At last, something vaguely cultural and expressive to do rather than the arid intellectual wasteland of marking.
After the well paced and high tension meeting with Suzanne last night I ended up with something practical to do and, with my later than usual start this morning I was able to get a draft of “my bit” done by 9.55.
I had to produce a short piece of writing from the point of view of the shark in “Jaws” as we are asking the kids as part of a week of project work to “Give the Baddies a Chance!” and consider what extenuating circumstances there might be for some of the villains that the kids know and love.
My suggestion that we use the character of Satan from “Paradise Lost” and assume ourselves to be, to misquote Blake’s famous statement about Milton being “of the devil’s party with knowing it” – it’s the knowing part of our kids’ journey which is the important part. Anyway, the first draft of what I had to produce is now done and dusted and I await suggestions from my colleagues to make it more kid-friendly.
Today has been a tiring day and I fully intend to have an early night tonight.
Tentative arrangements have been made for a visit to the Impressionist Exhibition in Barcelona on Saturday and then it is only a few days to the next opera in the Liceu. Back on cultural track.
My anti or popular cultural appetite is going to be fed by the same student who loaned me the Tom Clancy book. He excitedly informed me today that his father had all the known novels of this writer and was more than prepared to share such riches with me. I told him to ask his dad to think about a novel whose subject matter and style was as different as possible from the one I have read. That should give him some pause for thought. My pupil is still astonished that an 800 page novel should only take me a couple of days to read – but to be fair to him, he is reading the novel in a foreign language. And he is only twelve!
After the tension of the Cardiff City game last night going to penalties, we now have Barça playing Real Madrid for a place in the semi-final of the Copa del Rey – the Spanish equivalent of the FA Cup.
The first minutes of the game had Real Madrid dominating with a missed chance for a goal within 11 seconds! Chances came and went for Real Madrid with one spectacular shot from Ozil bouncing off two sides of the goal, but not going in. It was Barça who scored. Twice. The aggregate score is now 4-1 – but there is still half an hour to go. The last two evenings have been undeniably tense with some heart stopping football being played. And the score is now 4-2 with Real Madrid creeping back into the game with twenty minutes to go! Now 4-3! Toni has gone quiet and there is far too much time left if Real Madrid are going to make realities of all the chances that they are likely to get!
The quality of the television transmission that we are getting has suddenly deteriorated and so the tension is made much worse because we are not getting continuous picture and the pictures we do eventually get are more impressionistic than precise and our frustration is mounting! The picture has now become more Fauvist than Impressionist – more visually dramatic but we would rather see a more prosaically coloured game!
I now have another set of papers to mark (this is an example of frustration displacement thinking!) but I hope to get those out of the way tomorrow as long as I keep out of the way of knee-jerk management coping with staff absence. And I know that at least one member of staff is not going to be there. Cave!
We are now in extra time, the score still 4-3 and Barça have failed to capitalize on a real opportunity. The seconds are passing very slowly and the game is degenerating into vicious playacting. The sooner this is over the better!
And it is. And we’ve won. Thank god!