There is nothing to make you feel old quite like the language you hear teenagers using. It is like a whole new language that doesn’t make sense to anyone over twenty. So when you are nearing forty you have no hope.
I remember when a kid told me I was dripping and I thought I’d spilt something down my top. Apparently it means that I was dressed really nicely – so why couldn’t they just say that.
I try my best to keep up with everything my students say, but I think that I finally have to accept that it has just about run away from me. No matter how hard I work, I’m always going to be wondering what the hell they are talking about.
I absolutely love to teach poetry and I get so upset when I tell students that we are doing a poetry unit and they all just roll their eyes at me. But I can understand that reaction because we are conditioned to think poetry is just for people who quote Shakespeare and don’t own a TV.
And I think that the way to get people to at least be open to poetry is to frame it right. Most people like pop songs or some form of visual arts, and poetry can be likened to either one of these. I just need to find the right words to pull them in.
I saw the quote above when I was scrolling through Twitter and it just made me chuckle. It’s spot on and I would be interested if a teacher framed it in that way.
Unfortunately, I have the feeling that most of my students would look at me blankly if I were to tell them this was what poetry is. I can already hear them asking me ‘but Miss, who is the man on fire?’
There’s a McDonalds advert on in the UK at the moment and it makes me incredibly sad because it says that one in five children don’t own a book. As an English teacher, I am not surprised by that statistic, but I am still saddened.
I was trying to imagine what my life would actually be like without books, and how awful it must be as a kid, to not have an adult that prioritizes books over things like cigarettes and booze.
Socially, there are probably much bigger things we can be tackling, but I am glad that McDonalds is trying to do something, because with books we understand each other a little more – and I think that is the first step in sorting out those bigger issues.
And don’t forget, that a room without books looks incredibly dull. Books and their covers are artforms in themselves. I don’t think I could live without their rainbow spines adorning my shelves.
I turned thirty eight today and I knew it was going to be a bit of a wash out because we’re all recovering from COVID and dad’s off on a trip with his friends.
However, I did venture out to the supermarket and so I also hit Matalan and the charity shops to get books and sensible trousers for work.
I had to smile at myself because I felt wonderfully happy and content. When I was drinking, I always wanted fireworks and crazy highs and having a bit of a naff birthday would have resulted in a meltdown where I blamed everyone around me for not loving me enough.
Today, I’m here with a Mug Shot cheesy pasta, Strictly Come Dancing and a strawberries and cream cake from Tesco, and it feels like me cup is half full.
I’m just hoping that when dad arrives tomorrow that he’s going to take me for a cheeky Nandos – then my cup will be overflowing.
It finally got me. I have the COVID. I have worked in schools since the very beginning of the pandemic and I haven’t had much more than the odd sniffle. I was even telling people that I thought I must have some mutant gene that meant that I was immune.
But it turns out that I am not.
I’m coming out of it pretty well, so far. My chest is OK but I have struggled with a fever that is making my body temperature do some pretty interesting things.
I just feel really bad about phoning in sick as this is my first month in a new job. I don’t know about other people, but I have a really bad fear of phoning in sick because I seem to have gotten into my head that it means I could get the sack.
I was brave and phoned in to the Business Manager and she was absolutely lovely about it (I only wrote that she was pissed off in my poem because it was the only way I could get ‘rona to rhyme with something).
If anyone else is feeling under the weather, I send you all my love and hugs and socially distanced kisses.
I have started watching Dahmer, the Netflix drama about the the serial killer, Jeffrey Dahmer. I have got three episodes in and I find I am starting to gag in parts, it’s so disgusting.
And yet, there is something that pulls us into these stories about serial killers. If you scroll through the Netflix menu, you will see programme after programme that explores the minds and the lives of these people.
I’m just about to watch episode four and I know that I’ll spend most of my time with my hands over my eyes. But i’ll love every moment of it, for some sick and twisted reason.
Apparently, it’s World Dream Day today. I don’t know about any of you, but I have the wackiest dreams – and I dream EVERY night which can be a little bit exhausting.
I do also have trouble remembering them in their entirety. I find myself getting flashes of them throughout the day as I remember each piece, like it is a giant jigsaw that needs to be put together before the next round of sleep.
I have always wondered whether they do mean anything. I love to think that they are something more than us just processing the days events. I really do hope that actually, they are revealing to us the deepest parts of our psyche, and perhaps shining a light on what may be coming up in our future.
Whatever a dream may be, I do enjoy that feeling of floating away from reality and entering a world that is entirely of my own making.
We lost another very special lady yesterday, in the form of Hilary Mantel. She was the first woman to win the Booker Prize twice, and she was so influential that she had many literary giants paying tribute to her when the news broke.
I love authors who really see their work as an artform and Mantel really appreciated the form of the historical novel. She seemed to enjoy the relationship between the past and the present.
And something that all historical novelists do, is to find another story underneath the story that we know. I particularly enjoy it when writers give marginalised characters a voice: women, slaves, disabled.
I hope that we learn to celebrate more of these women who are smart and interesting and forge a path for those that are following behind.
We had a bloody long day at school today because it was the dreaded Open Evening, where Year 6 students and their parents can come and look around the school and see if they would like to be members of our school community.
I say ‘dreaded’ because it’s a 13 hour day, and you are ‘on’ the whole time. However, I do actually really enjoy speaking to the younger ones and asking them about what books they enjoy reading.
We did a Gothic room in our department and I was responsible for getting the kids to draw their own Gothic monsters. And some of them were interesting, to say the least.
I asked everyone to give their monster a name and we had everything from Richard to Mrs Jelly Legs.
I find it so sad that the creativity seems to just get sucked out of kids as they reach their teenage years. My Year 9s couldn’t even come up with one thing that scares them and yet three years earlier, they could have come up with a three headed monster called Richard.
Don’t grow up, kids. I love you just the way you are.
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