Friday, August 22, 2014

Things to do this Fading August in England!

Festivals and good cheer since the days of old @ Source
Summer holiday events abound in the waning days of August

With the beginning of the school year rapidly approaching, many teachers can relish in the comforting thought that we are refreshed and recharged for the year to come. I can only hope that everyone will feel the same way by the time September returns to our calendars. Nevertheless, another one of the reassuring aspects of life in the UK is the plethora of events that happen all year long throughout the island. The month of August is no different.

Perusing the trusty 'Visit England' website in eager anticipation, I came across many fascinating adventures ripe for all to see and experience! August itself boasts 29 upon my initial search. The events ranged from the Oxford Foodies Festival, End of the Road and Bournemouth Air Festivals to three days of music in Leicestershire and the Robin Hood Festival. With a fantastic list to choose from, I only wish I had the opportunity to see it all!

Take a look, choose and enjoy.

As always, wherever you are in the world at this late stage of the summer break, I can only continue to emphasise the great importance of enjoying your surroundings and unique experiences anywhere you go, either by yourself or with your family and friends. Whether it is Canada - as you pack your bags to go back to London in the next couple of weeks - or Istanbul, on one of your final vacation stopovers this summer; or finally England itself - if you were so inclined to remain there this summer. It's what makes the difference between feeling like you are just doing a job in another country and knowing that you are having the most incredible time teaching and traveling in this vast world.

Vital links:

Visit England official website - list of events this August

Monday, August 4, 2014

John Venn's Big Day

The big 180 for Johnny V.
Happy Birthday John Venn!

Indeed it is John Venn's 180th birthday. For all of us here at Classroom Canada, I wanted to extend a heartfelt thanks to the man that created the essential, vital, eternal Venn Diagram.

Its use varies extensively, to say the least. From logic to statistics, Math and Geography, to Computer Science and even English. As definitively summarised by Wikipedia, the Venn Diagram is a diagram that "shows all possible logical relations between a finite collection of sets." For example, the relationship between creatures with two legs and creatures that can fly. Simple, yet ingenious, it allows us to find the common variables between two or multiple points of study.

Many times I have found myself using it in my English classes, from evaluating the similarities/differences between two poems on love, to comparing Lady Macbeth with the murderous advances of other nefarious characters in literature. The Venn Diagram brings perspective, order and focus to students who crave understanding and vision.

Venn Diagram showing which upper case letter glyphs are shared by the Greek, Latin and Cyrillic alphabets. Source

A man who began his education in London, in today's Highgate School, and ventured on to Cambridge to complete his degree in Mathematics - John Venn is a testimony to ingenious creativity mixed with pure logic and philosophy.

My hat off and a toast to you, good sir!


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