I have coughed and snuffled my way through the day in an extravagant display of illness so that everyone is aware that I am selflessly giving of myself again in the cause of education. And how am I repaid for this generous act of self-sacrifice? Why, in the only way that most schools know how, by taking away one of my free periods!
This is a disturbingly new element in my school life. I had considered myself the Sir Gawain of the school – aloof, perfect and untouchable. Just like the myth of the Round Table so my status plummets from the rarefied heights of untouchability to the common level of my earth-bound colleagues. This attitude does not bode well for my proposed approach to all school meetings i.e. to ignore them as though they did not exist.
I feel the eye of Mordor is turned towards me and the Cracks of Mount Doom are in the far distant lands of June when at last the Keys of the School on the Hill may be cast away to be utterly consumed! Until then I fear that I am now merely a member of the school staff and not someone who merely touches the grubby classroom when he is actually teaching and at all other times is hidden away behind the sacred veil of the OU, communing with the mighty minds of distance learning students. We shall, as I so often say, see.
This evil period snatch has ensured that I will not be able to escape until the plague of all the rabidly inconsiderate parents who think that triple parking is a god-given right have descended on the school. As I couldn’t give a pampered child’s Blackberry for their concern, I look at the bad parking parents with undisguised loathing and cut as many as possible with the highly honed stare of active ignoring that I have been perfecting over the years. Even now am I building up my store of resentment to match the indifference of these selfish egomaniacs.
I can’t wait to get home to have an unrestricted cough in the salubrious surroundings of an ozone-fuelled environment. Which reminds me, I must get some lemons so that I can sip my drink of choice and feel the warming comfort of traditional remedies lull me to health. Although my breathing is not markedly restricted, I still think that I will rub a little Vick on my chest and gargle with TCP to feel the full effect of homely remedies. The only thing missing from this medical scheme is Savlon and I am sure that I can find something to anoint with that magical cream. And then, that is the full panoply of Mum approved medical that will have been arrayed for my amelioration. If that don’t help then god knows I sure am in trouble!
I didn’t read much of Hard Times over the weekend and I really think that I need to get down to the hard slog of culling apposite quotations from the novel to flesh out the answer that I haven’t written. I do have an idea for the heading quotation for the essay and the task asks for the student to pay “close attention” to a specific chapter in the novel – and Lord knows I am good at minute literary analysis, so it is playing to my strength. All I have to do is write it.
I was right about the continuous assessment part of the course; I have already passed that section and, theoretically, I do not need the mark from the last assignment – but I am not doing this merely to gain a qualification that in fact I already have, but rather for the sheer delight in study, so it would be stupid and pointless to ignore any part of the course and I fully purpose to take advantage of everything that the OU has to offer!
My arrival home was met with reciprocating coughs, but at least my new box set of Tchaikovsky had arrived so I was able to have a mini gloat before we set out to our natural lodestone of MediaMarkt to get bits and pieces. Well for me at least as I needed a new memory stick and some more cases for the increasing numbers of discs that I am buying! Toni failed to buy some sort of static bangle that is useful when dealing with computers. I had never heard of it but apparently he had worn one when he was working in GB. I think that he will have to resort to the Internet to find one.
The rest of the evening has been spent working at Book 3 of my OU course and, through the reading about C19th industrial England and approaches to Hard Times trying to discover the essential key themes that the OU regards as important for the final assignment. I am getting there bit by highlighted bit towards an understanding of the key terms for my future study. The examination is now just under two months away, and then a month off before the next course begins.
School is nothing more than an irritation which gets in the way of my studying!