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A New Term and the Web Pages Begin

5th to 10th January 1999

Tuesday 5/1/99
I can see that we are not going to be able to buy or watch anything this year which isn't a Millenium Special of one sort or another. Sooty & Sweep will be doing a Millenium Special. Not to be seen for another thousand years etc. I can't wait to buy my millenium thimbles.
Back to school today for a Baker (training) Day. Talk to JD about the Millenium and what to do to avoid it. Do we have the nerve to have a quiet night in? JD said that he and his wife steeled themselves and went out to do some gardening during the funeral of the century a year or so ago. Impressive stuff.
The whole thing is notional, partial and profound at the same time and yet it will be largely marked by a welter of the most appalling trivia and commercialism. We agree on the pointlessness of the Millenium Dome; such a waste of money when it could have gone on a set of major art galleries or theatres or opera houses or stadiums or all of the above. Or for a village of genuinely innovative houses or the developing of a transport system that works.
Instead we're going to have an exhibiton about life rather than life itself or anything useful for life. Such a shame.
And why has no-one suggested building a church? Surely the obvious thing to do? Isn't that what it is supposed to be about?
Anyway I spend the day stapling paper to walls and generally tidying the art room up a bit. Mend the stereo again.

Christmas was quiet and not very computery. My brother gave me a wheel mouse and cleared off to Spain. I did put a Happy Christmas on the index page and yesterday I spent some time updating the index page and making some graphics for it. I also used a bit of simple Java script to make the links a bit flashier.
My search for a pupil friendly means of making pages continues. Composer is neat. I have been using a trial of NoteTab Pro which is pretty good. For yesterdays session I used an html editor called Arachnophilia which I downloaded the other day. Cracking little html editor, very neat and does a lot. The in window browser is particularly excellent. The browser and the html coder are sort of 'behind' each other in the window so you can check what you are doing straight away. And the thing is Careware which is a very generous form of commodity exchange. Paul Lutus, who designed the thing, wants you to be kind for a few days to 'pay' for the program. Well I've tried to be extra nice today. The web page is at www.arachnoid.com. I also got the Quoter device from there which I managed to customise slightly. I will try to alter the quotes with some of my favourites over time.
This evening TV is rot so I've been surfing a few Diary pages on the net. I even registered this diary with a site. Will this increase my throughput? I won't know unless I stats the diary page. Should I experiment with a more interesting layout or stay 'cool'? Questions, questions. I liked the Lifestyle Tips for the Dead diary.

Thursday 21:49 07/01/99
Started the web pages in English this morning with a Year 8 group. I decided to go for a brief history of the internet as an intro and told them we'd make web pages and they were pretty enthusiastic. They have started off making up questionaires to ask staff to provide the content to start with. Tomorrow we'll kick off the other two groups.
We got the video conferencing to work with Great Yarmouth at lunchtime. A lot of waving and can you here me's went on until Pete sorted it out.
I put some artier quotes on the quoter last night and a few Oscar Wildes as no quoting machine worth it's salt is complete without a few Oscar Wildes alongside your Einstiens.
We have also arranged to go down to the BETT show at Olympia next weekend which should be interesting.

Friday 23:12 08/01/99
Is it right that nerds only understand nerds? I was talking to one of the SEN assistants in English this morning and she was telling me that she's had her machine for a year but is still intimidated by it and not confident enough to get on the WWW etc. We agreed that nerds tend to take over, tap away like the clappers and then say
'Did you see that? That's how you do it.'
'I'm sorry I blinked.'
Nerds forget that they ever didn't know anything about the bloody things once upon a time.
I hope I'm not going for nerd status here. Nerd smacks somewhat of a personality disorder. Slightly geeky I could probably just about live with.
What interests me is that this 'thing' is supposed to be the future and it is being rolled out into education as some sort of answer which we are all supposed to understand and I'm interested to see how the whole thing is going to work out. It is a fantastic social experiment. And there is lots and lots to go wrong. I hope I haven't entirely lost observer status and can still remember what life is like IRL. I draw a mixed comfort from how the nerds still patronise me as an arriviste wierdo. Yes, I get treated as a wierdo by nerds. Difficult to believe isn't it but then I am a hairy art teacher type in a striped suit. I'm not in the club yet thank god. Whilst also being the only person I know maintaing a considerable and evolving web gallery site on the side which is odd isn't it?

 

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