Hot and bothered

The weather, that is. Today the temperature reached 27.3°C here in Sydney, which made it the hottest winter day for 8 years. It didn’t last though. A cold front came through mid-afternoon and dropped the temperature, bringing with it violent thunderstorms. Most of the storms passed south of us, so we didn’t see a lot of rain, but we certainly heard some loud thunder. Parts of Sydney got hail, and over 50mm of rain.

I spent most of today writing lesson plans for the next week of ethics classes. The younger kids are getting a class on “Rules”, and the older kids a class on “Cancel Culture”. Here’s the opening for the Rules one:

Some time in the future, a country named Florin has citizens who value freedom very highly. They have a system where people can propose ideas, and then everyone votes on them. One day someone suggests that to be truly free, there should be no rules. The people vote to try this out for a single day.

The Rule-Free Day is announced a month in advance. The rules are: there will be no rules! Parents will not be able to tell their children what to do, or what not to do. You won’t need to go to school if you don’t want. There are no rules of politeness. There will be no laws, so you can do anything you want and the police won’t stop you.

Saskia and her friends are excited by the Rule-Free Day. They’re planning to go out first thing in the morning and do exactly what they want all day! They’ll eat chocolate for breakfast and then go to the amusement park and climb over the fence and go on all the rides without paying. They’ll go into the kitchen of their favourite fast food place and make themselves hamburgers and huge bowls of ice cream. It’ll be such a great day!

Questions for the class:
What could go wrong?
Does a society of people need to have rules? Why?

There’s a lot more, but I won’t paste the entire lot here. I’ve run this class three times already tonight, and it’s generated some very fun and thoughtful discussion from the kids.

I also chased up an order I made a while back for some roleplaying game books from a local game store. They said they could get them in stock, but I hadn’t heard from them. I sent an email and they said they still didn’t have them, but the guy found one of them with a different distributor and said he could order that one and it should arrive in a week or so. So I said please do that, and we’ll just have to see about the others.

Finally, a photo, which I took last night, just before doing my lecture at the University of Technology Sydney:

UTS old and new

I did the lecture in a room on the 5th floor of the new building on the right.

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