Archive for February 6th, 2008

Cultural Differences: Sock Glue

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

A while back I was sitting on a train on my way to meet Marty when my I noticed that the girl beside me was fiddling with her socks. Girls in Japan tend to wear long socks which are pulled up to their knees or that are worn over the knees. These socks were just below her knees. She had pulled one of her socks down and was holding something that looked to me like Pritt Stick. She started to apply this to her leg. I looked away, as it’s rude to stare, but couldn’t help but look back. She appeared to be gluing her sock in place. She then did the same thing with the other sock.

I have always thought that schoolgirls in Northern Ireland did strange things with their socks. They roll them down in a certain way and the last time I asked my little sister they were wearing about three pairs of these at a time. But they don’t glue them to their legs!

I asked some Japanese friends about this and they wanted to know what I did to keep my socks and stockings in place, as the obvious way to do this is to use sock glue. I think for now I’ll continue to let mine slide down.

Today’s Reading

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

I don’t seem to be getting anywhere today in my reading. In my quest to find out more about communication I keep coming across papers that fail to communicate. Researchers from different backgrounds use different words to describe the same concepts. I have to keep checking to see if they are all really writing about the same thing or if there is some important yet subtle difference that I am missing.

I have read about a university that is trying to include an oral communication element into their Computer Science and Mathematics classes to prepare their students for the workplace that values communication skills over advanced programming skills. I have read about the problems that women face in Computer Science classes because the social setting in the classroom is defensive and not supportive – leading the women to believe that they don’t belong.

The new word of the day is para-verbal which appears to be a very similar concept to the linguistic one of prosody but I haven’t quite worked out yet if they are synonyms.

I am going to give up and read some fiction as I can’t face the thought of reading any more technical or scientific papers tonight.