Monday, 28 January 2013

The Age of Aquarius

January is drawing to a close, and work in the office is drying up. I'm casting around for a new project and have a little idea I've been kicking about for a while, so I might pitch that to my supervisor tomorrow. It involves filming and a multiplicity of languages, which are two of my favourite things. Fingers crossed I get permission and get the interest to make it happen.

Speaking of making things happen, my teaching colleague has outlined what she would like from a new and shiny "Language Hub" website. It looks like a three month job for someone who knows what they're doing and I don't know what I'm doing. I've not learnt HTML or CSS coding yet.

Yet.

The fact is, I like a challenge, and learning how to code will look fairly slick on my CV alongside a new website. Of course, to get the slick look she would like, I will have to squeeze money from the boss of bosses in a recession. It's going to be tricky, and I suspect I shall be stuck - without the money to make it shiny my colleague will be disappointed, but I can't imagine the funds being released at the moment. It's a puzzle.

I sat in in a couple of coaching sessions today, which were really interesting. The professors in question teach a lot, so their level of English is fairly high already, and I was pleased to be able to bring some new ideas to the table. The Economics professor in particular seemed puzzled that I could talk about elasticity, consumer surplus and the free market but I quite like Economics. It helped a little that I'd spent a couple of hours on the phone to a friend refreshing my knowledge, but I quite like learning as much as I can about everything. He offered me the opportunity to sit in on a few of his classes and help with translations where needed, and I have to say I jumped at the opportunity - a bit more education in disparate fields is pretty much what I aim for in life. Petroleum Economics Management, come at me.

This evening's class was harder, because we're moving into areas where my student struggles a little more. She knows the rules, and when she talks slowly she's brilliant, but she has difficulty getting the ideas out and the frustration clearly bugs her. We let up after forty-five minutes and moved on to conversation, and for next week I've asked her to write a small text. It feels very strange giving someone older than me homework, but it's what I have to do.

A frantic email got me worried but it was just a friend excited about a prospective future job, so with the wind snatching at my clothes I rang her back and we chatted as I strolled home. It still blows my mind, backwater redneck that I am, that I can talk to someone an hour in the past and hundreds of miles away as though they were right next to me. Mind-boggling.

I've finally sorted out a present for my sister, thank goodness, and now I am going to memorise a forty line monologue in French.

And some people say I'm boring.