Friday, 7 June 2013

Something wicked this way comes

Going to see this in August. Words can't express. Also, there's a link to the title. Points if you know it.
The end of the week, when all my cheerful little students come to me to get practice tests for the exam in five days. I guarantee that flow of nervousness will only surge stronger as the date gets closer. As for me, I had the task of editing the video I shot yesterday. It's not all ships and wiggles, you know - I did some seriously hard graft today, not least trying to get iMovie to do what I want rather than what it thinks would look good.

Ken Burns.


In any case, I managed to bash through that in a couple of hours, to be faced with round three of the thesis. I was armed with my red pen, and together Diana and I absolutely savaged that thing. It's almost legible now, but I can't guarantee it'll stay that way. In the course of this edit I've learnt more than I ever though I'd need to about modeling, and not the fun kind. The kind where you crunch a thousand data points and come up with a 3-D model of the way the earth beneath our feet looked 3 million years ago which is pretty cool. She's promised me that she'll come back on Monday to let me read her results chapter. "Only fifty pages."

Oh good. Only fifty pages.

In the afternoon I drafted a condolences email for a colleague (yea, that's a weird thing, writing condolences having been given a précis of the deceased's life and personality) as her English is not yet good enough to do it herself, which I found challenging. It's the first time I've ever needed to write one, and novelty is to be cherished even if it is rather morbid.

I also gave a presentation of a translation I'd done to the security guys, all of whom spoke no English and were each built like a small tank. When one shifted in their seat, I could hear the seat protesting. Seats were not made for tanks, the metal seemed to groan. However, I seem to have just about pulled it off - there were questions, which I managed to answer to their satisfaction, and there was some ribbing on the member of their crew who'd been volunteered for the video. That done, and only sweating a small river down my spine (it was the heat, alright, I don't get nervous) I made my way back to the office. A few more students, a commiseration with a friend about the exam she and I took together (French, don't ask. A need to vomit, a blinding headache and a buzzing about the ears do not make for a well-examined exam paper) and then it was time for lessons with C and B. C is making strides, and I suspect she's being the kind of student I despised when I was a student and revising between lessons. Swot.

(I was not a good student, but I've improved some, and it seems I'm not a terrible teacher.)

With B I've started on modals, which have thrown him a little - he's gotten used to "I want + infinitive, I like + infinitive," etc. So as a result I can almost see him furiously trying not to say "I can to get some water?" Modal verbs. Because nothing passive-aggressively says "I hate you" like making your language an arse to learn.

And that concludes my day, aside from one small thing. Well, two small things. +Lizzie Fane, editor, founder and all-round supremo over at +Third Year Abroad has asked me to write something for her fantastic website and I am so excited for that. If you're have gone/are going to go on a year abroad, get yourself over to that site. It is literally a one-stop shop for all you need.

Secondly, by this time next week I suspect I'll have passed 30,000 views, which is quite frankly mind-boggling. So here's the deal. If you've been reading but never commented, here is your chance. If you comment on the blog post that pushes me past 30,000 I'll write something for you. Whatever you want; a cover letter for the job you want, a poem to entrap the heart of the person you've had your eye on forever, or a blog post detailing just what a fantastically awesome person you are.

Up to you, but you've got to be in it to win it. Have a great weekend.