Sunday, February 28, 2010

Watching my life, main attraction (Hard-Fi)

The two week break has come to an end and the first day back at work has been eventful. I've moved into the National Professional Standards team in Qatar that is training Principals via a PD program called 'Accredited School Leadership'. It's still a Cognition team and I'm lucky to have been another opportunity to help the Qatari leaders.

Sadly I've had to leave the Leadership Training team, superbly led by Colin. I had a terrific time with John Lambert et al but that contract ended before the break. That group continues in a different form and luckily I'll keep seeing them each Thursday at Al Khalij.

My new colleagues in this new team are Aussie Ian Smyth and Kiwi Andrea Ford (along with Denise and Julie as support staff) and we're at Regency Halls so I'm pleased at that continuity. Reem is also one of the translators which is great too.

I do miss my Qatari friends from the MOE group though and will aim to keep in contact with them via email.

Exciting times in Doha!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Please release me, let me go (Engelbert Humperdink)

The thank you celebrations took place t'other day with our would be principals at Regency Halls. They presented all of the Cognition people with gifts and praise for the course they've received. It was an emotional experience as they've been working closely with all of us for a long time. The end of this week also marks the end of my association with this group and with some members of the leadership team.

I've waxed lyrical about this bunch of Qatari leaders already but they really are a remarkable bunch of people who I've grown to love. Mmm - that's right - the l word. Clearly this post is going to be somewhat touchy feely - cos I'm also going to give some big ups to my colleagues John Lambert and Colin Donald. Without doubt, these two exceptional gentlemen would have been fantastic, inspirational Principals at their New Zealand schools. They have certainly given me a terrific leadership example since I've pitched up in Doha.

This post is, therefore, dedicated to them - my two bosses. Colin is in NZ for his break and John flies home to Kay this week. I'm posting this before he goes and before he eats humble pie after the Auckland Blues beat the Hurricanes on the weekend.

I've really lucked out because I have been able to see John Lambert working, up close and personal, over the last ten weeks. It's been a special experience that will live long in my memory. His sincerity, passion for the job, and love for the people he's teaching is clear for all to see. And they love him. And I mean really love him. He has earned their respect and that is no mean feat.

I've found him an inspirational presenter and I've learnt an awful lot from him. It's been a real privilege and I'll certainly remember John's words of wisdom and his singing voice, long after he's returned to New Zealand.

Me as padowan learner between the two kabeer zaeems (big bosses) - Colin is on
the left and John is on the right.

John shakes hands with the class' volleyball veteran.

The great man - always ready to help, always with a chuckle and a story (he's
been everywhere, man).

In his honour I present the following singalong. Why? Because John loves the microphone and at every opportunity he will break into his idiosyncratic version of the Humperdink favourite. It's a singalong so...sing along!

Please release me let me go
for I don't love you anymore
to waste our lives would be a sin
release me and let me love again.

I have found a new love dear
[ Find more Lyrics on ]
and I will always want her near
her lips are warm while yours are cold
release me my Darling let me go.

Please release me can't you see
you'd be a fool to cling to me
to live a lie would bring us pain
release me and let me love again

Here's to John and Colin - as salam alaykum, alaykum as salam.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Go lightly from the ledge, babe, go lightly on the ground (Dylan)

It's been an interesting week at Regency Halls. Jacky has come out a couple of times to see what I've been up to and has got a great sense of the energy in the room.

The final results from our Green Schools' project were also announced - the top three groups were The Falcons, The Wolves and The Candles.

The pictures show the two male groups receiving their trophies from the CEO of Cognition Consulting - Dr John Langely who was visiting us at Regency Halls and did the honours. The female winners - The Candles - respectfully asked that I not take their photos, which, of course, I've complied with.

We have only a week left with this remarkable group of Qatari leaders. It will be an emotional week as John Lambert is returning to New Zealand as well. He's a remarkable person and we'll certainly miss his advice and good humour. When things turn all entropic on us, John always has a wise word and a laugh to carry us through. The phrase - he'll be missed - is a cliche but in his case it's going to be very real.

Ka kite ano.