Monday, December 03, 2007

singing the Latin blues

1. Well, I've finished my Latin classes for the semester. Nothing left now but the exam, and the million billion hours of studying for said exam. Seriously. I've improved with poetry a lot - I can manage twenty or thirty lines an hour while I'm preparing for class, and probably fifty lines while re-reading during studying. A book of the Aeneid is about 700 lines (there are seven books) and for the exam, we have to study a book and a half. So... twenty hours to re-read the material, assuming that I'm fast, and I need to know it well, so I could see there being two re-reads required to be really ready. Meanwhile I have assignments and work and, oh yes, that Greek exam which will also take many, many hours to cram into my head.
I am feeling a little depressed about all of this.

2. Later on I have my last Greek class of the semester, which is going to be slightly better, I think, provided I finish this stupid assignment in the next two hours. It really should only have taken an hour, which is why I left it for today, but there are no quiet study spaces on campus. Of course, in theory there ought to be all sorts, but they're full of people who ought to be studying and are, instead, gossiping about last week's parties, because it's only December 3 and there's lots of time to study. Really there isn't - the first exams are on Thursday, because the registrar hates us and refuses to have a reading week - but they can pretend that it's so. It is flat out impossible to translate Thucydides when two people are tee-heeing about so-and-so two feet away. So I'm going to hunt for an empty classroom.

3. Work is... work. It's hard to be motivated about pushing ahead with things when it's such an uphill battle just to get articles for a newsletter or a writeup for the website, and I have lots of other uphill battles on the go as it is. The deadline for newsletter pieces is on Wednesday. I fully expect that there will be zero articles, because there are never any on time.
My other project at work is a database. Currently they use a partially-up-to-date Access spreadsheet to track members, which really doesn't work all that well. The one attempt to move past it was a database that Amy made, but because it's Access and the computers are sort of elderly, it moves like cold molasses and it's practically impossible to use for any real purpose. Even if it worked, that database wouldn't really do what we want it to now, though, because the members are beginning to clamour for an online membership database. While I don't necessarily think that it's a good idea to publish all of their contact information on the site, a simple name, business name, single picture of their work sort of presentation would be a good thing.
I'm trying to make a system that will work well - a database on my work computer as a server, so that the other people in the office can all use it at once, and I can publish it to the website, say, once a month, so the contact information and so on for members is accurate. Unfortunately, it goes beyond basic computer use, and really even past intermediate computer use. I'm having to teach myself from square one, but because we have no internet at home I have to confine it to actual work-time, which means that I have five hours a week, give or take, depending on whether I am beating people for articles on my time as well. That's actually not so bad. What concerns me is that I won't be there forever, so I have to be able to teach this stuff to Roseline or Amy so that they can maintain it and use it, and while Roseline might be interested, I really doubt Amy wants to do it, or that she could even have time. Moving further down this train of thought, I'll have to teach someone how to upkeep the website, too.
It makes me fret a little.

4. Apparently we're going to have snow dumped on us tonight. I like snowstorms. Not having a car will do that.


Blogger dp said...

Your workload seems overwhelming! you will definitely need a break when you get home for Xmas.

7:08 PM  

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