Tuesday, 17 May 2011

time past and time passing

Whoosh! There goes another year (almost).

I really can't believe that it's May and next week I'll be off up to the big city for my annual jolly - the Film Studies marking conference. Was it only a year ago I was sat in a swanky London hotel being "entertained" by a solo organist?  How much water has swept under how many bridges since then?

As we stand on the brink of an uncertain future, I find time rushing by like a puppy with two willies in a forest.  That was an epithet that took about two seconds to think of - one of which was whether to use a more common synonym or not.  I must admit that having spent most of my life "swearing like a trooper" as my dear old mum used to succinctly put it, I have tended to be careful about my language on this blog.  Ssh! you never know who's reading . . . I kid thee not.  All these kids (and older ones who should know better) who fill their social networking sites with photos of their debauched escapades don't seem to realise that employers are watching and taking note.  Big Brother is not only here but he didn't have to do much more than wait for Google to turn up.

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, "Time Past and Time Passing" as good old Michael Chapman says.  We (that's my colleagues and me) are facing an uncertain future due to the fact that we are about to become an Academy - that last gasp of stupidity by a morally and intellectually bankrupt government. Our school will close at the end of August and reopen the following morning like a butterfly emerging after a long dark sleep wrapped in its cocoon.  It will emerge into a bright new future of excellence for the local children and along the way attempt to jettison old, expensive lags like me asap. 

Ah well, let's enjoy the moment.  Early summer ( and NOT an "Indian Summer" as the Independent called  it this week - that is an extended summer in Autumn) and the joy of being here and now. 

Last night I went to see Tim Vine live - good with the one liners and visual stuff, not quite sure really about the songs and surrreal stuff - and Mrs Dave and I are off to see Ade Edmondson and the Bad Shepherds on Saturday which should be fun.  We also went to see Thor last Saturday.  Who would have believed that Kenneth Brannagh would make such an excellent fist of a super-hero film? Good fun.  All this and marking too.  What an exciting life it is.



Mike C. said...

Is there a real threat of redundancies, Dave? Do academies have different rules in regard to employment law than regular schools? If so, I imagine the unions have got their act together on this by now.


Andy Wright said...

Evening Dave. You are very wise to show restraint in the language used on your blog and also to caution others as to the perils of recording (for ever) their less than wholesome antics on 'Social networking sites'. In my previous life the 'rubber heel squad' (or to give them their correct and rather Orwellian title the Professional Standards Department are frequently (to use the vernacular) 'all over Facebook ..like a rash'. Can you believe that members of the support staff ('civilians' in military parlance)from that department are regularly paid overtime at weekends to trawl through the such sites to root out corrupt and evil officers who have their photo taken in uniform,whilst smiling,for Goodness sake holding a banana or a can of coke whilst sitting at a computer in a Police station!!! 'Can you believe it?' Of course you can believe it ,you work in the public sector! I hope the uncertainty the latest nonsense in your world threatens does not last too long.Troubled and troubling times I'm afraid. (Enjoy your jolly in the smoke)

Dave Leeke said...


Well . . .our school should have announced redundancies but couldn't get it together to do so. There is a general malaise as most of the management are leaving! But, in reality we're okay for a year or so - they have to "TUPE" us across. Which means that whilst they'll pay us the same amount for three years, we may have to take on different responsibilities. Presumably, if you can't stand the job they give you, you'll leave.

To be honest, I have no real problem with what job they may give me for a year or two but as an older, expensive teacher,I may be on a hit list.


Evening, sir.

Well, can we assume that in Comrade Cameron's New Order, nobody's going to be paid overtime because of "the cuts"? Anyway, you do paint a frightening picture of, indeed, Orwellian proportions. My god (irony, cf last blog)we've come so far with technology that pessimists like Orwell seem to have been right on the button whereas optimists like Arthur C Clarke may have come up with the ideas, but are so out of synch with our times that they (he) seems naive!

To come back to an old theme, this world isn't really changing for the better - at least not for old gits like me.

Thank you, Dan Dare (where's my jet pack?). Fry's Turkish Delight may have been full of eastern promise but our future is full of broken promises.

Mike C. said...


Ask to be made the art assistant. I spent two very pleasant terms working in that capacity at St. Michael's. Though, on reflection, picking the Stanley knife blades out of the clay in the clay bin (dropped in there by hooligans) was not much fun. Mind you, I doubt many schools employ an art assistant any more.


Dave Leeke said...

Actually, Mike they do still have "Art Technicians". Unfortunately not English technicians" although I understand some schools have had them. The last one trained to become a teacher!

They don't bother to hide blades nowadays (actually they do - but we know they carry them).

Mike C. said...

An English technician! That's the job for me... "Someone in here need their spelling fixed? Blimey, who spelled this lot, then? This is going to cost you..."

I think the idea of the blades was not so much concealment as to do damage to the fingers of anyone trying to scoop a handful of clay out of the bin. They also used to empty in packets of the transparent plastic pellets used in mould injection, which caused stuff to explode in the kiln. I had a severe anti-Catholic prejudice for years after.


Dave Leeke said...

What a lovely Romantic view you have, Mike - I think an "English Technician" is more likely to bring the right text books to the lesson (if you've booked ahead) and just might put a few displays up and book the occasional play!

Science Technicians are essential to the workings of Science Departments - in fact, they're probably some sort of Alchemists or something.

I think "English Technicians" are a myth. We're told that some schools have them but don't know anywhere where they really do.

Or pehaps Public Schools really DO have them. You know, on THEIR planet.

Mike C. said...

What I liked most about being the art technician was that I wore overalls all day, and hung around the place looking busy -- made it feel like a proper job, you know? I miss that. These days, I am busy but don't get to wear the overalls. Though I could, I suppose... Who'd stop me? Hmm..

I still fancy a job fixing spelling and rehanging syntax.


Dave Leeke said...

It would be like painting the Forth Bridge. There'd be no rest . . .