The ordeal is over, my 1.6 weeks of work with the youth of Castelldefels and region is over. Originally retained for just three days and my workload extended to and extra week, I have to admit that I am glad that it is over.
OK, I also have to admit that I did feel comfortable from time to time when I actually did some teaching rather than the very unsatisfactory child minding that occupied the major part of my extra week. In spite of my having had the space to make a considerable dent on the first few weeks study material for the OU course, I still felt that my abilities were not utilized to anywhere near the full.
Today for example I was teaching art for some of the my time and I was able to take the set task a stage further after experimenting with a pop-out element of the congratulations card that they were supposed to produce a few minutes before they arrived for their lessons. It certainly concentrated their minds and kept them busy and I was able to relax into one of my default pick-up-your-sheet-of-A4-and-fold-it-like-this modes of teaching: it always concentrates the minds of kids! As well as giving me something to think about!
Towards the end of the week I had had enough though. I think that I have taught enough – if teachers ever actually stop! The idea of going back next week, in spite of the fact that the school is well ordered and the kids are generally well behaved, was more than I could contemplate with any degree of equanimity!
I am now waiting for my papers, like some character from a Pinter play. These papers are crucial to my future financial strategy – well part of it. We will have to see how things play out in the present parlous financial situation.
These papers should have been given to me at the termination of my employment with the school, but I have been assured that they will be available early next week. I will go into to the school to get them and use the opportunity to donate more books. I have a weekend to go through my downstairs cupboards which, at the moment are double stacked and have further volumes laying on the tops of the books. A situation entirely unsatisfactory.
I am not prepared to get rid of poetry books and reference books, not matter how out of date still have a real attraction for me, but simple logistics are not to be denied and Something Must Be Done! I will have to see how truly ruthless I can be!
I now have a week to prepare for my trip to the UK. It hardly needs a week, as I invariably pack the night before or the morning before, or rather hours before I leave: I feel that the sense of panic that this attitude engenders is the only true way to start off a little trip!
For the first time for a long time, I actually did some book sorting when I came home from work. Now that the books are actually reachable because of the Titanic effort which has been put in to the cleaning and clearing of the Third Floor.
I might also add that not only have I taken in the kitchen money to school to be used to boost the funds of their campaign in favour of Save the Children, but also three bags of my books have been donated to the English Department. These were a motely collection of academic (at least in secondary school terms) books and a number of others that I know that I will never read again. I have the firm promise of the department that they will not throw away those volumes that they feel that they cannot use.
There are threats in the air to the effect that even the cupboard in the kitchen might not be safe from the present zeal for “sorting out” – this is a real threat, and I shudder to think what might actually be lurking under there. The design of the cupboard is such that most of the contents are unreachable without dismantling the bits and pieces at the front each time you want to find something in the interior. I fear that there will be a mighty winnowing of the things we haven’t used for the last year or so, unless I am firm.
A domestic weekend ahead I think.