Thursday, August 31, 2006

Apathy Jack writes:

You know it's not going to end well when a student starts the conversation with: "Now, promise you won't give me a twenty-minute lecture, but..."

So I signed out one of my little goths today. Another Lost One. I know all of the tricks to get them to stay: Be it bribery, threats, or just plain asking them to stick around for a while longer, I know all the right words.

I also know when it's not going to work, no matter how hard I try.

I made her promise to give back the books, CDs and DVDs she's borrowed from me, and I returned those I'd borrowed off her. I didn't sign her leaving form until she had given me her and her mother's cellphone numbers, so I can check up in a couple of months, to make sure she's not sitting around watching tv all day.

I really thought we could save this one, overcome her hatred of school and turn it into a stabilising influence in the middle of her somewhat tumultuous life, instead of being just another cause of hardship.

Apparently not.


Walking the field at lunchtime to clear my head after the bad news. It's easier to process things surrounded by the noise and chaos - things just make more sense out there. I see one of mine who I haven't caught up with in a few days, and remind her of certain deals made to procure work from her.

"You said you'd have it to me a while back," I tell her. "I'm beginning to lose faith."
"I'm beginning to lose faith too," she says quietly.
"Look, I don't want you losing faith in yourself. But it's important that I don't either, because right now faith is all that's stopping me from killing you."
"She'll have it to you in a few days," pipes up one of her friends.
"Do you know which work we're talking about?" I ask.
"Yeah," and she names it accurately. "She calls me and tells me about it."
"Yeah," says another friend. "She called me at three in the morning last weekend to tell me 'I'm stressing about the work I promised Mister'."

My faith is coming back slowly...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I Speak Corruption

Apathy Jack writes:

You all need to go here, to where Radia have set up a myspace page. Yes yes, myspace sucks, we already know, but at this juncture, it's the only place to hear the amazing "I Speak Corruption".

Go, listen, then email Kat and Ross and demand that they stop procrastinating (newborn shmewborn) and record an album.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ruining Jack's Day

Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling writes:

If you are in Edinburgh, why not check out...Bouncy Castle Hamlet

The rest of the post goes here

Monday, August 28, 2006

Broken Planet News

Apathy Jack writes:

Meaning to get back to doing this. Busy, then uninspired for a while, but then I realised that you all need to have some accurate news. God knows you can't trust anyone but me to tell you the truth...

Cancer cured by the Devil.

Senator calls man a monkey - not in the good way, apparently.

Man dies opening grenade with sledgehammer - no, seriously, that's even the headline...

A third of graduates are not using their degrees. I feel almost bad for classifying this as 'news', given that I think we already know this...

And something else I already knew: TV Is Healer.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Are you listening, friends?

Apathy Jack writes:

Me "Where is my cellphone?"
Student "Listen to you. If you from a year ago could hear yourself, you'd be disgusted with you."
"No, but... I ... You're probably right."
"Do more of your students text you on that thing than your friends?"
"Yes. But I don't give my number to my friends."
"Why not?"
"Because when they ask for my number, I tell them that if I wanted then calling me, I would have gotten a cellphone years ago."
"Are your friends like you?"
"Oh, so they're a bit...?"
"A bit what?"
"You know."
"No I don't know. I'm a pillar of normalcy and the yardstick by which 'average' should be measured."
"Riiight. But if your friends are weird like you, they'd understand the cellphone thing, I mean."
"Still not weird."

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Apathy Jack writes:

Another reason I like my job...

Sitting in my classroom this morning, reading a story written by one of my little Year 10s. It's the best piece of writing I've come across this year.

No, not simply the best rubbishy teenaged outpouring to cross my desk in my capacity as a teacher at a school with shockingly low literacy rates, but actually the best piece of writing overall. And I've read something like twenty books this year.

And that's awesome.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Emo hate is good, clean fun

That Morthos Stare writes:

For those of us who feel that Hope is Emo is too close to the truth to be funny I present, for your pleasure and satisfaction, Mr. Malki's Wondermark on the same subject.


Apathy Jack writes:

I just got an email from a student - she's sent me an official letter of complaint written to the Principal about one of my fellow English teachers. She doesn't have a printer, so wants me to print it out for her. She also thanks me for giving her the money to buy an emergency contraceptive pill yesterday.

This is followed up by a text from a student asking who Ganymede is. I tell him, and ask if he's studying the bit of the Classical Studies course relevent to the Greek gods.

No, he replies, he's at a pub quiz, but he'll probably study tomorrow.

Seriously, did I sleep through this lecture in teacher's college or something, because I'm pretty sure they should have told me about some of this stuff...

In London

Josh writes:

Fine, the site about the London trip is here. London is fun:


Heh heh... shaft.


Heh heh... erected.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Oh, right.

Josh writes:

Sorry, did I mention that I'm on holiday in London at the moment? Because I am.

That's all -- just explaining why the no posting.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Apathy Jack writes:

Oh, and just while we're talking about fashion (we weren't, but, you know...), the other day one of my students said I had 'Hobo-chic'.

Which I think is just about the coolest thing anyone has ever said about me.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Says it All, Really

Josh writes:

John Rogers is smarter and funnier than you.

I am absolutely buffaloed by the people who insist I man up and take it in the teeth for the great Clash of Civilizations -- "Come ON, people, this is the EPIC LAST WAR!! You just don't have the stones to face that fact head-on!" -- who at the whiff of an actual terror plot will, with no apparent sense of irony, transform and run around shrieking, eyes rolling and Hello Kitty panties flashing like Japanese schoolgirls who have just realized that the call is coming from inside the house!

I may have shared too much there.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Apathy Jack writes:

I missed the rolling gang battle we had at school today. Surprising really, given that after it was broken up it restarted itself twice in different areas. The camera-phone footage the students showed me painted it as a large, brutal affair. But I'm not worried. This may have been one of the more fierce go-rounds this year, but it wasn't the first, nor will it be the last. I don't worry about mob violence. I worry about publicity.

This had to happen on our fucking enrollment day, didn't it?

Filthy with prospective students we were. Swarming with parents bringing their eager, bright eyed, keeping-the-Ministry-from-thinking-we-should-be-decomissioned children into our hallowed halls.

Oh well, at least our public relations department (which I think is basically this blog) now has a runner up for the time a couple of years back when our open day co-incided with the front page headline "Student Stabbed At School"...

Because, you know, I like a challenge...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006 "gothtard"

Apathy Jack writes:

Student 1 "Look at that emo fringe. That's disgraceful!"
Me "No fringes in class - do you know how hard it is to get blood out of my carpet?"
Student 2 "My hair just does this! It just happens!"
Student 1 "What, you mean like the world just hates you? It just happens?"

I like my students sometimes. But not as much as I like Hope Is Emo, which makes me happy.

Monday, August 07, 2006

What They Don't Want You to Know

That Morthos Stare writes:

In order to understand Selectivism you need to realize that everything is controlled by the Neo-Catholics who are made up of gypsies with help from the Turks.

The conspiracy first started during sinking of the Rainbow Warrior in Arkansas. They have been responsible for many events throughout history, including King Harold inventing the lollipop.

Today, members of the conspiracy are everywhere. They can be identified only by raping cats.

They want to force Omar Sharif into being emo and they plan to imprison resisters in Tokoroa via airships.

In order to prepare for this, we all must begin splunking. Since the media is controlled by Mormons we should get our information from John Hood.

The Conspiracy Generator

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Books You Should Be Reading # 17 Of A Bunch

Apathy Jack writes:

Don't Tell Mum I Work On The Rigs - She Thinks I'm A Piano Player In A Whorehouse, by Paul Carter

The rig was right up in the mountains, deep in the jungle. Locals wandered up every day in grass skirts, carrying muskets, their faces painted. Now and again they would take a pot shot at the rig. The location was still being set up, the area having been cleaned using high explosives, otherwise known as 'instant wood chipping'. In every ancient tree, wise and proud, were generations of evolution buried deep, which is vaporsied 'cause it's fast and cheap. Even though they plant another tree, somewhere else, to make up for the one they destoryed, I feel a twinge of guilt, because essentially I'm a cat-loving pacifist who ought to care deeply about the environment. On the other hand, I represent people who would squeeze school children to death if they thought some oil would come out.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Hearing songs about getting dumped give me an erection

Apathy Jack writes:

Right, I've been whining, so to make up for it, I give you two things I've found on You Tube that will enrich your lives. I absolutely guarantee that after viewing these you will be a better person. You can trust me, I'm a doctor.


I'm an emo kid, non conforming as can be - You'd be non-conforming too if you looked just like me...

And Gwar:

They are on a rampage, they were first to fight - They will write a new page if they could only write...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Better Tomorrow

Josh writes:

Wait, wait -- I've got one! Ah, "Life in the Future" week is over. Well, too bad -- I finally came up with a hopeful statement of a brighter future, as an antidote to the doom and gloom that comprised most of the submissions. That statement is the song "Welcome to my Life" by Simple Plan. Oh yes.

Hope shines out from this tune in two ways: First of all, consider the actual meaning of the lyrics themselves:

To be hurt
To feel lost
To be left out in the dark
To be kicked when you're down
To feel like you've been pushed around
To be on the edge of breaking down
And no one's there to save you
No you don't know what it's like
Welcome to my life

Now, since there's not a single human being on the planet who hasn't experienced these things, the only logical conclusion we can draw is that this tortured individual is talking to an emotionless robot in the distant future, explaining the pain of human existence to some unfeeling automaton in the way only a whining self-obsessed teenager can. The song is in fact a stirring vision of a bright and technologically-advanced future, where servitor androids are on call to do our every bidding as we live our lives in pampered utopian comfort.

The second way this song inspires hope is by showing how "depressing" songs have got more and more feeble as history progresses, as life becomes more rosy and less conducive to soul-crushing expressions of pain. A few hundred years ago all you had were folk songs about people being slaughtered in battle, catching the plague or dying for their unrequited love. Why, even a few decades ago, you got lyrics the likes of:
Two lovers entwined
pass me by
And heaven knows I'm miserable now

In a different (notably, less mature and more single) stage of my life, that would have killed me stone fucking dead. But today, you look for a musical interpretation of a soul in pain and all you get are songs that can be summed up in two words as "Waaah! *sniffle*"

Life is, if not good, then better.

Later that day, Josh would download the video for Splendid's cover of the Pet Shop Boys' "You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk", and realize everything he just wrote is lies. But they were amusing lies, so that's OK.