Friday, September 17, 2004

The 3-day Boot Camp class I attended is over, and I think I graduated- yay? What that means is that now I can once again teach classes with this software at customer sites (rather than be restricted to our own training centers). That's good and bad. Good: more opportunities to teach classes at some fun sites. Bad: if too few other people are certified, then I teach TOO MANY classes at customer sites, and have no time left for what I'm supposed to be writing right now when I'm at the home office. Good: I feel better prepared to handle unexpected configuration problems (as in, I'm a statistician, not an IT person, so your server's port # for the IOM bridge-- not my problem) Bad: more on-site opportunities for unexpected configuration problems. In all, the goods are weightier than the bads. I like this software and I kind of miss teaching it.

On the "oh I wish I was you" front, 3 of my coworkers are headed off to Europe in the next few weeks. Fuzzy scored a class in Germany that he'll be flying to next week- unfortunately he won't have a lot of time to visit. NewGuy will be teaching in Denmark (or is it Belgium? Danishes, Belgian waffles-- you can see why I'd confuse them) in October and RenaissanceWoman's fiancee was assigned to 6 weeks in Paris for business (Oh, how I wish I could get an asssignment like that) so she'll be going for 2 weeks in October to visit. She's boning up on a few French phrases and made her first phone call in french yesterday. You can read about it here. Aah, I remember my first french phone call:

Hotel: Bonjour, (name of funky french art hotel in Saumur), puis-je vous aider?

Me: uuuuuuuuuuuuuuh, oui, uuuuuuuuuuuh, je- voudrais- faire- une reservation- pour- votre- hotel, s'il vous plait?

H: Oui, Madame.

M: uuuuuuuuuh

H: Pour quelle date?

M: OH! Nous - arriverons - le (date of arrival) et - nous - partirons - le (date of departure)

H: Tres bien, madame. Zhe zhe zhe fru fru fru?

M: Uuuuuuh- pardon? Je - ne - comprends - pas...

H: zhe zhe combien personnes fru fru?

M: Ah! Oui! 2 chambres, pour 3 personnes. 2 - personnes - dans - un - chambre, 1 personne - dans - l'autre - chambre.

H: Alors. zhezhezhefrufrujuneee?

M: Dites encore? Je -- suis -- desolee, mais --- je -- ne -- parle -- pas -- tres -- bien...

H: Yu want ze brekfahst?

M: Oh! Non, merci, pas de petit dejuner pour nous.

H: Alors, a quelle heure..what tihme weeel yu be ahrivingg?

M: OH! uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh, uuuuuuuuuuuh, dans l'apres midi? Pres de 3 heures de l'apres midi?

H: Oui, madame. Tres bien, zhezhezhefrufrufru!!

M: D'accord...merci....


M:D'accord... merci...


M: merci, madame uhhhhhhhh

H: (paaaauuuuuse) au revoir, madame!! Bye-bye!

M: OH! au revoir.

Although I've come a long way since then, I still have not quite figured out how to end a phone conversation in french. In English:

1: well, OK, I better run...

2: Oh, yeah, me too...

1: OK, talk to you later.

2: OK- see you!

1: bye!

2: bye

It's like a little dance that we are so good at that we don't even realize we're doing it. Like the slow walk towards the door that gets everyone else up out of their seats and also headed towards the door, and then there is an appropriate "break point" where it is appropriate to ask, "Oh, are we going now?" and that is like the "spin" right before the "dip" at the end of the dance.

I hope everyone has a great time in Europe. As soon as we sell that stupid house, I'm buying a pair of plane tickets.

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