Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Tue May 24, 2022 6:42 pm

I had my heart stolen today - again. :lol:

School no 2. Diminutive little 13 year old Tilly. Long jet back hair. Searingly bright. Smile to die for. Shy, so not talkative and hard to read. I just hoped that my usual coast to coast encouragement was doing its usual thingy.

Tilly's first lesson was arranged within minutes of first contact from mum today, who works at the school. I could offer Tilly a first lesson if she could stay behind after school. The email came back with a, "Yes please," within minutes.

So we met. I am not sure how much humour we are going to derive from this little dab but mum stopped in half way through. I offered, "You hardly need to hear me say this, but Tilly is absolutely gorgeous." "I know," replied a complacent mum giving her daughter a kiss. "She will be quiet at first but will come out of herself once she trusts you."

I had already made both mum and Tilly my usual, "You will never hear a harsh word from me," promise. Tilly was starting to believe this by two thirds through the lesson.

Love kids first and they will love you right back.

------

I previously offered to accompany the choir at school no 2 in a concert soon after the half-term break that is coming up. We had a first rehearsal today. The kids blew me away. They are fantastic. Miss no 2 is like Miss no 1 apart from 10 years more experience. The 10 years more experience showed. No criticism (ever) of Miss no1; give her 10 years more and, wow.

Miss no 2 can do nothing more than bash out basic chords on the piano. Today was the first day that the kids heard themselves sing with a real live accompanist. They were ecstatic. We finished the rehearsal with a mutual love in. :lol: Wonderful, amazing children. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

:xm: :rocket:
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Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Wed May 25, 2022 7:03 pm

There is a stage towards the end of their year 8 time (rising 13) when previously shy and quiet children start to assert their natural personality.

Bailey is one of these. She marches into the room and flings her hated uniform jacket onto the floor. Gone is the tremulous, "Can I?"

She teases me mercilessly. I make the slightest mistake and she pounces upon it. She studies my writing of the next lesson time on her lesson pass with the relentless glare of Miss Trunchball, and woe betide me when I get it wrong.

I love it when this happens. I remarked on the transition in Bailey's confidence and how much I love it. The resulting beam was one of those searchlight moments.

Then she resumed teasing me. :lol:

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

Georgi is not having a great time at the mo -right in the middle of GCSE exams. Whatever you can say about the value of these thingies, fun for the kids they ain't.

Those of us in the performing arts department love the kids we teach. They gradually drop out of the department as they grow older and their interests change. Those left by the age of 15 are monumentally precious to us teachers. We have known them for a long time.

Miss and Georgi have an extra special relationship. They adore each other - think Gwenny and me.

We have a staff and student concert coming up in a few weeks time. Miss and Georgi are going to sing, "For Good" from the musical, "Wicked." This is a real tear jerker of a song, so YouTube it if you are curious. We had a long rehearsal after senior choir.

Miss is a trained classical singer. She could easily blow away a child such as Georgi in terms of vocal power. It always fascinates me how the likes of Miss blends her voice with the likes of a kid like Georgi. It was a lovely rehearsal to take part in. Happy time.

: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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Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Fri May 27, 2022 7:21 pm

The sudden surge in the UK National Grid last Thursday was caused by Little Lilly.

This hugely special little lady is still only 13 - soon to be 14. Having told me that she wants to do piano exams, I started her off on one of the pieces two Wednesdays ago. Bestie Julia took three weeks to master this piece.

So, come the following Monday, i.e. 4 calander days since, L turned up with The Dingbats and played it to me flawlessly.

That broke me. "You are going to have regular piano lessons with me," I demanded of myself, savagely.

Here is how the finances work out. The school pays me £10 for each 20 minute lesson. The school does not live in a wealthy area, so it subsidises the cost of lessons by £2, i.e. the parents pay £8. Trust me folks, this is a struggle for some.

So I demanded of the school that they let me teach Little Lilly at half price. With the subsidy, this means that mum pays a mere £3 a lesson - cheaper than lunch. Miss and HOPA (Head of Performing Arts) agreed with alacrity. Who would not? We all win. I make a fiver and get to spend regular lesson with one of the most glorious children I have ever met. L gets a lesson she wants with a clear conscience. Mum does not have to pay much. The department looks good.

I have a worry. Lilly is clearly more talented than Julia and is going to progress more quickly than her bestie. Imagine how I will feel if this drives a wedge between them. What I have fingers crossed for are these scenarios: their friendship means this is not a problem; Julia is a determined little dab who will not give up until she has solved a problem, so I hope she will resolve to keep up.

The girls know that I adore them both. I hope that is enough to avoid tension. Folks, fingers crossed for me, please.

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

Miss had her 25th birthday last week. Oh boy folks, remember being 25? Probably not.

She is adored by all who meet her - staff and pupils both. Her closest friends on the staff and most adoring pupils (lots) pitched up early in the morning of her birthday and decorated her favoured room 149. They did not muck around. They decorated every inch of the room. There was bunting, steamers, balloons, wall decorations, mountains of food that she and subsequent classes consumed during the day. It took a couple of days to clear up.

I was teaching Megan in 149 a couple of days ago, and more than a week since Miss' birthday. Suddenly, a bright red balloon appeared in the middle of the room. To all intents and purposes, it looked as though it had materialised out of thin air.

In fact. it was hot in 149 so I had opened a window to its fullest extent, on a side of the building exposed to a stiff breeze. The breeze blew satisfyingly over Meg and and I, eventually reaching where the balloon had been stored and dislodging it. Bailey arrived early, spotted the balloon and started playing with it. Slightly distracting for me and Megan, but B was happy so we let her get on with it.

Come the end of the school day and members of the keyboard club arrived for their afternoon session. Instantly spotted, the red balloon was soon doing the rounds of teens trying desperately to stop it hitting the ground.

I remarked on this as I bade Miss a pre half term goodbye. Came the reply, "Umpteen kids have played with it since last week. It will be a shame when it bursts."

We do actually teach the kids stuff from time to time, I promise. :lol:



: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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Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Sun Jun 05, 2022 10:13 pm

Last week was half term so I only worried about Miss 2 not sending me a timetable until Thursday, especially given that Miss 2 is useless when it comes to replying to/sending emails.

No idea why, but I thought to check my spam box. There was my timetable. Check your spam boxes regularly, folks. Email ain't perfect.

I sent the timetable out to the parents of the kids at school 2. Very special and much loved kids by me and their parents, relatives and other teachers.

Later in the evening I realised that the timetable did not include Tilly. Understandable given the haste with which we arranged her lesson just before half term. Not great if you are a shy little Tilly finding yourself left out of a timetable you wanted to be involved in.

Or me, with a massively highly wanting to help little children to do happy thingies.

I was able to offer Tilly a slot, which mum accepted with alacrity. All sorted out happily.

The morale of this story is: check your spam box regularly. Just in case. Imagine the worst-case scenarios of Tilly left in floods of tears because she imagined I did not want to teach her.

Actually, best not.


: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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Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Tue Jun 07, 2022 6:49 pm

Children in small villages around here are used to being cosseted. Adults look after them and they become accustomed to this.

So, we have a school concert in school 2. The village is not tiny any more, but it is still a village and the kids are very sweet. Think of Masie multiplied by 2.

I am writing this on Tuesday. I was rehearsing with the choir at school 2 on Monday, in advance of tomorrow's (Wednesday's) concert. Miss 2 had been on at the kids in the school to let her know what solos they want to perform, for weeks. As usual, kids being kids, they left it until Monday to start piling in with their requests to perform solos.

None of this was a problem for me as they were all offering up backing tracks as accompaniments, until one of the choir approached me and Miss 2 with a vocal score announcing, "I want to sing this but I do not have a backing track." She looked at me and asked tremulously, "Can you play it with me please?"

Thingy with the sort of stuff the kids want to sing these days is this: it is easy to play, once I have learned the notes in the first place; the notes can be a bugger to learn initially, especially if the rhythm is difficult.

Internally, I intoned to the heavens, "Please have mercy upon me." and replied, "Of course darling." Dynamite would not have stopped me agreeing to help a member of this wonderful choir. We arranged a rehearsal tomorrow afternoon. I just hoped the piano part is learnable within the timescale allowed.

So, I spent an hour on it last night. I spent an hour on it today. I have more time available to spend on it tomorrow, the day of the concert. have pretty much got it learned. Mind, the child in question had better not come down with a bug and be unable to sing tomorrow, if she wants to continue living. :lol:

Have I done all this with joy? You bet I have.

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

Back to school 1 today and my first 'official' i.e. paid for lesson with Lilly. Hall price or not, she made every second worth while. This glorious child soaks up information faster then the most experienced sponge on the planet and giggles deliciously whenever she gets something wrong. Total joy to be with.

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

Kids are coming up to recording performances for their piano exams. Not all are going to make it by the end of term, so October instead. Miss 1 and I have settled on 29th June for the recordings; that should be OK for Julia, Bailey, Ethan, all definite G1 and Gwenny G4, who is still a probable but will turn herself into a definite, knowing her. Lilly is a G1 possible given the awesome speed with which she learns. Megan is an iffy for G2.

These are wonderful, glorious, fantastic kids folks, so cross your fingers for them. OK, so success would not be a fantastic achievement but these are kids who endured two shit years. They deserve some success and recognition of their efforts over the last few months.

: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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Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Thu Jun 09, 2022 7:08 pm

Back to school 2 and the wonderful event last night.

We had the summer concert. The kids were nervous. They endured two years of near total lock down. The pathetic school management had shut music out of the to curriculum about 10 years ago. They should be imprisoned for child cruelty.

Sane management took over a couple of years ago and the newly appointed music teacher is gradually rebuilding. Fact is though, that most of the kids taking part last night had no experience of the sort of thingy they were about to do.

Music teacher 2 is wonderful. She adores the kids, so they adore her right back. Even so, last night was a debut for some of them - even aged 15. This should never be allowed to happen again. There should never again be a school without music at its heart - we all have music at our hearts. Sorry. Starting to foam at the mouth again, so I will move on.

So, we had loads of nervous kids waiting to perform. Yes, they wanted to be there. No, they did not want to be there. The only thing that stopped them from fleeing home was pride.

The audience was fantastic. First child performed to ecstatic yells and bellow of approving applause. All fear was instantly removed from all subsequent performers, who had a ball.

I was involved in accompanying a solo singer and the vocal group of 9 fantastic young singers in 3 part harmony. Highlight of the evening for me, was the vocal group's unaccompanied singing of an arrangement of the folk song, "What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor?"

Never mind the singing. What caught my eye was a young girl in the group jigging up and down in time to the rhythm of the song. She was loving every second and having a wonderful time. Beautiful. It is what kids are supposed to do. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :party: :party: :party: :party: :party: :party: :party:

Not sure how long all of us are going to take to get over the pandemic but I can tell you this; I am sure that I will never stop feeling sublime joy again, whenever I see kids enjoying themselves.

: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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Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Thu Jun 09, 2022 8:22 pm

One final one from the school concert because I know how much you all love a giggle at my expense.

Remember the solo singer who presented me with the accompaniment at two days notice? Two and a half minutes of singing.

Thingy is, I have a fantastic technique. I can play anything put in front of me, so long as I have time to learn the notes in the first place. I am a rubbish sight reader, so learning the notes can take a while. These notes took a while.

I spent an hour on the accompaniment that night. It was not easy to learn. I was tired and simply did not have the energy for any more.

I spent the following day, Tuesday, at school 1. I was tired when I arrived home - at 70, I do not have the energy I had 50 years ago. Even so, I spent another hour on the damn song. So far, two hours spent learning the blasted notes.

I thought I had them.

Until I rehearsed with her on the afternoon of the concert, when it was plainly obvious that I had a lot more to do. So, off home for another couple of hours working on this blasted song.

So, roughly 4 hours work on my part for performing this 2.5 minute song. Thingy is, a solo singer's success depends entirely on the support of her accompanist. A bad one destroys her performance. This is why I put in the work.

The performance was a huge success. This young lady is a vast talent and I have already told her to come to me any time she needs/wants my help. It is the sort of thingy that makes my life worthwhile.

So, was c. 4 hours of my time invested into a performance lasting c. 2.5 minutes worthwhile? Of course it was. A fabulous young lady came away feeling like a million dollars. Would I do it again? Of course I would. It is what I do.

Mind, I have already educated school 1 into the notion that I cannot always play stuff at the drop of a hat and usually need a few weeks notice to prepare. Now I need to educate school 2 into this. :lol:

There were a couple of years when I could not do this sort of thingy. I am having a blast. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

: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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Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Mon Jun 13, 2022 7:37 pm

The Dingbats reached new heights of lunacy today. They poured into 146 and set up a game of 'rounders'.

The 'ball' was a ball of tape. The 'bats' were anything that came to hand - water bottles, pencil cases, that sort of thingy. The demented fruitcakes set up four 'bases' to run to after hitting the 'ball'. Much hilarity followed.

I wondered initially if I should put a stop to the game because of all the equipment in the room but these are sweet children who understand boundaries of behaviour and the consequences that would follow should they cause damage. They had set their game up with the utmost care of their surroundings. I left them to it. I am rather pleased to see kids laughing these days.

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

We peri teachers are required to write a brief report on the progress on our charges, towards the end of the academic year - just a few words. Novel length reports are not required. FYI, I have been spelling Younger Lilly's name incorrectly. Her name is Lilianna, so shortening it to Lili is correct and removes the need to identify her in any other way.

I wrote this of Lili in her report: "Lili is stunning. Brilliantly talented, charming and with a fantastic sense of humour. Lili is one of the loveliest children I have met through my long career."

I told Lili this earlier today. The beam I had in return would have powered the National Grid for weeks. :lol:

My numbers at school 1 have increased substantially and it is becoming ever harder to give the kids the extra lessons that I want to give them and that they deserve. I could start my days earlier but hate mornings and prefer to stay later. Lili and bestie Julia have agreed to stay behind after school on Thursdays for theirs. We can have a Maltesers party. :lol: I might even teach them something, occasionally. :lol:

: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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Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Tue Jun 14, 2022 8:39 pm

We have a saying here in the UK: you could 'take' me. This means that the 'you' could beat me up in a fight.

Jas is now not far short of my height these days but still only weighs about a quarter of me. I was threatening her with some hideous form of physical brutality last week after she had committed some pianistic crime when I stopped and intoned, "Actually darling, I am a wuss with no muscles whatsoever. You could take me in an instant." Not true, but we were playing. We laughed and moved on.

Somehow, this came up in Eva's lesson this afternoon so I told her the story. Eva is the same age, height and weight as Jas. Eva announced, "I really could take you. I am nearly a black belt in Taekwondo."

I replied, "So providing you with a Defensive Pencil is not really necessary."

Came the wonderful and complacent reply, "Nope. I could break you into pieces in seconds." Not a hint of aggression - just a grin and a confident reflection of reality.

Then she smiled her sweetest smile and added, "I go to Taekwondo after school every Tuesday and beat people up for fun." :lol:

The idea of kids hitting each other appals me. The idea of cute 13 year old girls hitting each other horrifies me. That is just me being an overprotective wimp. They would not do it if they did not enjoy it or if it hurt a lot. Plus, I once passed Eva walking from her bus stop to her home in the middle of nowhere; it is a comfort to me to know that only someone very large or skilled in a martial art could ever hurt her or her fellow class mates. We do not meet many of them in the middle of nowhere.

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

This was school 2. What goes on in the music room next door comes clearly through to us in the practise room I teach in. I was teaching the impossibly cute Tilly.

I said to her, "The kids next door are having a blast."

She replied, "Yes. It sounds as though they are."

From me, "I love it when I see or hear kids having a blast. It is wonderful to behold."

"Yes."

I offered, "Your parents had you so you could have a blast."

Tilly's reply had all the brilliant complacency in her voice and manner that a much adored child offers, "I know".

Sweet.

: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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Thingies that happen to Steve in his other job

Postby SteveHopwood » Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:08 pm

Back to Lili.

We did our first after school session today. Julia had already signed up for a Textiles after school club today. I arranged an extra for her in class time instead (the teachers of other subjects must hate me). She will come with Lili next week.

Come the end of the day and L pitched up. I thrust a box of Maltesers at her and growled cruelly, "Open this up. Every time you make a mistake, I will punish you by forcing you to eat one." L sniffed mournfully and opened up the box.

Kids like L know when to play. I snarled again, "Every time you make a mistake, I will punish you with a Malteser."

"Sniff. Sob."

Then I growled, "Mind, however few you get away with today, you will have to take the box with you and eat the contents later. I will know if you fail."

"Sniff. Sob."

So, whenever this stunning child got something wrong, I would point to the box and growl, "Punishment". Of course, she often helped herself in between; she is not an idiot. :lol:

We had a wonderful time. I adore L. She loves her lessons. She soaks up information as a sponge does water. We made fantastic progress. It was hot and enervating in school today. We came to the point when we were both exhausted, so time to stop. L and J had made up a route out of school to meet up after their respective 'club'. I forgot to tell L to take the remaining Maltesers with her when she left, but they were nowhere to be seen, so clearly snaffled. No idiot, our Lili.

And just in case of any doubt in your minds, no, I did not really snarl and growl at Lil. Only pretend snarls and growls. I would 'take' anyone who did. Or try, at least. :lol:

: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: 9678
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:43 am
Location: Misterton - an insignificant village in England. Very pleasant to live in.

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