Wednesday March 14, 2007

I like to lend people books.

Really, it is worse than that. I press books into the unwilling hands of people who have incautiously said something that reminded me of some book. “You’ll love this!” I say, ignoring the fact that I have perhaps never seen them with a book and that they have never mentioned reading a book.

Cleverboots escaped by saying flatly “I don’t read,” but most people don’t think of doing that.

Thus it is that my books sometimes stay loaned out for a long time. The borrowers (and I use the term loosely) never get around to reading the books, and they know I am the kind of person who will ask how they liked it when they bring it back, so they just keep the book. Sometimes for years.

This has a positive side.

That Man returned a stack of books to me yesterday which I had completely forgotten I owned. Several vegetarian cookbooks, it was, and an omnibus of five P.G. Wodehouse novels.

Pretty exciting, that. I can now look forward to Thai Noodles with Garlic Chives and rereading The Old Reliable.

My menfolks have a term for vegetarian recipes: “side dish.”

There is a scene in one of Wodehouse’s short stories in which Bingo and Bertie find themselves in a ladylike cafe, lunching upon something like half a grapefruit, cocoa, and a macaroon instead of the customary veal chop, pommes frites, and English peas. This is how my boys would feel if I offered them Broccoli Risotto Torte for dinner.

I am continuing with my studies at work. I have moved on from “Que busca?” and “Le puedo ayudar?” to “Necesito X” and “Donde esta Y?” If a Spanish-speaking customer comes in this week, I shall perhaps be able to understand what she wants, but I will have to take her arm and lead her silently over to the item. Maybe next week I will learn things that mean, “Right this way.”

I have also been indexing and achieving saturation and working on the old SEO right and left. I spent yesterday increasing my link popularity (link management, as you know, is something to which the good e-commerce maven devotes an hour or two a day). One of the suggestions for this was to write an article on some topic that allows you to plug a link or two into the text, and submit it to one of the surprisingly large number of sites that exist for people to snag articles from.

I was surprised by this because I often run into things that I have written, without attribution, here and there on the web. The idea that there are sites where you can legitimately offer up your writing for free when there is apparently very little embarrassment about cutting and pasting seems odd.

However, it also seems worth a try.

Do you have any suggestions for a topic? What, in the field of education, seems sufficiently broad and non-controversial that people will want to post it on their websites in order to increase their content (another thing you do when seeking to improve page rankings)?

My current writing assignments are a press release, an article on Swiss immigrants, and a romance novel outline.

Variety is good.


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5 responses to “Wednesday March 14, 2007”

  1. ozarque Avatar

    I would love Broccoli Risotto Torte.

    About the topic, I’d suggest phonics-in-the-teaching-of-reading, done as a list. As in “Ten Tips For Making Phonics Fun,” or some such thing. “Ten Ways To Make English Phonics Easier For Non-English Students.” “Ten Ways To Make English Phonics Easier For Spanish-Speaking Students.” “Ten Tips For Working Phonics Into Math Lessons.” And so on. Despite the fact that it’s one of the most controversial topics, it’s also one of the stickiest.

  2. lostarts Avatar

    Your store carries books for teachers, right?

    Well, walk down the aisle and choose a book. Write a review. Or choose several books on the same subject. Write about that subject, inserting phrases like “for a quick but thorough overview of the subject, read…” Or, “To find out more about this particular aspect, check out…”

    I suppose what I’m saying is to have a periodic newsletter that can be read on the ‘net or e-mailed. Each week/month do a review of a book on a basic subject plus a review of something more specialized.

  3. chanthaboune Avatar

    No Child Left Behind: An Objective Assessment of Both the Pros and Cons.

    the problem there being the objectivity and finding any pros!

  4. simplespirit Avatar

    This was a funny post!  Side dish!

    ryc: the socks were a bit droopy, lacking the “snap” of a comfy sock.  They were a wee bit big, too.  One spin in the washer and voile’! Snug bootie style socks. 

    I feel like a cheater ’cause I crocheted them instead of knitting on dpn’s… I will try next weekend… I will!

  5. sighkey Avatar

    RYC: In NZ a master’s thesis must have at least 2 examiners – an internal examiner (not a gynacologist 🙂 ) from within the same dept as the master’s candidate and an external examiner who is usually an examiner from another NZ university. For a PhD we have at least 3 examiners – internal, external and an overseas examiner – and have to have an oral exam (not a dentistry appointment – before you come up with any other smart comments…) which includes yourself, your supervisor (who is supposed to stay quiet – my supervisor kept wanting to answer the Qs himself ), the PhD co-ordinator (who referees the match – she forgot to tell my supervisor to shut up until I reminded her that he was supposed to stay quiet), the internal examiner who asks his/her own questions about the thesis and is also proxy for the overseas examiner, and the external examiner who also asks her/his own questions about the thesis. Lots of fun 🙂

    And yes I agree that it is The Kid’s responsibility to make an effort to visit the elders – I will try to convince her of that when I see her on Sunday.