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Thursday, April 11, 2013

The next stage!







Getting up is getting harder.  Another day of the week in which resentment was the overriding emotion dragging me back to bed.

The mobile phone alarm on the iPhone is just as irritating as it was on the Samsung and I am getting to loathe it so much that I am waking up just before it goes off so that I can turn it off before its insanely jolly noise irritates the hell out of me.

Today I didn’t get to it on time so that I had to fumble it to silence.  I had also inadvertently placed it on its power cord so that when it burst into life the vibrations were, for some reason connected to it being slightly off of surface, even more sonically pronounced than usual, using the unit it was placed on as a sort of sound box.  The lurch to wakefulness was more acute than is physically bearable when this sort of thing happens!

Once up I went through the usual rituals to get me to school on time and it is only the music in the car, thanks to EMI Eminence, than calms me down enough to face the day.  Though I have to say that a rousing performance of the 1812 Overture was not necessarily soothing this morning!

Today is one of my “long” days when I start at 8.15 in the morning and then my last lesson ends at 4.45 in the afternoon.  An absurdly long day with an overcrowded curriculum, but there is little chance of anything revolutionary happening to change the situation – and certainly not in the two and a half months that I have left in the profession!  I will have to remember to bring in my sandals and an ornate bowl so that I can knock the dust off my feet and wash my hand in a double gesture of rejection!  But how many will understand?  Though I should be used to unremarked gestures by now!

As my examination draws nearer so does the double horror for my colleagues of a Friday evening session followed by a Saturday morning session of work on the iPad.  In effect my colleagues will be working an extra nine hours during that week!  There are mutterings, which is a pity as the technological innovation is something which should be welcomed and celebrated – not berated!  But . . .

I really does say something for the length of the school day that I have now taught four lessons with one to go and at the end of the day I will also have had three free periods, a mid-morning break and a full hour for lunch.  When you put it like that the day is obviously absurdly long but, as I said previously, nothing will be done – especially not in a climate of financial cutbacks and job losses!  Roll on the good times again when workers can ask for reasonable working conditions without being regarded as red revolutionaries!

I started to listen to the coverage of the Thatcher Jamboree in Parliament when I came home from school but the (very balanced) coverage of the BBC raised so many bitter memories that I turned away and had a cup of tea.

I am, however encouraged today, Thursday, by John Wilkins sending me something forwarded by his son Owain which shows Glenda Jackson in full flow despite of the baying of backwoodsmen and saying what needs to be said about the toxic legacy of That Woman.  More strength to your rhetoric Glenda!

Yesterday was a tiring day and one not made any calmer by the appalling performance of Barça against their French opponents.  They really showed how bereft of ideas and motivation they were without the force of Messi (who, for the first half sat, or rather sulked and looked generally uncomfortable, on the bench) and how they were a different force when Messi (injured though he might well be) finally came on in the second half.

Toni sat fuming, not only because of the lacklustre performance of his team but also because he was watching on a laptop attached to the TV that froze at inopportune moments merely adding to his ire.  By the end of the game he would have sold most of the team at best and given away swathes of players at worst.  If they play like that in the next stage of the competition then their progress is going to be severely limited.  It makes one wonder yet again what is going to happen to the team post-Messi!

Today is the day of the last tutorial of my present OU module and coincidentally the books and DVD for the next one arrived yesterday.  I am getting progressively more nervous about this exam, in spite of the fact that I have studied assiduously and am conversant with the details of the content on which we are going to be tested!  One of my colleagues has just remarked, “Well, Stephen, what do you say to the kids?  ‘If you are well prepared you have nothing to worry about!’”  Yeah!  But this isn’t anything to do with the kids; this is me!  I will be very glad when it is all over.

On an altogether more positive note, the teaching material for the next aspect of my OU degree looks to me to tick more boxes than the course that I am completing now – although I see that the bloody Buddhists make it in to the teaching material again!  We have been told by the OU that the two separate courses that I am taking this year are going to be amalgamated into a single integrated course in the future, and I think that makes sense.  In fact, I can’t wait to get started - and I will as soon as the damn examination is over!

Later this afternoon we have our final tutorial with Elluminate (the on-line system) in which the full hysteria of distance learning students facing their first examination will be loosed on the world and will whip me up into further frenzies of frightened introspection!  Or not, who know, it might actually give me information which calms.  Some hope!

Meanwhile, teaching calls.  I only hope that the echo of that call does not extend into the afternoon, as I need to work myself up before the international meeting of the learners!
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