We are feeling good. Very good. Today was a good day. It started last night.

It must have been about midnight when I picked up the Japanese book. I was restless, and feeling bad about having done so spectacularly badly when tested on Keigo (polite Japanese) in class that morning. There was one consolation though, we’d all done spectacularly badly. Apart from one classmate who used to learn in when in the bath with their (Japanese) partner. Why did I never think of that?

OK, New Action Plan. It doesn’t matter that my previous action plans have been short-lived, they were NOT failures. That is how it goes. We keep the habit for a while, we get lazy and stop, we start again. Better than never starting at all. I think accepting that this IS the pattern and not constantly feeling crap at having lost all forms of self-discipline temporarily is a healthy thing.

As of this week, I have a regular date at 6.30am the other side of town, so that means a good jog to get me going every morning. Porridge is, as of today, being soaked with raisins the night before, so as to cut down kitchen trips at breakfast time. Thanks Jo and Catherine for the tip.


Oh, and by the way, CONGRATULATIONS Catherine! And how did you manage to keep your engagement a secret from us at the weekend?!!! That’s all three of us engaged now – who’s next to actually marry though…? I’m so happy to hear that news.

It’s funny, I’d begun to think that marriage had gone out of fashion. There was definitely that kind of attitude towards it amongst my friends (and I) at some point in the past, a kind of, ‘we don’t need to do that these days’ type thing. But you know, I’m delighted to say that almost all of my closest friends are either engaged or married now, and happily so. For me, marriage means commitment, a deep love and trust, security, …and a father on the birth certificate.

I was first in the queue (of one) when the box office opened for Bjork this morning. “Sorry mate, they only sell them online!” You should have seen me run home from the City Hall, desperate to get a seat near the front, as close to my Inspiration as possible. Log on, select a ticket. Five rows back, not bad. AND, as has since been revealed, only a few seats away from my lovely classmate who tipped me off.

After a couple of hours of prep for Thursday’s (filmed) Japanese presentation (using Keynote is all very well, but the transitions are just so damn exciting I’ve not even started writing a script!), it was off to CILASS where I presented the student perspective on using technology in the classroom to a group of university librarians. It was a bit intimidating initially, but the Keynote transitions soon won them over… (tee hee).

“It’s wonderful that we actually have a real student here!” said one of them afterwards. “Often we just hear about some new policy, or spend an hour listening to a talk about some abstract theory – to actually see this stuff in use makes such a change!”

That was very rewarding – and not just in terms of the free lunch. We’re planning two more dates now, sessions which will be open to all university lecturers who wish to learn more about how to use modern technology to help further enliven the learning process.

After that I met up with Emmy to discuss the next session …although we soon got sidetracked by my mac, she being a Mac User too. There we were, in the middle of a serious discussion about Inquiry Based Learning when suddenly my Lotsawater screensaver kicked in. “OOoooohhh! I love that one!” She then saw me launch mail by just pressing ctrl+m, “How did you do that?!!” (Quiksilver triggers, no MacUser should be without them!). Rathole heaven.

The tech training I’ve had through CILASS came in handy in our next lecture – someone had spilt a drink over the keyboard in the lecture theatre rendering the computer useless. Our powerpointless tutor looked somewhat distressed, but being superficially ‘guaranteed’ by the CILASS training I was happy to pull all the plugs out and fail to get it working. …before reaching for the MacBook and plugging it straight into the projector. Hurrah for the Macbook! It doesn’t even require Fn+F7!

Following that it was, er, oh yes, Newspaper class with Rick. I like Rick. He is, like (almost) all SEAS staff, only too approachable, friendly, and can be easily distracted into talking about what life in Japan used to be like and is my dissertation supervisor.

I love those classes. Partly because the texts are impossibly difficult and therefore immensely rewarding when we finally figure out the meanings. My individual kanji recognition is quite poor, so I tend to go from reading whole sentences or paragraphs and guessing what they mean. It works, sometimes.

I also love those classes because I get to hang out with my coursemates. I was thinking tonight, as I transferred my alfalfa and radish sprouts from the jam-jar on the windowsill to the tuppa in the fridge, I’m going to miss my coursemates. They’re all so nice, without exception. In fact, everyone in the world is really, and those who aren’t nice, well, it isn’t their fault and there’s no point in feeling any negativity towards them – it will only hurt me if I do.

Japan soc meeting tonight was absolutely delightful, with the new plan seemingly (which I think I mentioned before) going according to, er, plan. It involved a brief run through a pre-determined agenda, and then splitting off into groups. Revolutionary or What?!! It gives everyone a chance to input their ideas meaning that much more gets achieved. More importantly, it’s fun! And more importantly than that it makes me feel able to let go. Look Anonymous! I’m letting go of Japan Soc! Aren’t you proud of me!! (tee hee)

In order to stop myself feeling overwhelmed by appointments (luckily just one meeting tomorrow to discuss the amazing new yet-to-be-launched CILASS website, something else I’m very excited about) I’ve started to print out a weekly view of my (iCal) Calendar. Last night I added all my lectures to it, so I have an hourly breakdown of every day. It really helps me be more productive if I can SEE, “right, I have an hour till my next appointment. In that time I can get this and this and this done”.

So yes, the good times are here again.

woopety woo. woo woo. and woopety woo again.


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