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skat cat!

It was a week where cats caught were caught up in a media storm.

The ‘friendly neighbourhood serial killer’ said the Cats to Go website.

And there was John Innes being quoted. John is famous for many things. He is NZ’s rat specialist. Yes! such a person does exist. But, more important to us, John did all the spine work for the game (which predator eats what), and compiled the book that comes with the game.

“In New Zealand native forests,” said John “ship rats are the major prey, and this little-seen predator eats many more birds than cats do.

“I agree with the website that ‘we need to control cats and rats together’. . .

“In the meantime, pet cat owners should educate themselves about the possible threats of their cats to local wildlife and they should plant trees and shrubs suitable for native wildlife.“

Reminds me of the Ogden Nash poem:
bigger fleas have littler fleas upon their back to bite ’em
littler fleas have littler fleas
and so ad infinitum

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spreading the cloak

This Wednesday, 26 Sept, sees the launch a partnership between Enviroschools Wellington and the Cloak of Protection game. Spreading the Cloak: a joint teaching, learning and selling network.

This offers a way to:
– extend the reach of the game to a willing audience
– provide a fundraising opportunity for Wellington Region Schools who are part of the enviroschools network
– strengthen their communities through children teaching children, children teaching adults, and schools interacting with other schools
– generate ideas and feedback for other versions of the game to be developed (eg Te Reo Maori version, plants version etc)

This partnership gives enviroschools a fundraising, awareness-raising, and student empowerment opportunity. And for Kakariki Games, enviroschools have emerged as the most aligned organisation in terms of its kaupapa and the integrity of the game.

Every school enrolled receives an initial game as a gift, has a page on our web-site, and will be invited to attend regional game play-offs (starting next year).

On the day Waikanae-based enviroschool Kapanui School will help launch the partnership, and you will see some new pages on our site.

The enviroschools page will take you to the schools currently enrolled. On their page you will be able to see information about each of them, reward points earned, and their feedback about the game.

Anyone purchasing a game (via the site) can choose which school to reward. This sales method will be exclusive to Enviroschools.

To find out about the schools, the reward system, and to read student posts about how the day went, have a look later this Wednesday.

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what then, is it to be human?

Some kids are just good at this game – the trading, the collecting, the anticipating. Winning time after time after time.

From my observation, many of these students are visual-spatial learners. Some come top of the class: some come bottom.

The traditional classroom – especially in secondary education in New Zealand – rewards auditory-sequential learners.  The left brainers.  Step-by-step learners, who learn well from instructions, who progress sequentially from easy to difficult material, those who can show steps of work.

For the 25% of our population who mainly think in words – this works!

But for the 30% who are strongly using visual-spatial thinking – this system does not!

These students, the right brainers, are different. They can show amazing ability with difficult, complex tasks, somehow arriving at correct solutions without taking steps. Age is irrelevant – sometimes the five year olds outclass the rest!

Neither side of the brain is right or wrong, but only the left is currently being being rewarded in our secondary schools.

We’re playing out the spiritual dichotomy of the west on our children!  Is the truth outside of us, or inside of us? If it is outside of us, then they need to do as they’re told (or else!)

If it is inside of us – if we are to become authentic individuals – then we can act. Act from our own place in the big picture.

Of course, all the great movements of the 20th century showed that the gods are both within and without. And earth our proving ground.

What then, is it to be human in the 21st century?

Tui carries messages from the grey, kaleidoscape lake of haloed sun.
We share a premonition
Of the future. All is possibility. . .

from Crowned: Roma Potiki, Oriori

stats etc from Child Development Theorist, Linda Kreger Silverman, Visual Spatial Resource Center