Friday, March 25, 2011


Not withstanding the warm tropical cyclone that is bearing down on Northland New Zealand today and the humidity of the last few days, the water temperature has dropped, Autumn is here and the swimming season is over at my school.
The annual closure ceremony for our pool was held today. This consists of emptying a large amount of water out of the pool.

So........ this is how you half empty a large school swimming pool Kiwi Style:

1 - Fill your swimming pool with an appropriate number of enthusiastic children.

2 - Choose an enthusiastic teacher to coordinate the fun.

3 - Allow the audience to get close to the action - Wet shoes are not a problem here at my school as most children come to school in bare feet.

4 - Direct the children to move in unison backwards and forwards in the pool.

5 - Observe the second law of thermodynamics in action, which states that "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" ----- translated into this context this means "If you get heaps of Kiwi kids in a pool and run them backwards and forwards, tons of water will slurp over the ends of the pool and everyone will whoop and scream with delight."

6 - Close observation is being made here of secondary effects such as the grass at the end of the pool getting a much needed watering and the capture of the child in the pool by the big slurpy wave. Much to the huge disappointment of everyone attending the child wasn't washed out of the pool.

If you look closely you can see that the water level in the pool has been substantially reduced.
This is a very good thing to happen to pools at the end of the swimming season. Don't ask me why this is so because I don't know. Nobody I asked knew. Nobody wanted to know. It seemed to be one of those things that "just is" - It 'just is" good for the pool to be emptied at the end of the season.

Of course the reason for half emptying the pool at the end of the season is patently obvious - The pool gets half emptied at the end of the season because its simply such fantastically great, surging, slurping, wave cresting, whooping, hooting, wet, noisy fun to do so!

And having fun is good. Very, very good.


Dan Gurney said...

Looks like fun. A tsunami without an earthquake. Your schools have money for pools? Here we can't find money to paint the playground.

Alden Smith said...

Hi there Dan.

Yes,"A tsunami without an earthquake" although I guess the children in the pool are a sort of human tectonic plate!

There is a strong tradition of swimming pools in New Zealand schools. Both our islands are long and thin and no one is far from the coast, lakes or rivers. Combine this with our lovely summer climate and you have a great need to be able to swim for a population that spends a lot of time in and on the water.
In the early colonial days of New Zealand the biggest cause of death was accidental drowning. This happened mainly during river crossings.
The tradition of pools in NZ will continue I am sure until the day when they require replacing - and that will depend as you have found - on money.

Ben said...

This is great fun.
The effect would have been even greater if the teachers were included in the action.
It shows also what the impact of coordinated action can be

Alden Smith said...

Yes the coordinated action of many becomes the power of one!