Today is the 4th April and therefore it is my birthday. My birthday is on the 4th April every year and I fully anticipate maintaining this tradition for many years to come.
One of the main reasons, indeed possibly the only reason, that I went into the education profession was that the 4th April is always in the Easter holidays and so, theoretically, I would never have to work on my birthday.
This theory has been proven incorrect on three occasions since I joined the teaching ranks. Arguably the worst was a few years back when my birthday fell on a working Monday, but today was almost as bad, for today is Tuesday and once again I found myself at the metaphorical coalface of my profession. Continue reading Birthday Blues
So this is the second part of the third part of my series of posts on stuff I used to do. It might help to read ‘the first part of the third part’ for this post to make sense. It may, or may not, help to read parts 1 and 2. Then again, it could be quite optimistic to assume that any of this makes sense.
But let’s, for the sake of argument, assume that it does make sense. If you recall, at the end of the last post (part 3a) I’d just moved to Paris (narratively speaking of course, it was some years ago, in October 2002, that I actually moved to Paris) to begin my degree course in French Studies as a mature (but really not that mature at the age of twenty-three) student.
Starting my course wasn’t easy. Nearly everyone else on my course spoke French better than I did, through a combination of having only just finished their A-levels (whereas I hadn’t spoken French in any capacity for two years) or, in some cases, having French parents (which seemed like cheating to me but who am I to judge?).
The standard of accommodation I could get for my money left something to be desired too. I lived in squalor with a nightmare of a flatmate for the first year and in further squalor with a different but equally nightmarish flatmate for the second year. There’s no time to describe either of them in this post, but I’m certain I’ll circle back to them in future posts. Continue reading Stuff I Used To Do But Don’t Do Anymore (Or How I’ve Become A Less Interesting Person Over Time): Part 3b: More mendacities on multilingualism
The conference is a noble thing
A day when experts confer knowledge
In allocated slots
To us know-nothing mortals
Who have had the nerve
Up to this point
To work without their wisdom
Although in truth
There is little conferring of knowledge
Or new knowledge at least
Just a purgatory of PowerPoints
Regurgitating redundant recommendations
Everyone has heard before
But in amongst the allocutions
Of stuff we all already know
Sometimes we can dare to dream
For a keynote speaker
With enough charisma
To make the blindingly obvious
Seem like it wasn’t really so obvious
And if the conference
Is a sham
An illusion of innovative information
If it is indeed a con
It’s a convivial con
It’s a con-for-us
For while orating the obvious
Might be the order of the day
It is still a day
From our average day
And if we’re lucky
A free lunch
And maybe some sweets on our table
Will help us pass the time
Regular readers of this blog will know that I rarely write about work.
This is for a number of reasons, not least of which is that this blog is very much my escape from the daily grind so to dwell on the quotidian minutiae of my profession would seem to be in direct contradiction of that sentiment.
Also it might be a tad unprofessional, given that much of my job entails working with some fairly dysfunctional young people. It’s not that that doesn’t generate some amusing tales, quite the contrary, but to share those tales outside of the confidences of a few, well-chosen, colleagues might not be a brilliant long-term strategy for career enhancement.
Obviously I fully intend to give up my day job as soon my talents as a writer, comedian and all round entertainer are recognised by the popular media, but as yet such acknowledgment has yet to present itself in the form of a jaw-dropping book deal worth an obscene amount of money, or the chance to write, direct and indeed star in my own artistically-credible-yet-accessible-to-the masses sit-com.
This could be down to a lack of effort on my part to make such dreams a reality.
Or it could be a lack of talent.
It’s probably both. Continue reading James Complains About The Bag Of Shame
I’m writing this in what can only be described as a foul mood.
Christmas now seems but a distant memory and, although I’m sure I enjoyed it at the time, the net result of the recent festive period is that I’m now poor and fat.
The return to the daily grind has left me so ridiculously tired that it’s frankly astonishing to me that I actually do work for more of the year than I don’t. How have I been coping all this time? I deserve some kind of an award for bravery.
I don’t think I’m overstating it when I say that getting out of bed every morning last week was nothing short of traumatic. And yet somehow I managed to force myself up and out into the morning traffic.
I’m nothing short of heroic. Continue reading James Complains About January
As of tomorrow morning the Christmas holidays are officially over.
In fact the tree and decorations are coming down today.
I know that Twelfth Night is not for another few days so it might be a bit premature for me to be halting the festivities but frankly it is time.
It is time because Mrs Proclaims and I have eaten all the nice food.
It is time because I’ve drunk all the wine.
It is also time because I have to go back to work tomorrow.
Nothing quite kills the festive mood like having to go to work. Continue reading We Have No Time To Sit And Stare
It’s been something like six and half weeks since I last blogged.
Which is quite a long time.
The longest I’ve ever gone AWOL from this blog before was around three weeks.
Weirdly it was around this time last year.
October, as it turns out, is not a strong blogging month for me.
I could offer some rubbish excuse about how I’ve been really busy and there’s been lot of pressure at work and I’ve also been busy working on my MA. But that would be based on the assumption that anyone reading this cares about the dull realities of my everyday life.
Which maybe people do. Continue reading The Night Knight Rises
Sometimes I look like I’m working hard
Paying each task I have due regard
But an observant view
Will reveal it’s not true
My work ethic is quite the canard
Sunshine on Tuesday
Often serves to remind me
How much I hate work
Piles of paper increasing in height
Are beginning to block out the light
If my desk is a mess
It’s a clear sign of stress
And my sanity has taken flight