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Posts Tagged ‘lego

365:42 - Time by .reid., on Flickr
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Have you asked yourself what you really own? Nothing earthly for sure.

What do you own that you can give to make a difference? I can think of two things at the moment.

One is your word. The other is your time.

I have made the mistake of giving my word and promising my time, but not delivering on both.

For example, in the past I have failed to spend time with my son on weekends despite promising some Minecraft server time. My flimsy excuse was that I was given work to do late the previous week with deadlines early the following week.

No excuses, not now, not any more. I give him my word and my time so as to not take him for granted.

One thing we do is photograph and blog his LEGO creations.

I have a simple setup using an IKEA storage box (foldable SKUBBs) and as many battery-operated LED lamps as I need. I use a Sony NEX-5R to photograph my son’s LEGO creations.

Here is an example of what is possible with this simple setup.

My son and I discuss the shots, the short story to tell, and how to blog about it. It is my way of taking back the third thing we can truly own. Relationships.

Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery?

Perhaps. If you consider the painstaking LEGO rendition of the trailer of the second Hobbit installment.

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According to Brotherhood Workshop, the creators of the trailer, it took two month to recreate it.

But this is no mere imitation or copy.

Other than the sheer effort, we might marvel at the creativity to solve problems that LEGO minifigs and pieces inherently bring. We could appreciate the reinterpretation of scenes while staying on course. We might admire the patience and persistence of the process.

This is an example of non-curricular learning that does not start with traditionally defined objectives, just-in-case content, and artificial assessment.

I can almost imagine the collaborators asking themselves, “How about we LEGO-fy the second Hobbit trailer?” Their task was led by a critical question that led to other questions to which they had to find answers to. These answers were not necessarily in textbooks nor were all of them Google-able.

If anyone needs clues on where education needs to head towards, I say watch the trailer, read this, and reflect on the issue.

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This is the LEGO story told digitally.

The story is worth retelling because it shows how the combination of hard work, failure, personal loss, persistence, creativity, and serendipity can lead to success.

Schools here tend to focus on the value of hard work. What about the rest?

Weekends. I typically spend them doing household chores, trying not to hurt myself with home repairs or DIY projects, visiting family on the other side of the island, and going on walks with my son. It is a predictable pattern.

I try not to go out. Despite returning to Singapore six years ago, I still cannot get over how crowded it is. It is noisy, claustrophobic, and hectic. It takes too much work to relax.

But we broke our pattern when we ventured out yesterday to do a small part for a worthy cause.

A group of creative youth from Nanyang Polytechnic organized a fund-raising effort involving LEGO minifigs.

For just $5, you get to build two custom minifigs. You keep one and add the other to a replica of the Marina Bay Floating Platform during the National Day Parade 2012. All proceeds go to the “Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund whose mission is to reach out to every child in need and provide them with the resources to do well in school”.

It is clever because participants get to do something fun and simple while giving and receiving. There is the obvious message of nation-building somewhere in there too. You might even forget about last year’s farcical Fun Pack [1] [2] [3]!

I enjoyed the roadshow because I not only got to spend it with my son [photos at his Posterous] but also got to see the creations of ordinary Singaporeans [photos at my Posterous].

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I am a big fan of Star Wars, I am married to an equally big fan, and we have created a big fan in the form of our son.

We are also fans of LEGO, so any brick-ified version of Star Wars is a combination on bordering on delirium.

But this spinning diorama complete with music activated by some of the pieces takes the cake!

Click to see all the nominees!

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