Only two weeks to go to the end of term, but I feel that this one's going to be bad.
Firstly we've got Work Week. This is when 4 of our Year 10 classes go out into the big wide world to experience what it's like to actually work (a first-time experience for some) and it's also where employers can see what sort of material they're going to be presented with in the future.
The result: Mutual Despair.
Normally this wouldn't impact on me, but this year, about 35 of the work-shy little
Next thing is the exams. Last year I set up the exam timetable, and it wasn't a pleasant job, trying to accommodate the individual Department's wishes and available teachers and rooms. It really wasn't my job, but at that time we only had three DPs, so I helped out. Our new DP is making the timetable this year, and I just hope it's all going to work, otherwise, guess who's going to have to find another teacher for a forgotten class at the last minute?
Then it's also Community Challenge Week.
This is when ALL of our Year 9s go out into the community and do good works. Their supervising teachers (and I do not envy them their jobs) will try and keep some sort of order, and really try to keep the little darlings out of the Mall. We don't want a repeat of last year's affair, but even I think that 4 fire engines, 3 cop cars, 2 armed offenders vans and a helicopter was a bit of an over-reaction.
I'm not sure what their challenges are this year. Probably something to do with the mountain bike track, or planting native trees or maybe even eradicating the tagging (graffiti) which daubs most walls and fences in the less-salubrious areas of the valley.
Unfortunately, when they're out supervising, their other classes need covered.
Guess who arranges it?
Last but not least, there is a rumour that a Science trip is going out on Friday, but I've not received any details yet, after all there's still 4 days to go, and nobody else seems to be worried about a certain lack of forward planning. I wonder why?
Oh, I know.
IT'S BECAUSE I'M THE POOR BLOODY BASTARD WHO HAS TO ARRANGE COVER AT THE LAST BLOODY MINUTE.
But I'm not bitter.
As an aside, one of the best stories about work week was told to me by a colleague.
Three years ago, as the work assignments were being set up, the pupils brought the prospective employer's details to their Deans for verification and validation.
The meeting and subsequent conversation went something like this:
"Hello Specs, who have you arranged to work with?" asked the Dean.
"Him, Mistah" was the half articulated reply, accompanied by a proffered grease covered bit of paper, obviously torn out of a B4 workbook.
"Who is him, Specs?" said the Dean, seeking clarification, as he could not decipher anything through the oil and grease.
"He's Snake, Mistah" said Specs with a proud yet dumb smile on his little wrinkled, yet curiously simian features.
"And what does Mister Snake do?"
"What does he do to the cars, Specs?" asked the Dean.
"He makes them go, Mistah"
"Oh, he's a motor mechanic then?" said the Dean, finally getting to the bottom of the affair.
"Oh no Mistah, he makes them go away" said Specs, a vague expression, loosely similar to a smug simper, crossing his ape-like brow.
"Go away?" asked the Dean, now thoroughly lost.
"Yes Mistah, he makes them go away before the Police turn up"
"What?" exclaimed the Dean, sitting up so quickly that the front legs of his chair actually touched the ground.
"Yes Mistah, he's really good at it." "It's what I want to do when I leave school"
"Really ?" asked the Dean with a note of incredulity in his voice . NOTE. This is the first time that Specs has offered any indication that:
- He was aware that at some dim and distant point in the future he would have to leave school.
- He was aware of such a concept of "the future"
- He was aware of the concept of "work"
- He was actually aware.
"mumble" mumbled Specs.
"What was that Specs?"
"He can't" "Not yet" mumbled Specs a bit more audibly.
"Why not?" asked the Dean.
"'Cause he doesn't get out of Rimutaka 'till next week" said Specs. (Note for non-Kiwis. Rimutaka is a very large prison just outside Wellington)
"I see" said the Dean, "I'm afraid if he doesn't come in and sign these, you can't go next week" "What about this lovely opportunity as Chief Fat and Oil Disposal Technician at McDonalds?" "They actually pay you", "and you get to take home as much fat and oil as you want."
Specs took the McDonalds job, but his heart really wasn't in it.
I see him now and again around the valley, always dressed in oil and grease saturated overalls (he took them from McDonalds when he left) and always looking furtive. He disappears for weeks at a time, and I've heard he now works part time for Mr Snake (It's part time, because part of the time he's in Rimutaka)
It's always nice when a pupil's dreams are attained.