Tuesday, 30 September 2008

My Most Wise Mintor Signs A Great Many Books, Plus: Liverpool Fans Drown My Sorrows


I went to Chester (ish) this weekend for Caroline's signing. I did initially test out the widget to breaking point to see if it indeed have magical powers and could transport me physically, as well as mentally.

But no. It is not yet that magical - perhaps the next one will be.

So I got the train instead with Evil Cake Fiend (she baked, which was lovely. But made me carry them and wouldn't even let me steal one. Not a single one...) at stupid hour in the morning.

Still - the signing was really good. Caroline looked busy and impressively cheerful throughout. I drank coffee and read Black Boxes (so far, so mint - it's a bit rude though so i had to hide it from the families which surrounded me in the coffee shop.) She even signed my copy. Even mentioned Lesbian Nurses for me which made made me proper smile, how.

Then, finally, I got cake. And buns. And more coffee. And most importanly met loads of fellow bloggers. Took me a while to begin to unravel the Blog Names from Real Names and for a time couldn't shake the feeling i was in bizarre suburban based spy thriller. But, as no hencemen appeared, I eventually relaxed into it and quite enjoyed myself.

I resisted the urge to jealously punch Caroline's New Mint, largely because he was actually really nice and quite entertaining. He was also equally awkward about revealing the storyline to his forth coming novel - so that made me feel better. What I did wheedle from him made the book sound pretty interesting too, so I may yet end up hating him (kidding. Or am I? Yes. Maybe. Who knows? No, really, kidding.)

Anyway - I'm back at work doing nothing at all useful now and feeling more like my old self for so shamelessy wasting my time. Soon I will go and steal someone's biscuits or scrounge ket from the kids. Later I will have a coffee. I will breifly consider marking as I make my way home. I will remember that I left my marking at school when I get home. Bugger eh?


Liverpool Fans Drown My Sorrows.

Despite my proper mint day on Saturday all was not great. Stupid bloody Toon. Messing up my day. And Caroline's oldest laughed at me when he discovered my dirty footballing secret (he did have the decency to turn away and giggle quietly though, he's obviously well brought up...)

Anyway - there I was, at Liverpool Lime Street waiting for my train, propping up the bar upstairs, when a Liverpool fan spotted the Newcastle Keyring which dangles from my Man's Bag (It is very manly. Honest, like).

So, a very big thank you to the Liverpool fans who insisted on buying me drinks to help ease my supporters pain, and thank you all so much for travelling with me to Leeds and keeping me entertained and the rest of the carriage so obviously irritated. It was mint. how.

Friday, 26 September 2008

Hiding Behind Piles of Green Books

So... another back-at-work post, once more from behind a pile of Big Green Exercise Books.

I'm hiding or, perhaps, I am camouflaged. Blending in seamlessly with my academic surroundings, child's exercise book open on the desk in front of me, no one just has realised their mistake. No yet has spotted I am a fraud...

It astounds me that I am allowed to do this. I teach, stood at the front of the room, or wandering about making suggestions and corrections and, occasionally, fairly poor jokes. And all the time I am convinced I am about to be found out.

At some point there will be a knock at the door and all this will be over.

I've got the right degree, I've got the right teaching qualifications, I can talk the talk and generally I think I'm pretty good at what I do... But I'm blatantly not an adult. I'm a twenty something year old child.

I am playing hide and seek with my Head of Department, crouched behind the Big Green Books. How mature am I?

Saturday, 20 September 2008

A Weekend Just For Me, Plus Disco Kettle Makes A Grand Return

Ah Saturday morning. Just. And here I sit in my Big Winter Dressing Gown, having eaten a leisurely breakfast of last nights pizza. Sipping contentedly at my coffee.

The weekend stretches out before me, and will be proper mint, how.

Because I've finished aaaallllllllll my marking.

Oh yes.

All done.



Well... When I say finished...

See, in a rush to escape at the end of Friday, I may have accidentally, and I must stress accidentally, left the Year 7 tests at school. Whoops.

Ah well. 

So, this weekend I have almost nothing to do but to boil my Disco Kettle. And write.

I am, actually, quite excited.

1000 words? Between me and DK we've got this covered (pulls up Big Winter Collar, listens for that long missed Bing). 

Cheers DK, lets get to work... 

Monday, 15 September 2008

(Note to Self) Reasons to Read and Not Bin Memos

As a highly trained and dedicated professional educator of today's youth, it is absolutely necessary to remain organised. To this end I have created my Very Own Filing System.

It really very simple and has the benefit of a natural Built In Streamline System which regularly alerts me to important items whilst less important, or worse - circular, memos are relegated to minor inconvenient characters...

It goes something like this:

1. I go to my pigeon hole and collect my post/memos/telephone messages etc.
2. I return to my room. Which, by the way, is in another building and a good five minute walk.
3. I pile it on my desk.
4. It stays there.

Now I know what you're thinking: That this is not a filing system. That it is, in fact, a pile. You are wrong.

See the beauty is in the simplicity of the system.

If something is important then eventually someone will come and find me and ask why I've not done something. So then I do it.

Otherwise, after a two week period I can safely assume that it's all rubbish, brush it from my desk and into the recycling and start a brand new pile.

Genius yes?

So far it's been spot on.

But something has been happening lately. Something underhand and sneaky.

Someone has been phrasing Memos thus:

Unless you provide a reason against us stealing your free periods to make you scrub the boys toilets using your own tie - which we have noticed you have not been wearing - we're going to do it.

Cunning eh?

Of course, this is where my filing system has broken down.

This week I have:

Missed an Exam invigilation.
Had a Drama Class arrive during my free period.
Failed to handout Letters from the Government.
Not attended a meeting with the Head of Year Eight.

I may have to develop a new system...


Send good vibes Caroline's way, she deserves them for being both lovely and, so far, Black Box-less. Hopefully tomorrow will see it all sorted. Much Love and Crossing of Fingers. 

Thursday, 11 September 2008

A Proper Educational Debate On The Benefits of Caffeine and the Evils of Free Cheese

Since I'm back in the swing of things now, educating this, lecturing on that, inspiring a little here and there - mostly there, I admit - I thought I'd quickly share some things that I have learnt this week.

1. The Benefits of Caffeine.

Ah, where to begin? 

Well, firstly, in a building that remain heatingless until October the First - which is, apparently, the date when the weather will begin to turn and our glorious summer will end. So be aware - it keeps my hands warm, all wrapped tight around my mug.

Secondly, holding a cup of coffee in indisputable truth that it is, in fact, biscuit time. When wandering the corridors stuffing my face with Caramel Digestives I get frowned upon. When I do exactly the same holding my coffee people smile and nod and are bizarrly friendly. Possibly they are after their own coffee and biscuits. This is a hint I refuse to take.

Thirdly, children hate the smell of black coffee. Really. Thus black coffee is an ideal way to protect said Caramel Digestives. Simply waft your coffee mug toward the biscuit packet and watch them scarper, leaving you with all the biscuits in the world.

Lastly, it is, I'm fairly sure, what keeps me from death.

2. The Evils of Free Cheese.

This is not just a: don't eat the free stuff from the Deli type thing. 

I think we all now that Morrison's lace their free cheese with heroin to provide you with instant, orgasmic gratification and an immediate addiction which no amount of cheddar will quench, no matter how often you eat it, how many different dishes you add it to or how often you rub it across your chest.

No no. This is a: Don't be fooled by the free cheese and crackers at the pub. It will make you thirsty, thirstier than you have ever been before.

Then very sick.


All over the place.

It will also make your place of work fall over and wibble the next morning, it will make the furniture kick you in the leg and will give you head aches.

That is all.

Class dismissed...

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Opening the Boot of my Car...

Throughout the summer the boot of my car has remained unopened.

I was, vaguely, aware that there was a reason for this. I was, vaguely, conscious of the fact that I had made that decision - to stay out of the boot of my car. There was, I think, some fear there. Something, something deep and dark and possibly wet in my head whispered and hissed whenever I approached.

This fear did not extend to the boots of other people's cars. No shivers, no creeping itchiness tickling at my spine when other people opened their boots. In fact I even travelled between pubs in one friends boot. Didn't bother me at all. Bit cramped, yes, wasn't easy to hold my pint upright I admit, but scary? Whey nah.

I couldn't quite figure it out. I don't think I wanted to figure it out. 

Shopping for one, it all fits on the front seat.

Travelling bags for one, it all fits nicely across the back seats.

Transporting peoples from A to B. That's what seats are for. And with bags? That's what laps are for.

It is, lets be honest here, very easy to never use the boot of your car when you have no dependents/desire to clothes shop for days at a time.

First day at work, I admit, I was tempted to open that boot. But I was strong. So laptop, iBook on an extended - very extended loan, box of new books with which to line my shelves, selection of new posters, jacket, tazer. All of it fit neatly onto the back seat. All nice and cosy.

By this point I think I'd already decided that whatever was in there was going to stay there. I had deduced, cos I'm proper clever me, how, that the boot of my car must contain one of the following:

1. My football kit.
2. The remains of numerous packed lunches.
3. A nest of small rodents, possibly mice or frogs.
4. Bags of things that were meant to go to the tip.
5. A body. Possibly belonging to a former co-worker/student.

But one by one, since work has returned these have proven to be untrue.

1. Friday came. I played football, wearing my kit - not pants and vest - and kit was clean. Ish.
2. The remains of numerous packed lunches were, in fact, being stored in my former filing cabinet. Former because it had been liberated from my lair by the new Head of Drama. He wasn't best chuffed, like.
3. No unusual noises, brakes and lights still worked, nothing had eaten through the back of the seats in a desperate bid for freedom.
4. Stuff destined for the tip is, still, littered around the porch.
5. (So far) all staff and students accounted for. Did wonder briefly when the Head of Music was missing for first two days, but has since been spotted wearing a white panama and a waistcoat.

So I had no choice did I?

Tonight, as the sun slunk miserably behind the moors, beneath brooding back clouds, I opened the boot

I sooooo wish it had been a body.


Hands up please if you know what this is.

Yes, you at the back? No not you. The not so greasy one. Yes?
That's right. Have a gold star.
You are absolutely right.

It is, in fact, the pile of coursework I took home to mark over the summer.

And yes, for a second star? Fantastic. That is spot on.

You're right. It is due back to the class tomorrow so they can redraft in time for the Deadline.

Can we go to the pub? Yes. Yes, I think we'd better...

Sunday, 7 September 2008

And So Ends A Geet Big Summer, Plus: Planning For Days Without DK...


Well. That's it then isn't it? Come 7:15 tomorrow when my alarm goes GGNAADRRTTTT - my summer ends.

I'm not best chuffed, how.

I've spent the summer playing at being a writer. I've worn my dressing gown everyday (I've washed it overnight), I've drank heartily from steaming cups of DK's coffee. I've scribbled endless ideas and doodles across a notebook.

But that's it. A writer no more until October half term. Seven weeks in reality.


Today is my Planning Day. I am planning on planning today. At somepoint. Maybe. In theory.

Well, no, not really. Who am I kidding? The more I plan the more things go wrong. I'm better when I wing it, or so I tell myself. And at least that way, if I haven't gotten as far as I intended there is no proof.

On Friday I got professionally managed (not as fun as you might think, and unfortunatley not a slang term either... Ah well). 
What targets would be reasonable for me to achieve this coming year? I was asked.

I could turn up, at least 75% of the time. I suggested. No.

Ok, I can stop piling books and stacks of paper on my desk so no one can see me and then pretending to be the Ghost of Essays Past. I suggested. No.

Fine, how about if the date I write on the board is never more than three days out? I suggest. No.

So it was decided for me. Proper work, proper targets, proper responsible adult once again.

I already miss the summer.

What's the bet that tomorrow is the sunniest, brightest, warmest, most glorious day we've seen since June? Course it will be - because tomorrow I get blackout blinds fitted so I can use the Interactive Whiteboard they bought me...

Ah well, it's nearly Christmas at least.


Days without Disco Kettle. Days without my dressing gown. It just seems so unfair. We do have a coffee machine in one of the art rooms. It has a siren. But it's not the same. And the biscuits will be own brand....


Monday, 1 September 2008

Balls To Employment, Plus DK Cocks Up, And I Erect A Tent (not really, just wanted one more penis reference in the title.)


Here is my plan...

I play football on a Friday. Well, I stand on the pitch and run about a bit. Sometimes I fall over. But anyway - some of our Sixth Formers play with us.

They started asking me when they were due back for lessons.

So I made up a date, somewhere toward the middle of the month.

A friend of mine has a daughter who is in my form. They started asking when they were due back for lessons.

So I made up a date, somewhere toward the middle of the month.

Do you see what doing there?

The Head of Year 11 rang me to ask when we were due back to start lessons.

I told him we went back last week.

It amuses and confuses me that people continue to have faith in my Work Abilities. It astounds me that no one seems to have realised that I am, wholly and spectacularly, useless.

But, of course, no matter how useless and inefficient I become, no matter how honed my Looking Busy Skills may be, it still cuts into writing time. I still have to turn up physically, even if rarely mentally.

So I thought long and hard (more penis jokes... always witty)

I may have solved this. I may have found a way to sit with my laptop, to wear my dressing gown, to slurp at my coffee, and never set foot in Work again.

I've bought a Lifesize Cardboard Cutout of myself.

Of course of it's own this would mean very little, no one will be convinced. It's just stupid. Yes?
Ahhh, but no, see. Because, right, this CardBored Me, right, comes with a speech bubble. Oh yes. So I scribble on something witty and/or inspiring and that'll seal the deal. No one will be any the wiser. I'm thinking of "Work harder, especially you Connor..."



DK: Bing


Me: This is cold.

DK: ...?...

Me: You're not funny.