But if you really think that I do have some slight scope for enhancement (and please, no spam emails about, er, that kind of enhancement) then I’d better start watching more short clips like this one.
It’s one of the many enlightening, inspirational and entertaining TED talks. This one is about how to improve teaching in places that good teachers don’t want to go – or in ways that teachers cannot do themselves. The speaker is Indian educationalist Sugata Mitra. It’s his “hole in the wall” experiment.
What do you think? Can teachers be replaced so easily?
Futurist Arthur C Clarke is reported to have said: “A teacher who can be replaced by a machine, should be.”
If you have any teaching experience, does the impact of this experiment ring true to you?
Here’s the latest news for The Obituarist – that stupendously thrilling ebook written by me.
But first – if you’re wavering – how’s this for a review?
Really enjoyable ride! A page turner from the outset!
Beautifully insightful characterisation, delivered with a good helping of dry wit and with just the right amount of information for the book to play like a sumptuous film in your head!
Paul does justice to our wonderful World War II heroes, capturing perfectly the upstanding nature of their morals, together with their playful, youthful comradery. The Obituarist is a delicious juxtaposition of the pinnacle of our war heroes’ lives, perfectly ‘twisted’ with today’s unscrupulous media-crazed society.
There are some fabulous observations of human behaviour and thought processes, which are simply sublime and rather thought-provoking in their description.
This is not just a well written story which kicks along at a hell of a pace but also a clever multilayered observation of human behaviour, with a backdrop from two eras and what happens with the passing of time. The Obituarist certainly leaves you with something to think about.
Thank you to the most lovely and discerning Su Verhoeven who downloaded The Obituarist from Smashwords.
It’s up for a big British blogging award. It’s great fun – lighthearted and witty and warm. And you can help transport Emma, who writes it, all the way from little Glenavy village in County Antrim, north east of Ireland, all the way to Big London for the finals of the 2012 MAD (Mum and Dad) Blog Awards. All you have to do is go here and vote for Adventures of an Unfit Mother in the MAD Family Life Category. I did it and immediately my hair looked more glossy, my stride longer and my teeth more sparkling. Why don’t you try it? (Hair toss. Smile. Gleam.)
Jonathan Kent – using his loaf to accomplish a much needed facelift.
It's a snail, made from horse dung - a Dung Snail. Only $8 from the Dung Bunnies website - I kid you not. Well, Susan Bell had the poop courtesy of her horses and an urge to sculpt. She also does bunnies (natch), frogs, cats, pigeons, ducks and... wait for it... wedding couples. Just the thing for newly weds.
Here’s another laugh meister – Rudy and his odd drinking habits in Italy – or is he the only sane person in a country of crazies? He discovered that the Sards “preferred their alcohol to look like water and taste like paraffin.”
And then he foolishly tried a very strange drink in Verona (you’ll have to visit his Gullible’s Travels blog to find out what it was) but it led to a surreal experience:
Apart from the bars, the only other places that seem to be open at night are bookshops. This gives a whole new way of describing drunkenness. While a hangover morning may normally begin with the realisation that there are more limbs in the bed than you actually own followed by a reconstruction of the night before based on the stamp mark on your wrist, things would be different in Verona.
You’d wake up feeling like you were wearing an internal balaclava and then your arm would drop down the side of the bed. Slowly your fingers caress some stiff paper and it slowly dawns on you what had happened the night before. You hand traces the outline of what turns out to be a book and your worst fears are confirmed. You realise that last night you’d got absolutely Dan Brown-ed on Aperol.
I love the way that ends. But I can’t stop at just two recommendations. These things always come in threes. And the third one is a cracker.
The Idiot – aka Mark – tells the story of his first week in kindergarten. It starts all cutesy wutsey aww luvvy duvvy and turns into a race riot. But a very funny one. I’d tell you who I blame for it, but you might get the wrong idea. Better to just read the story over at The Idiot. Really. You should. It’s hilarious.
And finally – here’s a good short video. I wouldn’t normally post an ad – but this is very clever. What would you do if you found yourself in the circumstances depicted?
Emma herself admits she’s cheating with her entry. “I’m playing a bit fast and loose with the rules,” she says. “But felt it was worth sharing.” And she’s right. I’ll reveal her rule bending in a moment, but first here’s a reminder of James Nesbitt’s work for those who need it.
He hit the big time as one of the ensemble cast of Cold Feet – a bit like a British Friends. He was going out with Helen Baxendale, who later popped up in Friends to marry Ross. (Didn’t work out.) He was the menacing undercover cop in Murphy’s Law (based on stories by Colin Bateman) and appeared in various films including Waking Ned (Waking Ned Devine in America) and is in the forthcoming hairy-footed epic, The Hobbit.
Hobbit (Okay, not really a hobbit, but a dwarf called Bofur in The Hobbit)
He was just great in Bloody Sundaydirected by Paul Greengrass (Bourne & United 93) as civil rights leader and MP Ivan Cooper – and great again as the bereaved brother in Five Minutes of Heavenwho refuses to give a killer easy absolution for the sake of TV cameras and the “peace process”.
The catch in Emma’s story is that it wasn’t her, but her Mum who met this particular star. But that’s fine, because that’s why it works. So here is…
The day my Mum met… James Nesbitt.
At a family wedding a number of years ago, the guest list included none other than James Nesbitt, the Northern Irish actor. He had gone to school with the groom. At the time he was starring in BT [British Telecom – the main UK phone network] ads on TV, as well as being one of the leads in Cold Feet – a very popular drama at the time.
In other words, he was doing very well for himself, thank you very much.
There was a low hum of excitement as he entered the church, but in typical Irish fashion he was then pretty much nonchalantly ignored..
Later in the day my Mum happened to be placed next to him at the table. Too this day, I have no idea whether this was a clever orchestration or happy chance, because Continue reading →
Blackwatertown - the blog & the book - are by Paul Waters. (So is The Obituarist.) I present a podcast & radio show called We'd Like A Word with Stevyn Colgan. It's about books, authors, publishers, readers, editors, agents, illustrators, poets, script writers & lyricists. The podcast is at https://anchor.fm/wed-like-a-word or wherever you get your podcasts. And the website is www.wedlikeaword.com or on social media @wedlikeaword
I also make other radio, TV & podcasts. Leave a comment or email me at paulwaters99 at hotmail.com Thanks for reading. Paul