Friday, 27 August 2010

Seven Quick Takes

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I wrote two Maths tests this week, the first tests of the semester for their respective courses. I'm fortunate enough to have been a comfortable distance from failing either of them, but they made last semester look easy. And I wouldn't really have said last semester was easy. I think keeping up with the work requires a continual mindshift, because nothing ever stays the same. It's a little scary, but exciting too.


I'm in the process of starting to begin to upgrade the (Ubuntu Linux) operating system on my netbook. Mostly, I think this is great, because I haven't (as far as I recall) made a huge number of settings changes, and there are some features that feel out-of-date in the version I'm running now (like not actually running 100% properly on a netbook!) The trouble is that the more I go on, the more I realise that there are actually things I'm going to have to redo as part of the reinstall. I still think it'll be worth it though.


On Monday I mentioned that I was reading Who's Afraid of Postmodernism?. I'm not entirely enamoured with it, but it was very interesting, and introduced me to a bunch of new ideas. one of the concepts that Smith kept coming back to was the Augustinian church. I've been thinking about reading St Augustine's Confessions for a while, so I set off to find it in my university library.

Finding a copy was more difficult than I'd expected, partly because of all the literature 'surrounding' it that the online catalogue brought up, and partly because the library doesn't seem sure of how to categorise it. Autobiography? Theology? Missiology? Eventually I found a title that looked like what I wanted and set off to trek through the shelves. There was one battered copy sitting on the shelf at 242, which I grabbed and ran, having already taken longer than I'd intended.

It wasn't until the next day that I actually started reading, and discovered that I'd unwittingly picked up one of the very first translations of the work--in early seventeenth century English, complete with thees, thous and dosts. I'm quite enjoying it actually, now that I've got over the initial shock, but it was a little disconcerting!


Whenever Twitter fail whales on me, I feel an urge to tweet about how frustrating this is. I'm not sure why, exactly, since I don't usually want to tweet my frustrations. (That could make for a seriously depressing timeline!) Of course, I never can, which makes me even more frustrated at the fail whale, which I then want to tweet about, which . . .

Eventually I realise that I didn't actually need to be on Twitter and move on, but I suspect I often spend more time watching the fail whale screen than i would reading a couple of updates.


We are supposed to be building a model steam car-- just like the one in this article--for our Engineering Design course. I think it's a really fun and exciting project, but it keeps getting forgotten in the wake of all the other tests and projects we're being handed. I really do want to make some progress on it, and hoping to get there this weekend. I think having built a car will be more satisfying than handing in a couple of pages worth of questions.


There are only four days 'til Spring! That makes me happy. Hopefully it also means that we can all stop getting sick. There always seems to somebody with a sore throat or a headache or the sniffles or something. I guess it may be one of the (worth it!) perils of a large family.


Reading my old fashioned edition of Augustine seems to have effected a kind of shift in my perception. This afternoon I found myself noticing the story--the romance, almost--of everyday life in a way I haven't done for a while. I like that. It's too easy to see the world as grey and monotone, because you're wearing the wring kind of glasses. I don't want to do that.

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