Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
January 2019
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Happy Christmas 2013

Oooh, dear, I’m running late.

Here it is, December 22, and what with one thing and another I’ve been way behind getting this year’s Christmas cards into the mail. I did prioritise the overseas ones, and so I hope that they’ll all arrive on time.

For this year’s design I’d hoped to learn more about using Illustrator, but […]

The Alto’s Lament – for every A who has ever sung SATB

Many many years ago (24 in fact) I wrote a song—words and music—that lamented the long-suffering experiences of any alto who has ever sung in an SATB choir, where we often end up with the most monotonous lines (Handel, to give him credit, treats altos with a little more respect). I have performed The Alto’s Lament […]

67. Playing the Melody [100 poems challenge]


67.          Playing the Melody

We, the o’ershadowed
Musical salt of the earth,
Are resigned to our fate
As unacclaimed
Harmonic anchors.
We live for that rare
And glorious moment
When limelight is ours;
For the singular bars
When altos have the tune.

27 June 2013


Comments: I am actually singing tenor at the moment, because that’s where there’s a need in the choir in which I […]

Happy Christmas 2012

Another year has flown by, and it’s nearly Christmas again. In keeping with tradition (see 2009, 2010, and 2011) I am presenting this year’s Christmas card design. The design idea was an extension of an earlier whimsical creation, where I’d designed a set of those “My Family” rear window stickers which have been all the rage […]

A performance of notes

At a later date I will update this post with some back-story, but for now I just want to advertise the intended end-result of one of my time-consuming but enjoyable distractions.

The Hobart Chamber Orchestra and Loose Canon Chamber Singers (augmented) are proud to present — drum roll* — the Australian premiere performance of Carl Rütti’s Requiem.

Saturday […]

Workshop with “The Idea of North”

The Idea of North would have to be my favourite a capella choral group (what kind of a group is an a capella group if not a choral one, I hear you ask?! And how many do you listen to, anyway? ………….. Well, I only need one!*).

When I was living in Melbourne I was lucky enough […]

Car window stickers

You’ve probably seen them around lately, slapped onto the rear windows of cars: sets of white stick-figure people (and pets) in various poses or engaged in characteristic activities that are supposed to represent the car owner’s family.

As a single person with no pets this trend wasn’t working for me … which seems to be true of […]

Happy Christmas 2011

Despite — and because of — the fact that I am moving at the moment I managed to have my Christmas card designed early. The farewelling process associated with moving means that I gave out more cards than usual this year, and so this on-line version is probably not required. However, it has become a tradition […]

A Tasmanian thank you

Recently I was asked to be a keynote speaker at the annual conference of the Mathematical Association of Tasmania. It was also the MAT’s 50th anniversary, and I think that one of the reasons I was asked was because I was an expatriate Tasmanian who had been involved with the association in my younger days (my […]

A pair of wooden beads

In the Scouting movement, the kids’ accomplishments are acknowledged with the award of cloth badges, as they learn stuff, complete challenges, and develop their interests. We leaders get very few badges: just a few identifying tapes and badges to say which troop and district we belong to (which the kids have anyway), and every so often […]