Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Count on!

An oddly unsatisfying day.  One of those unsubstantial days when nothing really goes well, but there are no disasters.  But achievement is minimal.  Also, I don’t really think that I am behaving as a true professional should.

In my mind I have already left.  Again. 

Although I tell myself that I am duty bound to, what was it that Boxford used to say, “Work until the very end of term please!” I am signally not doing that with the thoroughness that I should.

My colleagues are still producing little exam revision exercises and swapping methods of keeping kids on course and I am thinking that I have done all that so many times that surely I am allowed time off for good behaviour!  This time.  But the kids are unique and will not have this opportunity again.  As you can probably tell this is a kind of cathartic writing whose purpose is to allow me to wallow in a tepid puddle of self-criticism and then go on in exactly the same way as before.

In the thirteen working days that are left in my career!

I have now started my last exam with the 1BXT class that I take and my lessons with them are over.  That has not stopped management from taking those “free” times (and more) for invigilation.  But that is just like the teaching experience back in the UK when the fond dream of acres of free periods when Y11 and Y13 have done their exams never truly materialises!

Actually today was something of a crisis because, yet again, the school proved itself too mean to do something which is normal in all other schools in which I have worked, i.e. get in supply to cover absence known in advance.  Not with us.  So, today four of my colleagues were off on a trip to see the iPad in action.  And then another colleague was unexpectedly ill.  So five teachers out and no supply at all to cover them.  The usual approach is for departments to collapse classes or join them together or otherwise cope with the absent colleague.  It didn’t work.

I was supposed to be in two places at once at a time when I do not normally teach!  This is imposing on a person with only thirteen working days left.  I made a unilateral decision to go to the class which was having an examination and left behind me a class seething with untrammelled youth beginning to sense chaos and looking to exploit it!

My arrival in the other building was an added element of the frantic to a situation that appeared to be close to collapse.  I was told to sit down and wait (not difficult to do) and then was suddenly propelled into action by relieving Suzanne who was trapped in a class that was nothing to do with me.  I stayed with that class until well after my normal time of leaving and when that class had finished their examinations I had barely enough time to hand out the papers for my own when I was relieved by an IT teacher.  Never let it be said that I was of the generation that ignored the sage advice handed down from my great-grand-father, “Never refuse a good offer!”  So I didn’t and left.

And perhaps it was that “leaving” that left the bad taste in my mouth.  Perhaps I should have stayed and collected my papers and marked them this evening.  The meeting to consider the results is the day after tomorrow and I am going to the opera tomorrow evening.  This means that tomorrow during the school day I will be teaching, invigilating and marking so that I can subside into the froth of “The Elixir of Love” with a weary sigh of necessary work done!

My dissatisfaction did not prevent, indeed prompted our going out for lunch in a Galician restaurant where the menu del dia looked promising.  The meal itself was more than satisfactory, but what rankled was that the price outside the restaurant was €12 while inside and printed on the bottom of the menu was €15.  We were assured that the €12 was the right price, but when the bill came it was for €13.20!  Such deception (typical of Galicians I am informed by a certain Catalan of my acquaintance) is not to be tolerated and yet another restaurant is struck off our list of acceptable places.

Talking of expanding our list of places to eat, we attempted to get information at an information kiosk, set up for that purpose and funded by the local council to ensure that all visitors to our fair town get the information that they need to make their visits a delight.  The helpfully vacuous idiot in the information booth knew nothing and her attempts to furnish us with information were embarrassing.  It leads one (i.e. the Catalan of my acquaintance) to speculate about how such a signally inept person got her job in this PP dominated town.  I leave my intelligent reader to join the dots!

Day after day the television spews forth information (just like the idiot of the kiosk didn’t) about the flood of corruption of the governing party so that it is now only possible to see the grotesques who make up the government as an inept cast of some badly organized Reality TV show. 

Our Prime Minister (neither word of which title fits him in any way shape or form) has now perfected the Little Boy Lost look that he adopts as his cringing default position whenever he travels abroad and meets “real” politicians. 

And when you consider the quality of those “real” politicians who have merrily led us into the disaster that is modern Europe because their collective snouts have been rooting around in the trough for whatever morsels they can snatch from the electorate, then you really begin to appreciate how derisory a cypher our “leading” politician actually is!

Spain is almost alone in Europe in having no Freedom of Information Law or Transparency Law.  The politicians (see above!) talk about it and the TV regularly replays extracts of our leading politicians mouthing the necessity for “Transparencia” and then doing nothing about it and doing everything thing they can to make sure that the voters do not find out exactly what is going on with their money!  The irony of seeing the sheep-like ministers bleat the magic word has now been lessened through repetition and by the astonishingly arrogant way that our political masters seem determined to brazen out the storm of accusations and hope that everyone will forget about them in the balmy days of summer to come!

Perhaps I should keep my mind on the music to come tomorrow night and go with the flow!
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