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Monday, 4 July 2011

I'm not looking forward to this week.

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 bastards deviants kids didn't bother finding themselves a placement, and so they have to stay in school. To accommodate the lazy scroungers, we've had to set up a condensed class, with a new timetable, so it frees up most of the affected teachers who, as part of their duties, have to check on and visit their students at their chosen workplace.  Guess who had to set up the special timetable?


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.

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?"

"Cars, Mistah"

"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:
  1. He was aware that at some dim and distant point in the future he would have to leave school.
  2. He was aware of such a concept of "the future"
  3. He was aware of the concept of "work"
  4. He was actually aware.
"When can I meet Mr Snake then?" "I need him to sign some papers this week, so you can go to him for Work Week"

"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.


  1. Sounds like 'Woe is me' big time where you are.


    Doc says 'Take some malt daily.....'

    He doesn;t qualify what kind of malt.

    Nice Doc!

  2. I guess "car thief" is a bit more glamorous than "trash sweeper." I guess it's a good thing our schools don't do "work week."

  3. Alistair: Yes, it is a big "F*ck me, another day at school" time. Plus I've developed a really bad hacking cough which doubles me over and produces copious amounts of phlegm and expectorated mucus. *stares pathetically at screen hoping for sympathy*

    The only thing that keeps me going is the beloved blend Dewars. (I can't afford Malt Whisky at the moment) You've got a very nice doctor.

    Patience_Crabstick: I don't think he was actually a car thief, he was the guy who could make a full sized car evaporate into its component (and re-sellable) parts in about ½ hour, so the car thieves relied on him to get rid of the evidence. A job he didn't do so well at, according to the number of months he spent "at her Majesty's pleasure"

  4. Cheer up TSB, at least you don't need to lug a lot of bloody music gear over to the auditorium, for MyBloodyTube, only to be left to take it back alone after the last day is done.

  5. Sounds like the inter school comunications at NLHS have not improved since I left. I pity you having to organise relief TSB. However I am really enjoying my latest career as a professional reliever in the big valley over the hill from NLHS and my home valley. I am teaching some kids I have taught before at one high school (they are now big bigger as Year 13's - but a lot more mature thank god!) and at the local down the road - the kids of people I went to my own local high school with, and even my neigbours kid. So it is easy to form relationships and make conversation/gain cooperaton especially when you say you know their Mum and or Dad, and mention them by first name! It scares the living daylights out of them! So far its been a breeze and I am actually taking classes I have expertise in like computing and commerce, although in the last few weeks I have had a go at taking Art, Photography and Fabrics, which I have found really fun and enjoyable. NOT amused this morning though getting called up at 7.30am and hauled out of my nice cosy bed to be at work by 8.30 am! Mean ask on such a frosty morning only to be told when I arrived I was no longer needed as the course they were getting my relief cover for had been cancelled. Oh well it was'nt all bad. THe DP said he would pay me 0.20 of a day for turning up and for the inconvenience. What a sport! Back home now but bored. Cat is happy to be back in front of the fire after being ejected into the frost outside early this morn - so all is forgiven. Roll on my next relief assignment - I can't wait.

  6. BTW my dear TSB I have ample supplies of Whisky at my place. I am not a fan of the product despite having Scottish heitage. I have inherited around half a dozen bottles - most unopened gifts given to my Uncle whom I have been looking after for the earlier part of this year and he has now been transitioned to a lovely rest home. Living on his own at 90 became to much for him as a lifetime bachelor. As his closest living relative I have had to clear out his house and sell it -and very successfully. But he is a hoarder - and I was shocked at how much whisky he had stored in the kitchen cupboards. He told me that he had gone off it in recent years, but it did'nt stop him recieving the stuff as gifts or prizes at bowls. Was too bloody mean to give it away BTW. Some of may in fact be quite old I suspect. Does that affect the quality? Let me know what you like TSB and I shall send a bottle your way ASAP ( I live fairly close to your croft) to help sustain you over the final two weeeks of term and thwart of the evils of viruses, coughs and that dastardly villian Ringo! Hope you are having a better day today. Remember - When the going gets tough - the tough get going!

  7. Hello Valley Girl, thanks for dropping by. Am I right in thinking you might be Kay Key-> ?
    Getting the call at 7:30 isn't good. But even worse is me getting a call at 8:20 saying someone's sick, and I've got to scramble to get a reliever when most have gone back to bed or buggered off to do some shopping.
    As regards the whisky, it does not "go off" as far as I know, but feel free to send as much as you wish to me for further detailed testing.

    And we always need more relievers at Nuova Lazio High, so if you can out up with Ringo we can always use another warm body.

  8. Oh TSB you are a smart cookie. You are wasted in that job. Aye it is indeed me. After a short period of exile and period of travelling, and waiting for the Prozac to kick in,I returned to the trenches of education as I missed it so much. My last job was a amazing teaching computing and science to teen mothers from all over the big valley and the valley of NL at one of our local high schools in a special satelitte school (i.e. prefab around the corner). I taught several ex NVHS who had transformed into the most amazing and diligent pupils. It was a joy to work there, and I was gutted when my FTC came to an end and was not renewed. My top student got 38 Level 2 credits in Computing last year alone. Not bad eh? I have often thought about re-entering the hallowed halls of NLHS but the thought of coming into contact with Ringo again sends chills through my veins. I cannot believe you guys still let him get away with his crap behaviour. Time to form a lynch gang. You must eliminate that thing. I like some of your earlier suggestions regarding possible methods of dealing to this pest. I could talk to my dear Uncle as he has many connections at Working Mens Club Mafia. Uncle is a WW2 veteran. I think I have his bayonnette somewhere at home, along with his medals.
    BTW dear TSB I shall check out the Whisky supplies. What is Teacher's Whisky like?

  9. Giving TSB whisky to look after is like asking a rabbit to look after your lettuce patch.

  10. Valley Girl: We put up with Ringo as we put up with a natural disaster; stoically. Good results, I'm going to miss the US when the level 2 disapear next year. I think your Uncle and my Auntie Twisted would get on well. See foran example of how her mind works. As far as Teacher's Whisky is concened, mine's quite nice. (teacher joke here)

    TC: You've got it.

  11. I don't get it. Who is Valley Girl?

  12. Richard [of RBB]:Valley Girl used to work with us in NLHS, she was..... no, I'll let you guess.

  13. OH RBB I can't believe you don't remember me! TSB will tell you in person I am sure. And TSB please don't refer to me as "She Was" that makes me sound deceased. I am very much alive and kicking. Seems like the drudgery of working at NVHS has caused early onset alheimers in some of the staff. It was not that long ago since I was at NVHS. Either that or music teachers are not very bright. Hint for RBB - Do you remember me telling you about my late father being a great trumpet player and having his own jazz dance band in the late fifties. He was also a high school teacher by profession, but not of music. I was bought up in a house full of jazz music playing - constantly. I still like it now and then to remind me of my dad, but not all day everyday like he did. Mum ended up purchasing him large earphones at my suggestion to save her sanity and hearing in her later years. By then Dad was already deaf and insane - but probably from the teaching, not the jazz. Anyway someone has to have the whisky - I think it would make TSB cry if I told him I origianly planned to pour it down the sink! I just won't give it to him all at once. Otherwise he will spend the holidays in a daze and I'm sure Mrs Twisted has many plans to utilize TSB's time constructively over the forthcoming break.


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