Saturday, January 10, 2004

Humph! I know it seems vain to think you are smart, but when I dropped out of school almost exactly 40 years ago it was because they didn't listen to me. They send you to a school for clever kids and then talk down to you.

I said I didn't want to learn Latin, I would prefer Russian or Chinese (I figured that they would be unusual and highly employable skills in the future). Of course, with the Cold War, Russian would have made me a spy, probably, but China was 'closed' then, and everyone thought I was crazy. I dropped out and bought 'Teach Yourself Chinese' but when I realised that the calligraphy and the pronunciation were completely separate in an ideographic language I decided I had taken on too much to learn, just from a book (no tapes, CDs and videos back in 1964).

Now the BBC are to start teaching Chinese in a new series, because "It is predicted that Chinese will overtake English as the main language of internet communication in the next ten years".

Told you so - it could have kept me going - as I have no pension, etc. Still, I have ten years to catch up!

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