This is one monster of a catchup post (not to be confused with ketchup), which rolls five days together into one. I imagine it’s a lesser evil to come up with one big post than five small ones within one day. It might not always seem so, but I do keep my readers’ mental health constantly in mind. On this note, be warned that there’s a literal as well as figurative twist at the end of this post, which you might find all kinds of disturbing.
No wonder that everyone hates me. I’m such a smartass. I hate myself too, but the fact that I’m me makes it somewhat complicated. Ultimately, I have a love and hate relationship with myself. I make zero efforts to fit in, so the least I can do is to get along with myself. Being a misfit smartass has its perk in that I’m inadvertently hilarious. I’m amusing even while I’m annoying.
For example, Monday was the first day of my requalification IT course. Since I am as I am, I arrived to class dressed smart casual, with the course content pre-studied and eager to do some serious work. Everyone else, that is normal people who fit it, arrived in hobo casual clothes, with zero previous knowledge and with the attitude of prisoners in a labour camp. The course is in fact quite expensive to attend and completely voluntary.
It soon turned out that the lecturer was a classic lecturer who knows nothing, so he teaches it. Despite this, he has my deepest respect for not knowing a word of English, yet remembering the basics of several coding languages. How on earth does he remember that <b> is bold or <br> is break when he has no idea how bold and break translate into his mother tongue?
Since the start, I’ve been struggling hard not to correct the lecturer’s frightening attempted-English pronunciation and his HTML. During the lunch break, I approached him privately with a list of words he mispronounces most and pronunciation clues. It was taking too much effort for me not to laugh an involuntary laugh anytime he said tzarset while meaning charset.
Based on my handout, the lecturer corrected his pronunciation in the afternoon session, which delighted me immensely. I was trying to be respectful and not to ask too many questions, but I was mostly failing because I was bored. It’s not a good idea to come to a beginner’s HTML5 class after you’ve learned the basics at home. It’s also not a good idea to expect that a requalification course would be university level rather than elementary school level. I’m such a smartass.
My cat and I are both used to working from home (that is, the cat sleeps from home, I work from home). Surprisingly, the cat takes my daylong absence harder than I do. I sure don’t love to get up at 5am and get back home by 7pm, but I’m nowhere near as hysterical about it as the cat.
On Tuesday, the second day of my IT course, the cat cleverly deducted that my getting up at a time when I normally go to sleep meant that I’d be out the whole day again. She kept on meowing plaintively and wouldn’t let me walk around because she was always attached to my legs.
During day, as I was bored while the rest of the class was learning HTML, I was catsick. It’s the same as homesick, except you don’t miss your home but your cat. When I returned home, the cat was sitting at the door and has neither eaten nor used her litterbox when I was away. Poor thing. It’s good to know though that my love for my cat is requited.
On day three of my course, we proceeded to levitate objects on the page using CSS attributes and I continued being bored. I’m not strong in CSS but I’m not a beginner either, so I didn’t spend most of the time finding the appropriate punctuation marks on the keyboard. To be fair to my fellow students, typing curly or square brackets isn’t straightforward on the Czech keyboard and can only be achieved with ALT+ shortcuts.
None of my coursemates speaks English or types with all ten fingers, which I didn’t think of as a particularly admirable skill until I abused the class computer to write a few emails during lunch break and noticed that everyone was staring at me in a worshipping manner. Then I got some envious compliments on my typing, which I waved away by explaining that I was taught to type at school, so it’s the same like admiring me that I learned to write in longhand. I continue being so annoying that I almost annoy myself.
The last day of school for this week brought a great deal of interaction with fellow humans. It started on the morning bus, which was more packed than usual. A schoolboy sat next to me, at least I thought he was a schoolkid until I noticed that he was growing a heavy beard. I’m forgetting that I’m getting so old that young adults look like first graders in comparison. The young man was behaving in an extremely expansive manner, so though I curled up in my corner, at one point I involuntary touched his bare arm with my fingers and scared us both. I do hope he won’t sue me for harassment.
The evening bus was even worse than the morning one because it was filled up to the last spot with university students going home for the weekend. I managed to book the last available seat, which was one at the very back of the bus, the rightmost corner of the multiseat seating five sardines. I tried hard to avoid touching the young girl packed next to me, and with much effort, I managed to stay separated for the duration of the whole trip. I know I’d hate it if someone was gratuitously touching me on public transport. (Unless they were cute.)
The scary photo above might suggest that there’s something radically wrong with my feet. They’re perfectly fine, I’m just showing off that I can do this yoga twist without breaking a bone. In the best case scenario, I should be able to place my palms on the floor, but I was too busy taking a picture while not toppling over into an anti-yoga face plant.
The real twist of today was more demanding than a yoga twist though. I got a desperate phone call from my ex-PhD supervisor, who entasked me with doing her research and writing some sections of her article. It’s well paid, so whatever, and I’ve lost illusions enough to know that there is no point in reporting her to the department head and demanding to replace my supervisor physically, when I’m already replacing her mentally.
So if you excuse me now, my supervisor has a paper to write.