School’s out Friday

You could be mistaken for thinking that I’d fallen off the planet given my lack of posts of late. I’m still here, but have just been incredibly busy. In the last two weeks I’ve attended and presented at the ISTE conference in San Diego, returned home for three days, and then headed to Cairns where I was a Keynote presenter at the SLAQ conference. Right now, I’m on the Gold Coast holidaying with my family. It’s been a tad full on to say the least. Next up is the TedxMelbourne: Education Leadership talk on July 19th. That’s occupying much of my thinking space right now, so apologies for the neglect here.

I do intend to write follow up posts reflecting on the two conferences I’ve just attended. Hopefully there’ll be some reflective time over the next few days to allow me to get to this space to share my thoughts.

In the meantime, I’m feeling a bit like a Sea World tragic. While in San Diego, I ventured out to Sea World with Ashleigh, a teacher from Sydney. If you are of my vintage, you probably grew up on a diet of American television, where plenty of sit-com families ventured to the Mecca that was Sea World to see Shamu the Killer Whale. I’ve always wanted to see the Killer Whales there, and I was pretty happy when Ashleigh said she’d join me. I told her I’d always wanted to see the Orcas and Shamu and she seemed just as keen. When we got there, we headed straight for the area housing Shamu (they call the show ‘Shamu’ even though the whales have different names). You could go to the underwater viewing area and the whale was a sight to behold. Incredibly huge. A real OMG moment. Even more so for Ashleigh, who until the moment when she laid eyes on it, had apparently no idea what she was going there to see! I’d been babbling on about Shamu and Orcas, and she told me she had no idea what a ‘Shamu’ was!

We got ourselves seats in the ‘soak zone’ for the show featuring the Orcas, wondering just how wet we could possibly get. Well, let me tell you, they don’t call it the soak zone for nothing. The whales back up to the crowd, splash their tails in the water, and you get the full force of hundreds of liters of water coming at you with all the pressure of a fire hose. We were soaked through and through. I was filming with a flip camera right through this; needless to say, I haven’t seen the footage because the flip camera has packed up as a result! It was a pretty spectacular show, but you do come away thinking that it’s unnecessarily cruel to keep such magnificent creatures confined in such small spaces. Little wonder there’s been some terrible incidents over the years involving Orcas and trainers, with the most recent in 2010 leading to the death of a trainer. The trainers no longer go into the water with the Orcas during the shows. I’m using the BlogPress app to write this post and can’t embed a video it seems, but you can see what the show was like by following this link.

My Sea World tragic tale continues, because right now my family and I are staying at the Sea World resort in Queensland on our family holiday. While a theme park holiday is not exactly my idea of fun, my kids and husband are pretty happy with it, and I’m pleased to be spending time with them. Wish me luck, as I mind the bags while they live it up on rides that give me that nauseous feeling that I consider abhorrent. I’ll check the twitter stream while I wait. That’ll keep me happy!

It’s not exactly the warmest weather up here on the Gold Coast, but it beats what’s being served up in Melbourne at the moment. I hope you find a sunny spot over the weekend sometime and enjoy it with a beverage of your choosing. Have a good one. 🙂

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