Monday, March 18, 2013


It comes to something when I can’t be bothered to walk down a couple of flights of stairs to get a computer on which there is typing which I have completed today and prefer to retype so that I don’t have to move more than my fingers.  This is not good, and does not bode well for my future physical condition!

However I have much on which to ponder (and I seem to be over using the “on which” construction today) on an eventful day in which (see, I can vary my style if I choose) the two most significant events were arrival and non-arrival!

The arrival was a boxed set (yet another) of 60 CDs produced by Sony under the Vivarte label.  The book which accompanies the set is one of the best produced and most exhaustively informative I have ever come across; it makes me feel toweringly ignorant just holding the damn thing!  My favourite disc so far, I am indeed downloading it to the ever empty hard disc of my computer, is entitled “Utopia Triumphanes” – The Triumphs of the Renaissance: this opens with Spem in Alium the forty-part motet and ends with Ecce Beatam Lucem another forty-part non-liturgical motet, taking in a mere six-part motet “Laudate Dominum” by Machincourt.  The first is by Tallis and the second by that name-to-conjure-with, Striggio.  I am sure that I am displaying woeful ignorance in my lack of ability to whistle Striggio tunes, but there it is – I am, after all, only a poor student trudging my weary way along the road of knowledge.  And who the hell is Machincourt – apart of course from the well-known composer of a famous six-part motet!

The non-arrival [can your mind actually remember as far back as the beginning of the last paragraph to make that opening valid?] is arguably the more interesting.

As I have been highlighting for the past few days, today was the day of The Meeting.

The day started on a low note as I had done nothing to put the results of the examinations on the new-fangled computer platform whose complexity makes the other two platforms that we have used look like writing figures on a piece of paper.  O halcyon days when that was all we had to do!

The present platform needs a password to get in which is generated anew each time you try and access the program.  This password is sent to your email account and you have to paste it into the  . . . well, you get the idea.  Simple?  No.

So the morning was one of increasing hysteria as I constantly failed to get into the system.  Now it must be admitted that if I had been just a little more pro-active I might have achieved more – but I would have enjoyed my weekend less!

So with colleagues on each hand and elbow I was guided through the mysteries of data input in about eight minutes.  My hapless colleagues have spent some four hours being “instructed” on the various delights of the system and if the essentials can be conveyed in such a short time it does make one wonder about the usefulness of the instruction and the eating into the spare time of colleagues.  But that was them, this was me and eight minutes seemed to be pushing the limit of my interest.

Hysteria eventually gave way to normal chaos and the work that I had to do was done.  I also typed out some comments to go with the results and I sat back and saw that it was good.  I photocopied the sheets, but them in a nice folder and planned the next step of my campaign.

Which was simply to leave before the meeting started.

Tomorrow my absence will be put down to, “Well, that was Stephen and we all know that he doesn’t like these meetings and he did take the place of that teacher who left us in the lurch so what can we say?” or “Who the hell does he think he is!”  I am easy with either as long as I don’t have to go to the meetings.  I can take opprobrium, but not two hours of mind-rotting tedium.  Or indeed four hours counting tomorrow.  Or six counting Thursday.  You wouldn’t believe it unless you see it!

So, anyway, I didn’t go.  And I am looking forward to the morrow to see the reaction of my colleagues.  I did say, “See you tomorrow!” to one as he disappeared down stairs to go to the last lesson of the day, and he didn’t bat an eyelid.  We will see.

The school is going through a cataclysm in which the classes of regimented learners have been cut loose and are indulging in an orgy of project-based learning.  The kids always respond well to this way of learning and it is hard not to see the obvious questions that should then be asked about the way that the school teaches normally – but let it pass, let it pass!

There are four more teaching days to the end of term and we are all counting.

I have just listened to Spem in Alium, and delicious it was too, it is quite late and so I couldn’t play it as loudly as I would have liked but it was loud enough, and the recording is clear enough for the layers of music to enfold the listener.  It sometimes seems almost indecent that I can have music like this at the click of a button and that I can choose from something like 600 albums of music in my library.  So far!  And those albums are not taking up 10% of the storage space available on my computer!  I still find that breathtakingly amazing.  Not surprising for someone whose first computer had a memory of 28K!

Before the end of the week The Revision must start.  And I am sure that everyone who has been too tired to post thoughts on the subject related threads on the Internet, will flock back to voice their fears about what The Examination will hold in store!

Although I am quite jocose about the even on the 22nd April, I am sure that even my equipoise will be somewhat shaky by the actual date, when I am waiting outside a room in the British Council clutching my brace of blue disposable fountain pens and a highlighter!  Though I also have to admit that a masochistic part of me is actually looking forward to the experience!

Meanwhile an early bed to prepare myself for what incriminations and imprecations tomorrow might fling in my direction.  Who knows, sacked by Easter is a very real possibility.

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