Friday, April 24, 2009

I know what I like

“Why,” asked one of my pupils today, “are you so brown?”

The answer is of course is because I am British.

The Catalans are still in their spring mood and are looking forward to the coming of summer. As far as they are concerned, whatever the weather is actually like, this is not the month which they can regard as being officially summer: they can afford to wait.

But I am British and do not have the Iberian faith that summer will come and summer will be fine and sunny. I therefore take every opportunity to allow myself to be drawn to the balcony and luxuriate in the sunshine which we never take for granted!

One of the tasks that I have to complete this weekend is produce a little booklet of poems by Paul Cookson. He is going to visit our school and it is only fitting that the kids who are going to meet him have some knowledge of the poems that he has written. Having read through a selection of his stuff I have to say I am not sure how the kids are going to respond to it.

Our timetable is so examination driven that any deviation from the Way of the Book has a knock on effect on what we can test. Literature doesn’t really have as much status as the fabricated ‘grammar’ with which experts try and define English and which we have to teach!

I have seen the most extraordinary diagrams of the grammatical analysis of sentences in Catalan which look like a cross between the organic structure of a complex hydrocarbon and a geometrical construction. They look much more difficult that the involved box analysis with which I wasted many hours in the two years of my ‘O’ level course.

Box analysis of sentences and clause analysis were the banes of my life – though there was always a scientist from whom one could copy! The logical minds of my more scientific friends came into their own when dealing with analysis of existing sentences rather than having to make them up themselves.

I am reading ‘The Golem’s Eye’ by Jonathan Stroud which is apparently a multi-million seller in the children’s book world. Modern London run by magicians sounds like a rip off of the Harry Potter franchise, but I will reserve judgement until after I have read it.

Given the weather forecast, I won`t be going outside so a good book it going to take my mind away from the lack of sunshine.

I hope.
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