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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Self-indulgence!


Today I made a conscious decision to stay in bed for fifteen extra minutes.  The amount of sheet guilty pleasure that one gets from staying in bed when one should have got up is out of all proportion to the relatively short period of time spent lazing.

It may just be self-delusion but I think that the mornings are getting lighter.  Giving that it is still January, I think that I probably am deluding myself, but it makes getting up in the almost totally dark better than getting up in the absolutely totally dark!

More examination papers arrived magically this morning and had to be marked and the results entered.  At present all the rest of my colleagues now have their share of the marking and are busily scribbling away draining their pens.  I try and look concerned and as if I too have a heavy load to complete – just in case I am roped in to help!

I have done some work for the “anti-hero” project that we are supposed to be devising for the kids to complete later this year.  I must admit that I got the greater pleasure in designing the front cover for the work than for the run-of-the-mill tasks inside.  That is somewhat unfair as the basic task (decided after a ten minute meeting) is interesting.

Well, the draft of the work is done and is available for discussion and alteration.  The important thing is that we do actually have something to discuss – it really makes all the difference in a meeting called specifically for that reason!
 
Frustratingly I have been unable to find any teaching materials on a Will Smith film (“Hancock” 2008) as this apparently fits in with our theme.  I have seen the trailer and have been unable to watch the suspiciously home-made copy of the film which I have been given.  In some ways I am quite pleased at that as I shy away from anything other than kosher copies of films.  But it does mean that I am attempting to write a teaching and learning guide to a film that I haven’t actually seen!

As I type Real Madrid are starting the second half of the Copa del Rey match against Barça one goal up.  Toni is wearing his Barça shirt and listlessly fingering his Barça scarf and muttering imprecations against the Referee.  He is watching the match on a computer generated stream which is constantly stopping and, even when it is going well produces a rather more impressionistic view of the field than most football fans like to see.

The frustration that Toni must be feeling is extreme as Barça were taking a corner and the whole screen froze and the next time we saw a moving picture it was of a Barça celebration from a Puyol headed goal.  So we are now 1-1 with Barça having got an away goal of course, which could be significant in the second game when Barça will be at home.

And I can’t believe that I am actually taking an active interest in the outcome of football game!

On a more cultural level, my next Opera is at the end of the month and I am feeling guilty that I have done nothing to learn more about the work though there doesn’t seem to be a recording of it, apart from a vastly expensive film version of Blu-ray DVD which I am not inclined to buy.  So I am likely go to the performance of Il burbero di buon core (The Good-hearted Curmudgeon) by Vincent Martín i Soler unprepared and untutored having heard not a single note of the piece.  Apparently there is some evidence that the composer challenged Mozart for popularity and Mozart himself wrote an aria which is included in performances of the opera.  At least there should be some tunes in it given the period in which it was written!

One disturbing point is that this will a first performance of Il burbero di buon core by the Liceu.  So either this is an unjustly neglected masterpiece that has been ignored since the eighteenth century or the Liceu has dug around in the dusty basket of obscurity in the vague hope that people will think the expense of a full opera production has not been wasted.  I retain an open mind.  And eager expectation.

On a rather lower level of cultural activity I have been given “Red Storm Rising” by Tom Clancy through the generosity of a very sharp lad in my 2ESO.  He is reading books which should be beyond his level of English but he seems to enjoy them and this is the second book which he has wanted me to read.  I have to admit that an 800 page novel is not something which I need deflecting me from the work I should be doing – but I was unable to resist and it is lurking on the table in front of me, a red temptation.

And now Barça have won 1-2 away and so are well placed for the second game next week.

And now an early night because staying in bed tomorrow is not an option as I have an early start.


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