Tuesday, February 12, 2008
"...brainy, brainy, brainy"
18.08 Twelve Minutes Late
So I sat in the pub with half a Guinness trying to make the best of it. Avoiding eye contact with the other solitary drinkers in case they thought I was desperate to chat and eavesdropping on a group on their various ways home following a training course.
At registration this morning they were strangers; by the second coffee break allegiancies had formed; over lunch soul-mates bonded. Now, each reluctant to be the first to leave and break up the party, it's: "Oh, there's another train in fifteen minutes...I'll get that" and "Who wants another drink?".
When it eventually arrives, the '18.08' fills up with the tired and pissed off from the hour before and the regulars, pissed off that their normally quiet train appears to have been hijacked.
The person who sits down next to me smells nice and doesn't occupy more than his fair share of seat, which is as much as I could ask really. Before the first stop he has wrestled a text book out of his satchel, apologised for jostling me, and asked: "Excuse me...but..."
I remove my headphones. He points at a word underlined in blue: "Could you help me? This word ... what does it mean?"
I notice that quite a lot of words are underlined.
By the time he gets off, four stops later, I have also attempted to define and contextualise 'integrity' 'compromise*' 'divulge' and 'consideration'**. When it came to 'fiduciary' I threw in the towel. He is studying ethics and his first language is not English. It's the hardest I've worked all day.
*in the sense of 'expose to disrepute' rather than 'settle by concession'
**in the legal sense