Correspondence from Canada: Letter 17 - 07.11.81
Copyright holder(s): Name withheld
Dear Mum & Dad,
Sorry I haven't written for a bit, but I've been kept on the go. Also, I got about 10 letters this week from various people, so I've been writing a few replies. One letter was from Louise [CENSORED: surname], telling me she's given up teacher-training at Jordanhill to take up a job as a children's fashion designer for a firm which supplies British Home Stores. She's hurriedly had to fly down to London to see kids' fashion shows. It seems like a good job, a lot better than teaching. I also received a letter from Trish [CENSORED: surname], a fellow Eng. student at Glasgow, who's doing librarianship and who tells me most grad's are doing teacher-training and disliking it. And David [CENSORED: surname] wrote to tell me he's had no news from Surrey and is losing hope about that job, and the [CENSORED: surname] wrote to tell me that my travel plans are fine.
And work is hotting up as I try to get term papers written to be typed. If I'm sent home after Christmas don't be too surprised - I find it difficult to work up enthusiasm for academic work at the moment. However, I'll probably scrape through.
On Wed. evening Helen [CENSORED: surname], a mature student who commutes to UNB from Moncton on Wed.'s and Thurs.'s brought down a seafood supper, and invited me round to Ann [CENSORED: surname]', another English student's flat to help eat it. It was gorgeous - lobster, shrimps, and crab, with a kind of lemon-jelly salad. Helen's a nice woman, and she's invited me to stay with her family in Moncton some weekend, so I can see some more of New Brunswick. I may go in late December, if I've time, or next term.
On Thurs. evening I went to see Canadian rock group "Doug & the Slugs" at a dive called the Rolling Keg, downtown. The band was good, but the place was like one of these saloons you see in Westerns, and sure enough a fist fight broke out at about 11.30. However, the 8 foot bouncers jumped on the offenders very quickly and deposited them outside. "Just like Urban Cowboy", I thought.
I met the Eng. 1015 class, whose essays I mark, for the first time yesterday. They think I'm a strict marker. Apparently, though, the exercises I mark are taken into consideration in their final assessment, which I did not know. However, I'm still alive, and I think I impressed on them that I know what I'm doing.
It's frightening how basic writing skills are downgraded here. Some first-years - although not many - are practically illiterate. How did they get to University? One problem is that English is not taught well in school, and another is the advance in computer studies. They're computer-daft here - it's made inroads into every dept., including the Eng. dept. It is a marvellous tool but it's taking over. Computers operate on "keywords", not sentences, so I wonder if in 10 years time computer scientists (or even students in general) will need to be able to put 2 coherent sentences together. It's frightening.
Still, how are you getting on? I haven't heard from you at all this week, but the post is so erratic. I'm getting Carole's letters out of sequence again. And I still haven't received my birthday pressies! I'll have to send my Xmas ones soon!!
The weather has been mild but wet - very Scottish. Snow is forecast soon though. Hope you're both well, and happy. Give my best to all,
[NOTE: on back of envelope]P.S. The [CENSORED: surname] said they would like the recipe for "Scottish Shortbread". Can you send me it?
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Correspondence from Canada: Letter 17 - 07.11.81. 2020. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved August 2020, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/document/?documentid=865.
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