Friday, 27 April 2012

The art of the presentation

Another week, another presentation for DD2 to prepare for her very demanding nursery. As a matter of fact the Gabriela Mistral presentation didn't go at all badly; DD2 had greatly enjoyed cutting out the pictures and gluing them on to her poster along with the Chilean flag and one of Mistral's most famous poems. The only tiny snag was that at the moment of presenting her information to her audience DD2 pointed to her poster, opened her mouth though no words actually came out. Still she joined in enthusiastically with the group recitation of "Dame la mano, y danzaremos", thus proving her passion for and devotion to Chile's most famous female poet.
The following week we were required to produce a poster depicting how we might protect our planet. After some thought and consultation with materials on the subject we drew a picture of Planet Earth surrounded by ways in which people could look after their planet, all of which were then carefully coloured in by DD2 with the help of some wax crayons. The end result was certainly impressive and gained prime position in the nursery's outdoor display in honour of Earth Day at the end of last week. The same day a note appeared in the home-school diary requesting that DD2 bring in the following Monday (ie the next nursery day) a homemade book to celebrate Book Day (not ones to let the grass grow under their feet) so fortunately we took in one of DD1's creations, again to great public approval. Hardly had another day gone by when we received yet another request in the diary, this time politely asking for a marine animal to be created from recycled materials for next month's sea hanging display. I must say that while I completely applaud their energy and desire to stimulate their small charges, I am also at the stage when I am beginning to dread what may be required next, not being a Blue Peter natural by any stretch of the imagination... Meanwhile today was the annual Dia del Carabiñero (no English translation possible except "Policeman's Day") so we were urged to have freshly-laundered aprons ready for the well-rehearsed military march and dance. DD2 and her companions were absolutely delighted however to have such important guests plus their goody-bags of sweets and balloons at the end of course. All quite ironic when witnessed in the light of the Carabiñeros' day job of the liberal use of tear gas and water cannons not to mention truncheons and any other weaponry at hand to control or dispel any unruly mobs such as student protesters (see link: Such are the contradictions of life in Chile...
DD1 has also been busy preparing her own more advanced materials for her presentation on an organ of the human body tomorrow for school. She has chosen the brain just to make it nice and easy so we have researched, printed, stuck on and written about this intriguing though complex organ, refreshing bits and pieces for all of us (a distinct advantage of having school-going children). Perhaps it is not just in Chile where children are encouraged to prepare and conduct presentations at a tender age and of course there is probably no harm, although there is an aspect of all this I feel a tad uneasy about. Is it simply to improve one's self-confidence and communication skills or are we all being primed for a life of exposition, exhibition and publicity? It has certainly kept us occupied at any rate and taken our minds off the rapidly advancing autumn/winter season of the southern hemisphere. Hats and scarves have been dusted off while both children have also been reacquainted with the pleasures of tights and polo-necks already...Temperatures have fallen sharply in the last few days making life a little bit more arduous as one struggles with the temptation to remain under the bedclothes on a cold dark morning without heating (yet)... The downside to living somewhere where central heating is considered a luxury.

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