You know, before I started working in a school, I was like you. I thought that teachers had it bloody cushy; 12 weeks a year holiday, short days and all manner of fringe benefits. Yet over the last few weeks, as I've watched them visibly wilt as the term grinds to a close and Easter beckons; I realised that people don't know half of it. these people need long regular breaks or they'd go fucking apeshit. I am gobsmacked that we don't here about more school massacres, performed by teachers rather than emo youngsters.
One of my favourite teachers at work said to me the other day, 'people who complain about us having 12 weeks holiday a year should come and teach at a school for one day. Just one day. People like that are fucking morons.' And, once, I would have been one of those morons.
Even good days are soul and strength sapping beyond belief and as a result time seems to get gobbled up faster than a speedy fast thing. I realise this evening that I haven't seen my mate Dez since the 30th December and have only communicated with him - via text - twice in 3 months. I could have met up with my old colleagues Wilky and Tony tonight (Friday) for a pint, but shopping, evening chores and almost complete battle fatigue made that hope as forlorn as Spurs winning the premier league.
I never did bother to log when I first heard one of my colleagues say, 'it's x weeks to Easter' probably because I didn't stop thinking about it once I said it would happen and therefore was a thinking it myself, especially when week's dragged on.
I've not been on my best game this week. I've neglected to make any notes at all and while I've seen things that have amused or enraged me this week, it appears that most of them have disappeared from my memory like a fart in a heavily ventilated room.
Last weekend, I had a really freaky dream and intended to get what I could remember down; it seemed like a good idea at the time and with a bit of artistic license... you know, it might have been worthy of a few lines. But as the week went on, it slipped out of my mind stealthily and now the only memory of it I have is that I had a (not so) memorable dream last week.
Obviously, there are some things I'd like to talk about, but...
Anyhow, I missed a great opportunity at one point this week (so it must be done this weekend) of preventing a problem we had all last summer. I didn't have my office window cleaned by the window cleaner for 5 months because of a wasps nest in the eaves of my front porch. I said for months that I'd sort it out; all it needs is a good fill before they start waking up again; but the winter has slipped by and I had completely forgotten about it until I saw a wasp flitting about my office window a few minutes ago. I'd pray for a really hard frost to kill the little buggers off, now they're waking up, but that would finish the apricot tree and we don't want that, do we?
I found myself nodding and agreeing with my mate Chev, this week. It's not something I'd admit to him, mainly because I think he thinks I'm on this planet to be contrary to most of his musings; but what he said about technology's contribution to the state of society at the moment was spot on. He said this: You know what I blame? Modern communications. Internet, mobiles, text messages, website comments and the like. People have become venal and opinionated and thoughtless and judgemental. The way they act online, behind that veil of anonymity, has moved via a cultural osmosis into everyday life. The mindset that causes people to be cruel and superior online - and we've all seen the dreadful comments people make on news stories and within Facebook - have somehow become acceptable in the real world.
I'm not sure people have noticed that they're doing it, to be honest. But the gradual dehumanisation that started online has crept its way onto the streets.
I was echoing this to the wife and anyone else who would listen. For all the shit I received from my ex-employer back in the 1990s, he did occasionally offer gems of utter wisdom. Knowing that I was the kneejerk champion of the world, he once told me to go and write a letter - not an email - and then when I'd got it all down, print it out and read it. The first thing any self-respecting person would do is then edit out all the mistakes and potentially libellous comments; take a deep breath, realise the anger had dissipated and screw the letter up and bin it, safe in the knowledge that you've got it off your chest and no one is going to suffer as a result. He saw this in the early days of the Internet when 'flame wars' were common place, but not socially acceptable.
Essentially, the Internet has always allowed arseholes, but when it was a smaller club, it policed itself. Once membership grew to include idiots, wankers, morons and arseholes, it no longer policed itself and now, at the click of a button, we can bully, insult, reveal or destroy a person's life and know that we can sleep at night because we haven't had to look them in the face.
Of course, this breakdown has its advantages. Take for instance the short text exchange I had with my brother-in-law earlier:
Is it still okay to come up tomorrow?Fuck off you ugly ginger cock. Wot time?Half past cunt.That early?
That would take over 2 weeks using Royal mail.
- This week I have mainly been listening to William Orbit. Having had a desire to revisit Strange Cargo: Hinterland, I wondered if Bill had released anything since the woefully average My Oracles Lives Uptown and it seems that as well as a new Pieces in a Modern Style (which is considerably better than the first), there's this Ray of Light Instrumental Version floating about, which is essentially a Bill album. Now, I've long admitted that I think this late 90s Madonna album is by far and away her best record, ever. but this is due to the fact that Orbit produced it and essentially made it his album with Madge on guest vocals. The version I have acquired urinates from a Space Needle type height all over the original. It seems to have more power without the vocals; is trippy, beaty, rocky and full of Orbit trademarks that disappeared from his music when his ego caught up with his success. Stunning album; I can see it being on repeat for a while.
- I have also been listening to loads more classical music.
- I am still waiting to read Chavs.
- The ducks have started laying eggs again!
- That's about it. It can only get more exciting!