This has not been a good week at Nuova Lazio High School.
It's reports' time.
The time when all of the teachers based in what we laughingly refer to as Stalag Luft III have to "write" a report to the parents on what their little
Because we live in an age of Political Correctness, we have to be very careful of which we write.
In the golden years of reports in the Victorian era, simple but heartfelt comments like:
"This child was born to hang"
"This child's attitude is as bad as his work"
"On no account should this child be ever allowed to breed"
Carried the teacher's thoughts (and possibly long repressed desires) to the unfortunate
These days we just cannot "tell it as it is."
Every bloody comment has to be positive.
If little Johnny has just wrecked the entire music department, smashed 3 guitars, demolished 15 keyboards and shit under the teacher's desk, all we would be allowed to say would be something like:
"John has a very bubbly personality that sometimes obstructs his obvious desire to learn."
If pushed, we might be permitted to say "John does, we believe, require a little extra help in understanding the essentials of personal hygiene" but that would require the approval of a member of the senior management.
Which takes me nicely to the complete fuck-up (yes, I didn't use an *, it's gone past that) visited upon the school by the comsumate master of the fuck-up, namely Ringo.
For the last few years, a member of the Senior Management (ably aided on the technical [explain how the f*cking computer system actually works] by my good self) has been responsible for the design of the overall reports structure.
We/they've tried different models.
We've tried proof-reading committees, where teachers (again like myself *blushes slightly, buffs fingernails on cardigan front, and looks down bashfully* with good grammar, syntax and proof-reading abilities) check all of the comments produced by our colleagues BEFORE they get printed and posted home.
We've tried many models.
We've tried proof-reading buddies, teams, supervisors, double back-checking, more committees to little benefit. Let's face it, many teachers couldn't recognise a properly parsed sentence if it was covered in curry sauce and smeared over the voluptuous body of a nymphomaniac adolescent who had absorbed enough Strontium 90 to make her glow in the dark. (Note. This was an example of hyperbole. Just because I teach computing doesn't mean I'm illiterate.)
|Hyperbole in action.|
But this year, I get the feeling that Ringo, who was placed in charge of this particular element of the school/parent communication infrastructure (his words, not mine) decided to try a whole new method.
The best descriptor I can think of his "method" would be something like: "Fuck it, I'll just let things happen" "Oh, and I'll get the youngest and most inexperienced teacher in the whole f*cking school to design the flow of the information"
I'm so glad that I was removed from the responsibility of setting up our computer system to produce the reports this year. I don't think I could have stomached working for such a f*ck-wit.
The overall result can be described as a mixture of mayhem, suicidal levels of stress, impossible deadlines, inflexible organisation and a bumbling, incomprehensible, disjointed and contradictory set of instructions.
|Ringo's flow diagram and organisation chart|
I just slid into the background, did my own comments (utilising my own patent brand of random phrase generator which fools 99% of parents into thinking I actually really f*cking care about the academic progress of their little psychopath. The other 1% don't even read the bloody things)
I made sure that my reports were as grammatically perfect as possible, and with Hobbit to check for any oversights (I'm not absolutely perfect, just don't tell me), my job was finished well before the deadline.
So I could concentrate on other things.
Like having 10 teachers off tomorrow for entirely justified things.
Like going to see Lady F*cking Gaga in concert.
Like taking a few days off because you're a bit upset.
Like taking a day off because you little doggie has to go to the vet. Christ, can't they just shoot the bloody animal and put it out of it's misery. Worked for me. AND saved on the vet bill.
Like taking 3 days off because you've got a parasitic gastric infection picked up in Fiji... well...fair enough. It is difficult to teach our little feral monsters when there's shit dribbling down your leg.
It tends to detract from your concentration and basic survival skills, like spotting little Jemima creeping on her belly towards the DVD player, actually playing on a TV in the class and trying to stuff it into her backpack. (This last, by the way, is not a figment of my imagination, but an actual event which happened (not to me I should add) last year)
So reports are all f*cked up.
The teachers are all f*cked up.
Most of the senior management are on some cloud-cuckoo land where everything is perfect.
And Ringo stands on the ultimate pedestal of the supreme f*ck-upper-in-chief.
|The Pedestal of Fuck-up-idness|
And so another week in NLHS descends into the sunset.
Just in case you (the readers of this blog if so you exist ) are wondering how I survived the memory lapse of completely forgetting
I just threw large amounts of money about.
As soon as I arrived at school, I got on the phone and ordered a gigantic bunch of flowers, accompanied by a bottle of champagne and a very tasteful Helium balloon, to be delivered to my Beloved during her Mah Jong club meeting.
The card enclosed read: "Surprise" "I bet you thought I'd forgotten our beautiful 34 years together"
Lying and money do work.