Technology, and carrots
Receiving sudden, very sad news of the critical state of health of a childhood friend is tempered by the appreciation of the Facebook chat box. The exchange with the healthy brother is Immediate, direct, intensely personal. We share so many links and interconnections, so many years. Words in print don’t convey the half: In my mind, I can hear his voice, see his eyes. I hope it is the same for him. We have so many reasons to stand tall, we who are left.
I love the wooden chopping board and making salads for lunch on hot day. It never occurred to me before today that choosing carrots could be a culturally-based activity. I was in the vegetable section of the shop next to a Portuguese woman I have known for some time. I say, “Ah, carrots!” and bend down to retrieve them. They are long, slim, and fresh-looking; in other words, perfect. She remarks, “They’re a bit thin, don’t you think?” I reply that they are sweeter that way. You see, here in the Algarve, carrots come in many sizes, but are mostly enormous – and those are considered “the good ones”. I tell her that I will be eating them raw. Now she thinks me strange. It does not take much for that to happen, it seems.
My total training in the use of Microsoft Powerpoint occurred in 1998 and last three minutes. Obviously, I have taught myself a thing or two since, and translated plenty of presentations (Notes to translators who have not converted: Trados makes this easy – none of the fiddling around with font sizes and bullet points as we did in the old days). My faith in the altruism of human beings who freely share knowledge they have acquired has been restored by my recent visit to slideshare. It has a search function, so you only need look at presentations you are interested in. All presentations are downloadable. Log in with LinkedIn or Facebook.
I have just been enormously amused that someone has uploaded an entire book, 186 pages in length, entitled A Companion to Translation Studies. I would guess this is not the real aim of slideshare, but does it does illustrate that once you have logged in, you can upload as much as you like, too. We have come a long way from dusty encyclopaedias with yellowing pages at the back end of the library. This is something I celebrate daily.
João took a few photos of me. Here is one of the duds. at the time, she was holding the camera upside down and back to front. For want of imagination, I shall call it “Red T-shirt”.