Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Sy is gekoester en geleer om mooi te lyk en aanvallig op te tree. Sy het leer tennis speel en het altyd bekoorlik aangetrek. By die skool was sy besonder skrander, en het gaan onderwys studeer. Na haar kinders se geboortes het sy gaan skoolhou by Transoranje Skool vir Dowes in Pretoria, waar sy jaar na jaar departementele merietetoekennings vir goeie werk ontvang het. Sy was geliefd onder die sesjariges. Ek onthou goed hoe die een outjie altyd onder haar lessenaar ingeklim het en oor haar sykouse gestreel het, soms vir lang tye aanmekaar. Hy was outisties én doof. Sy het instinktief geweet wat hulle nodig het. Dit neem ‘n besonderse mens om twaalf dowe sesjariges dag na dag te versorg en op te voed. Meeste van hulle was in die koshuis en het hul ouers net vakansies gesien. Sy was ‘n warm instaan-ma.
Ek is elf maande na Arina gebore. Dit was sekerlik nie vir haar maklik nie. Selfs die mees georganiseerde vrou moet hare op haar tande hê om twee babas in doeke te versorg. Ons het soos ‘n tweeling grootgeword. Twee willewragtig-dogtertjies wat hulle soos seuns gedra het. Om te keer dat ons soos Tarzan aan die binnegordyne swaai, het ons so nou en dan ‘n skerp waarskuwing van ‘n goedgeplante speld in die soom gekry.
Sy het ons eenders aangetrek met rokke wat sy self gemaak het. In die winter het ons ‘n rits truie gehad wat sy self gebrei het. Haar huis was altyd onberispelik versorg; ‘n vrou met waarde ver bo korale.
Maar mens kan nie altyd kies wat die lewe jou opdien nie. Ma se veertigerjare het haar getref met depressie en migraine. Sy het al meer in haarself gekeer. Toe ek en Arina die nes verlaat, het sy haarself alleen bevind. Sy was skielik sonder man én kinders.
Een goeie aand hoor ons Ma gaan op ‘n ‘date’. ‘n Engel met die naam van Albie raak toe verskriklik lief vir haar. Die gevoel was wederkerig. Sy het weer gelewe. Albie het haar op die hande gedra, en sy het hom versorg met elke greintjie krag wat sy gehad het. Twintig jaar se daaglikse liefdesbriefies en kaartjies vertel die storie van twee mense wat onvoorwaardelik vir mekaar gegee het. Die lewe saam was genoeg.
Hulle het ‘n tuiste gemaak; hulle was albei ewe lief vir mooi huis-goed. Elke item het ‘n storie gehad. Hulle het soos kinders gegiggel en Albie het vir Ma rondgery waar sy ook al wou heengaan. Met haar weeklikse haarafspraak sou hy en die miniatuur Toy Pom-hondjie Mitzi, voor die salon in sy motor sit en wag.
Toe Albie siek word, was dit Ma se beurt om te versorg. Sy gesondheid het akuut agteruitgegaan, en sy het saam met hom in die Kaap kom wag vir nuwe hart. Ses maande het hulle gewag. Sy het hom ondersteun en rondgery en die Kaapse wind verdra. Na ‘n suksesvolle oorplanting was die lewe weer mooi. Vir ‘n geruime tyd het alles goed gegaan.
In wat ‘n klein operasie sou wees, het ‘n mislukte mediese ingreep Ma se lewe vir altyd verander. Na ses maande in ‘n koma het sy wonderbaarlik genoeg herstel om huis toe te gaan. Alhoewel sy oënskynlik gesond was, het haar liggaam ingewikkelde sorg nodig gehad. Onooglike operasieletsels het haar selfbewus laat voel, en die koma het onomkeerbare skade aan haar breinfunksie veroorsaak. Sy kon nie meer brei nie en daaglikse roetine-takies soos kosmaak was nie meer vir haar lekker nie. Albie het haar vir jare vertrou versorg. Hulle het nie meer funksies bygewoon nie. Ma was selfbewus en Albie het daarmee empatie gehad. Altwee was redelik sieklik.
Na Albie se heengaan het Ma alleen in die huis aangebly. Dit was vir haar moeilik om nuwe vriende te maak. Sy het vereensaam en haar hondjie was die enigste geselskap. Na ‘n ernstige terugslag twee jaar gelede het ons besef dat sy nie meer op haar eie kon funksioneer nie. Alhoewel sy nog nooit regtig van die Kaap gehou het nie, wou sy nader aan my, haar enigste oorblywende dogter, en haar broer Manie wees. Desnieteenstaande het sy altyd gehunker na die dae saam met Albie.
Avondrus het haar tuiste geword. Die personeel het haar met deernis, respek en liefde versorg. Selfs in die tye toe sy maar moeilik geraak het, was hulle geduldig. Desiree en Suster Jonkers het haar laat sit en gesels in hul kantoor. Wanneer die werk oorweldigend baie geraak het, het hulle nog steeds haar vertroos en tot op die laaste haar ongemak probeer verlig. Ek sal hulle altyd dankbaar bly.
Dankie aan almal wat haar vriende wou wees, wat met haar moeite gedoen het, en probeer het om haar las ligter te maak.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
She had been struggling with her health for many years, and went through a really rough coupe of months lately.
We had to bring her down from Pretoria two years ago, and we put her in a really splendid home called Huis Avondrus, who cared for her very well, given that she had very specialized requirements owing to her health and medication.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
On Monday afternoon and early evening saw the Cape Craft and Design Institute's Annual General Meeting, followed by the launch of their Creative Enterprises Training Unit.
On Monday night we said goodbye to our two doctoral students, John Room and Nirmi Ziegler who had been with us for almost a year.
Tuesday was E-strategies Africa where I chaired the panel.
Wednesday was Faculty Management meeting and in the afternoon we had a very successful meeting to discuss co-operation between ...xyz Design, the Faculty of Informatics and Design, the East City Design Initiative and Cape Town 2014 bid, as well as the Vega College of Brand Communication.
Wednesday and Thursday also saw the B.Tech presentations of the IT Department. It was absolutely brilliant to see groups of students and lecturers in various venues being very academic!
Friday and Saturday saw a really good Masters' and Doctoral seminar.
And, finally before going home on Saturday afternoon, we set up a little exhibition for the Deans' Breakaway that we will be hosting on Monday.
I am so proud of the Faculty. So much is happening and so many people are doing so much!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Her work can be seen on her portfolio at http://amantarabe.carbonmade.com/projects/2740926
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
So Anneke Lamont invited me to Salon Music's Brooklyn Baroque in Salon Music's new Brooklyn Theatre.
The programme was, indeed as the website said "A concert featuring highly palatable 17th century instrumental music", opened by a splendid performance by 10 year-old Landi Schaap of a Bach Piano Concerto - amazing.
But more amazing than that is the very concept of Salon Music. It is hard to beleive that they have been around for 15 years already - or maybe it is hard to believe that they haven't just always been there. How well I remember those early concerts in the Musaion, complete with "best of" opera, string quartets and all sorts of great fun classics. They filled the gap left when the State Theatre sort of gave up on classical music, and they developed an audience for themselves.
And that was what made Sunday afternoon so amazing - just seeing the relationship between the audience and the company, represented as usual by musical director Willem Vogel. The intimate nature of the new theatre makes one feel like a house guest in Willem and Daniel's living room - and one really appreciates the delicate tact with which Willem reminds us that it is actually quite in order if we don't applaud between the movements.
Thanks to the 10 year-old opening soloist the concert was attended by a number of younger patrons - and their somewhat younger parents. A new generation of Salon Music patrons are being raised.
So, well done Willem Vogel and Daniël Vos and may Salon Music grow, and the Brooklyn Theatre prosper
Friday, May 7, 2010
It was a touching ceremony with tributes by athletes, musicians, relatives and colleagues.
I would like to thank all those people who attended, but also all those people who have been so AMAZINGLY kind in their support.
We are now ready to move on with our lives and to preserve the good memories - although we will aways be sad that there will be no more new memories.
Here is the picture and words that we put on the bulletin at the memorial service.
PIETER PAULUS CRONJĖ
28 September 1962 – 18 April 2010
Gedenkdiens gehou deur Ds Koos Louw
N G Kerk, Groenkloof, 28 April 2010
Die gedig teen sy hangkas…
A PRAYER ANSWERED
I asked for strength And God gave me difficulties to make me strong
I asked for wisdom And God gave me problems to learn to solve
I asked for prosperity and God gave me brains and brawn to work
I asked for courage And God gave me dangers to overcome
I asked for love And God gave me troubled people to help
I asked for favours And God gave me opportunities
I received nothing I wanted
I received everything I needed
Lied 280: 1 & 2
Here, Redder, groot en magtig, U oorskou ons lewenspad.
In u liefde en genade het U ook ons hand kom vat.
Heer u leiding bring bevryding – U het ook my hand kom vat.
U het ook my hand kom vat.
U my Redder groot en magtig, U het my ook raakgesien.
Ek is feilbaar, swak onseker, Tog wil ek U dankbaar dien.
God, my Here – U is Here! Vas kan ek op U vertrou. Vas kan ek op U vertrou.
Skriflesing en boodskap
Hiervan is ek oortuig: geen dood of lewe of engele of teenswoordige of toekomstige dinge of kragte of hoogte of diepte of enigiets anders in die skepping kan ons van die liefde van God skei nie, die liefde wat daar is in Christus Jesus ons Here. (Rom 8:38-39)
I’ve got rhythm Tshepo Ndlovu (Kitaar)
Geleentheid om iets oor hom te sê
Kom na my toe Mia Otto (Mezzo)
Die heilige stad, Jerusalem Johan Coertzen (Tenoor)
Begeleiding: Anneke Lamont (Orrel), Rachel van der Merwe (Klavier)
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
People generally want to know what happened to Pieter, and sometimes it is hard to tell them, sometimes it is hard for them to ask.
In any event, it is useful for me to work through it, so here is how I was able to reconstruct the events that led to the tradgedy of Sunday morning, 18 April 2010.
Pieter had been suffering from thyroid problems for a number of years. It made him very tired, and coupled to his usually melancholy disposition, it was hard for him to bear. Although he was a medical doctor he did not believe in self-medication, and indeed, hardly ever took any form of medication at all. Instead he concentrated on physical fitness, and relied on the endorphins developed in this way to keep himself healthy. He was very strict on himself in every way and, through the nature of his job as an emergency anaesthetist also did not use any alcohol so that he could be called out any time of the day or night.
He worked alone and relied primarily on ad-hoc and emergency calls, although he had a few regular doctors who used his services. Being unmarried he lived with my mother and stayed in the only bedroom he ever knew, which was also his administrative office, his guitar practicing room and his email centre. That's where he lived and worked. His life was as sparse as that of a medieval monk and he had virtually no physical possessions, but a very good investment portfolio. Most of his discretionary income was spent on charity events, on supporting other institutions, attending just about every significant sporting event, walking the Otter trail, or even just spoiling my two sons. He did not have a cent of debt and more spare capital than he could ever use up.
Then, when the economy turned, some of his work slowed down, and, not surprisingly, the value of his investment portfolio virtually halved (still leaving him very comfortably off). Towards the beginning of the year an unscrupulous salesman of insurance policies, calling himself a financial consultant then advised Pieter that he did not have nearly enough money on which to retire. This was the first time ever that Pieter thought about money. He was shocked to the core and developed an obessive fear that, should my mother die, he would be out on the street. No amount of assurance by my mother and himself, that he would inherit her house anyway, and that he would be taken care of, either by myself or my boys, would set his mind at ease. Meanwhile his practice slowed down a little, but not significantly - yet it added to his worries.
He tried to deal with his anxiety by running and exercising and in the process, was proud to tell me, that he had lost 6kg, and now weighed only 64. He was skinny as a rake, and proud of it. He was also fitter than he had ever been.
Yet the anxiety grew and grew. My mother called in various "real" financial advisers who kept on assuring him that he was OK. However, he was still worried about not owning fixed property and some friends and I advised him to buy some.
Then he came down to Cape Town to run the Two Oceans. We all looked forward to his visit - the boys in particular, and, knowing that he was in a very bad space, I cleared my diary and made every effort to spend as much time with him as possible. We invited Elaine over to dinner, he even invited some of his friends to tea.
The day before the race he and I went to the beach in Hout Bay. He wanted me to close the roof of the cabriolet because the sun was bad for our skins, but he relented when I offered him a baseball cap.
We had a long walk on the beach and he shared his troubles. He explained his financial worries and asked if he would be able to pay the mortgage on an apartment. I explained that, firstly, yes he would, and secondly, renting it out would cover almost the whole of the bond and thirdly, should he run into trouble, I would bail him out, although it would not be neccessary, given that the economy was improving. Yet he was not satisfied.
As we walked the other worries came out. He had lost his self-esteem completely. He was deeply remorseful about two patients who died on the operation table when he was a clinical assistant right at the beginning of his career. No amount of discussion from my side - the fact that he was an assistant to the consultant in charge; the fact that there had been no investigation; the fact that he was part of a team and that the surgeon had equal responsibility. Nothing would help. As far as he was concerned the fact that nobody else through he was responsible did not take away the fact that he felt that he was responsible. We walked and walked but the discussion went nowhere. He referred to the blog I had written about him at http://johannescronje.blogspot.com/2009/05/pieter.html . He said he did not know why I thought that any of his activities were worth writing about - or worth any praise anyway. It was very clear that his trouble was not financial, it was one of self-esteem.
He asked about Franci's sister who committed suicide 18 years ago. He asked if Franci was OK now. He told me that he had contemplated suicide while he was doing military service in Askham in the Eighties. I told him I knew. I did not realize that he was contemplating it again. I am just not good at picking up on hints. So I kept on re-assuring him that we were there for him.
Then he told me how lucky I was. I had a good job, a loving wife, good kids, a nice house. I lived in a beautiful city. I loved what I was doing. Then he said that he, on the other hand, had nothing. In fact, he said, he was nothing. He was worth nothing. No amount of re-assurance would help.
Then he returned to Pretoria and signed the contract on a really nice flat in Groenkloof Gardens. He telephoned me and asked if it was the right idea. I kept on assuring him that it was. He said he wanted to cancel the deal because he feared the risk. I told him that if the deal did fall through he could buy two smaller units elsewhere. But, I said, the bank would not lend him money if they thought that there was any risk. I also told him that I would have bought in Groenkloof Gardens if I had the chance.
Then he cancelled the deal. Then he got a fine of R50 000 for cancelling. All this when his biggest worry was his finances. Then he tore a ligament in his ankle and was told he could not work for six weeks. Then it turned out that his professional insurance would not pay out even one quarter of his regular daily earnings. The fact that he had enough cash in the bank to carry him for six months, did not seem to matter to him. More importantly, he could not run. He could not train for Comrades, he would not be fit yet to run Comrades anyway. And he could not work up endorphins from his daily runs. When he went to donate blood, they said his iron count was too low - so they didn't want his blood.
My mother Emailed me to tell me how bad he was, and I telephoned him. He did not want to talk to me. I told him I would help. He told me I couldn't. I emailed my mother telling her that he clearly needed help, and that when I got to Pretoria on the 28th of April, we should sit down with him and get to the bottom of it.
But he got worse. My mother consulted the financial advisers again, who re-assured him. His friends rallied around him. They all knew that he was not well.
On Saturday my mother asked her bridge friends to come and play at her house because she was worried about him. They obliged. He drank tea with them. He sat in his room and played the guitar. They thought my mother was over concerned and that he looked quite OK. My mother thought that he was looking much better. He was coming out of it.
On Sunday morning my mother heard him get up at six. She thought he was probably called out for a case. He pottered about the house a little and then returned to his room and closed the door.
At about seven a friend called my mother saying that he was worried about Pieter. He had called his cell phone over and over, but there was no answer. My mother said that he was in the house and she would go and look. She went into the room, saw him on the bed, and said to the friend over the phone, "he is dead".
He had used his training as an aneasthetist. His abiltiy to put people to sleep, and he had put himself to sleep. But there was nobody who could wake him up again.
The support that we have had from friends and family has been amazing. The news of his death has shaken the Groenkloof community who saw the little skinny guy running though their streets. The Tuks running club has lost one of their most loyal supporters. The medical fraternity has lost a valuable, trusted and amusing member. The list goes on and on. The phone calls, the emails. it has just been amazing.
I keep on thinking - if only he knew, if only he really understood how deeply he was loved, and how many people would hurt so badly...
Sunday, April 18, 2010
This morning between six and seven life became too hard for him to bear and he passed away.
My heart is very sore at the loss of my brother. I am deeply grateful that I wrote a tribute to him while he was alive, and that he could read it.
Over the Easter weekend he and I spent much time talking about life and how we live it - the choices we make and time and time again he kept on referring to that blog - saying that he just does not see himself in that light. He just would not see any good in himself.
No amount of talking and support from me, my mother or any of his friends could work.
Ironically the one who was always there when others were in trouble, simply refused to be helped when he was down.
Ek sal jou mis, Pietieros!
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Sounds kinda funny, celebrating the retirement of... one would almost think that UGA is happy to be rid of him. On the contrary.
It was really amazing to see how many lives he touches, and the extent of his network. With a 40 page CV this is hardly surprising!
The most important tribute to Tom, however, was the quality of the conference that was put together!
At the conference dinner a number of people told the stories of how Tom influence their lives.
I had already done a little bit of that during my session at the conference as discussant to Susan McKenny, so I thought I'd be quiet (can you believe it) for once.
But I think I should tell my story here. It would be nice if anyone else who has a "Tom Reeves" story to tell, if you want to add it as a comment to my blog.
I first met Tom in November 1993, just before taking up a position as associate professor of Computers in Education at the University of Pretoria. My predecessor, Renate Lippert, had suggested that I attend a conference in Midrand at which Tom would present a workshop on evaluation of educational software. Given that the very first course that I would have to teach was exactly about that, I duly attended, as did Cheryl Hodgkinson!
It is little surprise then, that the course I presented showed a very strong "Reeves" influence. Of course I was meticulous in giving credit (more because I wanted to show WHO I KNEW...)
But so things developed and we corresponded from time to time - even if it was just by acknowledging each other's postings on ITForum.
After some time, and thanks mainly to ITForum I had got to know quite a number of people in the IT community and my students were getting frustrated at hearing drop names, but not knowing which names were worth dropping themselves (ha ha ha) Barry Vorster asked whether there was a "Who's who" in instructional technology that one could consult. I asked Tom, and he confirmed that, indeed, there was none.
THUS it came to pass that I asked Johan Viljoen, Ari Naidoo and Barry Vorster to create one. I will never forget Tom's comment once we launched it. He said it was a very useful site and contributed to breaking the "feelings of isolation" that some of them felt... Imagine that - sitting at UGA - probably the biggest single concentration of "names" in the field, and feeling ISOLATED!!!
Soon afterwards Mari Pete sent me a photograph of herself DANCING with Tom Reeves at a conference in Miami!!!
Nine years ago Tom sent a general invite to people of the South Eastern States to attend a conference in honor of the retirement of Kent Gustafson from UGA. I argued that South Africa was very far SOUTH, and very far EAST, and Tom allowed me to attend too, and I stayed at home with him and Trisha!!!
That's where I met probably the most of the "big trees" that I have in my collection. They are the ones in which I appear in leopard skin here http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcronje/sets/72157610882479991/
Some years later, when Mike Spector invited me to a workshop in Tallahassee, I stopped over at UGA again, and Tom asked me to act as discussant at their departmental retreat. WHAT A PRIVILEGE!
Thus, when I received an invite to attend the conference in honor of TOM's retirement, there was NO STOPPING ME.
My only hope is now that he's retired, he may EVENTUALLY find time to return all my visits...
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The Design Foundation Course in the Faculty of Informatics and Design is most proud to announce that one of its lecturers, Wendren Milford will be launching her new PPC cement bag at Design Indaba 2010, where she will be showcasing her products as an Emerging Creative.
Wendren graduated with a BTech in Surface Design (cum laude, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, in 2006)
In 2008, she started her own business called Wren, after leaving a factory job. Initially she did everything on her own, designing, sewing and marketing. Since then, her business has grown and now she employs two seamstresses, which frees her up to spend more time designing and marketing her products. She does all of this when she is not teaching in the Design Foundation Course and setting up recycling bins in the studios, to encourage the students to become more aware of the environment.
Wendren designed her own website (http://www.thewrendesign.com/ ) where she shares her process and this is linked to her online shop (http://www.thewren.etsy.com/ ). Her bags are sold in many shops around the world in cities like, New York, London, Sydney and Tokyo. Locally, in South Africa, Wendren’s bags are sold in a few select shops and at the Neighbourgoods market in Cape Town.
Currently, Wren products consist of uncycled coffee bags and clutches, antique linen and leather bags, bird purses and the much awaited PPC cement bag, the Wren Cement Laptop Bag.
The PPC cement bag is a laptop bag, with a difference and is 100% South African with the following design features (information supplied by the designer):
This laptop bag is made out of unused Pretoria Portland Cement paper bags. - All the layers of the Wren Cement Laptop Bag are fused with calico, which makes the paper untearable and suitable for the purpose of a laptop bag.- The outside surface of the Wren Cement Laptop Bag is Scotch Guarded to make the surface water resistant and more durable.- The Wren Cement Laptop Bag closes with two magnet snap clips.- The Wren Cement Laptop Bag has two pockets and two sections inside. One pocket is large enough to carry laptop cables whilst the other is the right size for either an iphone or mouse. The divider is padded and separates the laptop from notes or other belongings that would be carried in the bag.- The base and one side of the Wren Cement Laptop Bag are padded for comfort and extra protection for the laptop.- The strap of the bag is made from Organic Hemp. This is also adjustable.
Mari Lecanides Arnott
Design Foundation Course
seriously, though, it's actually the Faculty that made it to Youtube. I just had to say what we're about.
Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/user/creativecpt#p/a/u/1/vCo9FVEjbME
Thanks to Zayd Minty who reminded them of us! Long live the East City Design Initiative!
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Tomorrow we will be doing a "Computers in Schools" conference.
The exciting thing about the conference this year is that we have so much to show that was done entirely in Sudan.
Abdurrhman and Ezzeldin arranged the conference, and the students will be the main speakers.
I will do a keynote and a summing up at the end.
It is amazing what we have achieved in the past few years!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
They are simply a set of activities that I have to engage in this year to keep up to date with what is going on in the rest of the world.
- Initiate the re-design of the FID Design Foundation Course. This needs to be done in order to prepare the faculty for the consolidation of the two graphic design departments on the Cape Town campus, while at the same time providing us a "foundation" for the new degrees and diplomas.
- Develop the framework of the B.Design degree, and the B.Design (Hons) degree - so that we will be in line with the new HEQF.
- Engage with the Faculty in a reflection on the first year courses of all the design disciplines, and PR. This will be done to find out what all the design disciplines have in common; to find out what makes each design discipline unique, to see what overlaps there are that we can exploit, and also to see what may be falling through the cracks all together. The information that we obtain this way will be very useful in helping us decide what the B.Design degree should look like, and also what the new diplomas in design should look like.
- Help with the arrangements of an E-Learning Update in Gauteng. The one in Cape Town was highly successful, and we really should do it in Gauteng - even if it is just a nice way to hold a "Catts" re-union.
- Help with raising R1000 000 for Westerford High School. The school with the best results in Maths and Science in the country really deserves an astra-turf hockey pitch!
- Help with arranging various IT Update conferences in the Cape and in Gauteng. This will help update me on the goings-on in the field of IT, and it will help put CPUT on the map in the country.
- Finish supervising my Sudanese Doctoral students, and hand over the Sudanese Masters in ICT for Education over to my Sudanese Doctoral Graduates.
- Institute a group that studies Instructional Technology at Masters and Doctoral studies at CPUT.
- Be a loving husband and a devoted father. (9 overrides 1 - 8)