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Thursday, 8 March 2012

A Vignette of an Absolutely F*cking Awful Day

Eyes blearily open at 4:59.

No hope of getting back to Land of Nod

Stagger, dribble to ablutions (What a delightfully military nomenclature)


Much better.

Aware that I've awoken with a craving for French Toast.

Any American readers, please note.  French Toast (Bread soaked in a an egg and milk mixture then fried) is a SAVOURY dish, not SWEET.  No cinnamon, no maple syrup, no *shudder* sugar or *double shudder* ice cream.

Savoury, not sweet

Salt and pepper, and just maybe, tomato ketchup.

Read blog.
Laugh at Richard's venting of spleen, groan at looby's predicaments, search vainly for The Curmudgeons wit, or Hestia's erudite prose.
Reply to comments.  My wit is slow.
Make coffee.
Kick dog.
Pick up dog shit. (who wins?) (Guess?)

Check phone and email for messages.


Sick man is sick (He sounded OK yesterday.   Is he as sick as me, with my dripping nasal discharge and glutinous lungs?.  We'll see.)

Text relievers to ask more to come in.

Head for school.

Mobile phone rings in car.  Dare not read message, cops just as paranoid as me.

AAAArrrggghh.  Someone else of sick. (read in completely legal side of road.  For any cops reading this I DEFINITELY STOPPED BEFORE READING TEXTS.  OK.)

Got to school while defiantly rejecting incredibly strong temptation from gloriously smelling bakery at bottom of Nuova Lazio hill.

Get thee behind me Satan

Got to office, started computer.  Made 3rd cup mug large mug of coffee.

Checked email.

AAAArrrggghh. Basket man off sick.

Re-arranged relief arrangements, phoned new relievers to come in.

Morning brief.
Sobbed briefly, as no staff around.  All f*cked off somewhere.

5th cup mug of double strength coffee. Relaxing before first class (Yes I still have to teach between 3 and 4 classes every day)

Start off for class, last night's marking under arm, with today's lesson planned.

Text message.

AAAArrrggghh.  Reliever off sick.

Run back to office.  Frantic calls to other (last ditch) relievers.

All arranged.

Now late for my own Year 10 class, start running trotting jogging walking briskly walking at a reasonable and dignified pace towards classroom.

Text message.
Very reliable reliever wants to know if he's  in today.


Forgot to phone her this morning, because of Basket Man (Look, I need to blame someone, it's obviously not me.  I'm perfect.)

Arranged a temporary cover while Very Reliable reliever gets to school.

In class.




All computers loose power, as does printer.

Very dignified.

Don't think any pupil heard me say "What the f*ck is going on?"  "Have I sh*t on G*d?'
 "Have I sh*t on S*tan?"  "Have I sh*t on Winston Peters?" (NZ joke)

Managed to get the circuit breakers reset.  (Found out later it was caused by one of our cleaners with a defective vacuum cleaner who tried 4 times to get his cleaner working, blowing every power circuit in my part of the school before he realised he was the one doing the damage.)

Stopped two students from killing each other. (Pity)

Runner arrived and nicely (but pointedly)  made it clear that students should not be wearing jackets in class.  It was rather chilly this a.m.  I told class that they could wear jackets until it warmed up)


Class actually seemed to learn something.

Back to office.




Made 6th cup of triple strength coffee and read a chapter of my book.

Taught the rest of the day.

Commiserated with staff/relievers who had problems (mostly Year 10s).

Managed to finish my reports (due next week)
Started my report for the Board of Trustees (School Board), with statistical analysis and plenty of simple graphs for the less-than-literate members of the board.
Started my update for the management document due in June.

Set up the relief for tomorrow.

Hey Second?
Remember the parable of the bricks made without straw?
Try the parable of the classes made without teachers  (Primeval chaos)


Plan on board for my colleagues to read (I've added pictures and pretty colours for the Arts and PE departments)

Make new lesson for my Year 11s for tomorrow.
Make plan for my absence next week.

No, honestly, it's not a nervous breakdown.  Something much more important.

Head home at 5:45pm

Long day.

Exercise for student.
Calculate number of hours at/thinking/dreaming of Nuova Lazio High School

Only thing that stops me screaming is thinking about our poor Year 9s freezing their little arses off in their primitive bivouacs. It turned unseasonably cold last night. AND it rained.


  1. I don't know how you do it. I'd say you deserved the bakery pie...

  2. Jesus effing Christ mate!

  3. Are you having some kind of epidemic? Your teachers are dropping like flies.

  4. Why don't you just get the dancing bear to help? Oh, that's right, he doesn't come to school these days.
    Take it easy, my young friend.

  5. Why don't you just get the dancing bear to help? Oh, that's right, he doesn't come to school these days.
    Take it easy, my young friend.

  6. Well you never texted me! So I just stayed lazing in bed until

    Worked all day on Wednesday though relieving at high school down road. 5 periods for the year. Very pleasant indeed, especially when I am welcomed back with open arms by staff and students alike. However, a shock to the old body after four months off.

    Ah well, today back to me Executor duties. It's fun looking after a dead man's money. I just have to resist gambling it or spending it.

  7. If I was in your shoes I might be thinking that all these staff were trying to avoid me.

    I completely agree on the French Toast by the way - except for the choice of sauce which is most often HP for me. The wife takes the continental/sweet route on this. I can barely watch it on the plate.......

    I once ranted about it.

  8. Bloody hell, I can see why you might have been a bit tetchy after all that!

    I know this is easier said than done but in the long run, something needs to be done about these "illnesses" that the staff keeping falling prey to. I thought people moved to NZ *because* of the climate, not to find that year-round temperatures between 14 and 25 start making them poorly.

    "French toast"? Eggy bread, man!

  9. Sounds deeply tiring. Ketchup is a fine condiment for hamburgers but pretty dicey for toast.

  10. People you have to know that the valley of Nuavio Luszio is a cesspool of germs. When I worked there I frequently came down with illnesses. It has its own unique micro climate and that applies to ther germs too. I pu ta lot of the germs down to a high proportion of the studnet roll coming from low socio-economic households with many people living in them, espepcialy young children. Many of hteses homes are rentals and uninsulated and expensive to heat, thus the spread of mould and dmapness. THe poor children get frequently ill. THey pass this onto their siblings who bring the germs to school.

    For teahcers and staff this means -
    Stress + Germs = Illness.

  11. Shackleford_Hurtmore: It's the whisky that keeps me going. I agree aboutthe pie, but my waistline disagrees.

    YONKS: Yep.

    Patience_Crabstick: I should have mentioned that all of our year 9 students (the first year at high school)are out on a week's camp in the bush, so about 20 teachers are out supervising. PLUS another 8 off on Thursday and Friday to go to a meeting organised by the Ministry.

    Richard: He's too busy playing with the kids on camp.

    VG: We had enough relievers, it was just difficult getting everything organised.

    Alistair: That's a point. Maybe all those bastards are hiding behind the bike sheds. I don't mind a little spicy tomato sauce, but maple syrup and bacon? Yeuch!

    looby: I only has 2 staff off sock, the rest wereaway at the bloody junior camp.

    The climate is better, but the air has a surprising amount of tree pollen = hay fever to the max.
    French Toast? Eggy Bread? Is there a difference? As long as it stays savoury I don't mind.

    Laoch: Yes, desperatley exhausted.
    French toast. Bread soaked in a mixture of beaten egg and milk then fied in oil.

    VG: Nonsense. Our kids are outstandingly healthy. it's the teachers that are the reservoirs of disease.


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