We did it.
We survived another 365 days at the chalkface.
The timetable is mostly set up for next year and we have a lovely 6 weeks of holiday to relax and unwind, girding our loins for next year.
Actually, that is an odd phrase. GIRDING MY LOINS.
I could understand Guarding my Loins, as my loins are very precious to me. I could understand Guarding my Lions as those wild and ferocious felines are quite valuable. But what actually does Girding mean? Girt does mean encircling with a belt, and loins are usually a reference to a cut of meat "The Loin" approximately between the pelvis and the rib cage. eg A Sirloin Steak.
So does it mean tie a belt around my steak?
I think not.
My son ((he of the pierced earlobe and tattooed forearm showing a delightfully rendered image of the Mexican Day of the Dead with the addition of a Chinese script which he was told meant "May the Lord Bless You" but which really says "I've got a Bastard of a Cold" and who is incapable of remembering to put f*cking oil in an engine even when the little red light comes on) always grew upset if I used the phrase "Fruit of my Loins" as a reference to him, so I think we can say that Loins is a euphemism for the genitalia, with probably a bias towards the male genitalia.
So I'm getting ready for next year by tying a belt around my balls?
Doesn't seem right somehow.
However, all around the school, teachers are celebrating their survival and are preparing for next year in their own different ways.
The Music department is moving large pieces of equipment and many metres of cables back and forth between the Auditorium and the Music room. Nobody actually knows why this equipment migration takes place, but it seems to keep the auld fella happy, so we don't ask.
The English department is filled with teachers (in the last throes of exhaustion) busily building little piles of folders and used resources. We think that after school has finished, they sneak back in and set a bonfire for the burning of erroneous marking schedules, examples of badly parsed report comments and effigies of their least favourite pupils.
The Science Department congregate in their laboratories and partake of communal solvent sniffing ceremonies. (Smoking or naked lights are strongly discouraged within 25 metres of the Science block of rooms. We don't want a repetition of the "barbecue incident of 2002" There aren't as many Science graduates available these days
|It's what they do.|
The PE department normally stand about throwing weights to each other, or kicking a ball about. We used to think they were just either showing off or practising for the new Level 3 Standards coming out next year. Then we realised that they're just f*cking mad. (And they can't do it this year, as half the PE staff have just resigned)
|Hours of fun for a Social Scientist|
Our Social Scientists sit in big group and practise filling in maps with coloured pencils. What is it with Social Science and coloured pencils? Do they develop some sort of fetish at Teacher's College? AND while we're on it, why is it called Social Science (SOS). Science to me has to be quantifiable, reproducible and follow the basic rules of the other sciences, but SOS just seems to be a range of opinions, with no real proofs. I think they should rename it "The Generator of Political Correctness".
|Don't mess with our Ladies of Food. Especially after the brandy|
Our ladies in Food Technology are finishing their annual clean, after which they make delicate little fairy cakes and gossamer brandy-flavoured sugar sculptures and pastries of almost translucent delicacy. Then they get completely pissed on the remainder of the cooking brandy, it helps to settle their nerves. They have the second-worst job in the school. How would you feel with having 30 hyperactive, voluble and in many cases borderline psychopathic teenagers, running about with lots of very sharp knives? Give me the Willies.
|The Art Department Dog|
The Art department just float through this last day as they float through life. We reckon they're permanently stoned. It would explain a lot. It would explain the modes of dress in that department. It would explain the weird sounds coming from the darkroom. It would explain some of the weird and positively horrifying sculptures being produced. I kid you not, I have nightmares about some of the shapes they produce over there. Maybe it's not weed, maybe they're on the Magic Mushrooms, but it's definitely something.
|We're looking for pictures like this|
|Or if we're very lucky, like this|
My Computing department just start deleting all of our confidential files, and cleaning up our directory structure for next year. This takes about 10 minutes. The rest of the day is spent trawling through the students files, searching for pictures of uncertain decency. These are either deleted, copied for future study and then deleted, copied for future prosecution and deleted, or for the really bad ones, copied into the staff directory for common perusal and deleted. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.
Nobody knows what happens in the Maths department, but we think it involve black candles, inverted crucifixes and lots of geometry, and our caretaker swears he found lots of black cockerel feathers in their office last year.
The Technology department stand about polishing their lathes, milling machine and jigsaws. Of course their first job is to make sure all the bloodstains are off the walls and ceilings. I said earlier that the Food ladies have the second-worst job; these guys definitely have the worst job. They don't just have psychopathic teenagers running about with lots of very sharp knives, they have psychopathic teenagers running about with lots of very sharp chisels, drills, all sorts of power tools, access to thicknessers (imagine two long cylinders which have razor sharp tungsten carbide blades embedded in them, and rotating at about 30,000 rpm) and of course that ever reliable finger remover, the large circular table saw. So after they've mopped up the blood and swept up the sawdust, they get as completely pissed as the Food ladies.
Well that's it for another year, and we're all looking forward to the next intake of kids for 2012.
*Takes deep breath and screams NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooo*