Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Chronicles of Tiger Cave

I've co-created a new blog! It was fun. I only hope we can keep it up, because two people are more than twice as hard to make get to business as one, since there's always the option of doing something else together. Nonetheless I think Chronicles of Tiger Cave will be great. Up with insanity!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Sad Goodbyes

Today a teacher who' s been at our school for years retired (we held his farewell assembly at any rate). I was surprised at how sad it was. After all he never even taught me. Nonetheless it was sad. I think the saddest part was realising that he never would teach me and I wouldn't get to know all the things about him that the speakers shared for myself. He was an awesome teacher and I'm sorry that he's leaving, but I wish him a happy future. God bless!

Thursday, 09 October 2008

There and Back Again

I haven't updated my blog for aaaages. (Yes, you can see that, I know.) The reason for this could be exam/major project stress, but I'd prefer to say I was busy exploring fanfiction.net ffn, you see is also about writing and expressing yourself.
That's there.
What I've figured out is that I like to write non-fiction "I think" stuff at least as much as I do fiction (I don't really know which I prefer). Thus I am back again. I haven't left ffn - I'm just dividing my time. I'm looking for the best of both worlds, so to speak, and I don't see why I shouldn't get it.
Let there be words - and lots of them!

Monday, 23 June 2008


Old memories,
long packed away,
now enter my mind.
The doors have been opened.
Now, in contemplation
I learn something
of myself.

Monday, 09 June 2008

Into my future . . .

I have finally, after much deliberation, decided what I shall study next year. I discovered Wits' undergraduate Biomedical Engineering degree: BEngSc(BME). I think Wits is is one of the few universities worldwide that offers BME at an undergraduate level. It's certainly the only one in the country (as far as I can tell).

It does mean that I am not studying philology, liguistics, English Literature (at any stage) or any other language. The good side is that I don't have to drop IT, Biology, Physics or Chemistry (yet). I hope I'll still keep up my interest/knowledge in the language stuff. I do know what philology is - even if it's only due to my LOTR obsession (you may have picked that up from my name . . .).

Oh yes, I should probably explain what Biomedical Engineering. Everyone I've told has said "What?" Biomedical Engineers are the people who make pacemakers, prostheses etc. etc. The BEngSc degree is not a professional degree - it doesn'tgive you all the educational background to become an engineer, but I'll be able to do some other engineering degree (quite likely information engineering) in a relatively short time afterwards.

I'm looking forward to it . . . so long as my application is accepted (it should be, I mean they wouldn't refuse me would they? . . . nah, I'll be fine . . .)

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Common Beliefs

This post was sparked by a comment on real live preacher's blog, but it's something I've been thinking about for a while. I first started thinking about the topic after reading The Inklings - specifically the background to Mythopoeia.

I think it's very interesting that there are so many similarities between the world's religions, both ancient and modern. Most religions/traditional histories include a massive flood. Eve accepted an apple and Pandora opened a box. Both were created as companions to men (although one might say that all that shows is that mythology was created by men).

C.S. Lewis touches on the topic in The Pilgrim's Regress, where pagans who can't receive God's message by reading (they've been taught that reading is bad) receive dreams from him: their understanding is very confused, but the message begins to get through.

The comment on rlp's blog seemed to suggest that this shows that religion is basically cyclic - humanity has one (maybe more) basic belief system, which is recycled and repackaged over time, but never really changes. My greatest objection to that is that Christianity began before Ancient Greek paganism ended, and that Christianinty is rooted in Judaism.

That's not really proof of anything though, when critically analysed. I suppose your interpretation of anything depends on your starting point - your axioms. For me, God is an axiom. As one of Cynthia Voight's characters said, "Asking me if I believe in God is like asking me if I believe in my own spinal cord." Obviously God exists, Christianity is true and the world falls into place around that.

Maybe the dreams C.S. Lewis wrote about are a way of changing people's axioms. I'm not sure, but it's definitely something to think about. How unchangeable are axioms anyway?

Friday, 16 May 2008


Yesterday I attended my first debate ever. I'm not sure why I've never got my act together and done it before, but I haven't. Yesterday was a first time. We opposed the topic

"THB that a free market economy is good for the developing world"

and won the debate. I was on the floor and was rather proud of my one point ("We are not suggesting that coutries should be isolated, but rather that trade barriers should be put in place to protect developing countries from exploitation.")

It was fun. I hope I get to do it again!

Wednesday, 14 May 2008


Life is very, very full at the moment. I feel I ought to be stressed out, but somehow I'm not. I'm almost floating on top of everything I'm doing. It's awesome. I guess I have God to thank for helping me to handle everything I'm doing. Thanks for Life Lord!

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Thank you

Confusion; turmoil;
Need to sort
this sad life out.

Through the falls
and through the pain:
You're here to
pick me up again.

The One and Only
always true:
Did I think
to say . . . thank you?

Monday, 14 April 2008

Back to School . . . Again

I simply couldn't believe that I really had to go back to school today: in fact I'm not sure it's sunk in yet. The last three weeks of holiday have been so amazingly free. It's not that I've had nothing to do - that'll be the day - but rather that I've had the freedom to organise my own time.

One of my friends commented today that we "grow out of school" in Grade 1 school is so cool. By the time you're reaching the end of the road you just want out!

75 days left 'til we leave school behind . . . no more kids who can't understand and won't try (in theory at least . . . I know leaving school won't make life perfect).

Well, I'm nearly there. Can't wait!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Last Day of Term

It is a momentous occasion: for the second time ever in my high-school career we've gotten a free period in IT! Most teachers get sick or have to go to important meetings, but in this subject there's always something to do. I have taken the opportunity to update my blog and at the same time set it down forever-until-this-blog-no-longer-exists. Yes that was a bit cynical, but it's more flippant (I think. . .self-analysis is challenging).


Life Sciences (Biology): Prepared speeches on our projects (ok, that is sorta work)

English: Tried to talk our teacher out of working, semi-succesfully. (We did take down some notes on "Jealousy in the play Othello")

Maths: Revised our work oh-so-incredibly hard.

Afrikaans: Played hangman with English words. . .of course we spoke Afrikaans the whole time.

Physical Sciences: Newton's Laws. When the truck hits the animated lamb it goes squish. (Well, ma'am said it was Newton's Laws)

IT: Updated my blog whilst experiencing a historical event!

btw . . . It's int'resting to compare this to Back to School

Wednesday, 05 March 2008

Books, Books, Books

There are so many excellent books out there worthy of discusion that I never really know how I can write about just one. So I thought I would just write a line about a few of the very best in different genres - and this is by no means all of them!


The Lord of the Rings (Tolkien)- what can I say? Brilliant! (that's the best I can say about a book) It's quite Catholic if you get into details.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians (Riordan)- Brilliant conception, great writing, can't wait for the sequel. The series is about a modern boy who discovers he's a greek demi-god.

The Belgariad (Eddings)- Brilliant characterisation and a good story. Without the characters it would just be a good book, as it is it's incredible.

Science Fiction

A Wrinkle in Time (L'Engle)- Brilliant! Quite different, but I empathise with Meggie. An exploration of ideas like the 5th dimension combined with a perceptive view of a geeky (?) teen.

I, Robot (Asimov)- No, it's not just a movie. Stunning book. Interesting to note that Asimov doesn't use much humour.

Christian Fiction (I'm not into romances, so these could be in the previous categories)

Dragonspell (Paul) -Excellent book, I like the imagery. It's allegorically without being syrupy. Good story.

The Cosmic Trilogy (Lewis)- Well, Lewis is probably my most respected author. Interplanetary travel introduces Ransom to the heavenly beings. It gets very dark towards the end as well as plain confusing, but has a solid story line. Very thought-provoking.

The Chronicles of Narnia (Lewis again)- I've read them about a million times, starting from age 4. They're like comfort food except good for you.

Those are the best that spring to mind now. Tomorrow I'd write a different list. I haven't put my favourite classics down, for instance. I'll extend the list another day.

Friday, 29 February 2008

The Mushroom Philosophy of Life

Some people say life is a war.

Some say it's a party.

Some say it's a journey.

Today I think it's a mushroom:

everything gets so busy, you've heaps to do and you never know how you'll get anything done. Then, one day: pouff it's all finished.

A little while later it's grown into tenfold as much to do as before then - pouff!. And so the cycle continues.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

The human brain. . .

ehT namuh si a lufrednow gniht








It's amazing what one can work out. Which sentence did you find easier to read? I found the second one easier, I think because I didn't have predefined expectations.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

2 rite or not 2 rite

(Misquoted from Shakespeare's Hamlet)

Is SMS language (cu l8r, etc.) acceptable English? Some people say not. English should be correct and formal. Others seem to think it's the only form of English in existence. Many English essays for school and final exams have contained terms like "u" for "you" and "2" in place of "to". If so many people are using it, how can we say it's not accepted? On the other hand, as long as there are objections how can we say it is accepted? My take on it is that it's not accepted - yet. SMS language is growing into a widely used style of writing and I think it will be accepted for its ease of use, but I don't think it will ever replace "standard" English - after all "2" could be "to", "too" or "two" and "u" could mean "ewe". Perhaps we will have two Englishes in the future. Who knows?

Monday, 11 February 2008

National Chlorine Plant

Today was science field trip to NCP (National Chlorine Plant) day. We donned our jeans and school shoes (fashion deluxe, but that's regulation apparal), lab coats, hard hats and safety goggles. With emergency respirators and visitor ID cards tucked safely into our pockets we embarked on our tour of the plant.

The purification of brine [NaCl(aq)] is much more complicated than you'd think. We saw brine reactors, settling tanks, supersaturators and more as we scribbled down notes for our portfolio project. Having climbed what must be over 100 stairs to see brine purified to less than 10ppm we trekked through the plant to see the ion exchange towers. Finally we got to see the electrolysis cells themselves.

Quick check before we go in: any pacemakers? The electromagnetism could cause malfunctioning. Once the class had figured out what a pacemaker is, they assured our guide that we could move on and we observed the cells. Excitement! Well, actually there wasn't that much to see, but it was pretty interesting. They feed a massive amount of electricity into that plant. As well as the mountains (10m high?) of salt that we saw. Each day they use hindreds of times what a household uses in a month. Tens of thousands of kilowatt hours - not that they have to worry about load-shedding, being the only provider of chlorine for water sanitation in SA.

All in all, pretty cool. I've never seen that much salt before. I've never seen that much industrial equipment before either. It was quite an experience. Awe-some! I had fun!

Tuesday, 05 February 2008

Real Evil

Sometimes we seem to come under the attack of real evil. It's something like a run of bad luck, but I think it's more than that. Things go wrong. Fixes that ought to work don't help, or just make things worse. Even praying doesn't seem to help. Somebody told me:

"If praying doesn't seem to help, imagine what would have happened if you hadn't prayed."

I guess I just need to keep on praying. Experience makes us stronger. So, I am being strengthened.

Friday, 01 February 2008


Thunder claps as
lightning cracks the sky
opening a path
for water to sluice down.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Gramatical - Grammaticum - Grammatica

Every language has its own grammar.
In Delphi you end every sentence with a semi-colon;
It is word order with which in Afrikaans I struggle.
In English it's easy, I just struggle to read other people's work when they don't use grammar: spelling, punctuation, who cares? I do. It's what gives a piece flow or no flow. Vive Grammatica!

Monday, 21 January 2008

An Immortal with a Destiny

I've been reading Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. It's not the best I've ever read, but it is very good. It also got me thinking about some of the fantasy concepts that we always dismiss as just that: fantasy.

Immortality is one of those. Tolkien's elves are what first springs to mind. In Middle-Earth the elves will live forever, but humans are doomed to die. In real life, there's obviously no such thing as immortality. Actually, I don't believe that. I believe I'm immortal. No, you don't need to be worried about me (I don't think). That belief comes from a very specific perspective: I've trusted Jesus with my life and I know I'll live in heaven with Him for eternity. I'm not going to get any closer to immortality than that.

The second concept is destiny. There are probably more people who believe in destiny than in immortality, but I'm less certain about it. My thoughts go along the lines of: God has a plan for each of us. If we don't follow his plan will we ever be truly happy? I don't think so. In that case, couldn't I call his plan for me my destiny? It's something to think about.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Tech Crew

Today we met all our new Grade 7 tech crew members. We spent an hour with them, but we didn't get much further than explaining the rules and teaching them how to coil cables. Cables must be coiled properly or they twist and crack, for those who don't know. I was very proud of my three little girls who all got it right. Hurrah!

It's not very major, but it made me happy, so I think it's worthwhile. Nobody else need ever care, I know. I love teaching and tech stuff is cool.

Thankyou Lord for giving me so much. Amen!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008


Dry as lightning
Hard as ice
Great One's wrath
Not so nice

Firm as cotton
Tough as string
Place To Hide
Mama's wing

Hurts like love
Stings like sorrow
I'll survive
Until Tomorrow

Monday, 14 January 2008


Why do people look back on their "idyllic schooldays" in books? Some parts of school are not-so-bad, but other parts are hectic in the extreme. For example, we have an Afrikaans project due tomorrow (that we couldn't start before today), plenty of Maths homework and enough English that we "can't finish at school" - I'm only half way.

Perhaps in twenty years I'll look back and think of my wonderful schooldays, when I didn't have to worry about putting food on the table. Then again, maybe not. There is little (no?) intersection between the people who say that and the people I really respect. Schooldays are no more idyllic than the rest of life.

Perhaps I'm a little cynical, but it seems harsh to end the day by making us spend half-an-hour of homework time being told how we can spend R20 000 to wash dishes in the USA. Some people may have enjoyed it, but I would have preferred some time to work on my English homework.

Oh well, such is life. I do seem to have time to update my blog, so it can't be that bad, can it? Or maybe it can. What do you think?

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Trust and Faith

We've been doing John Milton's "On his blindness" in English. It was one of my favourite poems before now, although the discussion in class did bring new facets of the poem forward.

Strangely enough, what really struck me and heightened my appreciation of the poem, is not what we discussed, but what we didn't. I probably look at most things with a more christian perspective than most of my class and maybe more of a writer's perspective too, which might explain my interpretation. We barely touched on this (the following) in class, but it jumped out at me immediately.

I've always been struck by Milton's absolute faith in God. Even when he goes through blindness, he doesn't blame God, but wonders how he will continue to serve Him. Milton doesn't demand an answer from God, but eventually does come to a profound, and I think divine, conclusion. I might express it as God wants us to BE his people rather than DOing work for him. In some cases the work is important, but other times we just need to wait.

Something we did discuss in class, which added to my understanding is Milton's patience. His personification of Patience as answering his questions inspires me to spend time being patient, to spend time in thought and in prayer. Perhaps it reminds me that one should not be sacrificed for the other.

"On his blindness" really is an awesome poem. I'm more inclined than ever to read "Paradise Lost". I think I know what my next trip to the library will bring.

Wednesday, 09 January 2008

Back to School

On the whole, I think today was a good day. I've one new teacher, who seems nice, although she did admit to an obsession with lambs. (This was evident from her classroom decorations.) I've moved seats in a few classes and got a whole pile of new books and files to cover.

English continued as if we'd never been away; some teachers are like that. Ditto Afrikaans, except our desks had moved from "group discussion" layout to "cycle test" layout. We have been threatened with having our seating rearranged - and we're the First Div. "angels". We're supposed to be at least.

Other subjects we got back exams and discovered how much work this year is going to be - or rather how no-one needs to tell us this, since everyone else has (apparantly) told us this. We somehow got the message, without actually hearing it: "Work! Hard! Now! You can have a free today." When we actually do have to work, we'll be told it's not that much of a load.


Now I need to finish my maths so I can read Jordan's 'Wheel of Time' series.

School's Out!

Monday, 07 January 2008

My Pillow Book

I first heard of a pillow book when I read 'this is all: the pillow book of Cordelia Kenn' by Aidan Chambers. I liked the idea, since I usually give up diaries after a few days. A pillow book gives me more freedom: I write whatever I want, whenever I want.

The pillow book was conceptualised in Japan. It is a book kept somewhere personal to the writer - like under a pillow. It usually includes poetry as well as diary-type entries. I write whatever I feel like in my pillow book, which includes random "poetry", diary-type entries, ideas and thoughts.
Having kept the pillow book that I literally keep by my pillow and that noone else may read, I'm making a leap to keeping an electronic pillow book too. If you think it's interesting, go ahead and read it.
So, here goes!

Am I me?

When I am alone
just me and my mind
that is my zone:
I know I am me

But surround me by people
I'll lose my nerve
and that simple but subtle
knowledge of me

I agree I'm an introvert
that's who I am.
Don't want to get hurt
'cos I am me.