Thursday, 18 November 2010

morgan the pirate

Mrs Dave has been wandering around the house dressed in an eye-patch with a colourful scarf about her head, white frilly blouse and long black boots.  Yes it's that time of year again (quiet at the back) - Children in Need. Tomorrow at her school there will be plenty of sixth formers and staff willing to go "ooh-arr" and "avast there land lubber".

I won't.

Okay, as no one else will be wearing a suit etc then, of course I won't either.  I'll wear civvies and pay my pound for the privilege. However, with heavy heart, I'll enter a full teaching day knowing that class after class will have assumed that "non-uniform day" means "leave the brain and manners at home day".  Alright, cynical I know but I have suffered this, sorry, experienced this, for quite a few years. Don't get me wrong, I'm more than happy to give money to charity, it's the complete refusal by pupils to accept that they're still expected to learn and work that gets my goat.

Ah well, I've not been into work today.  I felt awful yesterday.  I won't regale you with the full details but I did spend a lot of time rushing to the loo.  We had a sixth form parent's evening afterwards which meant that basically I spent about 11 hours at school yesterday (feeling awful) so I felt fully justified on waking up with gut-ache and a sore throat to not go in today.

Just for once - and I mean this most sincerely, friends* - I didn't do any work.  I messed about with guitars and crosswords.  I felt that I needed a complete rest (a recharge). However, as soon as I thought that I felt okay and I'd be back at the chalkface tomorrow, I thought I'd better do some work. Any other jobs make people feel like this?  I'm ill and I feel guilty, for Christ's sake.  One day I'll win the lottery . . .

*thank you Michael Miles.  


Andy Wright said...

I hope you feel better Dave. Don't mean to be a smart arse but I think you will find it was Hughie Green that meant things most sincerely. (I remember Michael Miles taking his pick to get drunk quite a lot before trying to board airliners....or getting thrown off them. Something like that.)
FYI .....code for 'For Your Information' I sympathise entirely with your 'guilt trip' over not working when you are on the Tom and Dick. I used to feel exactly the same, when I was important, and once went to work for a Saturday 'Late Turn' (" 2pm to 1)pm) when I could hardly stand due to a buggered back because I thought that civilisation, as we know it, would surely collapse if I wasn't there to turn back the evil tide! Maybe it's a public service thing. Bit like when I was at his house today when my eldest (who, as you know, is in the same outfit I was in) took a lengthy call from his boss about some unimportant bollocks. Not unusual on a Rest Day, I have to say, but you would have thought that as he is on Paternity Leave(and his 'Guvnor' knew that very well), the call could have waited a day or two. Still, this is no doubt what the Government expects Public Servants on £300K a year ( and with non contributory pension schemes....ha bloody ha...) to put up with!

Anyway...two bits of news. Kate (Eldest born Ben's wife) gave birth to 9lb!!! Noah Thomas Wright on Tuesday evening...both wonderful, both doing well and maybe as important for you; my youngest tells me that the Red Hart and The George in Hitchin are both closed for refurbishment at the moment and the Kings Arms doesn't open on Sunday evenings anyway......what perfect bloody planning! He suggests that next time you are in town , to try the Sun Runner in Bancroft. Bit basic but excellent beer!

Anyway enough already. I am due to win the lottery on Friday or Saturday. When I do, I will send 3 or 4 million your way and then you can mess about with guitars and crosswords for ever and ever. Nite , nite.

Ps 33 years ago tomorrow you were at St,Nicks Church, St.Evenage for our wedding...... 33 years !!!Good bloody Grief!!

Mike C. said...

I think teaching is a bit unique in this respect, in that -- unlike most jobs -- your absence is deeply inconvenient to colleagues and directly affects the progress of all the kids you teach. Guilt is inevitable.

On the other hand, you *do* work a 30 week year, and are always in prospect of a decent break... Not to mention early retirement.

If you want to imagine a guilt-free sickie, think of working day in, day out for 45 years at unrewarding 9-5 jobs, with 20 days leave to cover all holidays and childcare (e.g. when those teachers are having their well-earned half term and holiday breaks).

The prospect of a day in bed can be overwhelmingly tempting and (I speak from experience)deeply satisfying. Even more naughtily, people take "sick" days to cover their children's sickness and those random "Baker days" ...

Nonetheless, I am required to "have a word" with any staff whose sick days exceed three in any six-month period. You can have too much of a good thing, say employers.

And yes, Hughie Green was the "most sincerely" man, Michael Miles was Your Quiz Inquisitor with the cheap gong trying to make you say "yes"!


Dave Leeke said...

Yes of course it was Hughie "Most Sincerely" Green - I was ill!

As for work, Mike, we don't tend to get too much cover now due to an agreement called "rarely cover" but I have a feeling that "the cuts" will mean that Cover Assistants will become a luxury rather than a necessary option. Early retirement may be an option for some - lifers like Mrs Dave - but it isn't one for me! I've only been teaching for about 18 years.

I'm rather banking on Andy's kind offer.

Congratulations all round then, Mr Wright - grandad and 33 years. 33 years! It was a great day and a time I look back on with fondness. We'll wet the baby's head next time.

Thanks for sorting the 'Hitchin problem' out, I'm sure many will sleep better tonight now we know.

Mike C. said...

Sorry, Dave, I was feeling a bit grumpy this morning... Hope you're better. I sometimes need to work out the frustrations of My Amazing Career on a handy teacher.

Guilt is the essence of a sick day for any responsible public servant -- but feel the guilt and do it anyway!


Dave Leeke said...

You are perfectly within your rights to feel Grumpy at any time, Mike (and Sleepy, Happy, Dozy and all the others). I am fully aware of the general perception that teachers have more holidays than working time but, hey, who cares? I know how hard I work - and I'm fully aware that I could easily work harder!

I'm not going to let it worry me, though!

Apropos of nothing, my iPod just played "Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening" by Jackie Leven (it's a poem written by Robert Frost) and as it's about feeling like you just want to STOP! and lay down and let whatever's going to happen happen, then let it be so. Such a great poem.

To be perfectly honest I don't feel guilty. Just this once. I felt like shit and allowed myself the pleasure of messing about for the day. Okay, the guilt crept back as soon as I was aware that I'd be back at school the next day and therefore, I prepared some lessons.

But - and yes, it's a big but - I enjoyed the day off and probably taught far better lessons today simply because I was more rested.

Incidentally, my Year 7 lesson on ballads was great. They had to look at "Edward, Edward", "The Twa Corbies" and "The Unquiet Grave" - if I'd have been in the day before it would have been a much less prepared lesson (and more boring!).

If you want to see what was produced then email me for a link as there's no way this machine is going to connect and link you to it (believe me, I've tried!).

[N.B. Sorry, I can't work out how to create that as a link. Copy and paste has failed].

It probably won't work as a link but it worked for the 100 minute lesson.

Yes, that's right, we have three lessons a day, 100 minutes each as well as registration and meetings most evenings.

Lunchtime is about 35 minutes.

Now, Andy, did you manage to win the lottery . . .?

Mike C. said...

I've become a Frost fan over the years, having not "got" him at all at first. The connections between him and Edward Thomas (who I also didn't get until I helped my son get him at A level) are fascinating. Do you know "The Star-Splitter"? I love it, but wish I could decide what it's about...

Ballads are endlessly fascinating (unless you're sitting in a folk club enduring some tuneless bod going through every verse of "Lord Allen" or some such). I've recently discovered my family are Border Scots from around Lammermuir and this has stimulated an interest in all things Reiver-ish and Border-esque -- I may even read some Walter Scott, once the most renowned British writer in the world, incredibly.

I am deeply sympathetic to teachers -- nearly everyone I know or am related to is or has been one. My friend Dave had to have six months "rest" after the stresses got the better of him. When the boot is on the other mental foot (?), I tell my staff they should try being a teacher when they complain of "stress". That shuts them up -- Get back to work, ye swabs! (Am I alone in thinking the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" is a brilliant film?)


Dave Leeke said...

I got into Frost when I was at Essex Uni because I did some American Literature as part of my degree. Frost had taught at Essex many years ago so they played us recordings of him reading his poetry. I'll have to read "The Star-Splitter". I always thought that "Road Not Taken" is about Edward Thomas - I like to think so anyway.

I went to the Scottish Writer's Museum in Edinburgh a couple of times. The second time was last year when I took my eldest daughter there (another English teacher) and there's obviously loads about Scott there. I keep meaning to read some of his work but it seems so daunting!

The first "Pirates" was an absolute blast - but I was so disappointed with the second one, I didn't bother to see the last one. But the first is definitely a great film.

Andy Wright said...

Hi Dave. I regret to announce that it will be necessary for you to go to work on Monday as I did not win the lottery last night. However I note that next weeks prize is an estimated £38 million and I am certain that I will win on that occasion. So, just to be on the safe side you may want to book Monday 29th November as a leave day?

Dave Leeke said...

Oh that's a shame, I was rather relying on that. I guess I'll have to work for another week then.

Actually next Monday off will be good as we're doing the Three Peaks next weekend - well Mrs D is, I'm going to see Show of Hands on Friday evening and then drive up t'north on Saturday to meet them all. So having the Monday off will be good. Thanks.

Andy Wright said...

You are very welcome.