Friday, 29 March 2013

Love Day

Today has absolutely flown by. I'm sure this happens to everyone, but I've just sat down at my laptop to start writing a blog and had to do a double take at the time. There's no way it can be 10.

Don't forget that clocks go forwards this weekend, meaning we get robbed of an hour of sleep. Or whatever else you might be doing on Saturday night; whatever your activity of choice, be aware that you'll be doing it for an hour less. Everyone who works in a bar is understandably staring daggers - because technically the clocks don't go forward until 4am, nobody in a bar gets to go home early. They do get to wake an hour earlier though, which means this weekend is my least favourite of the year.

In addition, it's Easter, and there is the usual mass of milk chocolate offerings stocking shelves left, right and centre. Milk. You ever had the bottom fall out of your world?

Milk makes the exact opposite happen to me.

There's also a resurgence in religion, but luckily this blog isn't where I talk about that. I will say props to the people who melted down their prized possessions to make a new statues, well done to the Pope with a fortune who claims to represent a carpenter's son and super-well-done to the bigots who claim God is love but marriage is only for certain people.

That's all about religion.

I started my day checking over my statistics work and talking it over with my supervisor. As I was leaving her supervisor wandered by and asked how I was doing, if I was enjoying myself, if I was attending all the French lessons. I stammered out that last night I was called away to something else, and his eyebrows came together in a frown.

He has impressive eyebrows. They're like caterpillars, and when he frowns they meld into one salt-and-pepper line across his forehead. Distracting but impressive caterpillar-brows.

You must got to lessons, he insisted. That's why you're here. That's why you have this opportunity.

Yup. Got told off for doing work for my colleagues instead of going to simple French lessons. This year abroad is the greatest thing ever.

Lunch was followed by an interesting meeting with a student who puts biblical quotes in his emails. He is one of the sweetest guys I've ever had the good fortune to meet, but he tells me he's struggling to get past the interview stage. I do not want to suggest it, but I strongly suspect that might be the reason. How does one gently tell a man with such great faith that he needs to tone it down in order to be more employable? Should we? Or should we encourage them to be themselves?

On the one hand being true to yourself is incredibly important, but on the other moral fibre has no nutritional value and can't be made into a roof.

Tricksy!

My evening finished with my students who are making leaps and bounds in progress; nervousness is still a limiting factor but they overcome it with greater ease each time. In addition, every lesson I teach I believe I become a better teacher for them, learning when to push and when to ease back a little. It's really, really exciting to watch them grow.

Soppiness does not become me, but you'll pardon it this once.

Today is good Friday (good Freya's day) in German Karfreitag (sorrowful Freya's day) and in French vendredi saint (holy Venus day.) Merely from looking at the words you'd think it was something to do with love, and to some people it rather is. Whether it is or it isn't, one major feature of today in the West is the Stations of the Cross. These always fascinated me growing up, but the carved images I saw were ancient even then. However, a parish priest who's on twitter (and doing it really well) has been posting modern images under the names of the stations. The whole series is well worth a look, so I collected them for you here.

That's all for today folks. Happy Easter. I hope you enjoy your milk chocolate.

Bitter? Me? No.