Thursday, 14 March 2013

Things are in motion

A mysterious title, to be sure. Things are moving; that is to say that things are in motion.

My boss called my mobile this morning, always a bizarre thing to happen. She invited me to come down and see my old office, my old mediatheque, in its new form. It looks incredible; a huge, open space with a lick of baby-blue. As I watched desks and computers came out of storage and the room started to look like the plan stuck to several of the walls.

My plan. You'll remember I constructed a technical drawing of the room as it would be. Once done I didn't think any more of it; it was just an exercise - a guide, really, for someone to do a real job.

Nope. People were actually working to my plan. People were congratulating me on my plan. Being in education for as long as I have, I'm unused to this. I have never had an essay back without at least one criticism. People weren't criticising. I was so freaked out that after ten minutes I had to leave.

In any case, once that job's complete, they will start work on my new office. I'm beyond excited, especially as my map came today. It's huge, and it's exactly what I wanted, and it's going up in my temporary office tomorrow. I was going to put it up in my room, but then nobody enjoys it except me. And that's a waste.

Aside from some vague supervising this morning - I hate supervising something I can't get involved in, it makes me feel ten times worse than useless - I finally closed the book on the statistics project. It was a labour of love, no doubt, and means I can give numerous little facts about my school's rate of graduate employment (79% after 2 months, 94% after 6), average salary one year after graduation (45 000€) and ratio of men to women (3:1).

That, by the way, is about the same ratio as men to women in the UK parliament.

Having completed my statistics, I cast about for something to do. Nothing. Nothing at all.

So I wrote up the statistics and learnt how to use array formulae in Excel because nerds rule the world now. At one point I got an unexpected answer from an extremely long expression. This is not uncommon, but at that point I usually cadge together a new expression from the ones I know and make a messy but effective job of it. This time I reread my instructions and nosed out the problem.

It was a translation error, by the way. French Excel likes certain syntaxes which English Excel despises, and vice versa. Even in a program based around numbers, which are universal, there had to be differences.

At half past four I polished off and submitted my French homework and then strolled along to the class. The class was cancelled. Joy, I thought to myself. I've spoken French all day. I could go home. I could decide what I'm going to do about Google Reader closing down (I'm using feedly now and, although it's nowhere near as good, their Android app is gorgeous). I could cook an actual meal, having lived off bread and soup every evening for some time now. Working hard is a joy, but I'm starting to miss my chilli. A good chilli takes an hour. A great chilli takes four. I don't have that kind of time.

Except today I did. I was free at five. I could go straight home and have a fantastic chilli ready by half past eight, if I compromised just a little and cut it short by an hour. All I had to do was drop off the completed statistics package and hurry home.

My supervisor is a very interesting person, and every other minute I meet her I am in awe of her patience with my French and the depth of her knowledge. Every other opportunity I have, I learn things from her.

I just wish that today she had been just a little less interesting, because then I could have got home before half past six.

So it's savage mushroom soup for me this evening.

We get the word savage from the French sauvage, which just means wild. But savage mushrooms are just a more pleasing thought, as long as they're kept behind plate glass.

Oh, and it's Steak and Blowjob Day. I found out via my brother's girlfriend's twitter feed.

I don't even know where to start with how horrifying that is, so I won't.

See you tomorrow.