Saturday, 23 June 2012

Time Flies Like the Wind...Fruit Flies Like Bananas

Cor blimey! It's been nearly two weeks since I last had a little blogette (and no, that is not a euphemism for constipation, because having re-read the opening sentence I know that's EXACTLY what some of you will be thinking, thank you very much!)

The time has whizzed by and shamefully I just haven't had the time or energy to do any writing, which is appalling given I call myself a writer.

But what has got me back in the saddle of the race-horse of language you may be asking? I shall tell you - we had a professional writer visit the school yesterday to do a set of creative writing workshops with the Year 10s! And what an inspiration he proved to be! Sod the students - he's motivated me to get back into writing on a regular basis and no longer neglect my bestest hobby ever in favour of doing extra stuff for school, and cleaning the house and mopping up other people's problems.

For it has been a busy fortnight since going back to school after half term. Mostly because the senior manager under whom I labour has gone delegation crazy. I mean, she was always a bit keen on the 'getting-someone-else-to-do-her-work' malarkey, but she's gone into overdrive now and I really need to start saying 'No!' in a firm voice, and 'What EXACTLY is it that YOU are doing to earn your great big wodges of cash?'

Also, we've had a Review Week which basically means that Senior Management spring a surprise lesson observation upon you, and this means you live on the edge of a precipice teetering between exhaustion and nervous tension all week just waiting for them to appear and tell you that you are an Outstanding/ Good/ Satisfactory/ Inadequate teacher. You pray they will come in when you've got a reasonable class - however, my one reasonable class was a Year 11 bunch and they've left. My other classes are all mad-as-a-box-of-frogs jobs, so I resigned myself to muddling through, reassured  by the knowledge that FINALLY I have a permanent contract in my hot little hand, and they're gonna have to go through some lengthy processes to get shot of me if I crash and burn in the lesson from Hell.

Luckily, I got Outstanding, and I say luckily because it is all very subjective, this lesson observation lark. I thought, at least I'll be able to have a relatively stress-free weekend as nothing untoward is occurring next week but then the Vice Principal appeared yesterday just as I was going home and said, 'Would you do a presentation at Monday's staff meeting explaining how you are an Outstanding Teacher?' and I said 'Yes,' because he took me by surprise, and that meant I spent three hours yesterday evening putting together an entertaining Power-Point because I didn't think Andy's suggestion of 'Because I am, now give me a pay rise,' would somehow fit the bill.

And this morning, because I'd been living on nervous tension all week, and the adrenalin was still pumping, I persuaded Andy that we should go out and buy a new car.

Well, to be honest, we'd been thinking about it for a few weeks, because our old car of eight years has started making peculiar noises and is looking like the old workhorse that it is, having at various points in its life moved furniture, chickens, bees, vegetables, polytunnels, and other assorted self-sufficiency stuff. And the MOT and service are due next month and we were not looking foward to what was likely to be a hefty type bill. So we thought, let's go have a look at some cars, and we found one we liked and took it for a test drive and then we ordered one and it was all very exciting!

Aside from that, a friend of mine has started chemotherapy and radiotherapy this week and I have been a listening ear and a cheerer-up of spirits. Horrible situation, and again it makes you realise you've got to get on with what you love in life because you never know when you might not be able to.

And what I love is writing, Which brings me back to our visiting writer. He's written over 250 books. He's been published world-wide. He writes, he lectures, he does all sorts of stuff of an authorial nature! He is also a highly entertaining speaker and the students were very spontaneous in their cheering and applause at the end of the day. They stayed for feedback on some of their writing. They stayed for autographs and chats. On a Friday afternoon. Unheard of.

'And what about you?' he said to me, as I walked him back to Reception to sign-out. 'Do you enjoy teaching?'
'I do,' I said. 'But I like writing better.'

He looked at me. 'Yes,' he said. 'I can tell. And one day, you'll get there.'

Made my day!

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