The English are so great at spelling names the way they're pronounced.
Good point. I keep wanting to mis-spell 'Marylebone'. Just yesterday, one of my students pronounced Southwell as 'south' + 'well' (rather than 'suthvell') but I didn't bother correcting her. As Kim Hill commented to James Belich this morning, it is just as well we don't have to learn to speak English as it is such a contrary language. Try explaining the distinctions between 'there' and 'their' or 'whether' and 'weather' to a ESL student--or the absence of an apostrophe in 'its'.
Kerry; duh! I just read further down your message. I will email you asap
Feedback Wanted. I'd be most grateful if any community members shared their thoughts with me about PA as a virtual community.
I am willing to help but do you want responses here, or via another route?
I recently--and grandly-- declared PA the 'not just the best blog in New Zealand but the best blog in the world'--adding that we all have experienced the problems of finding new friends or companion spirits as we grow older but (at least for me) PA has provided a whole community of 'friends'.
On the Lfaws thing--the only NZ news I read in the British press when I was in the UK last week was a item on his response to the Otaki students--along the lines of "NZ mayor insults children"
These are ideas I would support. My experience is that many of my students don't share my loyalty to NZ films but that is no reason to keep trying, to add something local spice to their usual diet of dumb popcorn movies.
I think we need more on film culture on TV too. I did a pitch to the SPADA 'The Big Pitch' competition late last year ("Saturday Night At the Movies") and people seemed to like it. For some there, it seemed to have some traction (ie I had an interested producer, with a possible broadcaster) but it seems to have fizzled..
NZ is a dull place for kids
Yikes, I agree with these sentiments too. It is all rather dispiriting when you encounter students who regard getting pissed, missing lectures and assignments , accumulating debt and generally slacking off is more important than engaging with ideas, encountering the excitement of intellectual debate, enjoying the freedoms that will largely disappear once they get a job. Call me an idealist, if you will, but university days can really be glory days.
If they were my students, I would be happy to fail them, to make space for others who will use their time more wisely.
It might be a relic in these mp3 days (like the toothless rogue who runs it) but I was pleased to see that Spiller's Record Store (est. 1894) is still there, in downtown Cardiff. It is supposed to be the oldest record store in the world and was facing extinction, when I was last in Cardiff in 2007.
From Liverpoool. where I have a view out the window of the Mersey in the rain. Isn't it strange how the mystique of a river is often stronger than its reality?
District 9 has only just opened in the UK and. in most reviews I have read, they make the fairly obvious analogy with apartheid.
Oh, and whilst I am here, I do strongly urge everyone to sign the petition re the possible closing of the Centre for New Zealand Studies at Birkbeck College in London. All of NZ's great and good are weighing in. I stayed overnight in Nottingham with Ian Conrich, the Centre's director, and he is obviously more than a little distraught.
Sacha: would I find one floating around London? In South Kernsington at the moment, having visited The French Bookshop in Bute Street (my son wanted graphic novels in French, to combine two interests) and sort of missing not being part of these conversations.
God, that 26 hours on Air NZ to Heathrow was an ordeal! Heading north to Nottingham and Liverpool on Monday, then wheel back via Cardiff.
Not so much as a dead elephant but a threatened kiwi! Some of you might not know that there is a Centre for New Zealand Studies at the University of London (Birkbeck College), which has been funded by a combination of NZ and the UK government. It was largely the inspiration of Ian Conrich (a great friend of New Zealand) and has been remarkably successful--showing NZ films, hosting talks by NZ film-makers and literary types (such as C.K. Stead), running international conferences on NZ Studies, building a huge resource of historic material, starting up PhDs etc etc.
Anyhow, for some inexplicable reason, Birkbeck are planning to close it down. You can sign a petition about this very foolish move, at www.lobbyingforum.com