October Challenge – IT HAS BEGUN!

A good friend of mine, Niki (whose cutting-edge, hassle-free, locally-owned-and-operated blog may be found here), has issued me a challenge, and if there is one thing I love, it’s challenges. Ok, it’s actually bacon; challenges would actually appear somewhere in the 20’s, below various food items, art, literature and sex. But all that aside, I do like me a challenge.

The stated challenge is to post an article/blog post every day throughout the calendar month of October. She calls it the ‘October Post-A-Day Challenge’. Ostensibly, it’s to motivate the both of us to post more often and actually maintain our blogs – but that doesn’t stop me from seeing it competitively (although I’m not sure how I win).

So! Challenge accepted!

First, I should possibly explain this drawing here. Previously I gave myself a personal challenge to post/share more of my artwork, instead of hiding it away if it wasn’t perfect. In keeping with that challenge, here is my latest sketch. I started it this morning while drinking my first coffee, did a tiny bit of work on the train to work, and added in the background and cleaned up a couple of lines on the train home.

This was actually the first time I’ve used my new Pilot Frixion ballpoint to draw (because I’ve only had it two days), and I am delighted with these pens. I officially recommend them – unlike the horrible ‘erasable’ pens I had in high school that left a blue smear when you tried to erase them, the lines made with this pen actually do vanish to the point where you actually have to look for them to see any traces. And you don’t use an eraser – you just rub it with the end of the pen (no shavings)! For reference, I used a picture found on the internet.
In other news, I have found a new job. I am now an English teacher at the Wall Street Institute School of English; this shouldn’t surprise anyone. I already corrected people’s spelling and grammar – now I get paid for it. It is salaried, it is a decent salary, and I generally should only be scheduled 4 days a week.

In keeping with French law, I accumulate 2.5 days of congée payée (paid vacation) per month worked, which adds up to five full weeks of paid vacation per year, the salary for which I will receive at the end of the year if those days remain unused. Also French law, any hours in excess of my contracted 31 hour week will be compensated at an hourly rate and half of my transportation costs are to be reimbursed by the company.

In terms of benefits not specified by law, there is a company vehicle associated with the position – now I need to get my French license.

Now in my third week of my first ever teaching position, I am starting to find a rhythm and a method to the madness. Generally, my students enjoy my classes and are all, themselves, enjoyable people. My coworkers are also very awesome and friendly people. There’s Kim, an older British woman who seems quite proper. There is Coral, a younger British woman who seems to have a streak of dark humor (it was she who suggested I traumatize my students to fill time). Then there is Sandhya, a charming woman from New Delhi. There is also Sophie, the director of this center, who (quite ironically) apparently has great difficulty (or perhaps a great disinclination towards) speaking English.

In a completely different and separate realm of conversational topics, the wife and I have, I believe, settled on the name Matthew Thomas for the one on the way (she vetoed Gozer the Destructor). While it will work equally well in English and French (with the th sounds flattening out into t’s), Ami wants to go with the English pronunciation, as well as spelling. Lacking a strong opinion either way, I’m going along with it.

And that, dear friends, is all I have for you today. Tune in tomorrow – same bat time, same bat channel.


3 thoughts on “October Challenge – IT HAS BEGUN!

  1. Excellent first post! I’m so glad you accepted the challenge. Not to be all “everyone’s a winner” on you, but in this case, it’s true.

    I love the name. It’s rolls off the tongue much more smoothly than “Baby Hillson” and I’m relieved that you’ve relinquished naming rights to Ami as Gozer is an awful baby name!

    Lastly, I am thrilled you found a job you will excel in and enjoy! Way to go, family man. 😉

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