annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary



There's been a thing going round facebook today, variously attributed to Helen Mirren and Joan Crawford: "The only thing I regret is not telling more people to fuck off."

Which, in combination with the route from my place to YD's going past the school where I taught for thirteen years, reminded me of the three times I told kids to fuck off.

1. Towards the end of my first year of teaching. GCSE English exam, all of Y11 massed waiting to go into exam hall. A boy from one of my classes (bottom set, wild and difficult, thought I was an idiot) suddenly loomed into my face and made that sexual thing with his mouth, flicking his tongue up and down. Now, if you've known them since they were 11, you know how close to being a child a 16 year old is, but when you're new to the game, some of those lads look like men, they're the shape and size of men, and having that directed at me felt quite shocking, assaulting. Before I had a chance to stop myself I'd hissed, "Fuck off!" at him. He was thrilled, "Ha! You swore at me! You're not allowed to do that, I'm telling, you'll be in real trouble." Luckily I was quicker thinking then than I am now, and said, "Yeah, like they'll believe you and not me," which earned his immediate respect, the fucker, and he never gave me any lip again.

2. Was with a year 10, set 2, autumn term, late afternoon, getting dark already, big group, every desk occupied, bags and coats and steamy windows; lots of difficult shit going on in my life outside of this lesson, building up and up with never a second to think about any of it, reeling from one incident to the next. I've been teaching all day and done break duty, and here we all are, me trying to take the register, stopping each time anyone talked, waiting for silence before continuing and bloody Girl1 is just being arsey as fuck. She was a bit of a name around school, and I can't even remember what she said that finally made me lose it, but she said it, and I replied, "Fuck you, Girl1, just fuck off," burst into tears and left the room sobbing. (Only time I did this, amazingly, given my propensity for weeping since) I sat on the floor outside my room, having a good, hard cry, thinking I'd really messed up and having no idea how to get myself back in the room with any dignity. Then I realised that the class had gone quiet, listening to one person speaking at a time. I couldn't make out what they were saying, but there was a discussion, then the door opened and Girl1 came out, looking sheepish and anxious. "Miss, I'm sorry. I never meant to upset you, none of us did." Result! I behave totally unprofessionally and she says sorry. I went back in, apologised to all of them, said something about having 'one of those days'; several of them admitted cheerfully to having been bang out of order, taking the piss etc. We ditched the lesson plan and I read them a short story, which we all sank into, peacefully, gratefully. Probably the one by Roald Dahl about the frozen leg of lamb.

3. Was years later, but still in the days when you could only watch films etc in classrooms on one of those massive, heavy TVs, which were shared between teachers. I needed one for my next lesson and was trying to push one on an awkward trolley through the throng of kids between lessons. One lad that I didn't even know was deliberately getting in my way, jumping around like it was a game, "Just fuck off, will you," I said, in a tone of mild irritation, without thinking, and he did, he fucked off, so used to that language, to that phrase being used in a friendly way, I don't think it even registered with him that it was inappropriate from a teacher.

So, I'm not proud, not ashamed, just saying.

Meanwhile, still helping YD, head down, singing sea shanty, moving forward towards her being faced with a doable amount of stuff. Grandson's bedroom is almost ready, but it's all got worse elsewhere in the meantime. She fetched his wardrobe etc from his old home, so that, along with bed, desk, chair etc is all in the living room. While she waited for the gloss paint to dry she started assembling shelves for the work-room, which meant moving all the boxes and bags to make room, stacking them up in teetering piles. But. Tomorrow we'll put all the furniture in his room and make it nice and then the living room will be manageable and maybe she'll be able to get on then and he can move in. Not sure if she has the internet set up there yet - she doesn't want him unable to get online.

I am grateful for: art group; shite telly, the sort that if you drift off and miss a chunk it doesn't matter; remembering my teaching days in more detail; the light at the end of the tunnel starting to grow brighter; Son coming down tomorrow

Sweet dreams xx

2:05 a.m. - 19.09.15


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