sexta-feira, agosto 06, 2004


Here I was planning a nice long work on my independent studies work week, and then at 12:30 on Monday afternoon, I get a phone call from Savio that I am scheduled to teach a class at 2 pm! For a class I knew nothing about. With a book I had not yet seen. With objective for the level that I had never read. It was the quickest and most copied lesson plan ever. Luckily, Meuamor has taught this class, so I was able to basically copy from him what it was I was going to do that day. It was an okay lesson. I think we had a good time. Shortly after this class ended, I was told I was to teach ANOTHER one the next day, and then today I was finally told I am also teaching a pronunciation course on Saturdays. I may also be teaching some private classes at the post office here. Go figure, in a week I have gone from 1 student to 5 classes! Crazy! I guess this is how things work around here. This also means I really gotta get my shit done for MSU. Soon. Focus Ali, focus....

I spent most of today on the computer in search of two things: Portuguese spell check for Word, and some kind of recording device that would should Waveforms to use in my pronunciation class. I have succeeded, sort of, in both. I downloaded Audacity, which had come highly recommended by some people at the ELC some time ago. It's not exactly what I am looking for, and it's really hard to filter out the noise. I think I need to get a better microphone and that will help. I think it will suffice for the time being.

The second break through came after going through all the right steps according to modern society: I checked the Microsoft website, reinstalled Office XP, got all the updates, contacted (or tried to) Microsoft who referred me to IBM since it was an IBM computer, and IBM referred me to the Brasilian division of IBM since I am in Brasil. Never mind that my questions were all in English and my computer was configured in the U.S. and that I am betting will refer me back to the Americans. I hate tech help people for this reason. So, having exhausted all the "right" channels, I consulted Brian, my guru of computers, who suggested I try open source programs instead. Sure enough had a free download version that was similar to everything in Office XP. I even got a Power Point equivalent (a program I was missing for some reason). All I had to do was choose the language and download it. Took half an hour (big file - 166 MB), but it was worth it because it works! Everything is in Portuguese because that was the language I chose. You can choose from about a hundred different languages. I highly recommend it.

All this effort and work today, and I haven't worked on the things I need most to accomplish. Some habits never die.

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