Monday, February 28, 2011

A spacious day

First period in the morning and it’s a “study” period.

I don’t know what the word “study” conjures up for you but it probably doesn’t cover the chatty lack of concern that the class in front of me is showing.  Still, even with the level of noise it is better than actually teaching them and I have learned to accept a much higher level of talk than I would find tolerable in a British class!
This is the week before Fiasco Week and I have to admit that it shows.  The kids and staff are tired and waiting for a gap to recharge depleted batteries.  For some of my colleagues their recharging period will be on a foreign holiday complete with our pupils.  Personally, I would not find that refreshing or relaxing and I resent the fact that I have to spend three days of the Fiasco Week in school.

It looks as though the long weekends are going to be just than rather than mini-holidays, but as long as the weather is acceptable then I will be satisfied – and the weather is steadily improving.  Even though today was supposed to be the first day of rotten weather it looks reasonable with clouds but sunshine as well.

Taking farming superstition into account then I would have to say that “Red sky in the morning, etc.” would come into play and we should see rain later in the day – but I am the eternal optimist where the weather in Spain is concerned.

I have managed to resist the temptation to start on the rest of the Mapp & Lucia novels after finishing “Trouble for Lucia” – given the wealth of electronic reading which is available it would be unacceptable to indulge myself by re-reading such an addictive series of books. 

There is a progression to my reading and I would probably start on “The Lord of the Rings” immediately afterwards; which is the normal slide downwards into the literary drug induced euphoria that is always just a book away from my normal life. 

I would inevitably go on to the hard stuff and start re-reading “The Gormenghast Trilogy” with yet another re-assessment of my view of “Titus Alone”.

It is then but a short step to Raymond Chandler’s “The Big Sleep”, Azimov’s “Foundation Trilogy” (ignoring, of course the other additions to the basic three) and “Stalky and Co”. 

The true end game would be a re-reading of “Old Saint Pauls” leading, finally, to “Winnie the Pooh”!
Just writing that has induced me to download the Gormenghast Trilogy: this is a clear danger sign.  What will follow?

I have managed to print out my Media Studies booklet by judicious use of Publisher for the simple cover; the photocopier to reduce the logo for the course and then cutting with scissors and sticking with Pritt.  The great sensation occurs when I produce my jealously guarded long-arm stapler to give that final semi-professional touch.

Long-armed staplers are the stuff of dreams.  Only the most professional and acquisitive of teachers manage to bag one for their very own.  It is a well-known fact that, if a long-armed stapler is made generally available to a normal staff of teachers then its half-life is akin to that of a terminally sick member of the drosophila family!

I gained two glorious free periods today and used them to finish off my second little booklet for the Media Studies course.  This one was for the writing that I am expecting the kids to do.  The exercises seem to take on a greater authority when they are collected together in a stapled (!) booklet.  I certainly hope so anyway and it will make my job much easier.

Work continues on the Making Sense of Modern Art booklet that is going to be a wondrous work of art when it is finally completed - if it is ever completed.  I now, after yet another meeting about the thing, have to write a short account of Futurism and then edit the combination of other pieces of writing that have been joined by force together!

The contrast between my booklets and the art booklet is going to be marked: but my booklets are already done and stapled!  Experience will tell!

An early departure from school thanks to one of my gained frees bucked me up enough to venture into town to find out what Amazon had deigned to send me.

As I have had occasion to point out before, home delivery of parcels seems to be a thing of the past: the only thing delivered is the piece of paper telling you that you were not there when they called.  Where “there” is exactly to a parcel delivery person is not entirely clear as the recipient actually being in the house to which the parcel is supposed to be delivered is not sufficient to persuade a delivery person to hand over the package rather than leave the form!
A jaunt into the centre revealed that the undelivered package contained my boxed sets of Simon Rattle – the Russian, British and Stravinsky.  I am eagerly loading them into The Machine for later listening pleasure: hours and hours of it!  There are 22 discs and, although I know most of the stuff on them and have versions already in my collection, the British selection is more interesting containing music by Grainger, Arnold, Knussen, Ades, Maw, Matthews and Turnage.  And, anyway it’s along time since I listened to things like The Planets and Belshazzar’s Feast: it will be an indulgence!

In an act that I consider to be both defiant and intelligent I have bought one of those little-old-lady shopping bags on wheels!  It has a collapsible handle and so fits easily into the boot of the car.  It is red (or pink in some lights) and has a striking and colourful linear design and I think it is sensible and yes, I have wheeled it through town.  But that was in the dark and whether I would do so in the cruel light of the day is another matter. 

We, as they say, shall see!

Meanwhile there is another disc to feed into The Machine and some serious listen to be done!

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