I'm still in Ireland mode so I wanted to let you all know that James Joyce made his living teaching English at Berlitz. I suppose he was more famous for some other things but here are a few language-oriented biographical tidbits. I got them from his Wikipedia bio
, which is quite interesting.
"Around [age 5] Joyce was attacked by a dog, which engendered in him a lifelong cynophobia. He also suffered from keraunophobia, as his deeply religious aunt had described thunderstorms to him as a sign of God's wrath." [See below.]
... He later enrolled at the recently established University College Dublin (UCD) in 1898, studying English, French, and Italian.
... After [his mother's] death he continued to drink heavily, and conditions at home grew quite appalling. He scraped a living reviewing books, teaching and singing—he was an accomplished tenor, and won [a] bronze medal in 1904.
... Joyce and Nora went into self-imposed exile, moving first to Zürich, where he had supposedly acquired a post to teach English at the Berlitz Language School through an agent in England. It turned out that the English agent had been swindled, but the director of the school sent him on to Trieste, which was part of Austria-Hungary until World War I (today part of Italy). Once again, he found there was no position for him, but with the help of Almidano Artifoni, director of the Trieste Berlitz school, he finally secured a teaching position in Pola, then also part of Austria-Hungary (today part of Croatia). He stayed there, teaching English mainly to Austro-Hungarian naval officers stationed at the Pola base, from October 1904 until March 1905, when the Austrians—having discovered an espionage ring in the city—expelled all aliens. With Artifoni's help, he moved back to Trieste and began teaching English there. He would remain in Trieste for most of the next ! ten years.
... Joyce concocted a number of money-making schemes during this period, including an attempt to become a cinema magnate in Dublin. He also frequently discussed but ultimately abandoned a plan to import Irish tweeds to Trieste. His skill at borrowing money saved him from indigence. What income he had came partially from his position at the Berlitz school and partially from teaching private students."
"Cynophobia is the abnormal fear of dogs. Cynophobia is classified as a specific phobia, under the subtype "animal phobias". According to Dr. Timothy O. Rentz of the Laboratory for the Study of Anxiety Disorders at the University of Texas, animal phobias are among the most common of the specific phobias and 36% of patients who seek treatment report being afraid of dogs or cats. Although snakes and spiders are more common animal phobias, cynophobia is especially debilitating because of the high prevalence of dogs in the United States (estimated at over 62 million in 2003)."
Astraphobia, also known as astrapophobia, brontophobia, keraunophobia, or tonitrophobia, is an abnormal fear of thunder and lightning, a type of specific phobia. It is a treatable phobia that both humans and animals can develop.
A person with astraphobia will often feel anxious during a thunderstorm even when they understand that the threat to them is minimal. Some symptoms are those accompanied with many phobias, such as trembling, crying, sweating, panic attacks, the feeling of dread, and rapid heartbeat. However, there are some reactions that are unique to astraphobia. For instance, reassurance from other people is usually sought, and symptoms worsen when alone. Many people who have astraphobia will look for extra shelter from the storm. They might hide underneath a bed, under the covers, in a closet, in a basement, or any other space where they feel safer. Efforts are usually made to smother the sound of the thunder; the person may cover their ears or curtain the windows."
I'm reading Dubiners just now, which he wrote in his twenties. I had forgotten how wonderfully crafted each sentence is! What an English teacher he must have been.