D&D prep

Wednesday is Ethics day, and I took my regular Year 6 class again this morning. We discussed various scenarios where people had to choose between friends or relatives and other people who were more deserving by some measure. It was interesting that in each case there were kids willing to argue in favour of either decision. Also there were some circumstances where they clearly favoured the family/friend while in another scenario with different circumstances they favoured the non-family/non-friend.

One scenario was a girl whose parents buy her a new soccer ball because hers is old and worn out. Her friend’s ball is also old and worn out, but the friend’s parents don’t have as much money, so can’t afford to get her a new ball. The question was, should the wealthier child’s parents buy her friend a ball as well? Most of the class said no, the parents had no obligation to their child’s friend.

Another scenario was a boy out sailing in a custom built two-person boat. Near shore, two people call out to him to take them for a sail: one younger boy who is a sailing club member who helped build the boat, but is not allowed to sail it alone, and the sailor’s friend, who is older but not a club member and didn’t help build the boat. In this case, most of the class said the sailor should take the younger boy, because he helped build the boat. (I get these scenarios in the teacher curriculum – I don’t make them up.)

The other thing I did today was visit Andrew Shellshear, who is hosting Friday night’s D&D extravaganza. I’m doing some stuff with projections for ambience, and we tested out his projector and figured out where to point it. He’s constantly designing board games these days, and showed me his work in progress on a new version of a game he’s been working on for a few months. Our group has been playtesting it and it’s pretty good! Hopefully I’ll be able to point you all at a Kickstarter or something in the future.

This afternoon my wife and I took Scully for a walk at a nearby park. I did some more prep for D&D on Friday, and that was the day. Tomorrow morning I hit the photography set for new comics!

Ethics day

This week is the first week of the third school term of the year, and on Wednesdays I volunteer to teach a class on Ethics to Year 6 children at a local school. This is part of the New South Wales Primary Ethics program, a volunteer program to offer classes in ethics during the weekly lesson time set aside for religious education, as an alternative for parents who don’t want their kids to attend religion classes. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now.

Today we started a new topic: Moral Responsibility. The first lesson involved a couple of stories providing contrasting choices: helping storm victims who live near you, versus tsunami victims in another, poorer country; and providing mining and forestry jobs, resources, and money for schools and hospitals, versus leaving wilderness areas untouched for future generations. We read the scenarios and then discuss them. The kids were pretty evenly split on helping local disaster victims versus foreign ones, but they were mostly in favour of preserving wilderness, even at the expense of jobs and infrastructure for people in the present. It’s always interesting listening to kids’ perspectives on these topics.

I walked to the school and back home, a trek of 8 kilometres according to my fitness tracking app. So that took up most of the morning. This afternoon I took it a bit easy, hacking a little bit on the mezzacotta random generators code.

On the walk home, I found a patch of nasturtiums in the warm winter sunlight. They looked cool from above, but even cooler from below:

Under the nasturtiums