A year of work in progress – day 74 (Verbs)

Day 74 – 25 April 2014 and day 22 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge.

For some reasons when teaching a language in this country we are obsessed with trying to conjugate verbs. Each language has a slightly different approach and mastery of these is seen as essential. Of course we learn to conjugate in English long before we know what a doing word is (I walk, you walk, he walks etc.) yet we still make mistakes even as a fully-fledged member of the English speaking peoples. How many times have you heard someone say we was? How many times did you not understand what they meant?

I was lucky enough to have a smattering of Latin at school and so had some exposure to the art of conjugation (amo, amas, amat) which has come useful in my quest to learn other tongues, especially Spanish where the pronoun is usually left off and the ending of the verb indicates who is doing what.

Yet for most of us learning in such a fashion is unnecessary as some forms will be rarely used (such as they should). Far better to learn some key verbs in depth (to be, to have, to go) and just remember the infinitives and the participles. So rather than learning complex cases you can say along the lines of I walk, am walking, have walked, going to walk etc. The more complex stuff will come with time as your confidence and fluidity grows.

Guess what, the same technique can be applied to most things. Rather than getting bogged down in the complex we should focus on the most used and learn the key components of an activity that can be used over and over again.

It’s like riding a bike. Don’t start with the bunny hop but instead focus on keeping upright in a straight-line. The rest can follow.

I started with a school visit this morning, a trip to Wellfield with Sandra. We’re doing a few of these over the coming week or so to bring the Heads up to date with some important changes.   Not everything we have to say is universally popular and so I had to choose my words carefully. The meeting went well and it was good to talk about what we really come into work to do.

Back at County Hall we had a useful meeting to look at how we use our corporate contracts both for the benefit of the Council but also to leverage greater benefit for the County. All hush hush as it would be commercially sensitive but good stuff.

Lunch was with Lawrence my wingman and after that I met with my 28th tier 4 manager. Stephen is the Planning Development Manager in Regeneration and Economic Development. It turns out that I was the first Head of Service ever to sit in his office to which of course I replied that he was lucky to have an office.

He took me through the role of planning and building control and it was good to spend some time with someone who is proud to work in the public sector.

Learning points for today: Sometimes I need to choose my words more carefully; doing the right thing is always right; learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all and; it can take some time to get there.

Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – wasn’t looking forward to this morning but turned out well after all.

4 thoughts on “A year of work in progress – day 74 (Verbs)

  1. Being Scottish I’m never sure how well I was taught English in school 😀

    Wellfield is a lovely school, transport efficiency is only reason I’m not there

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