What follows today is a collection of small mental meanderings taken from random pieces of writing I’ve been half working on in lessons that were left half understood as a result of a lack of my full attention. I suppose I’m publishing them now – all just fragments of ideas and blog posts – knowing that I won’t finish them, because I’m sort of knotting loose ends up. Knotting loose ends up is really just a euphemism for doing all the things that I said I’d do later. Now there is no later.

Most of this stuff was written about events in the classroom at the time, or just to make it look like I was working on “work”. Most of it is totally pretentious and unreadable – but “for the record” nonetheless.


DEMOCRACY (9.4.14)

It doesn’t provide a very rosy picture of democracy. There is bickering, arguing and little achievement in the way of actually making decisions.

This is not the European Parliament – it’s Class 9A trying to work how they are going to go on a school trip.

Oh! It looks like there has been a breakthrough – a vote, that staple of democracy, has been employed. The decision is “bus”; applause erupts. The losing parties, especially the “bicycle” force, are in denial as the desperate pour sentences out of their mouths, but they stack up, unlistened to, at the opposition’s ear holes.

Now, let’s see what they’ll do about the Ukraine situation.



Those with public standing, as unfortunate as this may be for the rest of us, often believe that “kids these days” aren’t as clever as they were in their own times (these people are, of course, legends in their own lunchtimes, so they think); they believe that the problem is revealed with brightest clarity in the modern lack of capability in long sentence writing, however I don’t think this is correct in all its facets, mainly because I am able to demonstrate – as I’m doing now with a Lamy Safari fountain pen, Pelikan ink and a single sheet of lined recycled paper with holes for a binder, not to mention my brain – my own personal ability to write long sentences, which do not, therefore, have to be delegated to the annals of verbose history; they do not have to be forgotten – they may continue making writing awful.

(Written in a Russian lesson – where they were talking about sentence length – to fill exactly one lined DIN A4 page.)



Today every teacher’s dream was enacted: a lesson conducted in total silence; the earmuffs and earplugs probably helped.

Just how it related to human biology – it felt more like social science meets English literature (Lord of the Flies) – is easily debated, but it proved one point: silence is not golden: The earplugs and earmuffs ensured that all you could hear was your own bodily functions. Even normal breathing sound strained, swallowing and tongue movements sounded like having to manually squelch poo, and a lot of it, around  the S-bend of a toilet with your hand; scratching your head sounded like taking a piece of 80-grade across an Edwardian mahogany table top. If there was any consolation, it was that the earmuffs and plugs ensured that the person sitting next to you wouldn’t have to put up with as well.



…the advantage of having obnoxious friends is at least they remind you of their birthdays…


HEAVY EYEBROWS (27.3.2014)

The heavy eyebrows and watery eyes are a combination easily achieved by staying up beyond midnight.

The rumbling stomach is a result of the apparent German aversion to morning tea; it’s not even lunch time.

The headache is just an added bonus.

I really should go to bed early tonight – or very early tomorrow if it comes to that.

1 comment:

  1. So, is it obnoxious people posting about birthdays on THEIR birthday? - hmmm, I'll think about that .....