I’m here and alive. Ten days behind the reality of my written life, yet here and alive. TOEIC is the predominant motif of life from the end of the semester until … today. This is the end, after all. This end marks the culmination of months of debates, preparations, dry runs, flight checks, swearing, bitching, regaling, and a general, festering, yet emergent fear of all things TOEIC.
This is the fourth time through the breach into life interruptus. Even the free times and days off burn with the fires of unholy TOEIC.
For the teachers in the camp, maybe things are different. For some of them I’m positive they experience more vacation and less TOEIC-ification. A few throw themselves in full and eat, breathe, and shit TOEIC like me for weeks unending until the last day when all you want to do is drink yourself into a six days stupor or climb a mountain if only to reach the top and scream like a rabid gorilla that just broke free from the shackles of man and his fucking zoo.
This camp has been a ritualistic excursion in how perversely technical I can make things for money. This is a nasty side habit picked up at The CEC—where something once pretty simple and manageable by anyone is picked up and specialized to the point where either only I can do it or a fair bit of training is required before someone else can do it. I want to say that I hate self-proselytizing and monopoly-making and dashes of lockin and self-protectionalism because it reeks of The PDF was christened for—prima donnaism. Looks deceive this desire and what people see is me becoming more and more a control freak. But I know myself and this process has three parts:
- take something disorganized or broken and fix it
- apply standardization or tech or both as part of the fix
- make it universal and accessible to all
I’m on step 2 and I’m gonna be one step 2 for at least one more camp, possibly two (and then I’m gonna blow my brains out). Step 3 is definitely gonna take another camp, although I’m going to start laying some of this groundwork in this camp by putting some of my hard-won optimizations and tricks to paper so they can be used by others in my place someday. I’m tempted to charge money for this—and I could probably do that—what takes me 30-40 minutes as of this camp would take another person two hours because that’s how long it took me before I figured out how to make it faster. This is my intellectual property to be sure, but hoarding it defeats one of my larger goals in life: expanding and getting better at shit, not stagnating on the things I’ve gotten good at.