Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Everyone has a plan until they're punched in the face...

Apathy Jack writes:

In my time at Hoodrat Academy for Higher Learning, I've stepped into the middle of probably more than my fair share of fights. Sometimes the simple fact of my presence is enough to defuse the combatants, but sometimes I have to employ all of my (sadly meagre) strength to keep them apart. In five years, though, I've never been in a situation that was so out of control that my clothes have ended up torn.

Until, of course, today.

I was in my room working when the junior assembly let out. It seems weird to say "it sounded a bit off" but it did. Each routine at school has a certain pitch, and this, as I say, was slightly off. Enough so for me to wander to the gym, at any rate.

Outside, the students were gearing up for a fight. In actual fact, it looked like they were gearing up for several fights. One of my informants told me it was because one Year 10 had hit another. Neither was visible, but their respective friends were circling in various unhealthy permutations.

I went to the group that looked most volitile, arriving just in time for the punching to start. It was half a dozen or so to one, so I grabbed the "one" more out of expediency than anything else, and tried to break things up. The group behind me, joined by several more from various sides, surged over me, punching and flailing. I had kids trying to pull me off their target so they could get their shots in.

As the lot of us went down in a heap, I heard my shirt rip. I hoped it was just the buttons, but it ended up being a fist-sized hole in the chest.

I found myself quite literally buried under a pile of students - the PE teacher later told me it looked like I was under a scrum. The fists were still flying, and I had a vague thought of covering the body of the original intended victim with my own, but in the heap of writing pummling bodies, I had lost track of who was who.

I became dimly aware of another English teacher and the Deputy Principal pulling students off me, so I got to my feet, picked up my cellphone from where it had flown from my pocket, and put on my shoe that had somehow come off. I then went to where the next fight was breaking out, grabbed another student, and started again.

I tell you, the girls at my school are scary sometimes...

Friday, November 24, 2006

Again with the Pedantery

Josh writes:

A gaffe is a blunder or faux pas.

A gaff is a pole with a big hook on the end of it.

Don Brash may "make gaffs" in his spare time if he has an interest in metalwork, but I'm pretty sure it's his gaffes that have got him in trouble at the moment.

As you were.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Josh writes:

I observe this morning that the whole "David Benson-Pope likes it kinky or maybe he doesn't and the whole thing's a load of horseshit" affair has resulted in the phrase "reverse cowgirl" appearing in a Kiwiblog thread.

I'm not sure if this is a clear sign of the End Times or the best thing ever.

P.S. Swift and painful death to the first twat who thinks up a "-Gate" name for this scandal. Muck-raking, gutter-diving, and blatant hypocrisy I can deal with, but lack of imagination? Unpardonable.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


That Morthos Stare writes:

One of the perils of being an academic is that writing outside of your project can become a bit of a chore. Just as I am sure most bakers don't go home and decide that a really fun thing to do would be to make another set of break rolls the academic in me thinks 'Give it a rest' when a blog post comes to mind.

Typing makes Brother Morthos unhappy.

Every so often the malaise only strikes me after the first draft and, in many cases, I foolishly think that in a few days the apathy will settle and I can return to the post with a fresh mind and even fresher ideas. This has, by and large, not been the case, and now Brain Stab's behind the scenes mechanism is littered with bits of my psyche in written form. Thus, to clear some of this stuff off my chest I'm going to post the edited highlights.

(This the internet; I have a god-given right to pollute the blogosphere with my inane thoughts. The fact you keep coming back is just further justification.)

From the 'The first sentence sets up its own problems...'

The most harrowing event in a lecturer's life is when a colleague sits in on a lecture. If you want to increase the tension, having a colleague sit in when you've only just returned to lecturing is possibly worse (although then I have to retract the statement 'The most harrowing event...').

From the 'One day I'll explain completely why I think Facism is a better idea than democracy' file:

I have a very low tolerance for morons, as many of you will know. This could be seen as somewhat ironic; I don't think I'm the smartest person in the world (although, yes, I do act as if I think that). Indeed, on a bell curve I would put myself just ahead of the median; my skill set is really pompous dogmatism laced with an air (from speech training) of authority. I'm not being unduly modest; I've taught students who will, given time, out pace me on every academic level (indeed, I think I would be failing as my duty as a teacher if that wasn't the case). Being outside 'The System,' however, has made me realise that I'm not fit to engage in the 'Real World.' I don't have the ability to discuss topics of everyday importance. Those topics bore me.

From the 'I just enjoy it, dammit!' section:

I once thought that my want to walk everywhere was somehow related to the suspicion of Scots in my father's side of the family; I walked because walking was cost-effective. Now, however, I think I have come to the realisation that walking, to me, is a most relaxing sport even if it is down Oxford Street in the midst of January Sales.

On 'Becoming Monsters:'

At some point in the past (I'm thinking the beginning of 2005) I went from being me to someone playing the part of me. Anyone who knows me knows that I do melodrama and only melodrama; I play either villians or fools and virtually nothing inbetween. It used to be that I was me with moments of melodrama but now I seem to be melodrama with moments of originality, and those moments are few and far between.


A lot of my peers have become caricatures of themselves; the womaniser, the pedagogue, the politician; the size of the list is really only matched by the wretchedness of what we have become. No longer real people we exist in anecdotes, gripes and filibusters. We don't live ordinary lives anymore; we can't really do small talk.

'Funny because the landscape has changed/Oh the hubris:'

I'm a bit of a celebrated pedagogue in my Department; the course I co-teach has become more popular with the changes my colleague and I have made, to the point that we're going to be the cover of the University News with an accompanying major article. I've been asked to talk on our teaching method to various groups within the University and I've been contracted out to different Faculties to teach.

On Teaching:

As an pedagogue I firmly believe that we teachers are tools and this is all we should be. Our job is to be transparent; teach and be utterly replaceable. Our job is to educate and that is all we should be doing; this is what the State subsidises our existence for. This current trend to treat teachers as parents (and for teachers to actively take on the role of being a surrogate parent) is not just ill-advised but counter to the profession. Our job is to pass on information; it is not to mollycoddle or become parental figures to our charges.

'Endorphins have a lot to answer for:'

Add energy to a stable system and you increase the chances of entropy. Imagine the remnants of a vodka and tonic (let’s fill out the picture by placing the glass, the shrivelled lemon slice and the ice-cubes in the friendly surrounds of a hardcore gig). Left to it’s own devices the ice will eventually melt, but slowly. Twirl everything around, however, and suddenly the influx of new energy will result in more water.

Music is like a swizel stick.

This is actually a sequel to a book review I did years ago:

J. K. Rowling’s sequel to ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Penis’ is the first truly lacklustre entry in her increasingly bizarre series of a boy and his magic wang. After the necrophilia of ‘...the Goblet of Fuck’ and NAMBLA machinations of ‘...the Order of the Penis’ ‘...the Half-Baked Prince’ simply fails to entice. Harry once again returns to Hogwarts, this time after an enjoyable threesome with Ron and Hermione in the country, only to find the perfidious Several ‘Dicks’ Snape teaching Harry’s favoured subject. Harry’s new Potions teacher, a dandy and ne’erdowell, gifts the young student with a karma sutra of love potions that Harry ends up using on students and staff alike, leading to fairly predictable merriment.

Much was made of Dumbledore revealing himself fully to Harry over the course of the book; the love scenes are clumsily written and this reader feels that the Dumbledore-Voldemort relationship that appears in flashbacks was unnecessary and hastily done (although it does show that Dumbledore has a things for orphans; make of that what you will).

From the 'Have you worked out that I don't like Objectivists' folder:

I'm not fond of Libertarians in general, although I do respect some (read: few) of their intuitions. The Randians, however, get no sympathy from me whatsoever. I'm not sure that they mean to act as religious zealots (indeed, I would imagine that they would be horrified by the suggestion) but Objectivists, with their character worship of Ayn Rand, one of the last century's dullest writers, would most resemble a Roman Catholic's devotion to the Pope... except that Catholic's, by and large, ignore the Popes for the out-moded fuddy-duddies that they tend to be.

Still, blind devotion to an author doesn't necessarily make you a bad person. I don't dislike goths due to their insistence that Anne Rice is worth reading. I pity them, just as I pity anyone who decides to read a Poppy Z. Brite novel (the short stories are another matter entirely). No, it's the insistence that Rand's philosophy has real world relevance. Well, that and the claim that Rand's aphoristic style is philosophy.

Let me put this into perspective. Philosophy is a dialectical discipline in which we trade and develop ideas. One of our chief virtues is the ability to be wrong and admit to that fact. Objectivism, however, is a dogmatic belief system best analogised with a Jack Chick tract. I don't whether Objectivists think that it is immoral to show dissent from the official view or whether their intellectual poverty is so great that they have to toe the party line, but such strict adherence to a distinctly impoverished ideology isn't philosophy. I suspect that what appeal Objectivism has is psychological; if you think being a prick is a good thing then Objectivism gives you nice variety of shallow reasons to do so.

On London:

London; named after the Georgian's third favourite sexual postion, is a city. Not just a city, but a city with people in it, and what a people they are. From the local cobbler (who usually happens to be your landlord) to the halal butcher (whose son probably supplies Class Bs to your landlord), London is exactly just unlike any other part of England. For one thing, it's not actually English. Although a large part of the population is indeed native Anglo-Saxon an almost equal number of people are Johnny Foreigners just like me. We swamp London; we work behind the counters, we serve the coffee and do all the jobs that the English won't touch. We are London's cleaners, its servicers and its prison inmates.


But don't think that London is just malacious Cockney racism; there is a dark and insidious side to this town as well.

From the 'Actually, this more accurately describes Londoners' category:

I don't know if you know the English. They had an Empire at some time and apparently a lot of our cultural identity came from them. They also have a tendency to start conversations with 'I'm not a racist, but...' which, as you know, means that the next statement is likely to be a gross over-generalisation (exactly like this one).

Hmm... Edited highlights; more like concentrated banality.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Truth Bomb

Josh writes:

You can say "nigger nigger nigger spic dick cunt" -- you can say all of that and people say *yawn* "OK".

The way to shock an audience was taught to us by Osama -- that's how the fuck you shock an audience. You can't shock nobody more than that, you know? I don't give a fuck what anybody tells you, we have been -- we've seen shock, OK? We've seen it. That was a fucking shock.

Whoopi Golberg, "The Aristocrats" DVD extra

It's not all Gilbert Gottfried talking about fist-fucking a dog. It's mostly that, but it's not all that.

Jack-bot fascism

RSJS writes:

On behalf of the management we would like to put forward an insincere apology to our many disloyal fans who breeze through this page on their way to sites clogged with pornography and kittens verbing nouns.

We have over the past year been running experiments using random-data generating “bots” to fulfil the role of actual authors. One of these programs was given as source data a copy of “Chicken soup for the soul”, the soundtrack to “Dangerous Minds”, the King James Bible and a number of links to tardblog.com. Others were supplied with the collected works of Tom Wolfe, a faded copy of Razzle and some candy.

The program that was filtering the educational and uplifting data to produce generic heart-warming stories of schoolyard japery and sage words of teacherly wisdom has been running smoothly these past few years, producing Hallmark moments at a rate of one per fortnight as per the operating system’s intent. This program was referred to as Jackbot 1.0.

However, recent software upgrades to Jackbot have meant the productivity settings were restored to factory standards. Unfortunately, Jackbot was built using military-grade blogging software that was code-named “Emo 9000” and designed to produce a steady monologue about weight issues, wrist injuries, and the sheer unfairness of it all. This program was powered by source material culled from MTV websites and a cult site known as “Myspace” and had a capacity that, when unchecked, threatened to crash the internet under the onslaught of quoted song lyrics, high-angled webcam shots, and seven different flavours of whining.

In short, Jackbot 2.0 has started running at industrial Emo 9000 speeds, producing humungous homilies faster and faster, threatening the structural integrity of Brain Stab and possibly the world. Desperate attempts by loyal staff to enter the Jackbot containment area has resulted in death, maimings, and one stern lecture that has traumatized our dear intern Olaf as the software has achieved a degree of rudimentary sentience and can no longer be unplugged. Soon all of the Brain Stab site will be overrun by Jackbot 2.0’s ceaseless productivity and those remaining human bloggers will be forced to flee in small lifeboats fashioned from upturned computer desks. The paddle-potential of keyboards on sticks will be explored.
This may be our last message for we can hear the shuffling of the Jackbot mainframe as it stalks the halls, dragging itself along the tiled floors of Brain Stab HQ using cables and wires exuded from the swollen casing like a wiry metal beard. I can hear the arcing of the electricity. Tell my mother I… like her platonically. Goodbye. .

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Graduation Day

Apathy Jack writes:

Year 13 who is giving me book vouchers to thank me for being his teacher for a few years "Here you go, Sir. I got the music teacher beer, but I remember that you don't drink."
Other Student "You don't drink? How do you survive being a teacher?"
Me "Well, I'm the only member of staff who doesn't drink, and you know how none of the other teachers look like crazed druids and have daily breakdowns in front of their classes...?"
Other Student "Ah, so that's why that is."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Apathy Jack writes:

So anyway, the conversation turns to the fact that one of my Year 12s has never noticed that I wear sneakers instead of proper shoes.

"Yeah, I wear sneakers to work every day."
"Huh... This is your work."
"I never thought about it like that before. This is your job."
"You're at work, and you're at school."
"Wow, your life sucks!"

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Apathy Jack writes:

"Look at John, Mister! He's pregnant!"
"Congratulations, Susan, you're going to be a daddy."
"Awesome. Mister, you're going to be a grandpa."

Monday, November 13, 2006

Apathy Jack writes:

Student 1 "What should I do? They guy she's in love with asked me out."
Student 2 "I keep telling you, I'm fine with it. Go out with him."
Student 1 "Mister! Help! Why aren't you helping?"
Me "Well, what you need to do is figure out if, when she says she's fine with it, she's really fine with it, or if she's just saying that."
Student 2 "I'm not just saying it! You want him, go for it."
Student 1 "But how do I know?"
Me "Look, if you follow your heart, I think you'll make the right decision."
Student 1"But if I follow my heart, she'll smash me."
Me "That's not your heart your following, it's another part of your body."
Student 1 "Hey fuck you!"
Student 2 "Anyway, I won't smash you."
Student 1 "But how can I be sure...?"

Being a teenager seems more complicated than I remember...

Clothes maketh the Patron

That Morthos Stare writes:

A best friend of mine used to come into Uni almost every day in his bathgown. As he lived in Grafton it was just naturally assumed that he got up, showered and then wrapped up warm in his gown before attending class. A few years back I started a tradition in my flat of putting on my gown as soon as I enter the house; my argument was that it was a) comfortable and b) it stopped the cat's hair from infiltrating my clothes.

Flash forward to the now. My current employment (well, one of the many employment situations I find myself in) finds me living in the bowels of the Ivory Pagoda, down where the students lurk. I'm not particularly adverse to students; I do teach them after all, but I've never taught them in my bathgown and have no real interest in doing so (although a colleague is still looking for a legitimate reason to be able to remove his trousers in class). In return for my sartorial splendour I expect students to, well, dress nicely when they are being taught. I'm not asking them to indulge my current fetish of denim miniskirts (gray, preferably) and polo shirts but rather to maintain a level of civilised dress that doesn't mean wearing your pyjamas.

Which I am seeing an awful lot of at the moment.

It might be that the University of Auckland is currently suffering from exams. Our students, worried about their futures, aren't really thinking about what clothes they have slung on as they hurry in. Still, seeing someone in a complete pink tracksuit with matching overcoat makes me think that there is design, not worry, at the heart of this visual problem.

I have what I consider to be a healthy disrepect for students. It is my job to educate them and this I do. I will organise aegrotats and compassionate considerations for them, I will set up alternate test days and even write supplementary exam questions all to make sure that they get the best possible education and assessment from me. During breaks in class I will talk to them; if they accost me on the street after a course has finished I will even pretend to remember who they are and use my cold reading skills to make it look as if I did pay attention to them in those aforementioned breaks.

I just don't actually care for them. Nor do I think I should. Teachers are cogs in the machine; we take input, produce output and repeat until we are broken. Students have lives before us and will have lives after us; why get in the way of that process? Teachers, at best, pause time for an individual. We live our lives doing the same thing over and over again, with occassional new material thrown in to ensure that our administrating cousins think we're still with the pedagogical programme.

This is not to say that I haven't had proteges. I just don't like them to be dependent on me.

And, if they are going to be in my line of sight, I want them properly dressed. I don't care that they have exams, or that they come from weird middle-class families with blood disorders. I don't even care that they are the proxy patron of the Vice Chancellor. I expect them to dress like normal people.

In gray denim miniskirts and polo shirts.

Including the men.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Signal Failure on the Northern Line: Bus Reviews

That Morthos Stare writes:

Those of you who remember watching 'The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin' (Jack, I'm staring at you) will know that Reggie was always exactly thirteen minutes late to work, mostly due to signal failures. Having become a regular Tube user (I have the blackened fingernails to prove it) I've come to appreciate just how fine a service British Rail provides.

Case in point: Cardiff Bus Service.

Generally bad. Bus drivers don't seem to want you as a customer so tell you to go to another 'more appropiate' stop, which turns out not only to go in another direction entirely but is also at the opposite end of the terminal to the next bus you will be directed to. Drivers also promise to tell you when to get off; they are lying and then deny all knowledge of that conversation when you get to the end of the route.

Venezia Vaporetto: When you board the waterbus you are guaranteed of getting to your chosen location at a speed somewhat slower than crawling, although for some destinations (like Murano and La Guidecca) swimming there is your only other option. However, getting on the boat is difficult, if not because queuing is a foreign idea to the average Italian then because the boats are generally crowded with passengers. Passengers who you have seen go past on the very same boat, unable to get off due to the crowding that denies you ingresso.

Roma Metro: The underground suffers from the same problems as the Venezia Vaporetto. The buses suffer from overly friendly men who either want to frisk your pockets or just want to feel your bum. Still, the most disturbing example of the latter was in the Vatican Post Office. He wasn't even a priest!

Lake District Bus Service: The bus you want will break down just before picking you up. The replacement bus will take you to your intended stop. Your intended stop will turn out to be seven miles away from where you want to go. You will never see another bus again in the three hours of walking in the rain that follows.

Parigi Metro: Do not speak English to any attendants. They will deliberately send you off in the wrong direction, laughing silently as you trundle off, luggage in hand, towards some darkened pit of Paris. Bizarrely enough, they will be Japanese.

So, the Underground. It may have rotating line failures that are timed perfectly with my needing to get to Stansted Airport but its still a cut above the rest of human civilisation when it comes to efficency and speed.

Apathy Jack writes:

So, I was going to do a post about that whole students-allowed-to-write-in-text-in-exams business. I had what I thought would be a fun little hook into it: I was going to dissect one of my student's texts to a friend. However, it looks like it wasn't really A Thing(tm) - just a bit of newspaper-selling sensasionalism.

Of course, I've been looking at my phone in preparation for the thing I was going to write, and I feel like putting up the conversation which the above mentioned text was part of. I've been telling people what teaching is like recently, and been getting too many skeptical looks. Hopefully, this will help them believe me.

I had pulled my little Karen out of classes to get an important assessment finished. She left at interval, not to get a snack and come back in twenty minutes, but to go around to her friend's house. Sadly, she texted the arrangements to her friend from my phone, assuming I wouldn't notice...


Hae gina tz karen me txtn ov mrs fone wat u guys up tew? I gt lyk 5 buks so we cn go halfs n a eat or a pack?

Haha we juz watchn h0me an awae.. Yea c0me 0va an ummm d0nt brng anyWun plz.. An ye wel gEta eAt 0a waheva c u

Sweet me jus wana smoke lol kays il cum afta 3rd period kays dnt txt me bk ur jus waste ur crdt sayn ok lols. I txt u wn i leaf xoxo

We was g0nna g0 bk t0 sk0ol at 4th?

For 4th period? Or 4 lunch?

4th peri0d

Awww ok me gt t wel il cum at ntavel dn kays dn cum bk at 4th r u wf cadz an nat

Just cadz hEA.. Me an heR dat it.. Bt yEp kewLies iL c u

Sweet b dea n ten


Gina, if Karen isn't in my room working in 5 minutes, I'm holding you responsible, and your life is forfeit.

Y0u can kill me t0m0r0w.. Shes helpiNg me 0ut with my sad arsE pr0blEms but she will bE there t0m0r0w and all hEr w0rk wil get finishEd i pr0misE

Like you were helping her with my work in the library a few days ago?

Exaktly like that harhar n0 i mean it this timE! Im s0rRy sir

Remember, I know when you lie - like now for example. I can't drag you back by your hair, but I will destroy your entire world if Karen doesn't get my work done tomorrow.

U cant destroy my world any worse than it is now

You'd be surprised. Just make sure you're both here tomorrow.

Yup ok wil do please dont tel the dean

I won't. So long as you deliver Karen to me tomorrow...

Ok wil do karen will c u afta school briefly


Friday, November 10, 2006

Apathy Jack writes:

A while back I ran into my students in Palmerston North (I think I mentioned that when it happened). I was talking about that with one of my lot recently, and idly mentioned I needed to procure a copy of the photo the coach had taken of me with the team on the war memeorial.

She tracked me down today to ask me why I wasn't at the graduation dinner last night. I told her. I may be pissed off at most of my seniors, but I'm not going to lie to them. I reminded her that I was generally disheartened at her year, and that all of the stuff I had been saying of late along those lines was all true.

She thought for a moment.

"Nah, you love us," she said, before thrusting a piece of paper into my hand and going off to class.

It was an A4 print of the photo from Palmerston North, with a message along the bottom thanking me for the various things I have done for her over the years.

I don't feel guilt, because to do so would be to admit some level of human fallibility, but I hear the dinner was good...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Apathy Jack writes:

Overpowered by a tidal wave of solipsistic ennui, I've decided to miss my kids' graduation dinner. Right now, a pack of young people I've known and cared about for five years are saying their official goodbyes. Instead, I bussed into town and bought the new Henry Rollins book. (Yes, that is good for my mental health. Why do people keep asking that?)

School's been hard this year. Harder than normal. All of the teachers - even those whose enthusiasm puts my meagre efforts to shame - are counting down. Part of the problem (caused by the hardships, but also contributing to them, if you get me) is that the students have, en masse, given up. I've just about made my peace with that. Not the most idealistic statement, I know, but even the Deputy Principal with oversight of student matters has admitted that the endemic wagging and in-class apathy is too big a problem to do anything about. Like I say: we're all counting down. We'll start afresh next year. But yeah, bad day with my Year 13s, so I couldn't face a dinner with them.

Of course, my mind keeps wandering back to the drama assessment I watched today. The kids had to take a pre-existing play and script an extra scene, which they then had to perform. One of my lot (who I've written about before) performed a piece she had written based on The Good Person of Schezwan, in which she had the lead earlier this year. Set twenty years after Brecht's original, her scene showed Shen-Te as a broken woman living in abject poverty, having lost her shop and surrended her son to the Gods to spare him the corruption of the world. Hungry and dejected, she begs passers-by for assistance, not out of any sense of entitlement, but because of her desperate need to convince even one person that helping the needy is the right thing to do.

I sat there trying to fight back the tears, amazed at the words she had written and the passion with which she delivered them.

These kids piss me off royally sometimes. Hell, they get me so disheartened that I feel comfortable using phrases like "tidal wave of solipsistic ennui" in posts. But just sometimes, I find myself so moved, sitting next to others who aren't as emotionally dead as I am, who have tears streaming down their faces.

Not all bad.

Apathy Jack, you're in the know...

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling writes:

Apathy Jack, no doubt you would have seen this story about allowing txt speak in NCEA exams. Talkback, and bloogers have begun hoarding water, food, and batteries since civilization will now collapse. But I need more information before I can make such a judgement.

So what does this announcement mean exactly? I'll ask you the same question I mooted here:

Does this announcement mean something like:

a) You can write an answer on, for example, Shakespeare, in txt speak and not be marked down.

Which would be apalling, or does this announcement mean something more innocuous like:

b) If you are doing a creative writing piece in an english exam you can use txt speak - e.g. "I picked up cellphone from beside the fruit bowl and texted Cyril 'cul8r m8'" and not be marked down.

Which I don't think anyone can complain about.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Stressed. Need to focus on the good things. Shut up.

Apathy Jack writes:

Me "My top student had a run-in with another teacher who was a bit grumpy. She was whinging about this, and said 'Why can't all teachers be like you?' I had to point out to her that if all teachers were like me, nothing would get done around here."
Other teacher "Yes, but the important things would get done. The looking after kids and teaching them something would get done. The paper work, no, but the things that matter..."

I like some of my teachers...

Monday, November 06, 2006


That Morthos Stare writes:

Josh usually posts this stuff, but here's some sage advice from the Kung Fu Monkey.

But let's not get distracted. Point is -- questionable hook-ups. We, as ordinary citizens, all know how we get out of this: you stop returning the crazy person's calls. We promise never to bring it up when drinking. Several years from now, when everything's scabbed over the two of us can joke about our mutual lapses in judgement while sharing a fine Rolling Rock beverage.

Don't return their calls on Tuesday. It'll suck for a while, and they may bomb Iran to get your attention, and you'll get lots of screaming and crying about how they're the only ones who love you and can protect you from Osama and the gays, but you dig in, man up, come over and watch a few baseball games,and ride it out. You'll probably have to hang tough through 2008, when they have that fake rehab "No baby, I'm okay now, come with me to group" bullshit going on. Don't fall for it. Cra. zy.

Then one day -- one day soon, I promise -- you find you've gone and gotten your party back from the crazy people, and you and I can go back to arguing about mimimum wage and universal health care and tax rates on millionaires like civilized countries do.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Apathy Jack writes:

One of the Deans I like (and it's not a big list, let me tell you) was in a bit of a state - she had been at school until midnight last night fixing reports, and had been back in by half-six this morning to continue the process. She needed a bunch of them signed by my Head of Department, but had failed to take into account that today was deadline day not only for Deans, but for HODs as well. So, as is the custom, mine was "sick".

Getting the signitures was a big deal, not necessarily a huge one, but, as I say, the Dean was in a state, so I figured I'd help. I promised I'd sort it. When she asked how, I said I'd forge as necessary. The Dean looked at me for a second, did a quick cost/benefit analysis in her head, and handed over the reports.

When she got them off me an hour or so later, she shook her head and said we'd both been very, very naughty. To spare her any more guilt, I decided not to tell her that my skill at forgery isn't what is was when I was a young man, so I had gotten one of my Year 12s to do it...