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Monday, 5 March 2012

It's Camp Week

This week, Nuova Lazio High School is carrying on with a tradition common to many NZ and Aussie school; namely, sending our youngest kids to a camp in the bush.

In earlier times, when NZ was mostly an agrarian-based society, I could see the benefits of this, but our kids are becoming increasingly urban, and many don't want to go.

They don't want to experience the delights of :
Sleeping without having had a shower or a decent feed.
They want to be warm, dry, and have immediate access to the Internet or at least an MP3 player and an XBox.

There is however a rather large uncertainty factor.

To preclude any legal liabilities, each kid who wants to go on the camp, needs an approval form, signed by their respective caregiver, AND a fee to pay for food, camp supplies and use of the camp area.  Last I heard (Sunday) we have about 40 kids who haven't provided the required form.

This means we have to be prepared to accommodate these 40 year 9s back into school, and provide some supervision and preferably, some teaching, so a modicum of learning may actually take place.


I've utilised every available staff member who's not on camp to cover the classes of the teachers who are out, braving the wilds of Brookfield.

My goodness, I've even got a music teacher taking a senior economics class.
Can you imagine the scene?

Clever Economics Student (CES)" Please Mistah, could you explain the laws regarding supply and demand?"
Music Teacher (MT)"No"

CES "What?' "Why won't you tell us ?"
MT "'Cause I don't want to" "Now I want you all to draw this in your books"

CES "What is it Mistah?"
MT "Never mind what it is, just draw the bl**dy thing"

Whole Class "Oooohhh...he used a bad word"
MT "Of course I used a bad bl**dy word" "I'm a music teacher for goodness sake, we're artists, we're emotional, we use all sorts of language to express ourselves"

Whole Class "Oooohhh...he used a bad word again"
MT "Listen you lot of cleverdicks, I said draw this in your books" "Draw it now, and draw it quietly"

CES "Please Mistah, what is it to do with economics?"
MT "It's a simple lesson O Garrulous one" "If you ever work with this symbol, be prepared to be poor"
The sign of going to be poor (but often happy)

CES "Oh, really"
MT "Yep" "Look on it as your first lesson in real world economics"

Whole Class "Thank you, thank you very much Mistah"
MT (With a casual wave, indicating an appreciation of the warmth of their regard and including a subtle indication that they should get on with their assigned work and stop chattering as it was keeping him awake)(I know that is a lot of subtle signals in a single wave, but he's an artist, and they can do that sort of thing)"Shhh"

I've got a Drama teacher taking Dance.

Drama Teacher (DT) "Right my dahrlings, gather round and pretend you are all trees"
Excited Dance Student (EDS)"Can we move in rhythm Mistah?"

DT "Of course you can my dear boy"  "But only once you are a stationary tree"
EDS "But how does a tree move if it's stationary Mistah?"

DT "With emotion my dear boy, with emotion, feeling and an irreducible complexity that joins all living things on the surface of Gaia, our Earth Mother who nurtures us all and provides the material for this splendid double-knitted poncho I am wearing at this instant of pure Cosmic Time"
EDS "Hey Mistah, you speak just like our normal Dance teacher"

DT "Of course my dear boy, of course" "We're all artists"
EDS ":No Mistah, I meant you all talk the same crap"

DT "You young whippersnapper" (Deals a wicked blow to the pate of the EDS with Gandalf 's Staff of Power that he is unaccountably holding)

I wonder where this came from?

I've even got ME taking a Geography class.

ME "Good morning." "Morena Koto"
Nice Geography Class (NGC) "Morning Mistah"

ME "Now Miss hasn't left much information about your work" "What were you working on last week"
Keen and Ernest Young Student (KEYS)"Colouring in maps Mistah"

ME "What?"
KEYS"Colouring in maps Mistah" "We do it every Monday, Wednesday and Friday"

ME"Really?"  "Well I'm glad to see that Geography hasn't changed much since my day"
"But what do you do on Tuesdays?"
NGC (In unison)"We draw maps Mistah"

KEYS "Miss says that Hoani over there (points to blushing boy in corner) did the best Fjords she's ever seen"
ME "Really?'

KEYS "Yes Mistah, and she said that my colouring of the rivers of England deserved a Merit and possibly even an Excellence" "At Level Two, Miss said"
ME "Good, good, so what maps are you colouring in today?"

NGC "Miss said we're doing the USSR Mistah"
ME "But isn't that a bit dated?"

KEYS "Miss said it isn't the name of the countries that's important Mistah, it's the trueness of the colouring in"
ME "Oh. sort of  Zen thing is it?" (Observes completely blank look on all student faces)
ME "Right then, get colouring"

NGC (again in unison) "Yes Mistah, thak you Mistah" (Complete quiet except for sound of furious yet meticulous colouring in)


  1. Don't knock a good grounding in colouring in... it appears to be the only skill that anyone in our Marketing department has...

  2. Me thinks that you TSB have missed your true calling. You should be out there in the bush with the Year 9's teaching them bushcraft and survival skills using your life experiences and skills developed while in the army.

    Or maybe it is you who can't bear the thought of missing regular showers, good food, a nice bed and all your modern technology devices?

    I went on an outdoor ed camp for a week with Year 8s some years back. It was great. Hard yakka but great and character building especially the tramp up Mt Holdsworth. I was alot fitter back then too. My daughter's teacher was ex-army and he had a very good old fashioned disciplinarian way of dealing with the young lads in particular (like getting them up at 6am for a 5km run before breakfast).

  3. I think your posts need more scantily clad young ladies.

  4. Shackleford_Hurtmore: Ahhh. The joysof marketing.

    5 hour lunches on expenses while we discuss advertising options with the agencies.

    VG: No, No, No. I've done my bit undercanvas (her name was Alice)

    Richard: Technicalities, technicalities.

    AJ: Shocked, shocked. But I've heard about you and Mary M.
    You dirty old bugger you. :=)

  5. This explains why my daughter was completely lost when I said Syria was next to Turkey and she didn't know there was a North Sea... we live on the North Kent Coast btw - so on a good day up the hill you can see the bloody thing! She by the way is an all A grade student... the national curriculum what a roaring success! However she can have four simulatneous text conversations on the go, be tweeting about how crap her life is with such retarded parents and be watching OH My God not another Reality Show about Pillocks all at the same time

  6. I blame the f*cking educationalists. We teachers keep on trying our best, but when they tell us to teach differently or a really weird curriculum, we're essentially stuffed.

    Actually, if your daughter had done advanced colouring-in (that's when they add the text labels to the seas, rivers and mountains) she'd have known the names.

  7. I doubt she'd have learned the names of anything - nowadays she'd be spending more time picking the correct font to express the motion of the sea... serif, sans serif, comic sans?

  8. This sounds like American schools all the time. Cincinnati, Dallas, and France are the only three countries they know. Most of our kids classes involve listening to Ipods so music isn't a problem, except for reading it and playing an instrument.
    Excellent post.


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