What I Hated the Least Today 59-63/365: Catchup

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.

59/365: Smartass

IT Course, Day One
IT Course, Day One

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.


60/365: Catsick

IT Course, Day Two
IT Course, Day Two

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.


61/365: Typing

IT Course, Day Three
IT Course, Day Three

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.


62/365: Interaction

IT Course, Day Four
IT Course, Day Four

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.)


63/365: Twist

Yoga Twist
Yoga Twist

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.


Author: Mara Eastern

I'm a sardonic blogger, snapper, scribbler and rhymer; a virtual space invader who indulges in cheerful negativism, morbid self-deprecation and bleak humour.

26 thoughts

  1. Replacing her mentally, love it!! That’s a good color red for your tootsies. I like playing with CSS and HTML but am better with CSS as I play with it more. My site’s style sheet is massively reworked. Those HTML tags you mentioned were deprecated some time ago. Why that has to be is beyond me, if it works, why fix it.


    1. Awe, thanks for appreciating my painted toes, no one gets to see them in winter, so of course I felt compelled to blog them 😉

      Of course CSS is more useful than HTML on a WordPress site. And probably elsewhere too. Who’d do a site in HTML these days anyway? But I’m not ready to try PHP yet… Though my course will have an introduction into this too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A site in HTML makes zero sense. I’ve had two self hosted WP sites in the past and like having access to the PHP files, very useful.

        By no means am I an expert at any coding but with enough trial and error I became proficient enough to make the changes I wanted.

        Just back up the original file first! Once in a while I need access to those PHP files here, the CSS isn’t enough in some cases.

        You can still where flip-flops around the house right?


        1. Of course, html sites are over now. Yet, for my course, we have to do a final task for our certificates, which is setting up a html site with css features. Well, whatever, at least they don’t want us to do a php site, which I really couldn’t. Anytime I touch php, somewhere in the world, a kitten dies… For me, this is more of an error than trial, though I hope to learn more in time!


  2. Great read! I’ve been wondering how things were going. I smiled throughout this post, as I’ve been there several times! … taking those re-qualification courses, where the ‘teacher’ ended up asking me for help [think Lilly Hammer] 🙂

    So … three more weeks to go?

    On an unrelated note: In your country, do you have “names days”? Meaning … one name for each day in the calendar?


    1. Haha, I was thinking of you a lot and of Swedish requalification courses this week! It’s a different thing here though, you don’t get assigned to a course, you have to struggle to be placed in one. Which is why my fellow students’ unexcited attitude surprised me.

      The teacher also ended up asking me questions about how some English words translate into Czech… Two more weeks to go, and upcoming is PHP and Javascript, so that’s the end of me being a smartass.

      Yes, we have name days! They’re often celebrated. I don’t celebrate my name day because it falls on the same day as my birthday. My parents weren’t exactly inventive when naming me.


      1. Ah … that’s a big difference! There, you’re _forced_ to take the course, otherwise you’d lose your unemployment benefits. Yes, PHP and Java would be the end of smartass me too.

        They have names days in Sweden, and I was born on Karin day. They didn’t name me that, though — they named me something entirely different — but it’s a nice name. For the longest time, the name calendar was very strict, but in recent decades they have changed it a little … added to it, removed a few. There’s one week in August with only female names, so that week is referred to as “ladies week”.


        1. Oh, a ladies week! That’s cute. I don’t think we have a string like this. We add new names to the name day calendar by attaching them with a slash to an already taken name day. So there may be more than one day per day. We also have cat and dog name days 🙂


  3. I’ve missed your posts, so was really happy to find this present sitting in my Reader. Poor cat 😦 I have a cat sized dog who behaves the same. Sounds like you’re in a league of your own in that class. It would be more appropriate for me – I have zilch experience in either CSS or HTML. I don’t even know what CSS stands for !!!


    1. Awe, thank you a lot for your kind comment! And no need to get scared, I’ll try to avoid too much tech talk (though it’s a bit difficult when I’m on a tech course 😉 ), and rest assured that you don’t need HTML or CSS when you have WordPress.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh dear, that HTML class sounds hideously boring for you. Didn’t sound like the CSS section perked you up either. Writing a paper for your ex-supervisor? As you said, the pay is good… 😀


    1. Haha, thank you for your uplifting comment! The first week of the course was a bit boring for me, but next on the syllabus are things I know nothing about, so I’ll be just as lost as my coursemates.

      I was a bit confused and upset when I started to do occasional research and ghostwriting for my supervisor, but bills need to be paid and I’m not the one to fight the academic system… And the task is turning out to be quite fun, I’m learning things that are not entirely irrelevant for me.


      1. I suppose when the time ever arises, your ex-supervisor will be happy to be a reference for you and you never know what other opportunities this may lead to. So in a way, it’s a win-win all round. Research is always fun, as the academic side of me always says.


        1. Yes, you’re right. Things aren’t as they should be, so what’s left for us is to accommodate and try to make the most out of it. Research is fun! Glad to hear that I’m not the only weirdo who thinks that 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha 🙂 Cuddle Moe for me. Does he go to work with you?

      Having my toenails painted is the best feeling. I like to watch them when I’m doing yoga or having a shower – the only occasions when I’m barefoot in winter.


      1. I work from home, so yes, Moe goes to work with me. I wear flip-flops or sandals all year. The only time I put socks and shoes (or boots) on my feet is to exercise, garden, or walk in snow. By the way, I painted my nails a pretty pale transparent pink with fine glitter yesterday.


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