Monday, April 04, 2011

Still counting!

So, we begin the twelfth week of this appalling term, where time does actually seem to have stopped!

I am drained of enthusiasm and think of the next ten working days with unalloyed horror.

Right!  That has got that out of the way; now I can get on with the normal day to day resentments of working in a school!

My Internet radios take it in turns to be skittish when it comes to performing without multiple key pressings and sotto voce curses.  I am sure that the basic cause of all dissatisfaction is the varying strength of the Wi-Fi signal which seems to be variable, to put it mildly.

In a house whose structure is of reinforced concrete there are bound to be some areas which are pretty well shielded and restrict access to the signal from the router in the living room.  This I accept.  What is difficult to accept is the seemingly arbitrary distribution of areas where the signal penetrates.  The whole point of the last purchase of a portable Internet radio was to allow me to have Radio 4 where ‘ere I walked.

This has not been quite as simple as I had hoped and I will have to draw a ‘map of availability’ colouring in a floor plan of the house to show those areas where the civilizing influence of Radio 4 reaches and those ‘dark places’ beyond the pale!

In the way of equilibrium in this place I have discovered that I have gained a free period but have lost it by taking the class of a colleague: surely the lord giveth and the lord taketh away!  Still, this is a class which I have not had as a class for two years and it is nice to see them all again.

It also, of course gives me an opportunity to use The Machine, knowing that the “audience” that I have will fully appreciate the quality of the product that they see in front of them, their eyes attracted by the hard cold light of the white logo tantalizingly out of reach!

I am amazed that the kudos I still get from owning The Machine continues, in spite of the fact that time, the new computer’s foe, has worked against its unique position in the gadget world.  The MacBook Air is no longer alone in the field of metallic sleekness; there are pretenders to its throne and I think it is only the illuminated Apple logo which keeps its reputation alive.  Whatever!  It is the only time that I have been in the vanguard and held my position for so long!  At what cost!

The old feelings of separation are still there as I have found constant problems with the connectivity of The Machine with the school system - and the linking of The Machine to any of our printers has been impossible.  It reminds me of my first “real” computer, which was a Mackintosh, and that was constantly out of sync with everything else in the school which used the PC environment. 

I remember with real bitterness the number of times I believed colleague or advertisements which claimed that a particular program was compatible with Mackintosh as well as PC.  It was never, never true – though I persisted with a child like devotion to the Mackintosh and continued to believe what I was told for years longer than I should have!

I have now returned to the faith, though I am using a suite of programs which have been adapted from Windows and, for the first time in my experience, they actually do work as well on the Mac as in their normal PC environment!

I am still waiting for Publisher to be added to my programs though that may be still some time in the future.  I live in hope that a grateful school will see fit to get it for me!  Fond hope!

Today was the sort of day where one felt that evil persons with stirrup pumps spent most of the time busily draining teachers of any dregs of enthusiasm that they might once have had some time in early September last year!

This term is at least four weeks too long; and believe you me that shows in the attitude of staff and pupils.

The sooner educational establishments break the absurd tyranny of adjusting terms to match the arbitrary date of Easter the better.  The fact that people’s futures are decided by the date of the first full moon after the Passover is ludicrous.  This idiotic anachronism determines, year-by-year, the arrangement of terms which has a real effect on the performance of students – and rarely to their advantage!

In spite of intellectual and physical prostration I mustered enough residual energy to go out and have a burger in the excellent cafĂ© near the old flat.  A couple of glasses of wine later and the evening seems to have gone!

Nine working days left to escape!

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