What is the plural of stadium?
I had this dilemma / argument many moons ago when talking about octopuses... as you do. I learned that octopus is a Greek word so doesn't take the 'i' ending, unlike 'cacti'.
However, cactus is a Latin word derived from Greek so... I'll stop now before my brain explodes!
Therefore, I believe the plural of stadium is 'stadiums' because the word is Greek. If it was Latin, then the plural would be 'stadia'. Or stadii?
I've learned far more about stadiums in the past couple of months than I ever needed to know. I've even been to visit the one here in Berlin. This is not normal for me. So what's been going on?
Rhiannon is in her final few weeks of primary school. By age, she should have another year to go, but she was placed up a year in her new school so is finishing primary school at the begining of July.
This is a Big Event for the students and is the culmination of nearly two months of very hard work. And the subject was sports events, and Olympics, and all sorts of other subjects within the heading.
I have to admit to being more than a little puzzled about the whole system, but as far as I can tell, the children had a big brainstorming session back in May and discussed all potential topics for study. Then, as individuals, they chose a handful of subjects that interested them. At some point, these subjects were whittled down and disseminated amongst the three classes in her grade.
The upshot of all this was Rhiannon working on Olympic Stadiums and the architecture thereof. She was placed in a group with three other girls and left to get on with it. Suddenly having to do hours and hours of research and work at home was somewhat of a shock.
About a month ago I was volunteered to take the group on a fact finding trip to the Berlin Olympic Stadium. I found out about my volunteer status two days before the trip!
Unfortunately, the day we went was when the efficient German road workmen decided to work on both sides of the main road at the same time. We were stuck in traffic for ages.
This gave me the chance to listen in to the discussions of the group: they were very keen and impressively intent on their respective projects. One was studying the ancient Olympics, and another was working on the politics of the Olympic games. I can't recall the other topic.
Finally, we reached the stadium and yet more time was wasted organising payments and getting hold of audio tour handsets. I felt anxious at my role in this excursion; somehow I had to keep four girls together while allowing them to explore their own interests, which were diverse, to say the least. My anxieties were realised very quickly as one was very intense and had to listen and read every single word she found and wouldn't move until she was done. Another couple wandered off to look at something else, while the fourth needed to take photos of absolutely everything.
After a bit of a false start, we made it through the first, extremely long, stop on the audio tour, only to find - after a very long walk in the freezing cold - that the next stop was closed for maintenance. Cue some quite dramatic angst from the girls who couldn't work out how to continue.
We'd been there an hour already and were fairly short of time thanks to the traffic jame and having to return to school by lunchtime. So I took charge and ushered them back to the start and inside the main stadium. I was very cold and very bored. Actually, everyone wsa cold and the bitter wind whistling through the stands didn't help.
My trained eye quickly spotted a restaurant so suggested a stop for hot chocolate and a chance to look at their copious notes in the warm. They could also listen to the rest of the audio tour and each could pick out information relevant to their different subjects.
This went down well, sort of. The intense one was very disturbed by the change of plan but I had to overrule her. We just didn't have time to explore the entire, massive area.
I took a couple of photos and, after we'd revived with hot drinks, I drove them back to school. Each one politely and genuinely thanked me for taking them, which was lovely and made it worthwhile. It was just a shame it couldn't have been longer and warmer.
The past two months has been a tough and rather stressful time for many reasons - think of GCSE studying but with a ten year old... But she did it and I'm very proud of her. Tension has been building for a week now but it all came together yesterday.
During the day they had their stands out and presented their findings to the whole school and parents visited in the evening. All the students had put an amazing amount of time and effort into their projects.
Although I didn't realise at the time, independent assessors were circulating and interviewing the students too. As yet, I don't know the outcome of the assessments so we've all got our fingers very tightly crossed for the results.
And I can safely say that we are ALL very glad it's all over!