15 September 2010


I am trying to get two things done: the first is studying for my French speaking final. This will happen in two weeks, and once it is done, my French studying dream will come to a less then illustrious ending. I think, baring some complete meltdown, that I should be able to pass without too much trouble. I just have to get the studying done which, although it is annoying, is more bearable knowing the end is very close at hand. I need to go back to France, yes, but this doesn't seem to be in the cards for now. Oh well: we have a class tonight which I will attend and hopefully leave ready to take the final.

The second thing I have to do, which is much more tangible and ends with me having money in my pocket, is writing my syallbuses for my classes at Middlesex this year. I went to the library today to get the set books for the new class I am teaching: Empirical Studies of English. As this course is essentially an introduction to Discourse Analysis, I feel like I have all these opinions about the topic, which, surprisingly, is making it more complicated to put together. I can't just teach someone else's curriculum.

Yesterday, Naomi opened a car door in the wind and nailed this Benz we were parked next to. I actually wasn't with Yoko and the girls when it happened as I was riding my bike: I met them in Tesco and Yoko told me what had happened and asked me what to do. It was on the passenger back door, so the driver wouldn't have noticed it until much later. We went into the store and I was like, Probably you should leave a note. So Yoko when out there, and I was hoping they had already left. They hadn't and Yoko met the driver, who was extremely kind, it sounded like, but still took Yoko's card and said she would contact us. I am expecting a £300-£500 bill (they called and said it was 'minor' damage and they were getting a quote, probably less than £200?), given that the car was new and they will likely take it to a dealer to get fixed. That's worst case scenario. Best is that they do nothing, their insurance covers it, and we put it behind us.

In the five minutes we were in the store trying to decide what to do, we had a moral dilemma about it. Most likely they wouldn't have noticed and we would have gotten away with it. Nobody saw except Yoko. But, in the end, I felt much, much better about owning up to it. Money is just money, right: sleeping with a light conscience is much better. I did do a best case/ worst case scenario analysis when it happened though and imagined the worst case of not saying anything and having the person call the police, look at CCTV footage, get our license plate number, etc. Very, very unlikely, but a very bad outcome, I imagine.

Right decisions seem to be abundant this week. Let's hope they pay off. My conscience is clear and my wife is happy though, so perhaps I am reaping the good Karma as I write this.

I said to Yoko last night, that what I like, what I want the most, is to be going somewhere that I want to go. It gives me the most joy to think about next Tuesday when I will be on a train to Coventry for a talk at the U of Warwick. And then on Wednesday to King's College for another talk. And then next month when I get to go to London every week. Or going to Malaga. The anticipation of moving and going somewhere desirable really floats my metaphorical boat for some reason. And to do so wearing a bowtie? Well, there is nothing better.