Friday, 18 January 2013

The return plan

Another week over. I've got a week to decide whether or not to re-apply to the British Council and find myself journeying off to some other corner of France to teach more English. I'm finding it very tricky to decide; I'm really too old as it is - at this rate I'll be graduating in 2015 with around £30 000 of debt, which is such a large number I might need to go and lie down for a bit.

If I wasn't so confident that this time abroad and the skills I'm learning will ensure me a decent job, I'd be a hell of a lot more nervous. I'm still on the old fees, back in the days when Scotland was cheaper than England and the education of an equal level. Now - I'm sure I don't need to tell anyone reading this - it's £9 000 a year, in bonnie Scotland or green and pleasant England. A three year degree, like the one my sister is doing, is going to land her with approximately the same amount of debt as me. Incredible. Utterly incredible.

In any case, I'm really struggling because, as I said, I am way too old to be thinking about spending another year abroad and putting off graduation, but on the other hand - looking at my finances for next year is a deeply unpleasant prospect. Flat prices are higher than ever, and the only downside to this year abroad is that my ex-flatmates now have new flatmates. Such is life; I can hardly expect them to turf out someone who's been a close friend for a year just for me. So I repeat my plea; if you know of anyone moving out then I implore you to get in contact.

I did some more work with Sketchup today, and at one point managed to accidentally turn my model inside out. Obviously the first reaction is fear and surprise, but after realising it could be undone with a simple command-z, I spent fifteen minutes trying to recreate the effect. My curiosity will one day be my downfall, but perhaps it illustrates my scientific bent. A comic by XKCD illustrates what I'm trying to say:

The mouseover text, which unfortunately you can't see here, says "How could you choose avoiding a little pain over understanding a magic lightning machine?" I wholeheartedly concur.

I've spent quite a happy little day messing with Excel and making graphs in the morning before clambering around my soon-to-be-moved office trying to find the electric sockets for the room plan I'm making. I found a tool that measures things and fear I may have gone slightly overboard; my latest draft is a mess of numbers that are only understandable if you zoom in to about 2 000%. 

I've got the weekend off this week, and it's come as a bit of a shock. My student is out in Abu Dhabi (I know, poor guy) so I have two days off, and I'm really not sure what to do with them. This is where I hope my readers will come in. Amy has suggested a tearoom just outside Paris, which I'm quite excited about, but what else can you suggest? I have a whole weekend, so if you can recommend a little corner of Paris that you've stumbled upon let me know - comment below or tweet me; @jonodrew.

A Friday tune, because I suspect there's snow billowing outside your window. Have a wee bedroom dance. You can't help it.