Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11 - 7th Anniversary

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Another creative teaching approach...

Star Wars Jedi Knights course offered by Queen's University Belfast

By Tom Peterkin
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 11/09/2008

A university is offering a course that will use the psychology of the Star Wars Jedi Knights to teach students communication skills and personal development.

The UK's first Jedi course is on offer at Queen's University Belfast in November and hopes to

attract Star Wars fans and introduce them to the joys of continuing their education through open learning.

According to its publicity material, the course 'Feel the Force: How to Train in the Jedi Way' teaches the "real-life psychological techniques behind Jedi mind tricks".

It also claims to examine the "wider issues behind the Star Wars universe, like balance, destiny, dualism, fatherhood and fascism".

No prior qualifications are required and the blurb informs students that "light sabres are not provided".

Allen Baird, the course leader, said he hoped his novel approach would attract younger people to open learning.

"I hope to get more people interested in life-long learning," Dr Baird said. "It is not just about the Star Wars films. It is also about the sociological and political issues that are addressed in the films."

To those who might be tempted to write-off the course as a publicity stunt, Dr Baird said: "I suppose the parallel is with the Scout Movement's use of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book.

"It doesn't mean that one has to believe that the stories are true, but they can be used as a teaching aid. I am trying to find a platform through popular culture to bring people back to learning."

The one-day course costs £23 and Dr Baird hopes to attract 30-40 students.

The course has been established the year after the UK's first Jedi Church was founded by the brothers Barney and Daniel Jones in Anglesea, Wales.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Our house before the move-in...

Well, our sellers finally moved out of the house on August 31st, so we haven't been able to move in yet until now. However, upon looking upon the wondrous empty house, it appeared there actually should be some repainting (much more than we had expected) and recarpeting to be done, obviously much easier to execute *without* furniture. So we are currently on hold until we can get both done. So, here's the house pre-furniture and pre-touch up. You will notice the mission living room furniture we did put in already (easy enough to push the one couch away from that wall) and the antique Belgian expandable dining room table we just got so we can host the whole family for holidays... Will post more pics again after the changes. Enjoy!