, I could hear ¨Kim’s here! Kim’s here!” My ego wanted to take all of the credit for this enthusiasm, but I knew that “Kim here!” meant we get to have a PARTY! It was the last day for Arithmetic Village and a great celebration was planned.
Everyone was dressed up. The teacher was a fairy, three children were King David, one child was Tina Times, one child was Polly Plus, one child was Linus Minus, one child was a villager, and one child was Rover.
The children went outside and the teacher and I prepared the room. We set up the desks like a long table and decorated with lovely cloths and flowers. Each childs treasure chest was on their plate. A special store was set up. It had lots of mystery boxes, food and goodies.
When we opened the doors and the children floated in, the boys in front said, ever so softly, “Awesome…” I could have died and went to heaven right then, for when you can get a couple of eight year old boys to walk into a room filled with pretty materials and flowers and get an awesome, you know that you are standing in the middle of a miracle.
August 23, 2010
James Micheal Samuel was born 53 years ago today. It’s difficult birthday to celebrate. See, James does not embrace traditional celebrations. He has forgotten his own birthday more than once. Mandatory gift giving days are not his thing. He does not care for cake, the waste paper, anything unnatural or created without sacred reverence in every step of the making process.
He’s had a busy life and shows no signs of slowing. As a young man he worked on farms, loved motorbikes, cycling, and kayaking. He still does. He built his own canoe at 19. His twenty-first birthday was spent on a river bend in Canada. (He thinks.)
He has called England, New Zealand, Canada, California, Fiji, Australia, Amsterdam and France home.
He is English. Moved to New Zealand when he was one. He loves tea and crumpets, but he’s not interested in monarchies or cricket. He is an anarchist yoga master. He can walk on his hands, still. His voice is deep and clear. His accent is a unique blend and he loves to sing (ask my children they don’t much like it).
His careers have included: Carpentry (think intricate dressers and desks), computer programming, Paraglider instructor, documentary maker, game distributer, plumber, an electric bike distributor, cinema manager, web developer, social media consultant, actor (was a doctor in a Kellogg commercial once), and Facilitator – not in this order and I am sure this list is incomplete…
August 20, 2010
My keyboard is covered with chocolate finger prints, my jeans are tight and the tedious process of documenting 25 activities is now finished. Well, the rough drafts are done and going to my friend to edit. I am now calling them “activities¨. That and “vague ideas” and ”suggestions”. The idea that one single person can create an entire curriculum is absurd. Another reason it takes a VILLAGE…
August 12, 2010
My last book should come in the mail any minute. The mailbox is searched every return home. Once it is here, the web site should be ready.
The actual site development is some one else’s responsibility, but the content is not.
The lesson plans should be finished. The videos should be finished.
They are not.
My list of excuses is long, including three demanding children, a busy partner, volunteering at preschool, blogging, reading blogs, laundry, tutoring, cooking, researching, etc.
These are excuses. Lame excuses.
The fact is I do this. I procrastinate and then get a rush at the last-minute. I always have. I used to slip university papers under the door just making the deadline. I still do this, I now set my own deadlines, just to get the fire in my belly so I can just make it. It must have something to do with an addiction to adrenaline, or lack of iron, or something. I could ponder it a bit, but it would be another excuse to procrastinate….
I can’t eat chocolate or blog until they are done. Ok, just kidding, no blogging until they are done.
August 11, 2010
¨How much do you love me?¨ I asked James.
¨More than all the grains of sand and the clouds in the sky etc. ¨ he answered.
¨Good, I want you do something for me on Monday….¨
The home school tutor suggested we mix things up this week, and I was happy because the school room is limited for space for large games, and setting up plays with the allotted time slot is difficult.
So, James graciously agreed to come and read King David Divide.
Here he is reading the story with his handsome British accent..