Having just sat for 15 minutes trying to load beta blogger to publish an entry, I find myself so startled by the sudden appearance of the page that I've almost forgotten what I was going to post about. I had, in fact, begun to mail a reply to BT that the problem is theirs - but I'll do this first now that I'm here.
After teaching two hours intensively today on Higher Engish, and then spent 30 minutes on QuickTopic Document Review doing formative assessment on a Higher essay, I feel suddenly very ... teacherly again. I am exercised by the problems pupils carry into the Higher English course - in particular, today, the problem of a limited vocabulary. It is, I imagine, unthinkable that someone would sit Higher French without making an effort to learn new words, and words of a certain degree of sophistication so that they could get past the "je m'appelle.." mode, and yet they expect to cope with the subtleties of English literature without knowing, say, what "dreary" means. That example comes from today, but I could come up with many others - and that's before I move on to the technical language required to discuss literary technique with any degree of clarity.
Ah well. There is much to be done. I've suggested the daily read of Guardian Unlimited as a start to acquiring the necessary vocabulary - as well as the skills of the essayist. In the meantime, I find Quick Topic Document Review an excellent tool for online tuition at the moment, and am grateful to Dave Weinberger for pointing me towards it.
And now to see if I can establish sufficient connection to publish this ......