Some people may be wondering why I have been writing these small essays on the Thai language, and why I have chosen the format that I use.
A Thai lady who worked at my place of former employment in Bangkok once espoused the idea that there is a reason for everything that a person does, however, the reason[s] may not be visible to any spectators, and I fully agree with her philosophy.
And so, here is a summary of my reasons; it may help any readers to better appreciate my offerings on this literary altar.
The last work that I did before I went to Bangkok with my work was training employees of the organisation for which I worked in the use of a UNIX-based computer system. The software package which rode on this platform was called Applixware, and it was really great to use. Incredibly powerful, and the graphics part of the package was more fun than an other computer application that I know of. I could use it to draw a picture of Bart Simpson and animate it to look like it was talking [sorry, no sound available].
From my time as a trainer, I learned that difficult-to-digest information can be more effectively given to the trainees when it is in small doses, and when the training process is turned into an enjoyable experience. My training days were full of breaks and had lots of discussions about the subject matter between the doses of information that I had to give to these people.
This was a time of transition, when typewriters were still on half of the secretarial desks of my place of employment, and they were slowly being replaced by word processors. Some of the staff members were having serious difficulty adjusting to the new technology, and they were the ones who were allocated to my classes, simply because my personal style of training was the most effective for these people of the old school, and I knew my subject very well. One of my colleagues, Steve, was about my equal in knowledge of the Applixware, but his style of teaching was best suited to the high fliers amongst those to be trained, so he got people who had already had some experience with computer usage.
Steve and I were good friends, and as a colleague, I liked him as well as any other colleagues that I have had. There was a friendly rivalry between us where work – and especially Applixware – was concerned.
As trainers, we all had to keep abreast of advances in the software, and whenever a software update became available, we trainers became trainees, and the company which provided the software would provide the trainer for the software update.
And one time there was a simultaneous update in the spreadsheets and the graphics packages, so we trainers had to shoe-horn ourselves into a single training room where there were 9 terminals [one of these was actually a data projector, meant to be used by the trainer in our regular training sessions] to be shared amongst 15 trainers-turned-trainees. The lady who was giving us the training moved us around in the sharing with each session so that we never shared a terminal with the same fellow-trainee twice. On the 4th day of this training course, Steve and I were put together on the data projector. This nearly destroyed that particular training session.
Steve and I would spend our lunch-times looking at the new software, and we found little interest in the spreadsheets, so we mostly looked at the graphics package, and we found that it would do a lot more than the old version. We loved it, and we really pushed the package looking for new tricks. We found quite a few of them.
So there we were on the data projector, and our trainer was busy explaining some point or other about the spreadsheet’s new capabilities, and Steve and I were having a competition to see who could do the neatest trick with graphics, all projected onto the screen on the wall for the rest of the people in the room to witness.
Steve drew a cricket ball and made it spin.
I drew Bart Simpson and animated my figure’s mouth so it looked like it was talking.
I handed the mouse back to Steve, and he was about to start a new project when we realised that the room had gone silent. Everyone, including our trainer, was looking at our screen-on-the-wall.
Steve and I were separated, and banished from the data projector. The following day, which was reserved for the new graphics training, we were told we could have the day to ourselves, we did not need to attend the training session for the graphics.
So the reason I put the anecdotes about Thai language into my contributions is because I like to help people with something that I still find difficult myself, and I believe that the information should be in small doses so that the readers do not get “information overload”, and forget most of what I try to give them.
I also believe in putting the information into some sort of a story in order to give the information a context, a method which helps the reader remember the information more easily. This technique is as old as the bible; the writers of the bible used parables. I like the one about turning water into wine.
I try to get at least one of these stories done every week, but to do this, I can’t have distractions, and there are plenty of distractions here – there are the 2 boys, one 3 YOA and the other 9, there is the 17-YO stepdaughter who pesters me for driving lessons, and there is even the wife who wants some medicine rubbed on her back after she has showered. After I do that for her, she turns around and undoes her towel. Damn, that’s a disturbing construction ...distraction ... attraction? Whatever, it disturbs me!
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