Squishy toadstools and hard tests

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leccinum_scabrum18092009.jpgIt just shows how few people in my home country have shown an interest over the years in this best of forms of food for free.

I had to go on line to check the pronunciation of the “species” part of the name birch bolete (stress is on the second syllable, first syllable pronounced with a schwa [ ə], rhymes with replete.

German name Birkenpilz and it is in association with birch trees that you will find it. At present in considerable numbers. No need to take the squishy ones – leave them to shed their spores and perpetuate nature’s harvest. If Keats had known of toadstool bounty he would have included it in his Ode to Autumn.

 Who hath not seen thee stooping low to scoop
Out of the clinging stalks of sedgy grass
The rounded bolete with its speckled stem,
Firm standing near the birchtree bole, then seen
The sacrifice in miniature,small trunk vicarious felled,
Oft hast thou harvested – not that, but rather hunted
– such rounded brown things, this thy bounty,
Racing the slow slug to save the feast intact,
And cried, “ich hab’ dich!- Hab dich auch gebracht“

Oh, how much easier it is to plagiarise than to compose! But the rhythms of the English language are a grand framework— even that last sentence has the five basic stresses of iambic pentameter, I realise. If anybody is reading this and would like me to organise a “lit crit” workshop, how happily I would respond! If we’re quick about it we can go on a mushroom hunt before or after as inspiration or bonus.

And now to the hard tests.

I organise a fair amount of teaching in preparation for LCCIEB English exams.

Interestingly, there seems to be a similar trend in these exams to the one noted here http://www.hmc.org.uk/hmc-warns-goves-exam-reforms-will-be-built-on-sand-unless-britains-decayed-examining-system-is-remedied/, though over the years I have found the well-staged LLCIEB system to be a good construct on which I could plan pupil training.

I suspect that there is a “career development” movement within what has become the “examinations industry” – noticed some time back that the overall body is listed on the stock market! Now we have the ultimate irony that private schools are unhappy with what seem to be the sort of idiosyncratic modifications that bespeak a person who wants an individual “achievement” to cite in his or her CV… for we now live in a world where “public service” as a career has been eroded by privatisation.

Thankfully, all the last batch of “our” examinees could be more than pleased with their results. And someone I coached for IELTS is overjoyed that she fulfilled the requirements set by the British university where she wants to do her MSc.

That’s work I love doing, too – but back to Keats’ Ode… do contact me if you’d like to meet for play-readings or the like, either at my house in Naumannstraße or where I share premises with www.kubitz-galvano.de .

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