Friday, November 2, 2007

Why I'm a technophobe.



Oh, I'm loving writing this novel. Here's a picture of me doing it.

I woke up at 4.30 with characters nibbling at me. (Well, I guess I should look on the bright side and be grateful that something was having a go at me!!) I lay there and drifted till 5.20, then gave up, got up and switched on the computer. Maybe I'm still a little sleepy, but a 5.20 - 6.10 ability to get onto the internet and onto Word seems a tad slow to me. Lord knows I'm no computer expert, but methinks the kids have downloaded something that has constipated my computer. By 5.40 I was swearing black and blue that I was going to dash down to the computer shop and get my own laptop. I'd hide it from the kids and dust it for their fingerprints every other day and laugh maniacally as I watch them cry in front of this bloody slow old crock of a thing. Then I thought maybe I could kill the kids, get a computer guy to give the computer an enema and then I'd save myself a couple of grand. (I'm on a frugality kick, remember?)

But now I'm happy. The kids can live. I can't remember what I was going to write, but that's ok. It was going to be brilliant and those words were going to live forever in the annals of Great Literature Of The World And Indeed The Universe, but never mind. I'm sure it'll come back to me. Meanwhile Scott has scooted ahead of me in his word count. I cannot let this continue....

My year 12 kids have their English and ESL exams today. Whoopee!!!!! Yesterday my office was wall to wall kids brandishing practise essays under my nose and having mini meltdowns of anxiety. They all left convinced of their genius. Without fail, the day before the exam, the words each kid hears is something along the lines of...

"Wow, these essays are some of the best things you've done this year. I'm so happy that you've peaked at just the right time. If you're writing like this now, you're going to cope with the exam just fine. Maybe there's a couple of things you could look at...(insert minor instruction here such as :add a little quote after your topic sentence to back up your opinion; use more emotive words in your persuasive piece; spell Hamlet's name correctly... that sort of thing), but they're easy to keep in mind. Go home, get a good night's sleep and I'll see you tomorrow." Big smile, couple of pats on the shoulder.

Translation from teacher talk is:

"Wow, I'm surprised to see you here. You haven't worked all year. It's too late to suddenly decide to learn to write an essay the day before the exam, but at least it shows you've hit a peak. I'm not saying how big this peak is, but you've written an essay of your volition, so good on you. The essay shows that you've at least read the text, or possibly just watched the movie, so you have a sporting chance in the exam of at least writing something that won't make a fool of both of us. Here's an instruction or two so that you feel the effort of climbing into school uniform and walking to school during swot vac wasn't a waste of time, but frankly at this stage of the year, you've got to go with what you already know. Go with God, my son/daughter." (put sign of the cross over them even though I'm not Catholic.)

All of my good kids have been in to see me, but they tend to be organised and come in before the hysterical brigade arrive. The best quote from a practise essay this year surprisingly comes from one of my best kids....

"When the ghost of Hamlet's father exposed himself to Hamlet...."

Phew! No wonder Hamlet was so traumatised for the rest of the play.

9 comments:

Scott said...

I see that computer virus is working as planned...mmmwhahahah!

lightening said...

Bugger...will I never learn to NOT eat weetbix while I'm reading your blog? (or Scott's comments on your blog)

Double bugger...I missed getting an inspiring pep-talk from my teachers when I did year 12. Didn't even occur to me to visit the school, submit practise essays etc etc..... We did them *before* swot vac but not during. Must have taken the "bugger off and don't come back" comments a little too literally....

Marita said...

I love the teacher talk :grin:

My hubby is a mad Hamlet fan and that quote really hit the funny button. I shall remember it when I'm sitting through yet another student theatre production of Hamlet.

Stuntmother said...

I love the idea of you waving a lit torch at NaNoWriMo. Excellent. Carry on! It's almost morning where you are! I'm going to bed! 500 words down only 18 million more to go!

Frogdancer said...

Marita, I hope you only remember it in your head, and don't get your husband to enact it on the stage. A divvy-van full of police (yes, that's a collective noun) would make an appearance on stage that was unforseen by Shakespeare. Still, it'd be a student production that no-one would forget in a hurry!

Stuntmother: You're right. It feels like 18 million words to go in my head. Still, once an idea comes along, it'll be easy. (Isn't that how it goes?)

Lightening...
try cornflakes. They aren't as concrete-y to peel off the keyboard.

Scott. ... idiot. But one quick question... are you sure you know where BOTH your cats are?????

Kin said...

Raah! Love it, as always. English teachers have such a way with words.

As for the quote of the yeah, I can totally see that on a poster. Or even a t-shirt. Is it copyright?

Kim said...

I found you via comments at Yarnstorm.
I also have four boys (9,7,2 and 4 months).
It seems like a strong connection which is stupid because it's like meeting an American and saying oh, my uncle lives in America, do you know him.
But there you have it.

Frogdancer said...

Kim, I know exactly what you mean. I feel the same way. So that makes us normal. Or maybe we're both slightly odd. Oh well, who cares?

It's unusual enough nowadays to find a family of 4, let alone 4 boys. We're a rare and brave breed. Though as my sister-in-law once said, "The boys of today need women like us to bring them up." I'm taking that as a compliment.

Though I think you're braver than I am, to spread out your family over 9 years. I packed mine into 5 years, and got the really hard baby years over and done with. Once I finish here, I'll pop onto your blog and have a visit. (This novel will never get done at this rate!)

blueblue said...

Pats Frogdancer on the shoulder but thinks the pep talk might be too obvious. I've been wanting to do a NANOm...whatever for 4 years now. Except that November is the worst time of year professionally.So I thought I'd sign up for the bloggers version...er and haven't been back since.