Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Apathy Jack writes:

Today was the inaugural Intermediate Induction Day, where a bunch of students from the contributing Intermediates spent a day being shown around Hoodrat Academy for Higher Learning to get an experience of high school life.

My Classics class stood at a healthy six students – the good students having been seconded to show the kids around, the bad students having decided, not unreasonably, that a lie-in made more long term sense than reading Virgil first thing in the morning.

One of mine turns up with her tour group. She isn’t even pretending to be enthusiastic.
“This is my awesome class,” she says, barely interested enough to inject sarcasm into her delivery.
The Year 8s look around. My desk is layered with clutter again, spilling onto the floor (that’s where I keep that, dammit!); the notes on the whiteboard, left from yesterday, have been altered by strategic erasing to reference something about bumsex; the orderly formation of my desks lasts until the second-to-last row, where they fragment like shrapnel, some are overturned, and all are surrounded by sundry food waste (I’m not entirely sure how that happened – it was first period and no one was sitting there...); and two of the six students in attendance are lying on the floor.

“This is pretty much what an average classroom looks like,” I tell the young visitors, and sit on a desk to continue making some point or another about the Aeneid. Sadly, this is the Broken Desk™, and the top slides off to flip me backwards, and I crash head-over-heels to the floor.

The class and I agree that it’s good the Intermediate students get a realistic view of what life is like at our school.

The tour continues as another of mine shows around a different group. As they are walking, one of the Year 8s asks if there are many fights at Hoodrat. My Year 13 decides (in his own words) that he'd better lie, and says no. Immediately, in one of those moments that makes you believe that God exists, and that He went to a decile 10 school, the group turns a corner to come across one of the fiercer gang fights we’ve had so far this year.

Fortunately, their attention is distracted by the fire alarm, as the school empties onto the field to flee the burning boys’ toilet just below my classroom. It turns out to be the worst fire we’ve had in a long time – that bathroom has been set alight before now, but we’ve all just gone about our business once the fire was out. This time, all of the classes in that block have to wait for the fire department to clear the smoke and check the walls for structural damage.

I think I can’t honestly say (and I am comparing it to past ones) that this has been the best open day ever.

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