22 July 2009

Surprisingly close

From March to June, time moved so slowly. It seemed like my leaving would never arrive. And at that time the amount of work coming in was so reduced, it was almost too quiet. But now, here I am, just over two months away from my early retirement, my self-inflicted poverty. Things are moving. I've got too much work. I won't be able to finish it. My colleague, J, frets about this. She's nicer than me, and worries about what she'll leave behind. Me, I'll just be happy to leave it.

We've arranged the leaving party - a room in a pub on 30 September, the exact and obvious date to choose. And I've booked virtually every Monday until then as leave, to use it up, but also to give me a taste of not-working.

On Friday I'm going to a pre-retirement course. Organised by some people called Laterlife, which sounds like the provisional wing of Senilitas. I'm dreading/hoping that everyone else will be much older than me, and talking about their plan to move to Spain, to get away from all the foreigners. Me saying, no actually I want more time to appreciate the innacity life, innit.

The course, funnily enough, is at UCL, so I've been provok'd to look again at the MA syllabus in Comparative Literature. It's got me wishing I'd gone for it this year. The best, most exciting, bit is the course on translation studies. I was talking about this to someone at work who clearly didn't see how translation could be contentious - for him, it was straightforward, a matter of knowledge and skill. Just reading the syllabus, I can see how it's much more than that, even beyond the concerns I have as a reader. This part of the course is the one where education is valuable for showing you what you don't know.

And also, I noticed in the marking scheme that this gets a pass mark:

The piece of work is relevant, shows signs of understanding, but nevertheless a rather thin or incomplete grasp of the material. There is little independent thought, ideas are not always well expressed, and the structure is deficient at some levels. The bibliography is rather thin, or inconsistent, or incomplete.

I think I can aspire to that.

Someone asked me today if I had had any second thoughts. I can honestly say, and I honestly said, that I really haven't. Given my genetic inheritance, I need to get my retirement done before I'm 65, and even if, by happy mischance, I live longer than that I can do it. Even if, eventually, my house is all tied up in equity release schemes. Sorry, nieces and nephew.


Anonymous said...

After Phedre why not aspire to writing a West End Musical such as Too Close to the Sun? See it before it closes.

Brian said...

@Anon - sounds brilliant! Assuming that's you, Clive, I'd been wondering what kind of songs the show might have about blowing your brains out. Sounds like it's as bad as I imagined.