Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A day nearer!

Plastic flags of all nations on a string are not the same as their cloth equivalents. There is something silted about the ‘flap’ of a plastic flag which is deeply unsatisfying.

The school is bedecked with bunting for our ‘fiesta’ where all sorts of unexplained things are going to happen. Apparently. I, of course, have been told very little so that the surprise of the event is fresh and exciting for me.

I am part of a little group of teachers which has been put in charge (or ‘charge’ I think that ought to be) of a variety of events or stall which include, according to my Spanish, hairdressing!

Parents (the collective anti-Christ of any school) are likely to be milling around looking to see how their money is being spent and our duty, as teachers and professionals, is to ensure that we have as little contact with them as possible.

The head of English was trying to explain to me yesterday the degree of parental involvement in the educational and cultural life of the school. I discovered that it could be summed up in one word: none. They pays their money and they expects their chances to be worked out for them by their paid servants – the teachers. The willing giving of time and effort to the educational institution which is developing their children is something which is very foreign to the parents.

Teachers are now beginning to arrive and various workmen are doing whatever is necessary around the school and I am no clearer about what is going on than I was when I arrived. Presumably this will all become clear as the day progresses towards the climax of our celebration of San Juan which is of course the slap up meal which we will have when all the kids are gone!

My intended supervision was lost when the drama teacher asked for my help with the plays that our first year secondary kids had put on. These are little plays that I have helped with before and these performances were to be for the parents.

School plays go as school plays go and the only point of interest was my trying to combat the appalling grasp of being on time that our parents have. The plays started at their stated times and I had the strength of my grip tested as tardy parents thought that they could waltz in at whatever time they pleased.

The plays took place in the Audiotori, a purpose built cinema/drama space that has been constructed in one of the basement levels of Building 3 in our school. This space has about 100 cinema type tip up seats; a stage and projection facilities. The door, however, is near the front of the stage and so it is impossible for people to slip in unobtrusively. This worries the Spanish not at all: but I’m not Spanish and it worried me!

The meal was spectacular – though I would rather have a decent salary than gestures; however tasty they turn out to be!

The journey home, which I had been told would be horrific with the entire population of Barcelona making for the coasts, turned out to be little more horrific than the usual return. Though I have to say that if I had been travelling in the opposite direction I would probably still have been in a traffic jam now!

The beach has been slow to fill up but now it is dotted with lights and fires as Catalans celebrate San Juan. There is a constant barrage of noisy fireworks and I am sure that we will see a selection of pissed bodies lying on the sands in the morning.

As I have a day off tomorrow it gives us an opportunity to try and finalize all the things that we can do before the major move is completed on Saturday.

Fond hope!
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