Friday, 24 May 2013

Countdowns are beginning

Things are constantly in motion. You are in motion at the moment, spinning on a planet that's spinning around a star that spinning in a galaxy and that's the kind of thing that make a person nervous.

This might go some way to explaining why I'm feeling a little stretched out at the moment, like I know the finish line is coming up but I can't see it yet. I don't think it's helping that the people around me are making ready to leave. My whole world currently feels like half past four on a Friday afternoon back in school, when you could feel the tension in the room. The clock would actually start to melt a little from the intensity of the gazes of the students. The energy in the room would be palpable, nervous energy wound tight and expressing itself in little scraping noises as students started preemptively pushing their chairs back.

I miss school, actually, which was why it was weird to see tweets from the school that took me in for my Sixth Form studies. The teachers haven't changed. The buildings are the same, even the ones that went up in 1965 "temporarily". They're still there. I rather suspect that if I'm not careful, my career will be like those buildings - falling into something "temporarily" and then staying there for fifty years before collapsing on someone and being condemned and retired.

That metaphor got away from me a little.

I spoke to my French tutor back in Aberdeen today, just to ask when we'll get marks back for our essays. The response I got was a sort of sighing acceptance that being in chilled out France had not rubbed off on me too much, and that they'd be marked when they were marked. Fair enough. Facebook updates and tweets from people at uni, the possibility of working with incredible people at the Gaudie, in Centre Stage, in AUSA - all of these things are driving me crazy with excitement but once again it's the finishing line I can't quite see. I'm getting into Limbo, neither Here nor There, but I'll be out soon enough.

I've booked - I say booked, I mean tried to book - tickets for +Derren Brown in August, but the wicked website isn't taking my money. I'd normally be pleased, but I like Derren. I went to his Svengali tour, and that freaked the bejeesus out of me before I even got there, because he engaged with me on Twitter. And I'm kind of a fangirl for this guy. I know, you're surprised, but the man can convince people to take payment in paper. Not paper money, actual paper. Check it out below.

Absolutely worth a watch.

In addition I've got some storyboards done - stickmen ahoy - and doodled some experimental dialogue. I'm really rather liking this malarkey, and I think I'm going to bash together a video about memory, taken from the book of the illusionist above. We'll see. It'll keep my mind off the finishing line for a while, in any case.

The students have all been warned about the test on Tuesday, which prompted some of them to come in and ask in French if they could have some practise material to take on a coach to Amsterdam where they're definitely going to study it. I said sure; it's only photocopied material and to be quite honest at this point getting totally stoned and trying to absorb the knowledge by eating the paper is about the only hope these kids have got.

I found out how to solve cryptic crossword clues, and while I am still as far from being able to solve them as Pluto is from being recognised as a planet, it feels good to know there's a system. I also learned that the Independent's quick crossword is a lot easier than the Guardian's. It was a bit of a slow day.

In recognition of this fact, the Internet threw all the distractions it could at me, including three charming internships and a job, all of which I want, all of which I absolutely must not take. To see why not, please see above for the metaphor.

I also learned - and this will be important for literally none of you, and yet I tell you anyway because I met the man and he's awesome - that +Stephen Waddington got elected President of the CIPR. Congratulations to that man. Johnny Walker black label on the rocks for everyone.

Finally, more teaching. Pushed C into the preterite (pronunciation of which is, for some reason, utterly beyond me) and she's swimming like a trooper, though every time I correct her because the verb she's using doesn't just take -ed but instead changes either:

  • vowel 
  • spelling
  • pronunciation (read/read)
  • some combination of the above
she looks so disapproving I cannot help but laugh. She scowls a bit more at that. B, on the other hand, has made huge leaps with his written work, which at the beginning was incredibly ambitious and utterly awful, and is now ambitious in line with his ability and has only small errors. And that makes me quite unnaturally happy.

Teaching. Might be something I'm actually good at.

Alright folks. Winding up here as I'm back to obscenely verbose blogs. Have a good weekend; I'm going to see a French translation of The Importance of being Earnest, because it's one of my favourite plays. Very excited. If it's brilliant I'll be dragging students back with me to see it and of course I'll be writing about it here.

Oh - and it looks like the slow route of invasion has beaten the quick route. The front page of Libération on Tuesday:

Apparently they're taking lessons from Cole Porter. You get points if you're on the Internet
and know who Cole Porter is. And aren't Sheila, because that's an unfair advantage.