Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Tuesday suffering - waiting for Beckett.

My today's practice for hell training for staring-in-the-void contest Japanese class had a strong flavour of absurd drama.

Just before, I wanted to spend a nice morning in the Paleography room in the delightful company of Elias A. Lowe's Codices Latini Antiquiores, working on my thesis. There was no-one in the library so I spent my time sitting in the hallway doing my stuff and then the excellent idea that I'm at the university, which happens to be full of books in open shelves all around and where a library is, I may try and check whether some works of Noam Chomsky are available. I started writing an introduction to the teachers' book for an ESL textbook and I wanted to explain myself. Well, Chomsky was found to be present in the building, in the linguistics study so I went upstairs, found a few books and started digging into them. I'll maybe look up a proper quote but, basically, Chomsky says at one point that language is not actually learnt but acquired. Which is what I've been telling folks ever since, that I don't learn languages, that I just set my mind to 'acuqisitions' mode and should it be needed, I poke the bits carefully to fit in the right cognitive space. No need to actually learn, just leave the doors of perception open.

So, I had food for thought in case I ran out of clouds to watch.

I had a strong urge not to go to the damn course but then, Joey wanted a new funny rant and I was curious how much idiots dropped off since the last time. I arrived half an hour late and I seemed to have missed nothing. The professor was going through some stuff that could've been thrown at us along with instructions like Learn until the next class. I noticed that there were more chairs. I thought of Ionesco... when the thought that there are too many chairs arrived to the right part of the brain. BoI is smaller! I counted nine instead of last week's 12. So, six in the first week, three during the second one, next week, there's gonna be one and half idiot less.
So, it's a language course. Or at least it was advertised as one. I didn't say a word today. Sure, I could've thrown in some sophisticated comment and I could have spent half an hour talking like the Climacteric Maiden who had opinions on everything. But, I can rant with company I enjoy.
I somehow hoped that something may happen. That, maybe, there was a slow start or something. It dragged impossibly - I have reasons to believe that there is a way of squeezing three days into three hours after today. There were even no clouds to watch, just cirrus clouds that didn't drift, only slowly disappeared. Nothing happened although that Monsieur Godot should be here every minute feeling was there. For like five seconds. But, no real course started. Or anything with a sense I could guess. There were a few highlights, though:
Climacteric Maiden is short and very rotund. With a very geometrical haircut - to enhance that she's fat, maybe - and lots of makeup. For some reason, at a certain point, she started playing a mosquito. Like, waving her arms and buzzing. The result was rather more of a blue bottle fly.
During the smoking break, the Old Fart tried to talk me up. I was prepared for anything so I took a defense weapon of might, some Latin text to browse but still, Old Fart came, breathed on my neck asking not-really-sexily Is Finnish a difficult language to learn? on which I replied Nope and minded my letter by cardinal Torquemada. How long are you learning that?, Old Fart tried again. I said some random number. Old Fart noticed my papers and said But, this is not Finnish, this is Latin. Yes, obviously, I replied. Old Fart produced some compliment and waited for a response but I stared in the papers and played concentrated. Damn, what does he think, that he's sexy? Or is it normal that a casual conversation with someone basically unknown starts by breathing on basically unknown's neck?

The whole class was absurd. Absurd like Theatre of the Absurd - something is happening and formally it looks like something banal but it has no sense. The worst part is that it's not a play. And that I'm not a spectator but a partaker. Twice that absurd, then. When the show ended, I shot out so fast that people must've thought me crazy but I just needed to run away and laugh.

Next Tuesday, I might be rather knitting. Not sure I'm tough enough to stand it anymore.

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