Weekends have been a little weird for me since I arrived, because I agreed early on to tutor in the mornings on both Saturday and Sunday. You’ve already met my student and we’ve already spoken of him, little more needs to be said of him for today save that his animated Vesuvius is off-the-charts cool and rather blows my experiments with baking soda and vinegar out of the water.
But aside from that journey – and I have to say, for all the protests of my body and despite the local gravitational field that exists over my bed and is four times stronger than gravity has any right to be, it is a fantastic stroll – I have been preoccupied with very little of anything at the moment. I’m sinking money into Amazon’s coffers at a quite incredible rate, and seem to be on a bit of a reluctant hero/magic theme, so well done to Amazon for spotting that and offering me more of my drug of choice. Honestly, if Amazon ever get into drugs, we’re all doomed.
“We saw you liked coffee, and thought you might like to try cocaine.”
“Why thank you Amazon. Say, this cocaine is brilligjsdkjhghhghhhhhh”
Today’s lesson dealt with prepositions and conjunctions, singularly unexciting particles of English but necessary. His teacher – or rather, whoever is setting his course as it is an online school – is an unbearable idiot, as evidenced by glaring errors of typography which I feel an English teacher ought to be able to spot. I’m terribly negative about it, but since it’s an online school it’s not as though the mistake has only been spotted once the textbook has been printed. It’s a webpage. Thirty seconds to fix. Surely.
Regardless. The boring work having been completed, we started in on the rather more exciting topic he has chosen for his descriptive essay. We talked about feelings and descriptions, how to communicate them, the difference between choppy sentences:
I raised my head. Something zipped past my left ear. I screamed. Dropped. My ear was on fire. Someone was shouting something. A face, close to mine.
And long sentences
I woke suddenly, the noonday sun slipping through the curtains and warming my face. The bed seemed unfamiliar but comfortable, and I lie back, idly wondering what the sound of running water meant for my immediate future. As though its occupant had heard my thought, the water stopped, and a door ahead of me opened wide, billowing with steam, the mouth to a fragrant and very pleasantly occupied Hell…
And so on. We practised them, and then I let him loose on his writing while I filled in an evaluation form. It bears striking resemblance to mine at his age, and although I know I keep saying it, it is mildly unsettling.
A genteel stroll back – though I almost lost my balance coming down a hill I’d negotiated with ease two hours earlier – meant a total of 6 miles strolled in a day. I could get used to having that sort of time to meander and amble, and listen to music. I should love to have The Lord of the Rings extended soundtrack, but it is unfortunately around £40 a go and unavailable on MP3 download, which to my mind is a frustratingly obvious way of extorting money from poor suckers like me. It’ll probably work, too; I’ve had Lord of the Rings on at work purely for the soundtrack because it’s fantastic. The extended issue DVDs might also go down a treat, just as soon as I get a huge television and some dolby surround sound. Because I'm kind of geeky like that.
This is next year, when I move back of course. I may also get a cat. A lot of my students have cats, and I find I rather like them. They affect disdain and yet are always there when one looks round. I still think their bottoms look like tea-towel holders, but such is life. One cannot have everything. I shall simply have to resist the desire to fill my cat with tea-towel.
Thus if you happen to be in Aberdeen and reading this, do let me know if you know of any nice little one-bed flats going in the area. I know I'm thinking about 9 months in advance, but I'd rather have it done. Let me know.