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Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I was offered a view of the easy life today. Photocopy a test which will take up an entire period and laugh your way through minimal marking of single letter answers to a long reading test.

I managed to complete my disgraceful mangling of ‘Sredni Vashtar’ to make the story suitable for those learning English. As long as you don’t know the original and have never read a Saki story you might possibly accept what I have produced as a reasonable story. If you have but a passing acquaintance with Saki’s style you will read it with growing doubt and horror!

I am going to try it out on my Year 8 class and see what happens. I half hope that it will fail, though to be fair to the original I have included a site on which people can look at the story written in the way that Saki intended it to be published. I only hope that pupils find out about how the story should have been well after they have left school!

I am trying to infiltrate books into the kids’ hands using the volumes I managed to acquire from the bookshop in the library on Sant Jordi. So far I have managed to place two (count them 2!) books with pupils. A slow start, but I live in hope. The odd thing is that given the curriculum of the English department in the school which is geared to the Cambridge examination system for English learners, literature is not something which has a high status. Although every class has a ‘reader’ which is looked into once a week, it is fairly obviously an ‘add-on’ rather than something which is integral to the subject. I think I am supposed to be the person who likes literature and has ways and means of making it more important in an exam dominated, grammar led approach to English.

I have been approached by the art teacher who has suggested that we run a sort of Culture Club by organizing visits to significant artistic events in Barcelona for pupils, staff and parents. The present proposal is for us to think about two events per term and then to reassess at the end of the next academic year. Sounds good, though knowing this place it will not mean any free tickets!

I have to write a test for the kids for tomorrow and I am disinclined to do it.

Unfortunately there are no free periods tomorrow and I start at 8.15 in the morning.

God help!
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