Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Life Becomes More Earnest

The "getting to know you" phase of the English course is over. Now I actually have to read, study, and write. While learning the art of essay writing we are reading exemplars of the art form.

Our first read is George Orwell"s Shooting An Elephant. I've read one other Orwell essay derived from his experiences in British East India: A Hanging. Real cheerful this is.

And since I'm playing in the Keres Memorial this long weekend, I'll have to have my essay uploaded before I leave for work on Friday afternoon. Nothing like a little time pressure to stimulate action.

The first step was to re-read the on-line documents for this week. The next was to clear off my desk in the bedroom (away from the computer, my ipod and the tv). And, finally, to actually read the reading assignments for the first time. This evening I'll try to start taking notes on the first two chapters of the textbook. By Thursday I should have at least the first draft of my essay done.

And, in the meantime, I should try to participate in the online discussions that the teacher is stimulating and monitoring. Maybe I'd better start reading ahead. It will be too easy to fall behind in this course.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Spring Update

The iPod is being filled with the photos from our trip. I'll try to post some once the process is complete.

In the meantime, the English class has begun. The first week seems to be dedicated to "getting to know you"--meaning both the participants and the program (it's an on-line course). I'll clean up my desk upstairs and begin reading next week's assignment. The art of essay writing is there to be mastered.

And the weigh-scale at work is just as hostile as ever: I'm one kilo over my pre-cruise weight, which is ten kilos over the weight my doctor wants me at. So, now that I'm over the worst of the chest cold, exercises start today. Oh, and diet too.

Spring is the time of new beginnings.

Saturday, May 05, 2007


My apologies for not posting more during the trip. The connection on the ship was poor and the cost was high. So I gave up copying my emails. Maybe I'll do it over when time permits and I have the photos on the computer.

Both of us are mildly ill from the experience. I caught a chest cold around Santorini and still haven't recovered. The wife came down a week or so later, getting feverish in London. Not that it stopped her, mind you.

Now we're re-accommodating ourselves to the real world. I'm suffering from jet-lag something fierce. I'm falling asleep after dinner and waking up at 5 a.m. This isn't going to last long. I'm due back at work today and will be there until 10:30 pm.!

And Monday is the official start of my English course. Apparently it's focussed on essay writing. So I'm confident of doing reasonably well.

Talk to you later.