School’s Out

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve left The International School and won’t be going back. Piss-ups and breweries come to mind. I just couldn’t take any more of this sitting around, unsure of my timetable and undermined when I did have a class.

Today, I tried asking Ruhan Krisantha (head of primary) to help me sort out my timetable: he had no idea and no inclination to help. Some of my classes (I think) spent an hour marching up and down outside pretending to be soldiers, whilst most of the management team shouted at them, no doubt giving directions. I got “please takes” for times when I was actually scheduled for a class and at other times, classes failed to show up when they should. The pupils had no idea what the timetable was and I wasn’t the only teacher with little idea what was going on: the ICT teacher sat with her head in her hands saying “Oh my God, O my God” and when I did get an ICT class, she constantly interrupted. I can’t really blame her for that: I was trying to tie in with their syllabus, unsure at times exactly what they’d covered, but it didn’t really help my status in the classroom. Besides, despite having a fairly well-equipped computer room, she wanted to spend the first hour of MS Excel for the 11 year olds on theory. I had got a text book from her earlier and had planned what I was doing on the assumption we’d have computers: halfway through my extempore “chalk and talk” lesson, she produced a worksheet and said I’d be better using that. She was probably right, but it would have been good to have been told about it even 5 minutes before the lesson. By the end, I’d had enough.

When I went down to give the news to Madam, she wasn’t there. I suppose I should have waited, but I’ve spent so long hanging about in that school doing f*ck all that I left her a note and f*cked off. My note was rather more circumspect than my account here, but did describe the management as “chaotic”. If you can smell smoke, it’s burning boats.

There are some really nice folk working at TIS and I’ll be sorry to a) leave them and b) have them think badly of me, but there’s only so much you can take. I’m almost 100% sure that TGS across the road from my humble abode will be able to employ me for three days a week. The general atmosphere is more conducive to education as I think of it and, even if I end up as temporary bum wiper, I’m sure I’ll be better off there.

I celebrated my new found freedom, and the loss of my albatross, by having a beer, lunch – omlet (sic) and chips and even a pudding: pineapple fritters and ice cream. Probably my favourite eating place is “Anura’s” in the Fort. Last week I went in – as I have before – and within minutes the boss was saying “You work at Thomas Gall School? – my son goes there” (photo supplied), so news travels. How he knew who I was, I’ve no idea: after all, the Fort area is hotching with tourists. Mind you, most of them are Chinese / Japanese and spend their time taking selfies.

In some ways, I’ll miss the walk to work: it was quite a good way to start the day. On the other hand, I can put away my long trousers, say goodbye to my Rohan short sleeve shirt and sweating a bucket load when I arrive. I suppose From now on it’s tee shirt and shorts for work: if that’s the way the heidie dresses, then it’s good enough for me.

I did tell you earlier that what you get in this blog is emotion in the raw, didn’t I?

I’ve been meaning to mention the squirrels, but was hanging on until I got a picture. I still don’t have one. There are plenty of the wee beasts around: mousy brown chaps with a black and white stripe up their backs. The trouble is they’re very camera-shy: as soon as I see one and get the camera out, they complain their hair’s in a mess or they don’t have their make-up on and then disappear. I see them in trees, running over rooftops, scurrying along walls and generally having a whale of a time, but they won’t stop for a quick photo. I did, however, get a reasonable shot of a group of cows lying down at the side of the main road between TIS and the town centre. There’s obviously some symbiotic relationship between cows and egrets, as the former seem quite happy to have one of the latter perched on their back.

cows and egrets cropped

I’ve agreed to give Sera’s two kids an hour a week’s English conversation tuition. Their busy educational schedule allows for this to happen on a Wednesday and I start tomorrow. They’re nice kids and their parents do their best to make me welcome, plying me with a cup of tea when I’m using their wifi, taking in my washing if it’s raining, giving me various titbits to try – biscuits, hoppers, rotti, samosas, fruit juice and so forth – as well as not charging me the earth for staying here so I’m quite happy with the plan. Another example of symbiosis, eh?


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