Things I miss


  1. tygger Says:

    I still remember my last trip to camden town … was with you … very early one morning … both of us just having rolled out of Lalla’s flat … for some crepes … in the cold … followed by a potter down to RFH ….

    hmmm… one of the last instances of quality time with you …

    and i miss you (and your black baggy jeans …)


  2. Mark Says:

    Tygger is another thing I miss.

  3. Sophia Says:

    And slurp misses Mark too. All too ofetn, one of us says, "Mark would now have said xyz", or even "what would Mark have said to xyz?", upon which Christopher will immitate you.

    By the way, Christopher’s immitations have improved a lot lately, and Matthew is competing fiercely. Susan has yet not witnessed hers, not have I witnessed mine, ecept that I know it involves a "so".


  4. Mark Says:

    I’m chuckling. I think it’s probably an emphatic "so!"
    What does my own immitation involve? (any news from Tony and Tony?)

  5. swing kong Says:

    🙁 don’t be sad, PSM, we sure as hell miss you too. githeri may be a small consolation, but at least its not
    maize and beans (!)

    if i had the money, i’d come over to cheer you up.

    but sadly, >denied< ! me and Helen think of you always with burnt cork on your cheeks, doing your famous Simon Selmon impression.
    i’ll remind you via email just how cool you were…

    lots of love, me old mungbean,

  6. Fede Says:


    miss you too of course, although im sure im one of the least things you miss 😉


  7. Sophia Says:

    Your imitation involves a deep voice and eloquence. Chris and Matthew say that you are the perfect presenter, and I agree; I hope your pupils appreciate that 🙂

  8. Mark Says:

    I’m grinning. I hope they do too.

    Teaching is a challenge over here. I remember drawing the cross-section of an avacado on the board and and talking about how your operating system comprises a kernel, shell and supporting utilities, adding appropriate labels to the diagram. When I told the ladies to copy the diagram into their notebooks the look on their faces was a treat.

    But such treats are few and far between. Recently I had the class representative from Stage II come to me and ask for additional classes because the class is concerned that the exams are getting close (two weeks) and they are behind with their notes. These are the ladies whom I have tried to teach programming to. I’ve been having motivation problems since that exchange.

    It seems impossible to teach programming in this context. The exam does not even encourage it and it would entail overcoming cultural obstacles. And, you might say, its not so important that these young african women learn to write C programs. But programming — and PC troubleshooting, which I also teach — are paradigms of analytical thought. If there were some way we at college could give our students experience at forming theories, designing ways to test those theories, implementing those tests and interpreting the results, then we would really have given them something useful.

    Meanwhile I’m preparing some extra lessons to cover past paper topics like "the history of programming language development in terms of generations", a model according to which programming language development ended in the early ’80s having run into a cul-de-sac in Japan, and does not include Object-oriented programming at all.

    Some more things I miss:
    – Programming (I downloaded a Haskell compiler last week to help one of the staff solve a problem he had that required arbitrary precision arithmetic, I enjoy Haskell very much. Its a thinking tool that gives my mind wings to soar).
    – Creative swearing (It is clever)
    – Witty conversations in general (hanging out with other vols and friends in Nairobi helps a lot)

  9. Sebastian Avocado McBean Says:

    CULTURAL OBSTACLES… hmmm. Avocados in Africa aside,
    I remember sitting in CS101 in the first week or two, being
    told that "an operating system such as UNIX is like peeling
    an onion" … meanwhile 150 eighteen-year-old boys, most
    of whom had hardly worked out how to open a Pot Noodle
    let alone peeled an onion, snored on….

    BTW Did someone just say "mungbean"?

  10. mungbean McBean Says:

    I miss getting email from you!