Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Thu Jul 08, 2021 9:11 pm

Nothing much to report this week. It has been an abortion.

Our UK government fucked up big time yet again by letting into our country a variant from India of the virus that took instant hold and is running rampant.

This was after they took the decision that all classes in schools should be a 'bubble' and that the instant a single member of the bubble was proven positive, then the whole bubble should be sent home to isolate for what appears to be the rest of their lives.

Do I really need to describe what happened next? I will elucidate further down.

Tonight is Thursday 8th July as I write.

Monday was the 5th. I arrived at school in time for extra lessons for Ethan at 12.10 and Layla at 12.30. 20 minute break to eat some lunch, all timetabled at my personal expense so no problem there. I add extra lessons because I can and because I am trying to help kids make up for time they have missed over the last 16 months.

Then Gwenyth pitched up for the lesson that her mum actually pays for. Everything else I do with this fantastic child I do because she is a fantastic child.

Try to imagine this impeccably mannered and shy young lady. Her response to a question requiring an affirmative is a near imperceptible nod of the head and the teensiest, "Yes please". A negative is the same, but in the opposite.

We finished G's lesson and my next victim was missing. "What lesson should you be going back to darling?"

"Tutor."

I have yet to meet a student who enjoys these 'tutor' sessions unless they are in Miss' tutor group.

"Would you rather stay here than go back to your tutor group? Your choice."

"Yes please."

So we did.

And that was me done for about two hours, waiting for G's after school extra lesson plus maltesers. In a school that is stupidly hot during winter and would provoke Hades into giving itself a stern talking to and resolving to do better during the summer. I believe I might have mentioned this before? Hey ho. We had a good after school session.

Back in on Tuesday afternoon to record Brooke's grade 3 Music Theatre exam for submission to the Board.

Brooke is a 14 year old drama queen - fitting given the exam performance we were recording.

Oh boy, but she was a pain in the arse. Nothing was right. She was scared. She could not remember the words...............................

All of which is familiar to Miss and me, for quite a long time. We understood. We were sympathetic. Thingy is, these recorded submissions take the place of the previous face to face exams. They are a double edged sword.

Recorded submissions: there can be a number of attempts at recording the performance. This can go on for hours.

Face to face exams: do it NOW or fail.

Trust me folks, students benefit from either approach depending on their personality.

Miss found the perfect balance. One more week until the end of term. 10 minutes before the final bell of the day then umpteen tannoy announcements that would make any further attempts to record her performance impossible.

Miss announced with her usual joy, "Brooke, we will take one more attempt to record. If that fails, we will try again next week. If that fails, we will try again in September but the school will bill your mum for the time. You said you wanted to take this exam, after all."

Followed by a near perfect performance that raised goosebumps on me. Fantastic. :clap: :clap: :clap:

----------------------

Back to today and the elucidation I promised at the top of this post. School was like the deck of the Marie Celeste. Our government has a lot to answer for and I hope that the upcoming enquiry into its' performance justifiably wrecks the reputations of a lot of its ministers. Top of the list is Boris Johnston. And I was a lifelong Conservative. Once.

Miss looked at my list of victims still in school. It was Ethan.

I gave him a lesson and came home.

Before coming home I gave Ethan a boost. He has been doing fabulously well recently. I said to him, "Ethan, you have become a total joy to teach."

You should have seen his face.

:xm: :rocket:
Read the effing manual, ok?

Global Prime is the official SHF broker. Click here to sign up for a live account with Global Prime and join the several thousand SHF members who wisely choose GP as their broker of choice.

I still suffer from OCCD. Good thing, really.

Anyone here feeling generous? My paypal account is always in the market for a tiny donation. [email protected] is the account.

To see The Weekly Roundup of stuff you guys might have missed Click here

My special thanks to Tommaso (milanese) for all the incredible work he does here.
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Can I go now, please?

Postby SteveHopwood » Sun Jul 11, 2021 8:32 pm

I am venting tonight because I am starting to shake. I have spoken elsewhere in this board about how my reactions to an event creep up on me even though I initially dismissed it. This is happening to me right now.

I do not know how any of us would live with taking the life of a child, even when said taking was not our fault. The, "What if I had only.........?" would go to our graves with us.

So picture the scene. I am driving to give G a piano lesson. I am doing my usual crawl through the back lanes of his village because there is no telling what might be waiting for me around the next bend.

I am coming to a T junction where I turn right onto G's lane. What is coming from the left is blind to me. I could easily approach the junction about 5 miles an hour quicker and still have plenty of time to break and stop. On another day I might have been - it would not have felt excessive. Never again.

Happily, I had just passed very slowly by a lady with some daft and only just under nominal control doggies and so was travelling even more slowly than usual.

Even so, I had barely enough time to stop when two little girls, soon to be two very shocked little girls, on bikes screamed around the blind corner from the left. Another 5 miles an hour and I would have hit them. I would have hurt and possibly killed them.

They only just missed me. Clearly terrified, they sped off. After all, little girl hitting damn great car = pain for little girl. Best to be elsewhere.

We all know that I am not always quick on the uptake. I gave myself a few seconds to recover some composure and then put the car into gear and prepared to set off. I was too slow to think, "What if there are more."

Just as two little boys came screaming around the blind bend on scooters.

My limited brain cells do leap into life eventually and I thought to myself, "Those kids are roughly 6-8 years old. There must be parents coming along soon, surely?"

And there were, two mums. Not until a 5th child - another little girl on a scooter - had come screaming around the corner. Eventually Two Moronic Mums appeared around the corner. I mean, how cretinous do you need to be to allow teensy tots to go hurtling out of control up a road along which not all drivers are thoughtful? Or maybe they were applying Darwinism to the development of their offspring.

What I should have done was leap out of the car and scream at these deviant misfits. Instead, I wound down the window and asked pleasantly, "Can I go now, please?"

"Sorry," one of them beamed happily at me. To be honest, I was so relieved not to have small children smeared all over my bumper that all I said was, "Not half as sorry as you would have been had I been going any quicker. Then you would have been talking tiny caskets and visits from unsympathetic child protection officers," and drove off.

I hope those two demented dimwits gave some thought to this. The upcoming funerals will be agony unless they do.

My usual sign off feels inappropriate here. Let us just give thanks that little girls are still on the planet who came within inches of disaster because there mums are idiots, and yet survived. For sure, I bloody well am.
Read the effing manual, ok?

Global Prime is the official SHF broker. Click here to sign up for a live account with Global Prime and join the several thousand SHF members who wisely choose GP as their broker of choice.

I still suffer from OCCD. Good thing, really.

Anyone here feeling generous? My paypal account is always in the market for a tiny donation. [email protected] is the account.

To see The Weekly Roundup of stuff you guys might have missed Click here

My special thanks to Tommaso (milanese) for all the incredible work he does here.
User avatar
SteveHopwood
 
Posts: 9468
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:43 am
Location: Misterton - an insignificant village in England. Very pleasant to live in.

Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Mon Sep 13, 2021 8:00 pm

Back to school today, although more of that later.

For now, let us go back to the beginning of August and I was due to play at Miss' wedding. We are not talking difficult stuff here. Zadok for the procession up the isle; a couple of hymns; a Chopin waltz during the signing ceremony; the Wedding March during the exit from the chapel.

Nothing major in terms of playing the notes and I am quite good at playing this sort of stuff beautifully. Absolutely major in terms of being there for the ceremony.

The wedding was to take place in a chapel attached to a castle in Yorkshire. A google of the venue showed it up beautifully. No problem.

Do you remember folks, before satnav, trying to find somewhere? Especially in a city, where the roads on the ground bore no relationship whatsoever to those on the map? Or like me these days, when the satnav will take you to the rough general location and then leave you with three hours to find the exact spot that you need?

So, there I was on the Thursday before the Sunday that the wedding would happen, sitting at home. I suddenly came over all insecure. What if the satnav would lead me into a ditch somewhere? Or take me to Edinburgh? It is fairly recent technology after all, and can go wrong. Let's test it out.

So, I fed the venue into the satnav and set off on the 65 mile journey. Satnav lead me unerringly to the venue. Not a hint of a problem. The venue is a castle in huge grounds that welcomes visitors to the grounds.

I followed the signs to the visitors' car park and exited said car park. Not even the merest hint of a problem.

Until I saw the gazeebo-style building that looked like the perfect wedding venue. And the sign pointing right that announced, "Wedding". And heard the unmistakable sounds of a wedding party.

We are not talking open trails here folks. We are talking narrow trails through deeply wooded grounds. By the time I got there, deserted deeply wooded grounds.

The sounds of the wedding party receded behind me. I turned around. Wrongly. I found myself lost in deeply wooded grounds. I was not worried. It was still only about 5.00 pm and there was a lot of daylight left. It was not raining. It was not cold. Someone would have found my still just alive body by the morning.

I stumbled across the visitors car park after a couple of hours. Mine was not the only car left, so I would never have been totally alone. Maybe someone would have thought, "Hmnnnnnnnnnnn. Abandoned car? Deeply forested woodlands? Maybe some dimwit got lost?" and come to find me.

I had had enough. I resolved to drive home and phone Miss for directions from the visitors' car park to the chapel. I did.It turned out that Miss and co were having a wedding rehearsal on the Saturday, which I agreed to attend. She gave me directions to the Chapel, which started with turning left instead of right out of the car park.

Mind, whilst the chapel was only a few hundred metres (yards to those of us who still speak English) from the visitors' car park, the directions would have confused the developers of an inner city A-Z guide (1980's thingy). Happily, I pitched up at the car park just as did Miss, so she was able to lead me by the nose to the blasted chapel.

------------------------

So, had I not come over all insecure on that Thursday, I would have missed the wedding. I would probably still be wandering around the grounds, living on whatever I could forage and killing myself on poisonous mushrooms.

As it turned out, the ceremony was beautiful. Miss looked gorgeous and yet again, I would cheerfully adopt her as my grand daughter.

I blub at weddings. Cannot help it. I just do.

Knowing this, I had done a lot of practise on the material I was required to play. I have prepared full length 90 minute recitals with less practise. Good job too, as I could only just barely read the score I was playing from. :lol:

More good stuff to come this week folks.

:xm: :rocket:
Read the effing manual, ok?

Global Prime is the official SHF broker. Click here to sign up for a live account with Global Prime and join the several thousand SHF members who wisely choose GP as their broker of choice.

I still suffer from OCCD. Good thing, really.

Anyone here feeling generous? My paypal account is always in the market for a tiny donation. [email protected] is the account.

To see The Weekly Roundup of stuff you guys might have missed Click here

My special thanks to Tommaso (milanese) for all the incredible work he does here.
User avatar
SteveHopwood
 
Posts: 9468
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:43 am
Location: Misterton - an insignificant village in England. Very pleasant to live in.

Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:56 pm

Yesterday was Monday and my first day back at school. Oh boy, but I missed the kids.

UK amateur performing exams have three levels of pass: Pass; Merit; Distinction.

The exam boards employ examiners who will bend over backwards to award a pass to candidates, especially at the lower levels. These exams start at grade 1 (most basic) and conclude at grade 8. A child who achieves G8 commonly does this around about the age of 17/18 i.e. coming to the end of her formal schooling.

Pre G5, a kid has to be dreadful to fail. Once the examiner has managed to pass a child, said examiner is under no obligation to award extra marks. Merit and Distinction passes are earned in blood.

We recorded Gwenyth's G2 submission just before the school closed early at the end of last term. I had to wait until meeting her again yesterday to discover the result. Yep, it was the expected Distinction. Not a huge achievement on the face of it, but this is a kid who has been learning to play for a mere few weeks.

Granted this was my first day back but even so, I had Gone Armed. I asked of G, "Darling, I have Maltesers in my case. Are we doing our usual after school session?"

Her tiny, sweet, shy little voice said, "Yes please.". Her face shouted, "Of course you moron. What else would I be doing?" :lol:

Come the end of our after-school session and we had achieved much but I wanted to fit her in on Thursday in a gap in my timetable. I forget the gap time and so will make it up. Who cares? Let us say 2.00 pm.

I said, "You can have a lesson at 2.00. What class would you otherwise be partially missing?"

G dug out her timetable and replied, "Textiles."

You folks have already read that Textiles is G's passion. Pulling her out of that lesson is a total no-no. Plus a few more no's on the end of the no-no. Quite a lot of no's, in fact.

There was only one solution, and that was for me to pitch up at school 50 minutes early on Thursday. This leaves a 20 minute gap at the end of G's last morning class and before her lunch break - and there is no way I am cutting into that, whatever the circumstances. Kids need feeding or they turn an interesting colour and fall over.

I suggested this solution as I really want G to have the extra time this week. We looked at her timetable. The extra lesson would come out of the last 20 minutes of a Geography class. I asked G if she would like the extra piano lesson or felt she should stay for the end of her GCSE class.

Piano lesson please.

Those of you who have been doing the arithmetic will have noted that this leaves me with a 30 minute gap in an environment I find hideously uncomfortably hot most of the time. I might just hover outside 146 and lasso an unsuspecting child for an unexpected piano lesson. :lol:

Now, much as I love the time I spend with this glorious child, I will go to great length over the coming weeks to make sure that she knows that she only has to take the time whilst she wants to. She can stop any time she wants to. Let us hope she continues to want the time for all our sakes. :lol:

-----------------

I had finished Harli's lesson in 146. His next class was GCSE music in 149. We were floating around outside 146 awaiting his classmates when a teensy tot turned up. I had this feeling that I knew her but could not 'place' her and so assumed she was one of the smaller members of Harli's music group that I had met briefly before.

Teensy Tot asked, "Where shall I go?"

I pointed down the corridor and replied, "Miss is teaching down there, so go and wait for her."

A clearly, and as it turned out, understandably confused TT came back with, "But I am here for a piano lesson with you."

The enormity of my mistake hit me. I was talking to Jasmine, aka Miss Cute of the Decade. For crying out loud, how could I have failed to recognise her?

I said, "Jas, I am am sorry. I just didn't recognise you."

Happily, kids are forgiving creatures and she immediately forgave me. Doesn't stop me being A Monster, mind. :arrrg: I did a lot of grovelling.

It occurred to me at one point to ask if is was OK for me to address Jasmine as, "Jas", something that both Miss and I do.

I asked, "Is it OK for me to call you Jas?"

"Yes," came the prompt reply.

Jas' personality has been emerging beautifully of late. She thought for a few seconds then adopted a 'prim and proper' expression and announced, "But only you. Nobody else." I felt suitably privileged. :clap:

My timetable has gaps in it. I looked at mine and discovered a gap at the end of Jas' lesson. I told her to look up where she should be. She did not need to look it up: "Maths".

I will not pull G out of textiles. I will give a kid the choice of not pulling out of a GCSE class such as music or geography that only happen twice a week. Maths and English, I am ruthless. Our ridiculous so-called 'education system' insists that kids have one hour each of maths and English 5 days a week, yet still releases onto society kids who are functionally illiterate and innumerate after a minimum of 11 years in school. I will keep a bright, literate and numerate kid like Jas out of any number of those classes.

So I asked J, "We can have a double if you like.Would you like?"

Huge sigh of pleasure and, "Yes please."

So we did.

:xm: :rocket:
Read the effing manual, ok?

Global Prime is the official SHF broker. Click here to sign up for a live account with Global Prime and join the several thousand SHF members who wisely choose GP as their broker of choice.

I still suffer from OCCD. Good thing, really.

Anyone here feeling generous? My paypal account is always in the market for a tiny donation. [email protected] is the account.

To see The Weekly Roundup of stuff you guys might have missed Click here

My special thanks to Tommaso (milanese) for all the incredible work he does here.
User avatar
SteveHopwood
 
Posts: 9468
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:43 am
Location: Misterton - an insignificant village in England. Very pleasant to live in.

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