Monday, July 30, 2007

Based on a true story !

So - this essentially happened to me at the last parent / teacher interview. I had this parent of a dead-beat skater kid who kept asking me again and again and AGAIN how I could make him stop being a dead-beat skater and start caring about his education !
I kept telling him that I DIDN'T KNOW ! If I freaking KNEW - I would have DONE whatever it FREAKING WAS to make him NOT be such a freaking skating LOSER.
I DID consider telling him to give him a decent smack in the head ( just not with an Antarian XJ-9 Electro-Doomfist ).

Critical Mass was a guy I invented a few years ago. He was a superhero type who's power was being mindlessly violent. We might see more of that now he's a teacher. Of sorts. I'm not sure why he's a teacher now. Seems a good an idea as any.

Hmmm ... the colours seem to have changed slightly. I kinda like C-M better with blue hair now !

Additional - Double Hmmmm ... the pic seemed to disappear ! How odd. I've tried posting a different version - maybe this will work ...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

This requires a delicate hand ...

There are a lot of things I like a lot about teaching. Everyday is different, there's heaps of variety and when you have a good day teaching - it's a pretty freaking good day.

I've often wished that I could JUST teach though - if there were a way of removing all the OTHER job aspects that come with the territory ( social worker, cop, detective, warden, mediator, janitor, etc ).

I find myself put in a delicate situation today. I have a student in my English class - academically challenged, a bit of a slacker in previous years - but trying now, a nice enough guy. He's going through a bit of an 'emo' phase - which I've found mildly amusing. Up to this point anyway.

Y'see - he wrote a short story for a creative writing task that featured some fairly strong suicide themes. "Ooooooooooo - that ain't good" thought I. "Now what do I do?". Do I talk to this guy and see what's up ? I don't really feel qualified for that ! Do I refer him to someone else ? It's only a story after all - I don't want to waste people's time here. I didn't quite know what would be the right course of action. And if I do sitch this kid up like a kipper to the Chaplaincy team and it's nothing, what is this kid going to do ? I got stuck dithering essentially.

Then today while we were in the library for sustained silent reading - I noticed that he was reading a book about suicide - y'know, one of those 'social problem' texts like 'The Great Brain Robbery'. I got in touch with the Chaplain straight away and registered my concern about him as a potential suicide risk.

It's probably nothing and there's nothing to worry about - but I'm not going to risk it. Screw that - if I left it alone and it turns about this kid tops himself I hate to think what I'd feel like. It was bad enough a a few years back when a kid I had taught the previous year killed himself. I hadn't even seen the guy for two terms, and I just kept thinking "Was there something I could have done ? Was there something I should have seen? Was there any way I could have stopped it ?". I was pretty shook up, I can tell you.

All in all I'd rather not have to deal with this kind of stuff / responsibility really. Just let me teach you - you stupid bastards ! Is that so hard ?


Friday, July 20, 2007

Sweet sweet karma !

At the end of last term I had a run in with a certain student. He was told three times on two consecutive days that he was not to be in the performing arts block ( juniors wreck up the place and have been banned ). He kept coming in - and I gave him a detention ( with four or five others who were also there ). He didn't turn up to my fifteen minute detention - so I passed it on to the Director of Junior School, who slapped him with an hour school detention.

He bleated on about how he was being picked on by me, how I was too mean, how he hated me ( becasue I obviously hated him ), and how he would leave school if he ever had a class with me again. There was a LONG protracted discussion ( which just went around and around and around ... ). I was very angry. I was very angry for the first three days of the holidays actually - it just wouldn't get out of my head.

Cut to today.

Kid is shooting an ad in his performing arts class - and is acting as a professional skateboarder endorsing a energy bar. He is going to perform simle jump from top of set of concrete stairs. He is advised by his teacher ( not me - but who was also drawn into the fray )that maybe having some sort of safety gear on would be a WISE course of action. "Nah man !" this kid replies. "I know what I'm doing!"

Camera runs.

Another kid does skateborad trick. Pulls it off fine.

Anger-generating kid goes to to trick.

He loses his footing and falls down the stairs, slamming his face into the concrete.

On film.

Film is shown after school to Mr. Seraph, who proceeds to scream with laughter until he can't breathe, demands it gets played twice more, wants copy on hard-drive and is considering putting it on YouTube.

I KNOW that it's 'shameful joy' and I KNOW I shouldn't laugh at the misfortune of others, and I KNOW that even now I am angering the Lords of Karma myself.

But man - That was so SO funny. And it's not like he got any SERIOUS damage ... he did fall on his head after all ! Ha ha ha !!!

That made my freaking WEEK !

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Harry Potter 7 Death List

Right - with only a matter of scant days left before 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' is released, I'm going to make my predictions on who may very well end up getting capped. Taking a dirt nap. Dying.

Here are my top five :

1. Lord Voldemort

Yes yes - obvious I know. But let's face it - it's a cert ! There's no way he ISN'T going to die. I guess the big question is - will Harry end up going too ? Personally, I don't think so. But the big V - he's SO dead. Serves him right too.

2. One of the Weasleys

There are LOADS of them ! ONE is bound to get zorched just due to the law of averages. With Dumbledore gone - the Weasleys are pretty much Harry's only surrogate relatives ( which puts a bit of a banjo-strumming swing on his relationship with Ginny ... ). I'd put money on Ron and Bill making it out alive ( Bill already got a face full of werewolf fury - no point in going over old ground ! ) - though I'd have to say that one of Fred or George could well check out - or even Ginny. Was anyone else a little unsatisfied about the way the Cho Chang thing worked out ? I hope that gets sorted out in book 7.

There's an outside chance that Mr. or Mrs. Weasely could die ... but that would be pretty cold ! Some of my students have suggested that they'd LIKE to see Percy die, in some sort of suitably redemptive way of course.

3. Neville Longbottom.

The cross-hairs are pretty firmly locked on Neville - and he certainly is in danger of going the same way as his folks. He's been getting steadily more competent ... but Bellatrix could take him without breaking a sweat.

4. Draco Malfoy

I hope Draco doesn't die. I always kinda hoped that he's have some revelation in the last stories and become one of the goodies, kinda like Snape. I'd really like to see him change. And the events of the last book show, I think anyway, that he has the capacity to. May even WANT to. If he does die - then I get the feeling he will be fighting on the right side - and Voldemort is gonna kill him.

5. Severus Snape

I desperately hope that Snape lives. I REALLY REALLY do. I am firmly in the 'Snape is a Good Guy Really' camp. Snape killed Dumbledore because Dumbledore TOLD him too. They need someone on the inside of the Death-Eaters, and if Snape hadn't zapped Albus - then Snape would have died ( unbreakable vow held with Narcissa ), with all sorts of terrible consequences ( like the Dark Lord knowing that they're operations had been compromised for one ! ).
You'll see. Snape will end up saving Harry's butt again. I just hope it doesn't cost him his life ( cos L.V. is going to be gunning for him then ! And how ! ) although I get the horrible sinking feeling that it will.

So - there's the death-list ! Now - to play the waiting game and see how right I am !

Monday, July 16, 2007

Post-Holiday Blues

Well - back to work. I guess it was too good to last. Sigh.

It's been a week since Viva and I got back from the Gold Coast. Perhaps I should say something about the trip :

- Things got off to a rocky start when BOTH Viva and I accidentally set our alarm clocks to PM rather than AM. Were supposed to be at the airport at 5am - by some stroke of fortune happened to wake up and glace at the clock at just past five. Cue loud swearing, mad sprinting around house and the fastest trip from Ngaio to Wellington airport on record. Not fun !
- Had a tube of toothpaste confiscated from me at customs because it COULD have been a bomb component.
- Our hotel room in Surfers' Paradise was on the 27th floor. Had fun creeping up to the edge, peeking over and seeing hopw long I could stay before my vertigo crippled my knees ( turns out to be about 11 seconds ).
- Dream-Land okay. I think experiencing Disneyland as a boy has ruined all other theme-parks for me though. Spent a LOT of time waiting for a 2 minute ride. Didn't want to go to another theme park after that day.
- Saw a lot of Ibis birds around the place. They're cute - in a gawky looking way.
- Pacific-Fair shopping mall is ludriciously big.
- Dracula's cabaret / dinner thing was fun.
- My throat got infected pretty badly. Thought it was just a sore throat - but it got steadily worse until it was really painful to swallow anything other than water or ice-cream ( and while the all ice-cream diet DOES have its appeal - I didn't want to put on THAT much weight while I was away ! ). Had to see a doctor on the Thursday, Viva was sick of me complaining and being pitiful. Medicine was great ! Okay by next day.
- Australian TV is REALLY bad...
- Best holiday bargain - picked up DVD of Russ Myer's "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" for ONE australian dollar ! Whoop ! ... and that's about all I got really. Viv did MIGHTY amount of shopping. I try not to think about it !
- Most pain suffered - managing to avoid doing a belly-flop when diving into the indoor hotel pool ( which would have been bad ) by somehow executing a GROIN-flop instead ( ... much much worse ). Probably good that I couldn't breathe for a moment or two - as I would have drowned.

As always though - it was great to come home. Hix did another great job in looking after the house and Shadow - and many props go to him.

Right. Off home now. Sick of being at work !

Friday, July 13, 2007

They grow up so fast...

Hey Y'all ! Back in the country again. Trying to catch up with work now. Yay.
More on the holiday later - had to share this with you.

A lady from our health and fitness class told us this gem her six ( repeat, SIX ) year old daughter had said - that she couldn't wait to be a teenager because then she'd be able to have "a cellphone AND boobies"

Hilarious ! And oddly terrifying.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Outta here !

By some cosmic freak alignment of planets - I have somehow survived the last week of skool with brain reasonably intact. Even had enough hand-eye coordination to finish "Prince of Persia - The Two Thrones" ( which was pretty good ! ).

Typically the first day of the hols I am ravaged by a sore throat given to me by some little Typhoid Mary. Bastards. I've got a fair idea of who it probably is too ... I'm going to have to sneak up and punch them in the kidneys sometime and blame it on a convenient year 7 student ( hopefully one I don't like - but beggars can't be choosers ! )

Viv and I off to the Gold Coast tomorrow morning. Yay ! I plan to ride many roller coasters.

Until next week then !