Lots of catching up to do, so a very long post.

Anna Skarzynska theania at freeuk.com
Sat Dec 29 20:39:24 EST 2001

Hi all,
I'm just reading the 200+ messages that have stagnated in the inbox marked
azs (which stands for Anna Zofia Skarzynska, in case you're wondering) to
which I filter the dwj list (I got to Nov. 12th...). I thought I'd start to
jot down the odd thought before I forget everything I have to say.
So, to start, I've been busy on my Sisyphean task (aka The PhD) - I now have
a real deadline (spring, too soon, aaaargh!), so I have neglected the list.
Reading the backlog made me realize how I missed you lot.
My computer has finally had its upgrade - from P120 (yes, really. The same
then fairly state of the art processor it had since 1996!) to a 900 mHz one.
It involved getting a new motherboard, too, and then it turned out the modem
needed replacing because there was no compatible slot on the new
motherboard. As I write (type), the modem is in its box waiting for a
technologically capable friend to come and fit it, so this will not be
posted for a day or two yet. Plenty of time to add to it then.
I was interested to read the comments on librarianship and salaries. Where I
live (West Wales) the going rate for a university library asst. (as opposed
to an asst. librarian) is about £12K, which is pretty respectable and quite
sufficient to buy a small house, probably in the middle of nowhere (based on
the calculation that your mortgage lender will usu. advance three and a half
times one's annual salary). My friend CB works in a uni computer dept and
gets £20K pa, which is pretty vast for around here. (I now anticipate a rush
of librarians wanting to live in W. Wales. Or maybe not)
Someone mentioned The Power of Three and I thought I'd inform you all
(whether you like it or not) that I once went out with a Gair (pron. to
rhyme with flair), who was Scottish. Gair was actually his middle name, but
he was always called that. In a fit of bizarre logic, his parents bestowed
on him the first name Eric "in case he didn't like Gair when he grew up".
Furthermore, gair (pronounced gah-eer; two syllables) is Welsh for "word"
Now, the Reigners - or was it Reiners - in Hexwood. Is there a connection
with "eight for the April Rainers (sp?)" in the song "Green Grow the Rushes
O"? This strange song could bear some discussion. If anyone is interested
I'll post the entire text as I know it.
Now to the process of reading (the words, sounds, pictures thread). I sort
of scan the whole sentence, or paragraph, and it goes in like that. I don't
read in lines; it just isn't required. My father used to be amazed at the
speed of my reading and maintained I must be skipping bits, so he tested me
and I "passed". Moreover, I still manage to spot spelling mistakes. On the
speed question, when HP4 dropped through the letterbox at about 10 am, I
started reading it and, with a few breaks for breakfast, lunch and other
distractions, when Stephen (my son) returned from school at 4 pm, I was on
the last chapter, so he let me finish it before he snatched it away.
The faster-than-speech reading has a major disadvantage when I try to read
aloud though - by the time the words left my mouth, I'd read halfway down
the page and it all gets tangled and messy. Covering the lines below the one
I'm reading helps a bit. I'm sure I'd be a crap newsreader. And I just read
a later mail with someone making much the same point.
When I imagine the characters, it's fairly vague, but I'd know them if I saw
them - because when they're wrong, I know it too. Many a time a film ruined
my imagined world. I must say that HP on film was pretty good, although I
had the odd quibble - Minerva McGonagall is younger, though not young. Harry
was pretty excellent. Hermione wasn't quite right.
My imaginary geography of books is actually quite inconsistent and the
locations frequently overlap or the same place is in a different places
depending on where in the book it occurs. (all this makes perfect sense to
me; sorry if it doesn't to you)
Anyway, enough of this. Or, to quote my old (in the sense of former) Irish
lecturer, who was probably quoting someone else, "sufficient for the day be
the evil thereof".
Happy New Year, all!

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