Stand Up Paddle Boarding to Quail Island

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We are having beautiful autumn weather here in New Zealand. I went out on the paddleboard yesterday because the forecast was for very light winds. It started out that way and I got to the island in about 25 minutes. But by that time I had paddled around the island the wind had changed and Lyttleton harbour became choppy. It was a good 35 minutes of paddling to get back to Magazine Bay. I was knackered but it was totally worth it.

Bullying is Still a Big Problem in NZ Schools

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I was bullied at school and I remember it vividly. It was one of the reasons I wrote FAB (Friends Against Bullying) Club. .

 

 

 

 

 

The Press in Christchurch (now calling itself Stuff, unfortunately) is doing a series this week about bullying and it makes disturbing reading. There are ways to prevent bullying, but it seems those methods are not being implemented across New Zealand schools.

One in four Kiwi kids are bullied at school – a rate that’s barely improved in the last 15 years and is more than double the OECD average.

And:

New Zealand has the second worst rate of school bullying in the developed world after Latvia – and more than double the OECD average, according to a 2015 survey by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Depending on the global studies consulted, between 20 and 50 per cent of Kiwi schoolchildren are bullied.

Government data suggests rates of bullying have only decreased 3 per cent since 2013, and a 30-year study indicates bullied children are four times more likely to contemplate suicide as adults. Bullies are twice as likely.

I hope this spurs more action, but I feel newspapers aren't as influential as they once were.

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Cartooning Workshop in Lyttelton Library for 7-12 Year Olds

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I ran my first cartooning workshop in Lyttelton today (the last ones I did were in Spain). It was focussed on character design and the kids were super to work with. They were engaged, paid attention and developed some really great characters.

 Lindsey the librarian was an enthusiastic supporter of the workshop

Lindsey the librarian was an enthusiastic supporter of the workshop

 Working on character design using old school picture reference - books!

Working on character design using old school picture reference - books!

 Some of the children already had their own styles

Some of the children already had their own styles

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Hopefully, there will be more workshops to come, but for now I'm relieved to get back to work. Running workshops is a lot more demanding than cartooning!