Monday, November 27
For some reason I left the house five minutes early and caught the 97V. Irma sent me a photograph that offered a partial explanation. I had forgotten to put the newspaper and cat litter tray down in Naa’s room. Oops, I thought.
I started my working day by reading two draft MA theses. The first student had written in a form of English that invited me to guess the intention of each sentence. I could see what each page intended to say but I could only describe the individual sentences as evocative. In a novel that set out to describe the impossibility of pinning down the specific meaning of events, these sentences would count as perfect. In an academic thesis, less so.
I felt especially intrigued by the Burroughs-like opacity of this sentence:
Since many, e.g. Walker Insights, which in the near future the consumer experiences are going to be the main differentiator between brands, far more important than the traditional price and product, have studied it.
The second student had sent me an early draft and that both made sense and read well. I wrote a simple encouraging reply to him, and a longer, more complex, reply to the first.
I then turned my attention to Topic 9 of the Nobanet e-learning course and had an epiphany. I had had trouble wrapping it up because it contained too much material and the end did not follow naturally from the beginning. I suddenly saw a way of fixing both problems at once, by switching the destination to one that required several jumps less, and enabled the student to linger on the intermediate steps rather than gallop through them.
I began to work on this until our team meeting at 13:15. Arcada had received recognition as best university of applied science for the second year running and so, after the team meeting ended, we all went downstairs for cake and coffee. More or less everyone in the building appeared, both staff and students. A lot of cake got eaten.
Full of cake, I left to return the cds I failed to return on Friday, and then went to Kamppi to collect my and Irma’s Slush tickets. The process proved remarkably simple.
Irma will work late tonight so I go straight home from Kamppi to make sure Sunshine gets a few moments outside. I get off the 93 bus and start to walk to the traffic lights to cross the road. I notice the remains of the vines clinging to the sound-deadening wall at the side of Itäväylä. In the evening light, a mixture of dusk, roadside lights, and passing cars, the contrast between the colours catches my eye. By switching the iPad camera app to night mode I manage to capture a reasonable facsimile to what I see.
Sunshine will race out as soon as I arrive and open the door. He will return in forty minutes, ready to eat and lie on the sofa. I will have a skype meeting with Oliver in which we will plan our December workshops, and then I will begin reading.
Irma will arrive home later after a day of nose-bleeding, caused by her continuing cold. She will claim to have lost about a litre of blood, and to have delivered a speech while bleeding profusely. I will reassure her that the audience will remember the occasion long after they have forgotten many similar ones.