Monday, January 15, 2007

Some things to say before I go...

I'm off to the coast tomorrow with about 30-40 second and third year students. It's quite scary, I haven't re-studied too much of the work, and I wasn't too fussed about it until today when I saw the class list. Firstly, there are a LOT of third-years, so they probably know the basics already. Secondly, one of the first years that I TA'd last years was a really difficult person and made my life extremely miserable on occasion. And she's going. Oh dear.

Generally I get along with all the people on the list that I know (which is about 2/3 of them). It should be fun. The downside is that it's now nearly 9pm, we leave at 6am tomorrow and I haven't started packing yet. Today I had to get to wits at 8 to see the registrar to finalise my move from masters to doctorate. She only got there at 9:30, so I waited around for a good 45 minutes (I was late) just to get my form, cross out MSc, write PhD next to it and put my initials there. I went to chat to my supervisor afterwards and he said that because it was an official document that I had to sign, I'm the only one allowed to make alterations. Any lawyers out there with a loophole for me?

After all that I met up with the girl doing the catering for the trip and we went shopping. I learned a lot. a) I now know the place where a lot of big restaurants and supermarkets buy their pasta and sauces (oh yes, cost price!) and b) 48 people eat a lot in 10 days. We literally spent 2 hours in Makro and came out with 3 PACKED trolleys. Actually it was 2, but while Jen was at the checkout I ran outside, got another trolley and filled it with 100 litres of milk (in boxes obviously). Then I ran back with the heavy and wonky trolley (it kept spinning in circles) aroun the line to the cashier and Jenny, while fending off angry housewives who thought I was queue-jumping.

After all that I amnaged to get back to wits and drive home just in time to let the gardener and the maid (is there a better word? I use 'helper' and nobody knows what I'm talking about and 'domestic engineer' is too euphemistic) out and collapse in front of the TV until the traffic died down. then I went to find sunblock (is it just me, or is it really hard to find in my part of Joburg?) and ended up discussing relationships with the girl working at the videostore there. I don't like her much.

After that I went to work to fetch a DVD for my brother and found that my friend LAra was working so I ended up sitting with her for nearly 3 hours. I haven't worked with her for a few weeks and I really missed her. She has a way of pulling me out of my comfort zone when I'm being lazy about it, but at the same time being totally supportive. and we laugh a lot. the main topic of amusement is the Italian restaurant next door which has a new menu which is printed over pictures of Italian stuff. the starters are on a Mona Lisa page, Pizza on the leaning tower of... Piza. Not Pizza! and so on. The dessert os on a picture of the statue of David. The problem is the words are almost grouped around cartain... region. And right next to the very charming crotch is the description of a dessert with 'icecream, toffee sauce and a few nuts'

So I just got home and decided to procrastinate by writing a post before I go. It's hard to leave in a way. the trip is awesome, but I'll miss everyone here as usual. And at wits everyone was all excited to see me and I realised how much I missed it. In particular I got a "You're back! how fantastic!' with a handshake from Marcus. A "Hi!" wave from Neville. A whole discussion with "it'll be fantastic' from AAA, a long chat with his new student, Ben and so on. Even the cleaners were all happy to see me. And a certain non-smiling Russian smiled and waved, but didn't talk to me. Bonus! It seems like everyone knows about my results and the impending PhD project. And they're all psyched about it!

I love wits, but I'm starting to worry that I'll be there forever. Is that bad?


Luke said...

It's the leaning tower of Pisa, not Piza!

Don't worry, I am fairly certain that you will eventually leave Wits. I on the other hand...

Anonymous said...

Oh you'll both leave Wits. :)

and I'm afraid there was no loophole around the initialing thing. sort of like when amending a will - you have to make the change and initial as close to the amendment as possible. all legal certainty stuff blah blah blah..

enjoy your trip! and good luck with PhD! it's a nice little shortcut you've found yourself there!

ps.. i've linked to you again. sorry bout that lapse.