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Friday, January 11, 2013

Not-quite-one down!



The only thing better about a Friday in school is only having to spend half the day there.  I waltzed out at the end of morning school and on deserted roads around us I made my way home for our traditional lunch in the Restaurant de los jubilados – the haunt of the silver haired (I should be so lucky!) generation who have a nose for the sort of culinary bargain at lunch time which aids the digestion as you eat with an easy conscience.

In a sense I am still licking my wounds after the shabby treatment I have received from the School on the Hill!

Given my nigh-on “untouchable” status after my selfless falling on the educational sword and returning to duty in the school, you would have expected my treatment by the institution to be exemplary.  Imagine my chagrin when I found out that, for the first time in the history of the school, a meeting (which I avoided on the principle that nothing good can come out of such self-indulgent irrelevancies) turned out to be the only one where the attendees came out with something real and tangible to show for their presence: new iPads!

Now, obviously, I have an iPad (as who has not!) but I felt justifiably resentful at such largess being distributed with nary an electron for me!  The hell with the principle of the thing, it is the simple injustice of my not being considered a worthy recipient of such a machine that rankles.  I who went out of my way to make the case to the headteacher for the complete computerization of the school – and more particularly the staff!  I who have proved myself on every occasion to turn to gadgets as The Way!  I who have ostentatiously sold my soul to the Dark Side of the Apple!  Nothing!

I have had to endure the torture of Mac arrivistes who do not confess the True Faith of the Bitten Apple gloating over their new possessions and squawking with barely concealed delight as they download their first apps. I have decided to Take Action.

I have turned (as ever in times of adversity) to the ever welcoming arms of Amazon.com and have ordered an elegantly ultra-slim keyboard for my own iPad which will be as bitter gall to the eyes of the gloating masses as they flash their ill-covered hardware at me!

I am impressed that the school has issued the machines this far ahead of their implementation in September, though I am not confident that there has been enough pre-planning for the effective and successful roll-out of so much new technology.  

The concept of the “paperless pupil” is one which to me seems almost comically doomed to failure.  

Though, we must remember that the best way to learn is to be receptive to the lessons that our mistakes can teach us!

And I would prefer to be outside the general maelstrom of frenzied “material” production that will be necessary before the kiddiwinks come gleaming into the classroom and are able to switch on their iPads and find text books complete with hyperlinks and whistles and bells galore!  

As there doesn’t seem to be a purpose written English as a foreign language Mac text book I foresee a vast amount of work ahead of an already overworked English department.  To my eternal professional shame I feel like saying merely, “Good luck to you!” and then retiring into the misty middle distance, keeping most mousey-quiet with the sort of profile which would make the Netherlands look like the home of the Alps!

But now it is officially The Weekend and I can relax after a stressful less-than-a-week which represents about one twenty-third of my remaining time in the place!  It will be interesting, as Paul remarked on the phone, to see how long the “extras” less time lasts.  Schools are not the sort of places where calm planning and placid stability reside, so it is only a matter of weeks before the true work implications of the rest of my time institution the becomes clear.

Meanwhile my heart is relatively light and I have a weekend to look forward to!

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