Category Archives: School

The joys of learning languages

Somewhere I recently saw a shared post on FB talking about moments of understanding what others are saying in other languages when they clearly think you don’t understand them — I even saw something talking about how it is rude to be that person without letting people know.

For those who don’t know, I’ve some background in Spanish, French, Greek, and Latin.  I’m not actually fluent in any of them, although I can keep up best in Spanish.  My first Greek class was taught at Whatcom Community College to help students and the faculty member who were going to be going on a trip to Greece (I wasn’t going to go on the trip, but couldn’t turn away a chance to learn Greek).  The dialect of Greek being taught was demotic, meaning the kind of Greek spoken in Greece by native speakers today, as opposed to older dialects like Koine (virtually identical to New Testament Greek), Attic or Homeric.  Or the phony constructed Erasmian, put together by a German theologian who never ever heard Greek spoken by someone fluent.  There are major wars fought among Helenophiles as to which dialect Greek should be taught in, particularly which pronunciation should be used for the letters in the alphabet.  Just so you know.

During the class, I memorized a handful of phrases that I thought could be useful going forward.  A major one transliterates to “Den katalabayno,” which means “I don’t underestand.”  The utility of that should be obvious.  Some years later, while I was still cashiering at Target, the customer I was ringing up was a mother, who was chewing out her son in Greek.   I couldn’t begin to follow what she was saying, but her last sentence ended with “Katalabayne?”  Which I repeated, because I recognized it.  And then I remembered and said “Den katalabayno,” as I tried to figure out what it meant.  It took me about two more sentences to get to the point where I understood that she had finished her scolding of her son with “Do you understand?!”  At which point she realized I knew what she had said and stopped talking to him in Greek, and I talked about how I understood that which got us to the end of the transaction, and she left.

Lately, my Greek exposure is pretty much limited to postings from my FB friend Konstantia Makre.  She posts pretty pictures most days with a caption of “????????”  which transcribes to something similar to “Kally-merra” if you don’t try to roll the “r,” and which means “Good day,” or “Good Morning.”  She’ll post other things in Greek, and I feel pretty good if I can sound it out and recognize a word or two, which I often can’t.

Acceptance is good again.

So, right after I sent out all the “I just got accepted!” things, I sent a message to the officey-types at work to find out about how to use the Tuition Program so I can get my school paid for.  The response came back with two basic points:

1.  I need to access this through PIONET (our agency-only website for internal job postings and many wonderful things).
2.  Eligibility requires one year in the job, and full-time status.

The problems with this were (respectively):
1.  I’ve never been able to get on PIONET, because none of the links I was ever given for it worked.
2.  I was told that it was six-months on the job and full-time status.

So I said as much to the officey-types, and got back the response of:
1.  Here’s a link to PIONET that works, and
2.  You’re right, it is six months, my bad.

The link to PIONET does, in fact work.  But I don’t remember what my initial uid/pw is supposed to be to get the party started, so I’ve contacted someone from the Nerdery to see if they can help with that.  I’ll probably be able to get there Tuesday after I wake up and stuff.

So, now, I’m back to the place of “I get to start school more-or-less when I wanted to,” after a short period of “What the Hell do you mean ‘One year’?”  All is calm, all is bright. 

Of other brief update value:

1.  I got my 5-year plaque at the Secret Harbor Christmas Party last night.  And, once again, someone has thought my daughter was my date.  I love the people I work with, but they’re damned odd sometimes. 

2.  Crappy morning, with a kid blowing out right across my time-to-leave, messing with the conversation I needed to have with my supervisor.

3.  Slept rather solidly this morning, which was good, and the things I used to help with my sleeping seemed to work well.  But I ended up getting up an hour earlier than I needed to because my watch got the button bumped that switches it between daylight and standard time (it takes not just bumping but holding it for like 20 seconds), and I didn’t realize that until I was in the car and ready to go to work. 

4.  Tonight’s swing was pretty good for me, but the kids’ behavior is going pretty south.  You’d think it was getting close to Christmas or something.

Acceptance is good.

I’ve been conditionally
admitted to Capella University’s MS in Human Services program.  It’s an online program, and I hope to start right after the first of the year.  My conditional acceptance has to do with my need to finish up the application packet (job history, mostly) by the end of the first quarter. 

So, a year after finishing school, I’ll be starting school again.  This will probably restrict how much time I can spend goofing off with Challenge Sudoku on Facebook.  Rough stuff.

Life has been worse.

Two happies in a couple of hours.

The first is that I found a way to get a working iPodderx derivative podcatcher under Hardy.  Google was, ultimately, my friend.  It just took a while for somebody to post the solution to a forum that Google index.  And, because this is Linux, I just renamed the config directory and it magically worked the first try — all my podcasts set up properly. 

Second happy wasn’t quite as tricky — I found the micro-to-full SD adapter on the floor under the desk I thought it would be at.  Okay, so I looked down and there it was.  But finding SD-sized cards isn’t terribly easy.

So now I’ve just loaded my latest podpacket on my phone, and I’ll get to work on it while I’m working.

I also have a happy in that my new boss managed to cover my Thursday shift, so I get to go to the Teacher Learner Academy Awards Thursday night.  I don’t get paid for the day, but it also saves me two nights in the motel room — I’ll only need one night for the week. 

So, happy, happy, and happy.  Not bad for one day.

Used Book Sale Discipline

I have some downtime between jobs today, so I came to the library for the free internet and a place to be.  They have a used book sale going on, with the books half-price, so paperbacks are $.25 each.  I got through the whole place and only got four paperbacks:  two old Pelican Books (not quite cool enough to be Penguin Books?) for Jeopardy research, a collection of Asimov non-fiction essays, and L’Engle’s A Swiftly Tilting Planet.  I might already have a copy of that (I want to re-read the series in the near future).

So just four books, and only $1.  That’s quite good discipline for me.  I’m going to try to complete the cycle by removing at least that many books from my shelves to make space.