Saturday, April 30, 2011

So I think the exam went okay...

...Just so you know.

The lecturer picked the easy paradigms... after I'd spent considerable time getting the difficult ones down pat.

And that impresses me how much?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

And so I've just done and marked my trial exam...

And got an answer wrong.

And I could live with that.

But there were four other questions I made silly errors. Identifying nouns as singular and then translating them with the English plural form (and vice versa); leaving out the odd article when it clearly has one in the Greek (and one that is necessary also in the English - which is not always the case); and in one spectacular example, leaving out the second part of the question entirely.

Then, of course my maths is atrocious and as I marked the paper I came back with 68%, before realising that the first 4 questions were 10 marks each, not 5. I am much happier now.

I will pass.

But the chance that I'll not be irritated by the silly errors I accumulate along the way?

(The worst thing is that you can't really DO much about silly errors. I finished the paper by working solidly with only 4 minutes to spare, so I don't have time to go back over everything. I'm just feeling sorry for some of the other students who are struggling. I had 4 minutes to spare. I'm hoping that everyone will manage to finish the paper.)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Little Known Fact About Me

No. It's not a meme. I came up with this idea all on my own.

You see, I have a desk allergy.

Last Thursday with the advent of my new computer I decided that I should clean my office. Good call. I've been sneezing heaps and a little dust reduction is a really good idea.

But I had forgotten that when I used to work in local government, finally getting my desk clean was inevitably the trigger for getting a really bad cold. As if under all the paper and dust there was a perfect breeding ground for nasty bugs that would rise up and get me as soon as they were released from the mess.

So last night as I was enduring a huge alllergy attack I remembered that a clean desk is not always a good thing for me.

However, what's the chance that it will be a problem again for a very long time?

Monday, April 25, 2011

So I would never have made it as a Wireless Operator

A very pertinent post for ANZAC day, I thought.

I'm dutifully studying my Greek.

I have an exam on Friday (not due til next week, but I don't trust Aussie Post to get it there in a short week) and also a tiny quiz to also submit the same day as it can be done online.

As I go through my exercises for this week, I begin to realise that I would have failed the course to become a Wireless Operator for the RAAF during the second world war.

What the?

Okay, some explanation for those who don't immediately follow where I'm going with this.

My Mum's Dad was, you probably have guessed (unless you're a family lurker and already know), a Wireless Operator during the second world war. He flew in the largely forgotten Halifax bombers from a tiny place in England for a couple of years.

He was lucky enough to get accepted as Aircrew, and because he wanted to be a navigator, the Airforce decided to send him to train as a Wireless Operator. (Ironically, on demobilisation they did aptitude testing to see what jobs he'd be good at back in the real world, and his scores were so good in one area that they supposed he must have been a navigator. No - that is something that he was interested in and had natural aptitude for - as if he'd get THAT job!!?!)

Anyway, to get back to the story, he had to learn Morse Code. In fact although there would be days when he would now struggle to remember my name, I bet you he could take a message in Morse Code just on reflex.

As he tells it, the trick in the examinations was to simply transcribe the letters as they came through. If you used your brain to make sense of it as it was coming, you'd suddenly find you weren't right and end up with the sort of mess that predictive text creates on mobile phones today, then you'd be lost and unable to catch up with the message. Then you failed the course and had to become an Air Gunner, taking a short sojourn in the kitchens because they didn't want everyone deliberately failing just to get through to the action more quickly and with less effort.

So, here I'm trying to do Greek to English translation exercises and I've just realised that where I am going wrong is when I take the first meaning I remember for a series of words and bung them together and then read the answer to see what it OUGHT to be and realise that my translation is not only seriously dodgy, but that if I took a little more time and didn't start presuming where the sentence is going before I am finished, I would probably do a whole heap better at it. And maybe it would approach sense in English.

And the chance that this post is not simple study avoidance?

Saturday, April 23, 2011


This post could be entitled "I need to stop thinking like a Microsoft User".

I was getting sick of my old laptop. It was getting slower and ssllloooooowweeerrr. It was not entirely stable. At 7 years old, I knew that it wasn't impossible that I would need a new computer in the near forseeable and had worked out my game plan for which way I wanted to go.

Sick of Windows and remembering back to my student days when I had a robust and eminently friendly Apple Mac, I decided that it would be the way to go. A bit more expensive, but what you pay in hardware costs you save in software. Mr Swan being particularly generous with his tax refund when I got around to lodging it this year brought replacing a computer into the possible immediately category, which was very nice indeed (and meant that I could get the next one up from the one I initially looked at).

It arrived Thursday morning, just in time for me to get everything operational over the Easter break.

I am constantly amazed at how easy it is to do things.

For one thing, the CD/DVD drive works. Novel concept, I know, but if you put a disk in, the computer will read it. I haven't yet tried to write to a CD, but I'm fairly confident there's a way to make that possible.

I don't need to wrestle with Office programmes anymore. Don't need publisher, because the word-processing and spreadsheet programmes allow you to format very intuitively and not have to wrestle with making the wretched thing do what you want. Unfortunately I keep looking for a hard way to do things (the Windows Way), only to find that it's much easier than that.


The only problem is that going from a 15inch laptop screen to the 21.5inch desktop screen is pretty mind-blowing. I almost need to sit half-way across the room. I've gone from having to scroll across webpages to being able to see two at once, side-by-side.

And the keyboard is ridiculously tiny. Based on a laptop keyboard, it is as ridiculously small compared to my old split keyboard and the screen is ridiculously large in comparison with previous.

And the chance that I'll ever find my new wireless keyboard and mouse if my desk gets messy again?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

100 yard dash

Well, it was more like 6 yards.

Or yard frontages.

Which are about 20 metres wide each.

So it was probably about 140 metre dash.

The Little Black Dog hasn't had regular walks for a while.

He's obviously missing them.

It turns out that I can actually run for about 140 metres without killing myself.

What sort of achievement is that?