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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

More sun!





Here in Castelldefels we have been afflicted over the past few days with the Five O’clock Cloud Syndrome.

This refers to the continent sized cloud which appears at the stated time each afternoon in an otherwise flawlessly blue sky and blocks the sun’s rays to the terrace of The Third Floor.  Having established its presence it then breaks up into an archipelago of island sized clumps which then taunt the sun seeker by giving a brief glimpse of the burning star and then hiding its light as another island, trailing a foam of hazy rolling breakers, sweep into place to block the vitamin giving rays.

At least here in Catalonia the cloud does move and not, as I remember from my youth, stubbornly stay in place vindictively keeping you in shadow while taunting you with the view of unlimited sunshine everywhere but where you were.  Or was that merely the view of a jaundiced, very young sandcastle builder, I wonder!

This is the last day of what was laughingly called our Easter Holiday.  The “holiday” consisted of seven working days of which two were Bank Holidays, so the school has actually allowed just five working days for the “holiday”.  I am not sure what that shows, but I think it demonstrates a woeful lack of rest time for hard working teachers.  I am just glad that I did not realize on the Friday afternoon of the start of the Easter “holiday” period that the time off was so limited.  The way of ignorance kept me blissfully ignorant of my lack of space while I enjoyed a specious spaciousness of apparent freedom!  Sometimes ignorance is the only thing that keeps us sane!

After being told that our OU work would be returned to us “at some time” during the weekend one of my fellow tutees wrote in a guileless question on one of the Forums asking if she had been overlooked for the return of the material.  Our tutor has responded by saying that the work will be returned in two batches of which the first will be up “soon”. 

She should realize that she is not dealing with happy-go-lucky students in the relaxed environment of a university but crazed monomaniacs who centre part of their paranoia on responses from distant academics!  She is living dangerously – though I have to admit that we who live in the far flung parts of continental Europe are hardly likely to make the trip to the North of England to confront her! 

Still, I too would like my work back so that the part of the course which takes in TMAs can be safely put aside and I can concentrate on the forthcoming examination.

The miserable rituals of professional preparation are now complete: my shoes are polished; my shirts set out; shocks and pants are checked; trousers are hanging; my Munch tie is ready to be worn and the bloody alarm is set.

The onset of Summer Time means that I will be getting up in the dark again, but each new day should be that little bit lighter than the last and waking up to the light means that the end of term is drawing inexorably closer. 

And we all know what that means.

In spite of widespread scepticism, I am determined to turn my back on full-time education for ever and look towards the shining example of my Uncle Eric who, as I never tire of telling people, has now been retired for longer than he was teaching!  Sigh of unmixed admiration!

At least I have got my proper glasses back.  A telephone call at quarter to eight in the evening informed me that the glasses had been returned to the optician in Sitges – and I was also informed that the shop closed at eight-thirty.  Needless to say I immediately sprang to the car and retrieved my glasses well within the opening time.

The replacement of the very thin arm which had snapped cost €75!  Dear god!  Yet again I realise that I chose the wrong profession.

Talking of which – time for bed, because I have to get up so early in the morning.  For a whole day (!) of work.

Roll on the weekend.


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