Yesterday lunchtime the phone rang. It was Mum. Again. She rarely has any news, and neither do I, but that doesn't stop her ringing me. Only yesterday there was news. I hadn't seen the national news, so was totally unaware that a severe earthquake had struck Canterbury in the early hours of the morning. Dad somehow slept through virtually the whole thing, while I'm a bit envious of my brother for experiencing his first quake. I'm amazed that nobody died. That there was no loss of life was due to the timing of the quake, structural improvements made to buildings over the years, and simply good fortune. News of the earthquake somewhat overshadowed the other disaster to hit the South Island yesterday. Nine people were killed when their skydiving plane crashed at Fox Glacier; four of them were tourists including a 24-year-old Englishman. Reports of what actually happened there seem sketchy; there will surely be more to come. September 4th 2010 will live long in the memory for many people.
Lifeline on Friday night was a much more pleasant experience and I'll be carrying on with the course for the time being at least. I have an assignment to hand in on Friday; I'll make a start on that tomorrow. I've also made an appointment to see WINZ at midday and will be catching up with Andy in the afternoon. Then in the evening I'll have my Italian class.
My maths lesson on Wednesday was a definite change in pace from some of my previous ones. I tutored a 13-year-old boy from Browns Bay who came from a family very unlike what I described in my last blog post. I proceeded to give a lesson on fractions, or try to. I asked him what a half plus a third was, but he was all at sea. In my next lesson I'll have to get right back to the basics of what a fraction is - I've printed out a series of factsheets from the BBC website. Judging by the hour I spent with him, I'd say he was five years behind in maths. I really want to help him. As we cover fractions I'll try and get him to learn his times tables at the same time.
I heard nothing more about that job, so my chances must surely have dropped from 25% to under 10%.