Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Meanwhile, back at the coalface...

Work has been lurking around again, oh my brothers, a sword of Damocles hanging over my head.

This time it was in the form of invigilating at Daughter's school. Year 11's English Literature "O" level - or whatever fancy name they're giving themselves these days ! And do you know what, kids are given the book they are studying, along with their exam papers! Good grief! Why don't we just get our breasts out and wet-nurse them while we're at it!

My English lit exam would have been marked null and void if I'd had carried in my Wuthering Heights in with me, I tell you. You had to study the thing and know about it by the time you put pen to paper. You weren't allowed to pick up and study the bloody thing in exam time!

And I tell you what else isn't fair! They were studying "Catcher in the Rye". I love that bloody book! Why couldn't I have studied that one! Bastards! Wanted to pick one of the copies up and read it then and there. If a kid complained, I'd tell her to use her memory and brain, and if she'd done proper revision, she wouldn't have needed the bloody thing would she? And then slap the bitch and tell her to shut up.

However, o my brothers, as you have probably gathered, this is all Big Talk. The cheif invigilators, ie mums like me, are completely terrifying, and almost screechingly pedantic. I would not dare speak up in this way. I had to keep my notions of cossetted kids to my oddy-knocky.

This cheif invigilator - Marguerette - as it happens, was actually alright. A bit pinickety but actually not that megolmaniac - yet. But her number two - oh yes, there is always a number two - was not dissimilar to Gareth in The Office.

Whenever number One sat down (which is actually a bit cheeky), so did number Two. Until me and this bloke glared at her. And the minute number One walked down an aisle, number Two immediately took her place under the clock. It was almost hilarious, if my bloody feet didn't ache so much!

And then number One asked me to gather up all the books (CitR AND Mice and Men! Its not fair!) and leave them in the room for the afternooon exam. Which me, being number Six (I am not a number, I am a free man!) was happy to do. I don't mind that sort of shit. THEN Gareth said they should be moved onto the bench, rather than on the table. Well, I ignored the bitch and rolled my eyes at the bemused bloke. Isn't life really rather too short?

Do you know the most frightening thing? Neither number One nor number Two had read either of those books? The majority of parents at Daughter's school are university educated. Twice the education I have had. And these bastards do not know great literature. I mean a mother the other day, quite middle class and everything, had not heard of The Monkey's Paw! Still, at least this bloke invigilator had, so that brought some comfort.

Don't think I'm gonna last long at this one.


French Fancy said...

Blimey, what a lot of invigilators you had around you. And fancy there being a hierarchy. Did you remember where any of the kids who wanted something were sitting this time?


Stigmum said...

Ah, no need for kids to write scrawl the quotes in miniature up their left arm these days. Ingenuity is no longer on the school curriculum tho what do you think might happen if your school becomes a "free" academy, run by you and those lovely sounding invigilators??!
And erm, I've read every book you mentioned except Monkey's Paw. Monkey's Paw? Hmmm, might try it!!

Jennysmith said...

Stopped caring, FF, stopped caring.

Oh Stig, you are so right. don't know about this free acadamy shit. couple of schools round here are being turned into ones and parents are NOT Happy!!!

No, Stig, you can't read everything. But Monkey's Paw is wonderful and frightening. Just put Monkey's Paw in Google and the short story will come up. Just print it off and you have a book at bedtime! Tho' i wouldn't read it at night!

Happy smoking !! xx

Mean Mom said...

Yes, it's all different now , isn't it? In my day, you had to learn half of the novels, plays or poetry you were studying so that you could quote from memory in your exam answers. I had to learn loads of german poetry, for German A level. What a pain that was!

I might as well confess that I haven't heard of Monkeys Paw. I'm curious now, though. It sounds interesting.

Z said...

Oh dear, I read the start of the third paragraph as "English tit". I plead association of ideas, straight after the previous sentence.

I mentioned Botticelli in passing today and the person I was interviewing (high school financial manager's post) thought he was a composer. We passed on hastily.

You would not believe the spoonfeeding of the answers to the foreign language oral tests nowadays - and they still don't get high marks.

I had My Family and Other Animals for English lit. I'd first read it when I was about 8, couldn't believe my luck. It was hardly great literature, however, but entertaining.

Anonymous said...


Entre Nous said...

Yah know, when I went back to college as an adult, I discovered a calculator was allowed in class, IN CLASS. It was a refresher Algebra II class. If I had even thought about a calculator in high school I would have been expelled for cheating. As a result I developed an abnormally intense feeling of being involved in criminal activity everytime I went to class. I took every higher math course I had to take for my major and got them over with. I think this anxiety is what caused me to promptly forget alllll that higher math I took. Sounds good anyway Huh?! Now where is that calculator...................

Polly said...

When I think about the time I spent learning quotes that I can still memorise, I tell you, I can't believe the kids get the books these days. And these are the people that will be looking after us when we are old....lord help me.

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