An unexpected phone call from my previous employer, the language school down the street.

Did they have another oversize class of eager Spanish teens in need of an eccentric teacher? Or an Arab businessman wishing to become completely fluent in a month? No, they just wanted some advice on backing up CDs. Oh well, in the land of the technologically illiterate, the sometime nerd is...always assumed to be available.

At this time of year there should be at least a hundred students in a small school like that. There's fifty, and it'll be thirty next week. Pretty disastrous. All the schools in the area are posting No Vacancies, even for part time or casual teachers, at what should be peak demand time.

And what's the excuse used by foreign schools and agencies? Apparently Europe thinks the UK is riddled with swine flu. I'd have thought recession was a good enough reason on it's own.

There's been 31 deaths so far from H1N1 in the UK, of around 1250 worldwide, of c42,000 reported cases. So it's not a completely trivial number, but I'm probably more likely to be killed by a bus because I was distracted thinking about swine flu...than by swine flu.

But check back in a year to see if that's still true. And to see whether there's an economy to speak of. And whether I'm still trying to be a teacher.


  1. the sometime nerd is...always assumed to be available.

    People have no concept of how busy we nerds really are. Doctor Who DVDs do not watch themselves!


  2. Indeed they do not. Nor do the Sapphire and Steel Big Finish audios I've been treating myself to...or the 8 days worth of Old Time Radio sci-fi that's been quietly ripping from streams in the background.

    Nerdish delights are like men. There's too many to gobble all up, but we try just the same...sometimes wondering vaguely why, 'cos most of it's a bit naff, really.

  3. There's a shortage of teachers in the US! And there's also a shortage of the swine flu vaccine here, so...hmmm....

    Well, apparently, the school must value your opinion if they're calling you for advice.

    You know, I don't think I could be a teacher in a school. All that homework to check up on...sheesh. I would, however, enjoy being in the school cafeteria as a lunch lady(man?/person?). I'd imagine I'd get to enjoy that fabulous delicious school pizza.

  4. Sapphire and Steel Big Finish audios

    I LOVE Big Finish audios! In fact, there might be a Big Finish blog out there written by someone who looks surprisingly like me.

    Have the first series of Sapphire and Steel and they are good enough that I want to get the rest of them. Hopefully they will be on special sometime or, better yet, I'll win the lottery.

    Have a huge crush on Jason Haigh-Ellery. He's always so nice to me at the Chicago Who con. They have a strict limit of only 2 autographs per person but Jason will happily sign as many CD inserts as you put in front of him. Last year he signed 20 for me.

    Nick Briggs is pretty cool too.

    Oh god, could I be any more of a nerd?