Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pear Shaped

So today I got into school and wanted to go back to sleep straight away. Instead I started teaching as if I was in a trance, and slowly remembered what a laugh my job is. I have a girl in my class who turned around to me this morning and said

"Mr Trent, why do you always try to make us laugh?"

and I said "because I think laughing is good and school is boring and your laughter is the only thing that keeps me coming in day after day after soul corroding day"

and she said "Well, Mr Trent, I will never, ever laugh at anything you say, ever. I will smile, but I will never, ever laugh at you."

Funny that, cause the audience at Pear Shaped last night would have been on Jamelia's side.

Last night I was a shit comedian, that comedian that you don't want to even catch their eye as they walk off the stage. That comedian that you say "what the fuck was he doing?" or "He didn't even have any jokes".

It's a learning curve. It's pretty steep and it goes like this...

"We don't give a fuck if you spent the last month REALLY wanting to do THIS PRECISE GIG or if you did a gig 'till 1 o'clock last night and then spent all afternoon begging your autistic child in your class to stop tearing and punching all the books until you were crying and then went home and cooked for your kids at the same time as trying to pack your stuff for the gig then picked them up from school and nursery and watched them cry and cry at your wife because they couldn't both have exclusive "cuddles" as you tried to get out of the door.

We don't care if the trains were so fucked that you had to drive to Stevenage from Cambridge first of all to get the train and it took you two and a half hours to get to flipping london from Cambridge and cost you £25.

We don't care if you are sitting watching the gig thinking "Oh God, I'm going to miss the last train home and I'll end up becoming a crackhead in Kings Cross but I want to make a good impression and the guy who runs the club will think I'm a dick if I leave before 11"

We don't care about any of that shit,


Back to class then, as you may remember, Jamelia issued a challenge so I went on an all out Jamelia assault, offering the class 5 housepoints each if they said "Yes" when I asked the register question that day...

(I have to take the register by asking a question because I have a child who elects not to answer when I say her name. It's like a game that she always has to win, even if I put her in detention for not answering.

I hasten to add that I've only used detention on this child on the instruction and insistence of her parents. Of course, it had no effect whatsoever. Oh no, it did, it made me feel as if I was one of the scientists in "A Clockwork Orange"

If I ask a question instead of saying "Good Morning XXXX" to every child in the class then she always responds and I get to strengthen my relationship with the class as a side effect)

...which was "Is Mr Trent Funny?"

So I was going through the register child by child, saying "Am I Funny Howard?"

"Yes Mr Trent"

"Good boy, 5 housepoints"

"Am I funny Myrtle?"

"Yes Mr Trent, you are a very, very funny and lovely teacher,"

(Myrtle is the child mentioned in the previous brackets and upon hearing this reply I felt my heart break a little bit more for allowing her parents to talk me out of using this method of taking the register in favour of encouraging pavlovian behaviour through gestapoesque punishments.

Note to self - believe in own values and ethics, don't inherit them from the children's parents)

(Second note to self - question own values and ethics in light of newly developed habit of bribing children with housepoints to make them say you are funny)

"Good girl Myrtle, 5 housepoints"

and mock irritatedly ignoring the 4 rebels who said "No,"

Then I got up to Jamelia and asked her "Am I funny Jamelia?"

and she said "No, you are not, and you will never make me laugh unless you change your attitude"

and the class all pissed themselves.

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