Thursday, November 20, 2008

Silent Retreat 1


Dr. Bob and I have left our student cohort and have been fast-tracked this term and moved from Yr.1 into Yr.3. This is because we are on a two year course as I am a Theology graduate and Dr. Bob is a Doctor of.....something or other scientific. Dr. Bob is the cleverest person I have ever met and yet he is also one of the most self-effacing: "I am a worm and no man". I have no idea why he hangs out with me because I tease him mercilessly which he now believes is his sole function in life. Mind you, anyone who watches the Catholic Channel when unable to sleep and then gets hooked... I think he said something about "hot nun totty", but as that would be so out of character I may have misheard him.

We are currently studying Church History. I hated church history all those years ago and time has not improved my mood. It is deathly. Dr. Bob has been known to snore but he is too generous of spirit to actually voice criticism: "Well, he obviosly knows his stuff...." Whereas I want to say something acerbic about his failure to carry the rest of us in the slipstream of his enthusiasm. (Actually, there are several hes. Some are better than others.) However, Yr. 2 are not having a lot of fun on a module on pastoral care either. Listening skills have been reduced to the level of party games. Hilda was very scathing and I don't think I can repeat what Cathy said. (And she works in a Christian bookshop! Shame on you girl!)

Still, I have a cunning plan, as Baldrick would say. I worship at the shrine of St. Ipod. This is a strategy I learnt from some of my pupils - and boy are they in trouble now that I am wise to it!. You have to sit sideways on to the lecturer and at the far end of the row. You feed the earplug wires up the back of your shirt and through the loop at the top and feed the obscured ear's earpiece wire behind the ear and over the top. You can then appear to rest your head studiously on that hand and no one knows.

Aren't teenagers inventive?

I survive church history with the help of Elgar, Vaughan-Williams, Holst and Butterworth (what with me being patriotic). My pupils have been known to attempt to survive my lessons with help from Satan's Tattoo or Up Yours Mother-f***er (asterisks just in case Neil still drops by).

Tommorow the original team are on a silent retreat for the weekend. Yes, THE (whole) WEEKEND!!!. There is a lot of discussion about whether any of us can sustain silence for a weekend. Still, we can text. I have a heavy cold. My intention is to spend the whole weekend in bed with a good novel and Classic F.M. Radio. Maintain silence? You just try me. It is just possible, though, that this may not be within the spirit of the weekend. We are also told we may not bring alcohol. This is something of a blow as it is both Karen and Dr. Bob's birthdays and I have ten bottles of wine in the boot of the car even as we speak. Get thee behind me Satan - about Sunday lunchtime ideally.

This priestly business is fraught.