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Tuesday, February 21, 2012


 
Tuesdays are days of misery because I teach six periods.  I must admit that I have found ways of coping with this overload but it is still stressful.  It was therefore with something approaching delight that I realized that my second class of the day would not be in school; they would be appreciating parliamentary democracy (or what passes for it here) first hand by visiting the seat of government in Barcelona.

My delight was, of course short-lived because my gained free was instantly taken to cover a class of one of my colleagues on the trip.  So, after rushing from one building to another I am now sitting in front of a class which is struggling to write something original about the historical topic that they have been left to cope with.  Frankly, I couldn’t care less what they do as long as they do it quietly.  And, generally speaking they are getting on with what they have been told to do.

I the vague hope that the local delivery service that Amazon employs to deliver to the inhabitants of Castelldefels will actually work for once, I have left my identity documents at home so that Toni can collect them from the man should he, uniquely, turn up to deliver something to the house.

This parcel, which I hope has been combined by Amazon, should contain the stencil of the Welsh Dragon, a collection of Scandinavian symphonies and a Jamie Oliver cookbook.  A heterogeneous collection of goodies to which I am looking forward.  Even if I have to collect them myself.  Again.

The chocolate boxes in both staffrooms have been replenished.  They have now become the sort of institutions that are valued and cause hilarity and delight – and will cease to exist as soon as I leave the school!  I have no delusions about the longevity of universally appreciated traditions that do not have the personal impetus of the committed!

I am constantly astonished at how little one needs to spend to make people happy.  A few chocolate sweets and peoples’ attitudes are so much more positive.  It is always the same with teachers.  Apart from their salaries they are not used to receiving any real consideration so any act of kindness gets a disproportionate response.  I often wonder why management doesn’t learn from this and make peoples’ lives easier with the minimum of expense.  But perhaps that is why they are management in the first place!

I suppose that everyone thinks that I am addicted to chocolate, but I actually eat very little of the stuff.  I get my appetite satisfied vicariously by seeing others devour it.  

One of my colleagues actually is (as near as dammit) addicted to chocolate and has yet to forgive me for accepting a bag of Cadbury Chocolate Mini Eggs (a gift from one of the people who went to England during our Trip Week) without telling her that I had them.  She found them in the Chocolate Box in my cupboard and was shocked beyond measure by the discovery that they had been there unbeknownst to her for any time at all.  They have now all gone and I have eaten precisely one.  Such is the way that the box is regarded as public property.

To be fair to my colleagues three of them have added their own offerings at times in the past and one of them, Suzanne, on more than one occasion.  And some of the others have squeaked that they must, one day, put back what they have taken.  But I have noted the names of these chocolate Pharisees and will not forgive the negative equity they have in my esteem while their chocolate premiums are withheld!

It is another beautiful day with the sun streaming down and most of the sky a flawless blue with a few; unimportant low-level clouds looking picturesque on the horizon.  More than ever I am feeling unfairly trapped in the uncongenial confines of a school when there is a life out there just waiting for me to take part in it.  And take part without the bone deep tiredness that comes with pandering to the children of the very rich.

I did not go and have a swim yesterday which, given the emotional state that I was in was probably just as well as I would have hovered over the water – my feeling of revulsion precluding my immersion in another element other than the pure hatred of justified resentment!  But swim I must, as it is the only form of exercise (now that I don’t play squash or badminton) that I positively enjoy.

Toni is servicing the bikes in preparation for the warmer weather as for him March is the tipping point of the winter when the summer becomes more than a vague rumour and starts to have a positive calorific value.  Though I shudder to think what temperature the pool retains from its long accumulation of coldness from the less comfortable months of the Catalan year!

But the days are getting longer.  By the time I leave the house on my trip to Barcelona there is a definite lightness in the sky – even though I am still getting up in the dark.  Each day brings the summer nearer.  That’s something.

It is now lunchtime on Tuesday and so far I have been in school for 19¾ hours over the last two days and I have a further two periods of teaching left!  Something is very, very wrong – and it’s not my perception that is at fault!
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