Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Green Cheese

There is a Scottish proverb, “Ye ne'er see green cheese but your een reels,” that my husband often quotes. Don’t ask me to translate “een reels” as I have no clue. The saying is about being covetous – seeing what someone else has and wanting it. The whole phrase has been shortened in our house to simply saying “green cheese”. It tends to be me that sees Joe with something and saying, “Where’s mine?” He points at me and chants “Green cheese!”

At work Joe completed a series of tests that led to him getting an ECDL qualification. The European Computer Driver’s License proves to an employer that the holder can use various Microsoft applications effectively to a certain standard. I think these kind of qualifications are always being superceded by something new – but getting the certificate also means you get a little credit sized piece of plastic. It is blue with a circle of stars on it. When Joe wafted in front of me I had a green cheese moment!

It just so happened that the school were able to negotiate a deal for ECDL training. The local authority was willing to pay all the costs for the materials, and tutors and the costs of sitting the tests. I thought it was a good deal. We have 35 hours of personal time that we have to account for every year and although I can easily fill 35 hours, not everything I do qualifies as “the” 35 hours. Marking doesn’t qualify, developing new units doesn’t qualify – anything that you normally do in your capacity as teacher doesn’t qualify! It has to be something that enhances you professional skills.

Well, I thought it would be a stroll in the park. I am fairly computer literate! The famous words of a song come to mind here – Frank Sinatra – “I did it my way”. It turned out that “my way” wasn’t “their way”. The end result might be the same but I got their by a different route. It was all about jumping through the right hoops in the right order. I admit that along the way I have learnt things that I didn’t know before, but much of the stuff was familiar – except maybe for databases which I found the easiest to do as it was entirely new to me so I didn’t have to unlearn any bad habits.

Upshot of it all is my certificate and my little blue card arrived in the post yesterday! I can now drive a computer all the way across Europe!

I was reading Numbers 31 this morning. The Israelites sent 12,000 men into a battle against the Moabites or the Midianites. 12,000 men returned at the end of the battle. They lost no one along the way! They made a point of giving an offering to Moses to give to God because they recognised that their victory had nothing to do with them – it wasn’t their weapons or their training that won the fight, but Gods’ goodness towards them. I just want to say thanks to God for helping me to get my ECDL certificate!

No comments: