Sunday, November 23, 2008

Silent Retreat 2

When I got up on Friday morning I was worried I might die. When I went to bed on Friday evening I was worried I might not. This is the day I attend the silent retreat after work: I have to get through the school day first and I know I am not well. Men and colds eh? Still, I have a light timetable today and I can hang around the staffroom catching up on administrative tasks. Later that morning I am forcibly ejected from the staffroom by my compassionate colleagues for "sneezing with menaces".

"You've got to be nice to me today." I say to my Yr 9 class. "I'm not well."
"Hahahaha. As if." trills Hayley.
However they are a lovely class and we have a good time and get plenty of work done.

My Yr 11s were just as accommodating but we are disadvantaged by my classroom's proximity to the school's bus lane. From 2.20 to 2.40 we live on the edge and the strange accoustics don't give us any warning.
Woosh! Out of nowhere a cream coloured tornado flies past the window.
"BUS" shouts Matthew.
Two minutes later the bus has turned round and wooshes past again.
"BUS" shouts Matthew.

When I was a student-teacher we learnt about the development of cognitive thinking in children via the writings of a Frenchman called Piaget. His three year old daughter was having trouble distinguishing between "slug", "same slug" and "different slug" in the garden. I have managed to apply this principle to Matthew. He now shouts "BUS." and two minutes later "SAME BUS." Matthew is 15.
One feels tax-payers money isn't being entirely wasted on the education of children in the catchment area.

We are studying teaching on Love and Forgiveness as found in the New Testament.
"Give me one of the four Greek words for Love".
"Two things, Katie. One, put your hand up and two, I think you mean Eros."
"Which one's that then?"
"Erotic love."
"That's what I meant."
"Oh, that'll work then. Every time you answer a question at GCSE, just put an asterisk and then a footnote that says: I meant to put the right answer."
"There's no need to be sarcastic."
"Oh, I think there is. Anyway, you're supposed to be being nice to me today 'coz I'm ill. I only came in today because I'm committed to you lot."

Stunned silence

Nathan: "Really?"
Chris: "Did you?"
Belinda: "Ah, Sir. Bless."
Matthew: "BUS"
Me: "Somebody hit him."

As I climb into the car for my short hop to the college, I feel upbeat and very, very ill.