It was Superhero day at school. There was only one suitable choice. Having spent so many break times sitting on a cold bench counselling a timid member of my class, I was ‘Haemorrhoid Man’. Mr Bonaparte was Superman and yet I felt like I was the one being everything to everyone.
One child complained that another child was looking at him while he went to the toilet. How to explain that the accused boy has diametrically opposed pupils so it’s anyone’s guess what he’s looking at. Another child raged that our ‘Batman’ was not the real Dark Night. The bifocals were the giveaway.
My own eyesight came under question too. During a run in a park I spied what I thought was a fight taking place. It turned out it was two people doing ‘Boxercise’. I thought it looked a little too one-sided. I could have sworn a child in my class was wearing a T-Shirt that said ‘I’m high’ but as I approached, it in fact read ‘Aim high’. Having also caught myself squinting at whiteboards; it could be time for glasses.
My hearing could be wavering too. I joined a small class of children with anger management issues and thought I heard the teacher ask one of the children to collect the ‘pins’. I had visions of myself ending up pinned to the floor like Gulliver or worse like Pinhead from ‘Hellraiser’. Thankfully it was just the teacher’s Afrikaans accent and she’d merely requested ‘pens’. Nevertheless for the rest of the session I couldn’t sit comfortably, although that could have been the piles.
Our Chinese New Year assembly went well, with even the recently arrived child from India reciting her line perfectly. I had to give levels for all the class this week and a teaching assistant had dismissively suggested I accord this child the lowest level.
It’s true her English is poor but the lowest level suggests a child brought up in a cave, with their only human contact a darkly cloaked figure that fed and beat them with a stick. She could at least recognise the misspelling of the rude word created by soap on the toilet bathroom mirror.
Knowing that all of your books are going for moderation is an unnerving prospect. It was a relief then that my brightest spark took the opportunity to cover me in glory. ‘My teacher has helped me to write so well’ she wrote and I could imagine the Head Teacher approving of this. Despite the slightly nauseating tone, I read on ‘he has teached me lots of things’…not that well then.