Monday, 22 February 2010

Last drops


Life has been so very uneventful lately I wondered if I would ever manage to squeeze out another blog post. Here are the last drops of February.

After lobbying for some time to get bits of my flat re-decorated, I finally got the landlady to come and look at the place last Thursday. I was unable to be in, and so left her a note, detailing the bits I particularly wanted seeing to. The bedroom needed painting, I said, most especially the ceiling, which some previous tenant, a teenage Wiccan maybe, had adorned with naff little luminous stars that have been bugging me for four years. You couldn't remove the damn things without bringing the paint off with them. I told her the window frames needed repainting, or better still replacing, especially in the bathroom, as when you looked behind the blind you found the wood populated with thriving communities of black, white and purple fuzzy moulds that resisted all chemical preparations concocted to remove them. I received word that workmen would come today and see to these things. They have, after a fashion. The bedroom ceiling has been repainted, but not the walls. The bathroom window frames have been repainted, but no others. I have been taken so literally at my word that I despair of communicating in writing with the landlord and his lady wife again; I will have to do so in person. I mean, suppose someone goes on Ten Years Younger and Jan Stanek agrees to do her a boob job. She remarks in passing that her left knocker seems saggier than her right, and when she wakes up, she finds the left one is now perky but he's ignored the other and it still looks like a wind-sock. She'd be pissed off, and so am I.

Two weeks ago I blogged about a student whom I named Hassan. Last week the indisposition of one teacher necessitated re-jigging a few classes, and I was asked in a text message to combine groups A and B, instead of teaching just group B, while another teacher who shares my first name was asked to teach group C instead of group A. This is starting to sound like one of those Mensa questions, so to cut a non-story short, I was resigned to my Monday with Hassan, but saw the way out of it. I accidentally-on-purpose transposed my initials on the message (SB) and those of the other teacher (SH) and thus he got the pleasure of Hassan instead. This minor triumph over circumstances is the best thing that has happened to me this month, so you can see what sort of a month it has been.

Hassan was OK today. By this I mean that in four hours we had together, he bulldozed his way through discussions like a roaring boy of fifteen, despite being more than twice that age. He pissed off the other students more than he did me, though, so that's OK. I suspect Algerian discussions are like this most of the time, with everyone shouting simultaneously and using repetition in place of reason to hammer home a point. Nobody lets anyone else insert a word edgewise. I wonder other lecturers didn't start banging on the walls, complaining we were disturbing their students' sleep. I should have intervened more than I did, I suppose, and I suspect the other teachers would have called the proceedings to order far more often than I did, but it was so much like being back in Greece that for the most part I hardly noticed nobody was listening to anyone else.            

The train home was on time, and mysteriously, almost empty. Anyway, that's Monday over... FUCK! I never used to think like that!

5 comments:

Rob said...

In Arab countries, do you know if the universities have departments of things like sociology and anthropology? That is, subjects which it is difficult to engage in without coming to the conclusion that there are various versions of the truth going on? Or do they just study engineering and the Koran?
Sorry - I don't mean this to sound anti-Arab - it's a serious question: is it possible to study inherently relativistic subjects if you are a religious enthusiast? Or would you have a special version of the subject which proved instead that you were right and that your culture was marvellous like the study of history in secondary schools seems to do in most countries)?

Rob

vilges suola said...

There's a good question - will have to ask somebody, but I don't know whom. What does strike me forcefully is how teacher dependent graduate sts can be, very reliant on 'authority' and the 'correct answer'. Certainly most of my sts do engineering, management or computing. I have never met an historian, literary critic or oenologist.

The Diva on a Diet said...

While I do feel your pain with respect to the dimwittedness of landlords ... this, my dear ...

"I mean, suppose someone goes on Ten Years Younger and Jan Stanek agrees to do her a boob job. She remarks in passing that her left knocker seems saggier than her right, and when she wakes up, she finds the left one is now perky but he's ignored the other and it still looks like a wind-sock."

... is sheer brilliance. I'm still laughing.

I think the whole of the universe is feeling much the same way about this week and this month in particular. Let's hope the turn of the page next week will bring some sort of joy!

Happy weekend!

vilges suola said...

Thanks, Diva, glad you liked it. Yes, this is the low spot of the year, I know, grey wet and dank over here. Is it the same over there?

The Diva on a Diet said...

Well, presently, its been snowing for 24 hours. I am not amused!

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