Tag Archives: school

Classroom rule number one: Never smile before Christmas

Two excellent short films. The first is clever and imaginative. The second may induce feelings of vertigo or unsettled stomach – IT”S THAT EXCITING!

So – first – The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemmingway’s book and John Sturges’s film starring Spencer Tracy – now an animation drawn by Marcel Schindler.

I saw this film on the excellent Brain Pickings website. My only quibble with the animation is that the role of the boy is omitted – though, to be fair, he doesn’t board the small boat on the trip depicted.

Next – short film number two. Some of the camera shots may make you queasy. Here’s the film called People Are Awesome.

It’s the going over the edge skiiing shot that has me holding on to the table for balance. Though I suspect it’s the sort of thing Lesley “Get” Carter does every morning before breakfast. I presume they used the same crew as this Carling Black Label advert (based on cameraman Graham Henry’s exploits with Anneka Rice in Treasure Hunt).

The nearest Continue reading

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Filed under art, Film, friends, life

The awesome power of nine-year-olds

Got a nine-year-old? Know any? Then watch out. They’re not to be messed with.

They have reach, power and influence beyond what you’d ever imagine.

Check these two out.

1. Nine-year-old Martha Payne from Argyll in western Scotland. Her school dinners aren’t great. Not very tasty, not very healthy, not very much. So she started taking photos like this…

Appetising? No?

and posting them on her blog www.NeverSeconds.blogspot.com .  Just one totey wee little blog that no one will ever notice.

Oh really? After almost no time at all, the local council (which runs the school catering) and the Scottish government are having to defend themselves to every media organisation. And defend themselves with a rictus grin. Because it doesn’t do to be cross or dismissive with a nine-year-old girl who just wanted to do an interesting writing project. (At least, not in public.)

Somewhere in Argyll there’s a teacher who gave permission for Martha to bring her camera into Lochgilphead primary school who’s either hugging him/herself with glee, or else worried about future employment prospects Continue reading

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Filed under Film, life

Teachers: The good, the bad and the naughty

Who has been the most influential person in your life outside your family? Probably a teacher. Whether you tend towards the Pink Floyd attitude or the opposite Abba extreme, teachers have been there opening doors, moulding, revealing and empowering – or in some cases, failing to do so and missing opportunities. Luckily for me, mine have mostly been in the first camp.

But I have encountered some dodgy ones. The problem with teachers is – it’s not always immediately clear who is a good ‘un and who who is a bad ‘un – because it’s not about niceness. I’ve been telling tales about what happened inside classroom over at the prestigious (how I love using that word), thought-provoking and entertaining Lessons from Teachers and Twits blog. Ahem, no prizes for guessing which category I belong in. The answer of course is – both, on occasion.

Teachers and Twits is run by RasJ in the picture. I can’t imagine anyone skipping her class. (Hope I don’t pull standards down too far.) Anyway – you’re welcome to have a look and issue me with suspension, expulsion or a gold star over at Teachers and Twits. And you’re also welcome to share your own teaching or being taught stories back here.

Oi! Pay attention at the back there! It’s your own Continue reading

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Filed under blogs, Guest Posts, Influences, My Writing

The Day I Met… Met HER

Welcome to the latest episode of the The Day I Met… contest. Bit different this Wednesday. We’ve had a world leader, a film star, a singer, a celebrity beardster, a best selling writer, military top brass – and now someone very well known in certain circles.

This encounter comes from Helen. I can’t link to her because she doesn’t have a blog. (I know. Me too. I thought everyone had a blog. Perhaps those rumours about life existing offline are actually true.)

She emailed in her story with this caveat: 

So, it is not exactly within the guidelines of your competition, but it was the nearest to a celebrity moment that i could imagine myself writing about.

Good enough for me. So here’s Helen’s story about…

The Day I Met… Met HER. And she came home with me! Continue reading

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Filed under Guest Posts, The Day I Met... Competition

Back to school (resistance is useless)

Okay - the date's two days early, but still...

Terrible day coming up tomorrow. (Snigger)

Very sad indeed. (Giggle.)

My poor children go back to school. The summer holidays are over. (I’m crying tears of… Continue reading

27 Comments

Filed under life

Animosity

Does rarity make for intensity? The objects of my animosity are few – in fact, as a child I had only two.

One was a public figure, a demagogue alternately overpoweringly charming and ferociously frightening. Out to get me, I felt. But I didn’t really know him. Not back then anyway. I later had the pleasure experience of meeting him a number of times.

The other was a more minor figure of authority. A big fish in his small pool. My primary school Continue reading

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Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium, life

Don’t answer the phone! It might be school calling…

Do you get calls from school like this?

SCHOOL: Is it ok for your son to hold a duck egg, while wearing gloves?

I’ve lived in shared houses where the phone only received calls – a precaution by the landlord to prevent large bills being run up. Sometimes I wish my own home phone only made outgoing calls and couldn’t receive them. It would mean the end of phone spam, courtesy calls, “we’re doing a survey in your area” and… calls from the children’s school.

I’m not talking about the call every parent dreads – serious accident or injury or worse. I’m talking about the call every parent resents – the call that masquerades as serious. This phone call came just after a school trip, before the parent’s son had reached home.

TEACHER: Mrs Morrow, this is Mr E, I have some very grave news about your son.
MUM (panicking): What? What? Is he ok?
TEACHER: Oh yes, but on the school trip at the weekend I lent him 50p and he has not as yet paid me back.
MUM (trying to recover heart rate): Oh you stupid man. <hangs up>

It seems like life or death summons. The truth is teasingly delayed until you race to the rescue. Like with the mother who was told over the phone that her child was “doing as well as can be expected” after being hit in the face with a brick Continue reading

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Filed under In the village, life