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Thursday, 24 May 2012

Ringo Rattles Off

On Wednesday mornings, between the far-too-early times of 08:15 and 09:25, we, the Saintéd staff of Nuova Lazio High School (NLHS) are treated to a pedagogically uplifting presentation/diatribe/lecture/interactive bloody session, or what other type of communication is deemed suitable for our edification.

Mostly we get lectured at by eye-wateringly enthusiastic educationalists, who tell us that the failings of the NZ education system is all our (the teachers' fault) and that by applying these new and fascinating techniques, we can progress into the sublimeness of 100% literacy, 100% numeracy and every pupil reaching NCEA 3.

It's all complete bollocks of course. Even the best teacher in the world can't create diamonds out of straw, and we have an awful large amount of straw at NLHS. We try, sometimes succeeding, mostly failing, but we keep on trying.

Today's presentation was organised by Ringo, and it followed the usual and well-worn pathway. We had to bring our Māori boys achievement up to acceptable levels, this time by showing the little angels that we believe in them.

At least he didn't actually say it was all our fault, or it was the Pakeha (European) teachers' fault, but it was implied in his presentation.

Oh, there's a surprise.  Now I can go out into the classroom, freshly invigorated by the fires of student belief.

Funnily enough, that's what I and most of our colleagues have been doing for many, many years.

The presenter, a  Māori bloke in his 30s, had been a teacher, but has now seen the light (and I would expect the extra money) as a contractor specialising in running courses in building relations with Māori boys (and who had an absolutely gorgeous, and very curvy assistant, who seemed absolutely vital to the presentation, as she did the difficult task of plugging in a USB Flash drive into a laptop.

She can plug in my USB anytime

I had the passing thought that she represented a magician's assistant, but could be much better attired in a bikini, maybe even a spanglex bikini, but I digress)

There was nothing really wrong with the presentation except that it went on for far too long.

We normally stop these sessions about 5 - 10 minutes before we have to go to our classes, to allow for last minute preparation, or in my case, to give me time to brief the relieving teachers.

The presenter asked Ringo how much more time he had left, and Ringo told him 40 minutes, which would have taken us right up to bell time.

I reckon the presenter went about 40% slower after that, trying I think to align his timing with Ringo's.
Audience participation "Ringo style"

God it was boring, with long gaps for "audience participation".

I saw Richard [of RBB] participating my nodding off.  I was up in the bad boys' corner, and I must admit, it was difficult to stop myself nodding off.

I tuned out the drone of the presenter and just stared (surreptitiously of course, I'm not a complete cad) at the very pretty assistant.  Various fantasies circulated through my now fevered imagination.  Many topics were covered.  Butter and Maple Syrup were included.  So was condensed milk.

At last he was finished, with only about 7 minutes to the bell, just enough time to get the relieving teachers briefed and helped gently on their way.

Then some stupid prat decided to ask a question.

Look, we've just been lectured at for 55 minutes at a rate deemed slow by a geriatric slug, and now they want to ask questions.

Send him a f*cking email if you want to ask him a question, but let the rest of us out of here.

It was not to be.  The session carried right on to the bell for the first class, and I had to sprint (not something I like to do, really) to get to my office to hand out the plans, timetables,materials and resources to the waiting relievers.
Then I had to hurry off to my own waiting class.

Bloody Ringo.  All he had to do was tell the bloke "30 minutes" and all would have been well.

So I went into my class and told them I believed in them.

See, instantly applying a new pedagogical principle.

I told them I believed.

I told them I believed that if they didn't get their fingers out and really start working they would not pass their assessment.

I told them I believed that if they kept on going onto the Internet when they were supposed to be practicing spread sheets, they would lose all Internet access for the rest of the term.

I told them that I believed they would succeed, but that they'd have to really work to get it.

They believed me.

The rest of the day was much the same as normal.  The relievers were doing OK, although they looked a little harassed, as they hadn't had time to prepare that morning, thanks to Ringo and his execrable timing.

We'd been told first thing in the morning that all of the Senior Managers, except Ringo, would be going on some course (listening skills) all afternoon.  This would leave him the sole person of authority in the school.

Just at the start of the afternoon session, Ringo left.

I don't know where he went, nobody does.

He just left the school.

He didn't appoint a senior teacher to take over, he just buggered off.

I've since heard his daughter had a wee accident, but that is not a reason to do what he did and the way he did it.

If I'd got a message from my Beloved saying she'd had an accident, I'd have wanted to go as well, but I'd have made sure that all of my responsibilities were covered, and that someone would have known where and why I'd left.
If I didn't, I'd get a written warning for seriously failing in my professional duties.

I wonder what will happen to him.

Probably sweet FA

Hmm... I wonder what that young, delicious assistant would be like in chocolate sauce.


  1. A great post which I enjoyed reading. There are too many snippets worth replying to e.g. those prats who ask questions mainly to satisfy their own egos., but I don't have time. I'm off to make a cup of tea with condensed milk and have a chocolate biscuit. Why that craving I wonder?

    1. I would have absolutely no idea.
      Maybe it's that picture of a flying saucer, having some sort of wierd extraterrestrial effect?

  2. Hmm, chocolate..
    I really hate those speeches, we get them in Workplace Safety, There is no I in Team..and many more just like those. I hate, hate, hate them, the boss hates them and everyone except the lecturer hates them.

    Did I mention that i hate them?

    1. Chocolate is good so I'm told. I don't actually like the stuff any more, preferring any sort of savoury. But offering somone a pice of cheese dosn't quite seem the same somehow.

      Ah, the speeches, the seminars, the workshops. All a waste of bloody time.

      Mind you, they can be entertaining.

      When I worked in the industrial gas sector, a bloke in BOC did a demonstration on the "dangers of acetylene". He used an acetylene filled ballon to demonstrate his point.
      Unfortunately, he got his calculations wrong and used a 1 metre balloon instead of a 10 cm balloon.

      The resultant explosion removed the roof, windows and most of the participants eardrums. But it succeeded in demontrating the dangers of acetylene, so I suppose it fulfilled its purpose.

    2. Ah yes Acetylene, some workmates made an Acetylene gun from heavy pipe, it shot full beer cans so far you lost sight of them and everyone had a golly good laugh...until some idiot added a small amount of Oxygen to the mix. They all took refuge and fired it remotely.. it blew up showering several businesses with shards of pipe, it blew out windows and had the police running all over the place

    3. That sounds like fun. Maybe you could convince them to try it again. I recommend a 3:1 ratio of Oxygen to Acetylene.

  3. I now see where I am going wrong in my career - I plug in my own USB flash drive.

    I'm on the case writing a job spec as we speak...

    Duties - looking lovely, smiling, plugging in USB drives
    Person spec - female, young, attractive... hmm can't see HR allowing that spec have to be creative... :-)

    1. You poor fool, of course you shouldn't plug in your own flash drive.

      If this had been 30 years ago, you would have been forced to rely on the services of the ASTMS union. Nobody else would have been allowed to touch anything technical.

      A good pair of boobs also helps.

  4. I really hate people who go to lectures and ask questions designed to show how smart they are rather than to genuinely elicit information.

    1. Ah, the dubious questioner. Desperately seeking some kind of recognition. The poor sod doesn't realise that he's now been recognised as a complete dick.

  5. Ah, the gentile whisper of bureaucrats. Nothing like it. Makes one want to poke a awl in your ear.

    Your concentration is easily lapsed. It doesn't take much, it would seem. Just the right flashpoint. The turn of a skirt.

    I like your methods. Too much soft-peddling going on.

    1. Bureaucrats. I remember many years ago when I was going through a slightly mad phase, where I wanted to be a Marketing Manager, I signed up for a course leading to a Diploma in management.

      I still remember the lecturer describing the various types of management structures. he actually started to froth at the mouth when we reached bueaucracies.

      There's a very good Kiwi film called "We're here to help" which describes one blokes fight with the IRD. Describes the bureaucrats extremely well. Pricks.

      Not just the turn of the skirt.
      The flash of the thigh.
      The gleaming curve of a breast.
      The strethed and vulnerable neck.

      Sorry, I've got to stop and have a cold shower...

      Ah, beter now. My teaching methods haven't really changed in 10 years.

      I like the kids, I demand excellence, I give them clear and firm guidelines as to acceptable behaviour, I'm fair, I am friendly (but definitely NOT their friend) I tell terrible jokes and listen to even more terrible jokes. We all have a good time and much learning takes place.
      I love my job.

    2. Ys seen that film. Great. I used to work for IRD once, although not too long. I could not stand their bureaucracy, it was so counter productive, and that was just in the IT department. You know something is not well when they had the mission statement "Simply the best" displayed all over the walls of the office. Hardly inpspiring. Their corporate policy was to treat staff like their clients - Simply a Number, or a bum on a seat.

    3. Actualy, the Kiwi IRD isn't nearly as bad as the Inland Revenue in the UK.

      Mission Statements are the biggest waste of time ever. And misleading.

  6. I too despise those people who always have to ask questions/say something. The Hobbit is doing that too much lately. I'll wack him next time he gets up to expound a half thought up truth of the universe.

    Oh and morning TSB. I hope you're feeling a bit better.

    1. Afternoon Richard, I've just crawled out of bed. I'm not feeling better, but thanks for asking.

      Please tell Hobbit to cease and desist. He's a nice bloke, but he enjoys the sound of his voice too much. Teach him to use the banjo or something.

  7. Dear germs affecting TSB,

    You suck! On your bike.



    P.S. I'm sort of a bureaucrat, I think, but one of the nicer, less hidebound ones.

    1. Hi Alison, and thanks for visiting and leaving a comment.

      Hey germs, listen to what Alison is saying, and in true Kiwi fashion, bugger off (the germs, not Alison)

      Are you sure you're a real bureaucrat?

      Do you have a soul?
      Do you have a sense of humour?
      Do you have a pitchfork and horns?

      Oops, sorry, I was getting confused with the damned.

    2. I do have a sense of humour. I'm pretty sure I have a soul. And I have an imperfect grasp of websites, as I meant to comment on your 'So Sick' post instead of this one. And I'm equating civil servant with bureacrat, which might not be accurate -- I'm definitely the former. I have no horns or pitchforks, but my feet do look a bit cloven.

    3. Civil servants are not always bureaucrats. I'll trust you about the cloven feet.


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