Monday, 21 January 2013

It Was A Slow/Snow Day...

...but the Sun's not beating on the soldiers by the side of the road, although on the other hand today seems to be a day of miracle and wonder and there's a short-distance call coming up.

Today's vid:

Dooblydoo (must learn how to spell that!):

Snow days for families whose children go to school are fun for the children and a problem for the parents.  This emphasises the childcare function of schools.  Many parents are simply unable to spend the time they want to with their children because they have jobs outside the home to which their children can't go and can't find other childcare.

We take this for granted, but think for a moment about how bleak and negative that might be.  It means you can't control your own time, where you go, when you go there, it means your workplace is not child-friendly - i'm not talking about creches - and it means you haven't got friends, family or neighbours who can have your children.

Meanwhile, for children who go to school, a snow day is fun as it means time off from the daily grind of lessons and the like.  That also means lessons and learning are a chore for them.  This should not be so.

As home edders whose children didn't go to school, unlike the majority of home edders whose children do, we didn't have these problems.  This video was made in my workplace, i.e. my consulting room, and the children are welcome to use it whenever i'm not seeing a patient.

Moreover, schools find it hard to accommodate these kinds of opportunity into their working routine.  There was an annular solar eclipse when i was at primary school and everyone ignored it, even the pupils, except for me.  It was like they didn't even care it was happening.

Snow is an opportunity for learning.  I have something of a science bias so in this video i mention Archimedes principle, the oddity of water being denser than ice and the mathematical formulae for calculating the volume and surface area of a sphere, but there are many other chances for learning and enjoyment with it, such as sculpture or other arts and crafts projects.  For me, it's also a good source of particularly pure water.

I realise there are rewarding and worthwhile careers which cannot be child friendly, but there are also a whole load of things which could be done another way, and what kind of message are we giving children if a break from school is actually a happy occasion for them rather than a disappointment?

We need to do things differently and some of us already do.


For once, this is almost a transcription of what i'm saying because i read it.  There's some ad libbing around the point where i throw the snowball into the water.

To be honest, maybe i should just give up trying to monetise, but we'll see.  This time, there's no proper intro or outro because i'm testing if those are the problem.  However, i've also muddied the waters by including a public domain image of a snowflake, taken in the nineteenth century, in the thumbnail:

Incidentally, this thumbnail, unlike the previous ones which are screenshots from the video itself, is an actual frame from the video extracted using Avidemux, which is admittedly slow on this PC but much more precise than Windows Live Movie Maker.  I'm planning to make a video on video making in a bit.

Another interesting thing about this video is that it faces outward and i turned the light on to do it, so it's closer to having three-point lighting than usual and it's also gratifying that i'm not a silhouette in this image.  This position was achieved by moving the thankfully upright piano against the mantelpiece, so the front room is currently in a bit of a peculiar configuration but is at least quite a bit lighter.

Another camera-related event:  having tested the webcam avec les enfants dans le Bosvorth de l'Homme, i'll be holding a session on chemistry revision this aften on electrolysis and equation balancing.