Well, the semester’s almost done at this year’s new job. It’s been pretty cruisey and the students have been mostly pretty good. When I say good I mean well behaved. I actually got a little extra work in the mornings. It’s getting me up early three days a week. That’s a good thing, I think. I can’t complain about it too much while it’s summer. And they pay well.
It was the school sports festival last week. It was good partly because it made it a light work-week for me but also because it was good to watch some of the departments going head to head. I don’t know who won overall but the Emergency Medical Technicians seemed pretty strong, as was Physical Therapy. I suppose it’s all the battering and pounding of chests they do. There seems to be a lot more ‘school spirit’ at this place compared to the last place I worked—and a lot less drinking. All up I’m still thanking my lucky stars for the myriad of little things that’ve improved between last year and this.
I was out at the airport on Friday to pick up the g/f from her bidness trip to china. She brought back a load of pickles. There was heaps of coppers and security dudes at the airport. Apparently there is some big do on in the city during the next couple of days.
I have to say the change from last year’s job to this one is a step up. It sounds crazy but I’m only working two days a week. Even I, with my advanced abilities to handle slackerdom, am unsure if this is the right time of life for me to be ascending to the two-day working week/5 day weekend. I mean, once you go there, it’s hard to go back. Admittedly, the two days are long days. I have morning classes and I have night classes so I’m stuck down there all day with large chunks of waiting around. The best parts are that the students are pretty easy to get along with. I am a little surprised that their level of English isn’t that much higher than the last place but their willingness to fall in line and stay there is much better, and that lowers the all-round stress levels. Also, the boy students don’t smoke in the toilets! This is unheard of in tertiary institutions in this country, as far as I know. And students in general are friendlier – they say hello in the halls even when they don’t know you.
I’m liking angry birds’ latest iteration, angry birds in space. It’s quite involved getting those orbital trajectories right.
I’ve been working like a dog for the last three weeks and it will continue for one more. This is partly why I’ve not been writing here much. It’s hard on my flat feet but also on my motivation to anything else that requires thinking.
I happened to be sitting outside for a half an hour last thursday evening around 6pm and realised how little I’ve appreciated the summer now it’s here. Winter is so long and monotonous and I’ve never felt a softening->adaptation to it. It reminds me of Grimm Bros. fairy tales. Sending your 8y.o.s out into the forest to collect firewood so the family can boil a few misshapen potatoes. That’s winter. But summer days like that one last thurs where the sun is dulled by storm-cloud that aren’t doing anything are nice. Even now that the rains have a-started and every piece of clothing feels damp and clingy I’m still not thinking ‘oh when will this end?’ like winter. Summer is so much shorter.
I guess it says a bit about the normal schedule, but during this summer break I’m actually working three times harder than normal. It’s killing me. My feet are killing me—I’m standing up standing still too much of the day and I’m not getting the other normal stuff done. I’m actually learning too though so it’s not all bad. For the first time I’m having teach real ridgey didge grammar. Always managed to somehow skirt around it before but this time I’m using these books (the black one on the bottom) and I have to say it’s really good.
I also just wanted to say that I’m not usually thinking that entrepreneurial cappos are really cool but that guy Elon Musk is into some pretty interesting stuff. First there was paypal—love it or hate it, and most people hate it, and afterall it is now owned by ebay, but it’s still the only system of international electronic payment I know of. Then there’s SpaceX, which is undeniably cool. Plus there’s Tesla Motors, which certainly is like pushing shit up hill going against the automotive/petro gangsters, but nevertheless it’s there.
There’s been a few things lately that’ve been reminding me that life could be a lot worse. Sometimes I need that kind of divine intervention to jiggle my senses for it to register. This semester I have one of the best classes I’ve ever had. They’re not mind-blowingly fluent or with IQs of 200 but they’re really cohesive and that can make all the difference in the world. All social science students, with one of them who is a year older and had done one year of PE before transferring majors (see under half of leapfrog). She’s a natural leader and so, leader of the class. The rest of them are of the mind that this is okay so there’s never grumbling.
Each class I give a codeword name so as to remember them by which is vaguely related to what they’re studying, such as Komputor, lil pharm, kinda. This class started as Socio , but after a couple of weeks and a couple of pen-strokes it became Soccer—because they’re just like a soccer team. I am the coach. I lay out the basic game plan. I talk to the players individually when they need it. Occasionally there are orgaisational details that the captain will deal with. Everything always works like clockwork.
Last week was spring festival. The Social Science faculty was involved in these competitions and most of my class was together as one team. They didn’t win but it was good to watch. This multi-legged race reminded me of a scene from my favourite woody allen movie take the money and run.
If you’re unfamiliar with the movie then watch the scene here and as an added bonus learn some spanish! I love that music that goes with it, it makes me think of elephants.