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Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Sports Day

It's all about Sports
No teaching today, just supervising our kids frolicking under the merciless New Zealand sun.  There's always a slight haze in the air in Nuova Lazio, I suppose it's the marijuana smoke gathering in some sort of temperature inversion in the volcanic bowl that we all live in.

Anyway, back to the sports.  Ringo gave his seminar on e-portfolios yesterday, I actually did want to go, but there was some errors with the relievers' pay, and I had to sort that out first.  Our erudite and grammatical guru went, so I'll get some feedback from him and from the others who went.  There's a rumour floating around that the HOFs had to cajole, browbeat, bribe and in at least one case, threaten members of their faculties to attend as their designated victim representative.  nobody denies that the concept of the e-portfolios is a bad idea, it's just that technically there are some serious issues, and socially, not many of our kids have easy access to computers and a broadband connection, so many will automatically be disadvantaged.  It's not right.

Anyway, back to the sports.  I'll be in my normal place, right up at the far end of the field, helping with the javelin.  It's not too bad, and once we get properly organised, we'll feed the kids through conveyor-belt style, and should be finished by lunch.  Most of our kids enter into the spirit of the day, with real Kiwi enthusiasm, painting themselves in house colours and wearing silly clothes. My only concession to the day is to come in wear shorts, sandals (not jandals and definitely no socks) a big floppy hat and sunnies.  Plus of course a slathering of factor 50 sunblock.  Any non-kiwis reading this should be aware that the sun in New Zealand can be really ferocious, much worse than in Aussie, and good protection is vital.

Blistering, Scorching Kiwi Sun
I remember, just after I had arrived in NZ, going to a used car lot to buy some form of transport (I couldn't afford to keep my hire car much longer)  I didn't have a hat, but only spent 30 minutes looking at cars and talking to the salesmen in the yard before going into the office, and in that time my balding pate got enough sun to cause extremely painful blistering that evening.

Anyway, back to the sports.  The finishing event is normally the student - staff relay race, but our HOF of PE seems to think that such a race may be too dangerous to allow.  He gave some sort of half hearted reasons like a fear of one of our older and out-of-shape teachers collapsing while have a myocardial infarction, or risk of extreme groin strain, but we could tell it was just an excuse.  He was frightened that the students would win (again) 

We should run events more in keeping with the general school ethos.

200 metre joint sprint:  Where students attempt to outrun a slavering police dog whilst finishing and then swallowing a 50g joint.  Extra house points are awarded for style, lack of brown trouser stains and levels of intelligibility after finishing.

Subaru Strip:  Where teams of 5 students strip a Subaru Impreza down to the chassis.  The school record is 25 minutes and 42 seconds.  The current record holder is tutoring advanced classes in Rimutaka Prison.  He was exceptionally skilled at removing parts, but exceptionally bad in character judgement after he tried to sell two front panels to an off-duty Senior Sergeant in the Firemans's Arms in Petone.

The Warehouse Nonchalant Stroll.  Only for senior students. Where individuals have to move without expressing tension, stress or dropping any of the 25 items of Warehouse stock secreted about their person over a 50 metre obstacle course.

The Teacher Pursuit.  Run in two heats.  The first leg is where 10 -15 of our younger athletic male teachers are each given a baseball bat and allowed to chase catch and thoroughly beat a group of our worst behaving male students.  The students being handicapped by a ball and chain and a sense of social inferiority.
  The second heat is where any (living) male teacher is allowed to chase a pack of our lady teachers.  Just for fun.

Chase the lady teacher

Anyway, back to the sports.  I would really prefer to spend the day teaching my students.  They're really great kids who perform to the best of their abilities, and it's fun for all of us.  That's one of the secret advantages of being a teacher.  You can plan, prepare and present a topic or concept in such a way that the students don't really realise they're learning (the juniors anyway) and the teacher has a captive audience to try jokes, funny voices, practical jokes, trivia from life history etc.  Fun is had by one and all.

An example of a bad joke (but with an ICT teaching component)

Anyway, back to the sports.  The one major advantage from my perspective is the lack of relievers.  If one of our staff throws a sickie, I don't have to arrange a relieving teacher.  Who cares if there are 4 or 5 staff supervising the discus?


Is that a migraine coming on, or just an acute attack of situational hypochondria?


  1. Do you really want to give your students javelins?

  2. Oh I LOVE your alternative sports day! I am sitting here at 11pm (I should be in bed sleeping!) hee-hawing at your events!

    We should have same at our local high school. Except our kids would need to do it in the pissing rain. 'Character forming' I think one calls it.


  3. TC: Yes. Believe me, it's safer than giving them pencils. You would not believe the mayhem they can produce using the English Language

    AX: Thanks, unfortunately the Principal wouldn't let the alternatives go ahead.
    Anyway it didn't matter, as the bloody weather acted up and we got drenched. Unbelievable. The weather forecast was for showers, it was showering at 7:30 am, and the guy in charge of PE said: "Don't worry, it'll be all right".
    It wasn't.
    I'm sitting here in my little office, soaked to the skin, trying to dry off and warm up.

    Just like Scotland really.

    My bloody character has already formed, thank you very much. I'm quite happy as a Twisted Scottish Bastard, and don't want to change.

  4. TSB - is all ok down under? Heard about the earthquake, but don't know really where you are in relation to it. Hope all is ok!!


  5. Hi Ali,
    Yes thanks we're OK.
    I live in Silverstream, Upper Hutt, which is just North of Wellington. If you look at a map, we're right at the bottom of the North Island and the poor sods who're copping it in Christchurch are down in the South Island, about 450km distant.
    Thanks for your concern, but we didn't even fell a distant shudder.


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