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Hump Day Hat Trick

It's been a very good day.

First ...

A couple weeks ago I ran across Tales of the Decongested, which is a website and monthly reading forum whose "primary objective is to raise the profile of the short story and to discover exciting new talent in London."

I submitted a story to them and, I'm very pleased to say, I received a charming email this afternoon saying I'd been selected for this month's reading.

So if you can, please come to Foyle's on Charing Cross Road next Friday, October 26th and see me read "Baggage Claim." It will subsequently posted at www.decongested.com. I've read several of the pieces that they've published, and I'm thrilled to be included in their ranks.

Second ...

I passed my exam today to become a TEA test examiner.

There are four of us on the course, and we all thought we were just going to learn to teach the Aviation English curriculum. It turned out we were being trained to assess pilots and air traffic controllers who are non-native English speakers, as well as to teach the course.

Interestingly, if you teach the candidates, you cannot administer the test to them. The rules stipulate that the examiners have no previous contact with the candidates, to rule out any possible bias based on favoritism or preconceived abilities.

The pass/fail criteria for examiners is, at best, a little nebulous due to confidentiality and controls set up by the examining body. We were told we'd get four tries to hit the mark. I was well and truly chuffed (which means "quite pleased" for y'all in the States) to pass on the first round. I thought for sure I'd be there all day listening to oral exams.

Frustrating thing was there's no feedback. I know I didn't get 100%, but they won't tell you where you went right/wrong. Just 'you pass' or 'try again.'

So, while the others in the class retook their exams this afternoon, I got to come home and watch an episode of Pushing Daisies, which is really growing on me.

Third ...

My new one-on-one evening student (with whom I'm having "social English" lessons over the next couple of weeks meaning dinner and conversation) looks like the love child of Peter Gallagher (circa Summer LoversDead Calm.

And he's charming and intelligent and just a little shy. So not what you'd expect from a French corporate lawyer (how's that for a broad-sweeping cultural stereotype?)

And how was your day?