Khaos

Archive for September, 2013

Talk Proposal

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

I have a love / hate relationship with public speaking.  I often think that it’s a great idea to speak at conferences but as the events approach my fear of public speaking kicks in, I feel overwhelmed, and can’t understand why I ever thought that speaking was a good idea.  My stage fright begins weeks before the event and it makes it very hard for me to rehearse my talks or to even think about them in advance. As I am aware I have this problem I usually complete all the required work on putting together a presentation months before the events start.  But I’ve messed up.

I’ve been trying to write a talk proposal for the Pittsburgh Perl Workshop for days now, but since the event takes place in about two weeks I feel anxious about a talk I haven’t written and that hasn’t even been accepted for the workshop!  I know I can get past these feelings but it’s difficult and I can surprise myself with the lengths I will go to avoid working on the talk, lengths that include writing blog posts instead of writing talks.

Perl Travel

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Next week I will be attending YAPC::Asia in Tokyo.  It’s going to be the biggest YAPC that’s ever been held with 1000 people attending.  When I tried to buy a ticket in August it was already sold out so I’ve bought a ticket off a friend so I can attend!  The conference is mostly going to be in Japanese but there will be a few talks in English and I’m looking forward to hearing Rik’s keynote.  My Japanese has improved in the past year but I will still find it difficult to understand the talks and it’s tiring concentrating on Japanese so I won’t be able to listen to a whole days worth of talks in the language.

I’ll be travelling to America towards the end of September and I’m hoping to catch up with Perl Mongers in New York, Philadelphia, and Atlantic City.  I am also hoping to speak at the Pittsburgh Perl Workshop so it would be useful if I actually managed to write a talk proposal for this…

In November I will be in Europe where I should manage to catch up with my friends at Birmingham.pm.  I’m not going to make it to the London Perl Workshop though as I had to fly back to Japan before that as I have a Japanese exam on the 1st December.

I Will Smile in Autumn

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

I noticed an odd thing today – no one was smiling.  I’m used to people smiling in greeting but today everyone looked miserable.  And then I realised so did I. Every time I step outside I have to brace myself for the wall of heat.  I carry water, a parasol, a fan, and a cloth everywhere I go.  I have to wipe sweat off my face when I get onto the train and I spend most of my time outside feeling sticky and disgusting.  I’m wilting in the heat and so is everyone else I meet.

Of course it’s been like this for months so what changed today?  I blame it on the silly notion that autumn starts in September in Tokyo.  My teacher has been talking about this in school for the past week, I’m seeing ads for autumn food and drink, and I get asked what I’m going to do now that summer is over. All this talk of autumn brings thoughts of cooler days but the weather at the minute is exactly the same as the weather last week.  I have been told many times that Japan has four seasons, I’ve even had to read an essay on this, and I get asked if there are four seasons in my country.  It seems that seasons are a thing to be proud of and here they long for them to last a perfect three months.  I imagine that in some parts of the country they do but having lived in Tokyo for nearly 7 years now I know that my concept of autumn isn’t really going to start here until around November.  At that point it will be cooler and the leaves in Tokyo will start to change to a bright yellow or red.  Last year the peak autumn leaf viewing time in Tokyo was the first week of December, which I have been told is winter.

I want the weather to dictate the seasons and not the calendar.