alan little’s weblog

a busy day

31st July 2003 permanent link

From the “I don’t know how I ever find time to have a job” department - the last few days have been reasonably typical of trying to get things done whilst not having a nice quiet office to get them done in. My brother is over visiting from England for a few days: mainly to meet his new nephew, but he also has a new digicam (the sexy Canon S50 that seems to be everybody’s darling lately). He wants to use it to publicise his picture framing business (no website to link to yet - another item on the to-do list) and he asked me to give him some some basic tuition in digital photography and photoshop. So Tuesday morning started with two hours of “Digital Imaging Basics 2 - scanning and dust spotting negatives”. Class interspersed with pauses at regular intervals to sing to and otherwise amuse the baby. Today will be “Digital Imaging Basics 3 - photoshop colour correction in one hour”. Ha. It took me over two years to really get to grips with that and I still find it difficult.

(And when my brother gets home with my old Nikon LS-30 film scanner that I’m donating to his cause, he’s also going to need somebody to take him through “SCSI Card Installation For Musicians & Artists”. I really don’t want to be the telephone tutor for that class.)

At 10:30 my next student arrived - the son of a friend, who is supposed to be having difficulty with English at school and needs some remedial classes over the summer. Artur is twelve, he emigrated from Russia to Germany four years ago and already speaks pretty much perfect German. After an hour conversing with him in English and getting to know him, I’m thinking that if this guy is getting bottom-but-one grades and is in need of remedial classes, then the standard of English required of twelve year olds in German schools must really be frighteningly high. Tomorrow we actually look at his books and start going through the bits that the letter from his teacher says are unsatisfactory. I just hope I’ll be able to do them.

After lunch we have to trek into town to visit a Bavarian state official and get a stamp on a document that forms part of the endless paper trail of my son’s various potential citizenships. (English father, Russian mother, born in Germany). Excellent chance for my brother to practice his uncling skills by taking the baby for a walk while we wait around in offices. (More coaching required - we decide the bare minimum he needs to survive if he is approached by old ladies asking about the baby is “I am his uncle, but I don’t speak German”). By the time we’re finished with Mr. Bureaucrat it’s suddenly four o’clock. How did that happen?

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