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Thursday, April 16, 2009

On show!


The first opportunity to see my school in its public guise.

This was the prize giving for the international literary competition that the school holds every year. The event started at 7.30 pm so I had the delight of braving the evening traffic on the northern circular road of Barcelona to get back to the place for the commencement of the festivities.

The evening over the most telling element of the experience was observing the astonishing rudeness of a substantial section of the audience who seemed to think that it was more than fair to come in more than half an hour late causing maximum noise! If this is the typical behaviour of the parents in the school then the powers that be might at least oil the doors so that they make less noise in their continuous opening and closing while the guest speaker is delivering his talk.

Yes, the talk, well . . .

This was delivered in Spanish and so called for a degree of concentration on my part which was particularly exhausting, especially when what the man was saying seemed to be an ill thought out extemporary ramble voicing a multitude of platitudes about the importance of reading and writing. His (slightly slurred I thought) delivery made little concession to his juvenile audience and bounced from pretentious peak of empty rhetoric to vacuous summit of glaring obviousness.

I might, of course, be absolutely wrong. After all it is hardly fair to be so dismissive of a discourse in which the odd word (to put it at its most optimistic) was lost in the desperate scurry of frantic translation. But, hey, I can’t change the habits of a lifetime just because someone has the temerity to use a language which places me at a linguistic disadvantage!

I thought that the directora looked at the speaker rather warily from time to time as he rambled on, so I don’t think that I was absolutely alone in my less than enthusiastic appreciation of his words of wisdom.

The awards were eventually awarded with two of the winners making a video contribution as they were from South America!

The evening ended with a contribution from the school pop group. They were enthusiastic and had a wonderful reception from an audience which related to them quite literally!
The band’s encore completed the audience disintegrated rather than dispersed in the general direction of a buffet which had been laid out in the open air in a wilful defiance of the odd day which we had which had provided us with sunshine, cloud, thunder and lightning, sunshine, torrential rain, sunshine and cloud. And sunshine.

I left with a colleague who hissed at me as we left the hall that my function was to protect her from marauding parents. We passed the buffet which was in the process of being submerged by roving pupils. She managed to bag a mini baguette, I gave it a miss. And so escape.

A thoroughly successful event I thought – and it was all over by nine; so civilized as well!

And tomorrow’s Friday.

Who can ask for more!
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