Sunday, 25 April 2010

back in the saddle

Now, where was I . . ? Oh yes, up Kinder Scout.

I have been away, gentle reader.  Mrs Dave and I spent the second week of the Easter break in the company of students and some adults, braving the early Spring weather in the Peak District.  The rather handsome chap in the photo resembles yours truly.  The more observant amongst you may notice a slight tension in what should be a classic Black's catalogue pose - due to the fact that it was taken on top of Kinder Scout and that we'd been hanging around up there for several hours*.  We had to wait for some groups of students to come past us. Someone had forgotten to enlighten us to the change in plan and that we would, in fact, NOT be seeing one of the groups as they were now going a different way.  Four hours. Of course, I was as cool as ever and said, "Never mind - it's been quite pleasant sitting here for the last few hours freezing my . . ." etc, etc

Anyhow, all's well.  We're back at school trying desperately to get students to complete coursework just in time for us to mark it 5 minutes before it needs to be in the post and sent off to the moderators.  I've decided that it would be less stressful for teachers to write up all of their coursework and ask students if it isn't too much trouble, if they'd mind signing it so we could send it off as theirs.  There would be much less absence and heartbreak (amongst staff).

So, I'm back on the horse.  The coming few weeks will involve marking - especially around half term when I will be marking AS Level Film Studies exams (as I have for the past nine years).  The only real joy there is that as I finish, everyone else is just starting - FS being one of the first exams.  Little things like that keep me going.  Mrs Dave starts marking Psychology papers about the time I finish mine.  From angst-ridden whinger to smug git in one move.

In the meantime, having just watched two versions of Invasion of the Bodysnatchers - 1956 and the recent (Kidman/Craig) 2007 versions - it should not go unmentioned that our complete Senior Management team seem to have undergone a transformation a la Bodysnatchers.  Suddenly poor behaving Y11 students are getting early baths and extended garden leave; poor behaviour is being dealt with; students are watching their steps . . . this is a New World order.  More on this (perhaps) later.  For now, it's enough to know that a student that was incredibly rude to me last week (how dare I ask him to remove a leather jacket from under his blazer?) was dealt with by a Senior member of management.  Had I been asked as a student to do such a thing, I would have been very polite.

And then written a song about the bastard.

* and that I still have trouble tying my shoe-laces.


Brendini said...

Writing a song is far more preferable to hefting a dumb-bell around his noggin and shouting "die" all the while.
Were you able to stand upright on Kinder Scout plateau?

Mike C. said...

That degree of communication failure in a hazardous environment is pretty poor, not to say potentially lethal -- doesn't say much for the organization of the D of E, which I had imagined as a bit of a gold standard.

When I was a teaching assistant at St. Michael's in 1972/3 we took a party to Derbyshire at Easter, and it was a miracle that we returned with a full complement of kids... (not least because the teaching staff would have liked to have taken the opportunity to quietly dispose of a few trouble-makers into Lady Bower Reservoir...)


Dave Leeke said...

Brendan - yes we did stand up. Then sat down. Then stood up, wandered about a bit. Sat down. Stood up . . . for four hours!

Mike - there were moments when simliar thoughts crossed our minds. Especially as I was driving the minibus back home to the East Coast and we spied a funeral party at a pub in Hathersage and one of the kids (Year 13!!) bellowed Oi! at them at the top of his (very loud) voice - open window! - which must have been quite upsetting for the old ladies. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow us at that moment.

Anyway, the fellas at DofE reckon the only way to keep in constant contact would be expensive satellite phones but who am I to argue?

Mike C. said...

Now, in the film, you'd have screeched to a halt and made him get out and apologise (or walk home), and there would have been a moving encounter between youth and age, and he would have slouched back (sadder but wiser) and sat in meditative silence for the rest of the journey.

But life's never like that is it?

And how did you know to stop waiting at 4 hours? Or not to raise an alarm?


Dave Leeke said...

Because in this film, the cavalry really did come over the horizon.

Well, actually the DofE leaders appeared with a group of students who weren't supposed to pass our point. Mind you, I was up for leaving well before four hours but Mrs Dave felt we should wait. And of course, we waited.

I certainly enjoyed a glass of local ale that evening.

Andy Wright said...

Even if you were somewhat 'bemused; about your enforced four hour interlude,I must say you look at peace with the world. I bet the local ale that evening tasted like nectar from the Gods! (sorry I've been quiet lately.....been in the land of the Cheese eating surrender monkeys where no computer pollutes ma maison!)

Dave Leeke said...

Welcome back! Yes, the ale was excellent - a local brew of which I've forgotten the name.

I've been very quiet on the blog front as it's that busy time of the year - coursework marking followed by exam marking. However, I will start rambling again, probably tonight!