Apathy Jack writes:
New Year's Eve, chatting with the flatmate, and I show her one of the cards I got from a student. She reads it to herself, then quotes reproachfully:
"I remember all those cracked days in English when you threatened to kill us, told us you hated us, and even threatening us with the chair."
"I thought you were exaggerating when you said you did all of that?"
"Every story I tell you is completely true."
"Well, it says here you shouldn't change because you make learning fun."
"Yeah, well, every story..."
Let's get this clear from the start: It is a bad thing that Saddam Hussein was killed the way he was. Let me explain why: If someone murders someone else, they are a bad person who deserves to die and go to hell. However, if the murderer is killed by a serial killer, for the sole reason that the murderer wouldn't give his oil to the serial killer at discount prices, then that's not cool, and it certainly isn't justice. It's just another murder.
As of the end of '06, more American lives have been lost in Iraq than in the terrorist attacks on September 11th. George W Bush has officially caused the deaths of more Americans than Osama Bin Laden.
So I'm woken up at 6.30 on the first day of the new year by a text from a student. This is one of my projects that I've invested a lot of time and effort into - she's turned up in a fair number of Brain Stab posts in the last year - but she was one of my failures, deciding to leave school. Her text is the general how-are-you? sent when one is bored. We trade stories of New Year's debauchery (a short process, as neither of us drinks - yes, I have a student who doesn't drink. I know, I'm surprised too...) and I decide to go for a walk to clear my head. As I walk, I text her the plan I came up with to get her back to school. By the time I reach the summit of Mount Eden, she's agreed to return this year. I stand there looking out at the sun rising over Auckland. The sight is a magnificent reminder that the city may be an ugly, poorly designed monstrosity, but from the right angle it's breathtaking. One of the few cars on the Mount is playing The Feelers' new track One World loud enough to escape through the windows, so all I hear over the birdsong is James Reid repeating "It's a beautiful world, It's a beautiful world".
If that moment was 2007, I'll take it.
Sure, that wasn't quite how it happened. Mostly, sure, but not exactly. But I think a lot of this year will be what we make it, so if that's the way I think it should start, then that's what I'm going to go with...