November 02, 2008

On the up and up

As I've mentioned before, my natural tendency is to be a "glass half-empty" sort of person, so I've refrained from posting for a couple of weeks until my "bio-rhythms" (does anyone still believe in them?) return to the positive side, or my chakras re-align ... or whatever.* 
So today, for a change, I'm going to leave my latest exasperation with ODP/DMOZ until the very end of the post, and instead concentrate on  things which have lately made me remember that I am a lucky person.

1. I love where I live.
Kalamunda is an outer suburb of a big city, and might be nothing special except for the fact that each day I can go walking in natural forest and bushland just up the road, seeing native birds, animals, and wildflowers
Yesterday I walked for over an hour and a half without seeing anyone else, and yet scenes like are within a mile of my house.

True, it takes me an hour and a half to get to work, but that's only 2 days a week, after all, and trains are great for making a fidget like me sit still and actually read a book!

2. I enjoy my work (paid and unpaid)
My class of medical students are nearing their annual exams, and getting very anxious indeed about how much they have to learn. So for the past few weeks I've been giving them impromptu quizzes to show them that in fact they already know most of the material. It's been a cross between light relief and revision, because naturally, they all enjoy watching someone else having to act out a symptom or draw surface anatomy on themselves. This week they enthusiastically answered questions about blood results, tremor, and  Xray interpretation using coloured pens, scissors, butcher's paper and glue ..."Gen Y meets Play School".

One of my volunteer activities has been delayed for months due to an unfortunate administrative bungle, but last week the adult literacy tutor programme finally linked me with a student, and we begin our weekly lessons tomorrow. His main difficulty is with spelling and punctuation, so as one of Nature's inveterate typo-spotters and apostrophe police, I can hardly wait to get started. Fortunately, there are plenty of adult literacy resources on the internet, and I've already got some teaching material from the excellent BBC website.

3. The obligatory ODP/DMOZ whinge
On the whole, my strategy for enjoying the editing experience is working out OK. It's a lot more isolated than I like, and sadly I still hear too much about poor management and lack of respect for the volunteer community, but I learned a very painful lesson indeed, and no longer tilt at those windmills myself.
So in comparison to my ultimately futile indignation and deep disappointment at the way most of the volunteers are treated, today's comment is no more than a single raised eyebrow.

I'm puzzled to see that the much-heralded official DMOZ/ODP blog has become a succession of articles written by editors, when for many years there has been a publicly available, editor-produced ODP Newsletter chock-a-block with similarly worthwhile and informative pieces. Of course I completely support the wider publication of such efforts, as part of our ongoing efforts to make the directory better known and understood, but I thought the blog was meant to be something new.
Mind you, just over a year ago, the Editor-in-Chief promised weekly posts, so it has certainly been a relief to see more frequent entries, after many embarrassing months of silence. Perhaps the purpose of the blog has changed since it began, as AOL staffers have come and gone. Anyway, I'll now retreat under my Cone of Silence and resume my meditative chant. ;-)
Better still, I'll go and enjoy the late Spring sunshine in my back garden, eating mulberries from the tree and watching the honeyeaters on the grevilleas and kangaroo paws. 

*Personally, I blame the two long anaesthetics and the month of post-op complications, for the simple reason that it therefore becomes someone else's fault. ;-)


Anonymous said...

"His main difficulty is with spelling and punctuation"

Are you sure you are talking about student, but not about editor(s)?

Unknown said...

LOL. So many typos, so little time. ;-D


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