Élan vital

Baudelaire once said that “time wins without cheating”. Time also has a tendency to creep up behind you when you’re least expecting and place an icy fingertip on the nape of your neck. The hand-in date for our multitude of essays draws ever nearer. In trying to get started I turned to the Pomodora technique which helps develop your attention span. It works by…something about…keeping a note or timing… I sort of tuned out…there were a lot of pages.

Our stress wasn’t helped by enduring a lesson taken by a woman so aged we wondered if she would make it to the end. She taught us a lesson in Design and Technology and as she hobbled around the room showing us snips, abrafiles and tuf kuts (at least that what I think she said, she was having problems with her upper set) I began to wonder if I might have to use these tools to knock up an emergency defibrillator.

In other lesson news, we used paint made from the dried urine of cows fed on mangos to make scruffitti, the Geography teacher held up a recent edition of the Bombay Times with the headline “I wish I could have a sex change NOW!” and I narrated a film we made of a recent visit to Windsor Castle. It was definitely the first time I’ve ever uttered the line “and to our left a gargoyle hugging a cherub”.

On the way to a Religious Education lesson, while praying it would be cancelled, we saw a sign saying “PGCE Interviewees, this way”.  We reminisced about our own first days, how it all seemed so long ago and how quickly we were now hurtling towards the end of the course. I understand it’s about living in the moment, but I can’t help lamenting that my student days will soon be over. The feeling is reinforced by seeing some of our fellow students turn up for lectures in interview clothing.  Maybe one good reason to start living in the moment is to avoid thinking about the future.

It’s confession time. As part of an assignment I have to give photocopied examples of a child’s work. I discovered that for one piece the child’s writing was too faint to be seen. So I forged it. So now you know. I’d never forged a 5-year-old kid’s writing before and it’s difficult, especially if their writing resembles a spider that’s climbed into an ink pot and then had an epileptic fit across a page.

I tried writing with my other hand, then holding the pen in a first, and then in the fold of my arm. The results were all too legible.  The only way I could recreate his style of writing was to write with the pen held in my teeth.  I nearly lost a filling in the process, but I promise should I ever bump into the kid, I’ll admit what I did and apologise over a milkshake or beer, depending on when I see him next.

It’s quiz time. Last week’s question was :

What bone keeps getting longer and shorter?

Answer: A trombone (what were you thinking of?)


4 thoughts on “Élan vital

  1. operane

    Time flies. I’m nearing the end of my lectures for my first year at university (undergrad). While a PGCE seems so far away, I’m sure the journey will be a great one!

    Keep up the good work, and entertainment, Tim. :)

    Have you heard from the year 6 (now year 7) boy who you supported as a TA since he’s started his new school?


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