I think you know...

Monday, November 27, 2006


So, 2 and a half-week to go, and I will be outta here. Gone. Free. The
shackles of government-imposed slavery will be temporarily removed, and this
place will no longer feature in my consciousness. Freedom is just a fortnight

So as I sit and try to get my leaving speech into some sort of sane, cohesive
order I sit and consider the last 7 years here, and try and dredge up some
positive things to say about my time in this workplace.

I remember back to when I started in this profession – I was so excited to be
working in an environment with educated and articulate individuals. In my
naiveté and relative innocence I assumed that working in the teaching profession
was going to allow me the following.
1. Working FOR the kids. I truly went into teaching hoping that I could make a
positive difference to the students I would be working with.
2. That there would be room for creative diversity within the structure to the
3. That I would be working with intelligent, open minded, accepting, blah blah
blah you know how it goes.

I was wrong.

I left school thinking perhaps my overly negative attitude towards the teaching
profession was due to my own negative performance as a student. I THOUGHT that
I was to blame, and that in fact the teachers may not have been the fascist
bullies that I had labeled them. I thought that because I was a somewhat
‘willful’ child that I miay have deserved the scorn an ill treatment that I
experienced as a student in the school system.

But no.

Upon entry to the teaching ‘profession’ as a tertiary ‘trained’, education
professionally, I was to discover that the ‘bad kid’ from school had it right.
The education profession is full of nasty, self serving bullies, who are part of
a system designed to make children fit. And not only make children fit, make
its educators fit. Our job as education professionals is Social engineering.
Teach kids what to think. Not to think for themselves. Tell them what to wear
cos god forbid there should be any individuals, or free thinkers. And when you
look in our staff room you can see the success of this system, sitting in front
of you. Wearing their beige and gray clothes, sipping their coffee or tea and
discussing shit that doesn’t matter to anyone, not even to them, but it’s the
safest thing to talk about.

Its almost Orwellian in the way there are certain things that are unspoken,
unwords, unpeople. This may seem exaggerated, the ramblings of a crazy person,
perhaps they7 are… but 7 years in this place will do that to a thinking person.
Because I wont submit to Big Brother.

Back to my farewell speech. What can I say? My first day here I was the only
new teacher… and it was literally sink, or swim. So I dog paddled myself
through the first couple of years… I think I cried on average 4 out of every 5
days. You see… I was working for The Professor. And the Professor knows
everything, and tells nothing. She is the Ice Maiden, only perhaps a wee bit
colder, and she hasn’t got time to help. She is busy busy busy, but fucked if I
know with what. She has more free periods than at (insert metaphor here) and
seems to have a lot of time to sit around simpering over the male staff members
– one in particular – but more on that later. How do you thank some one who has
done nothing but cause you anguish??? I guess you don’t. Next!!


My early days were fraught. I actually spent a good couple of years doubting my
own sanity. I felt as if I was floating in some weird nop mans land, I didn’t
fit into the staff room, but I wasn’t a kid either. It was a very very lonely
time, at least when I was hating school as an adolescent I had mates to hate it
with, there was a sense of camaraderie, that I was yet to discover in the
teaching profession. Don’t get me wrong. I had tried, and failed many times to
illicit friendships from with in the staff room. My first attempt to garner
favor was with the Principal. I approached her one-day after discussing her
with my mother, and said “I think you were at my parents wedding” expecting at
least a brief discussion on what a small world it was. Instead I got a very
terse “I doubt THAT very much”. Not one to give up (or like to be proven wrong)
I drove to my mothers, picked up the wedding photos and the next day proffered
them The Grand Witch (as she shall now be known).
No response. She just wasn’t interested. Ahh well you cant win em all. She is
one of those Neo liberals who wishes they were brown so surrounds themselves
with brown ness in the hope it will rub off (it didn’t) so I figured there was
nothing I could do about that.
So I tried Ice maiden.
“Oh Ice maiden” I said in my best conversational yet professional tone “you will
never believe what my year 11’s said”. Now before I go any further I should
make it clear I did NOT actually call her Ice maiden to her face, and I did not
believe that what I was about to utter was even remotely in the realms of
“they told me that you and Mr Thingy are having an affair”.
This was met with icy silence. She just stared at me. Clearly she didn’t see
the funny side of this.
But I didn’t stop there did i. I kept digging.
“Isn’t that the most ridiculous thing you have ever heard?”
I backed out of her room, attributing the silence to a lack of a sense of humor.

SO I backed out of the room… slowly so not to disturb the environment any more
and left. I still didn’t know at this point that where there is smoke there is
some sort of spark… foot in mouth again. I need to learn how to not do that. I
still haven’t quite mastered the art of not saying what I think before I say it…
to my own detriment. It turns out that Ice Maiden needs a victim, and I had
just made myself it. Before me it had been someone else, and much to my relief
after 2 years of being the Ice Maidens Whipping Boy, Crazy colleague would join
the ‘team’ and I would be relieved of full time gimp duties. The funny thing... and a pertinent poiunt to make is that her victims are never men. She likes me... loves them infact. So there was the second strike against me. Not Brown enough for the Grande Witch... not man enough for Ice maiden Professor.

Sucks to be me.



Here we go again. We are all gathered for the ministry of doom, led again by the almighty professor. Almighty. Professor. Hmmm.

I walked in late… as usual. It’s not my fault. I have duty and I am ever vigilant. I wish I was a vigilante. I wonder how well that pays… anyway…

They are mid stream about the classes for next year. The Welshman says he doesn’t want any alternative classes cos he doesn’t like thick kids. I laugh. I’m not sure if he was joking or not – but I thought it was funny. I didn’t get shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh’d cos Penelope hasn’t turned up yet. I guess she must be doing some special secret puppet business somewhere. Maybe the Muppets are in town and she was at a family gathering.

Sycophant with a J is lamenting something as being ‘…terrible… really terrible… really terrible…” and when no one responded she said ‘…it’s really terrible.”

A SCREECH reminiscent of the ancient banshees cuts the already very thick atmosphere. Someone has said something that Crazy Colleague doesn’t think is funny so she is putting on a very loud, very sarcastic, and very very UGLY laugh. I actually jumped. I thought maybe ninjas had jumped in through the window, that’s how bad she sounded. Alas nothing, not so much as a ninja star, just crazy colleague, being… well … crazy.

I am quite happily being excluded from this whole conversation, allowing me to think about things. Like how yum cinnamon is in donuts. And how nice it would be to be a size 10. And about how the cat threw up on my bed last night. Alone. By myself. I feel like some sort of Lone Cowgirl.

It seems as if time is moving in slow motion. I wonder if someone slipped something into my food or if some weird universal phenomenon has occurred causing the earth to stop spinning, or at least slow down an awful lot. She is talking about reports. Is it my imagination, or does the sulphur smell get stronger in this room…?

Professor has been talking solidly for 10 minutes, only punctuated by the odd “oh yes definitely” or “oh no, not at all” by sycophant with a J. I wonder how I can be this bored without being actually dead. And I wonder how the others can not be feeling the same way.

Penelope is still not here. Yay. The Thunderbird Puppet fest must be rocking hard! And I must say – other than the crazy laughing Crazy Colleague has been uncharacteristically quiet today!

Then out of nowhere it’s all on. Sycophant with a J must have had enough of the professor cos she stood up to her over something (that I missed cos I was chewing on paper, or something else that makes time pass) and the Professor takes great joy in tearing her to shreds. But Sycophant doesn’t back down. She stands her ground. She is angry. Will she cry?? Likely! I hope so. Unfortunately it all calms down and no tears are shed, and know blows are,,, blown? Professor finishes if all off with a nice healthy dose of condescension.

I notice that Old Man and Crazy Colleague both have the same cough. I wonder if they are hooking up secretly. Gross.

Professor starts on about the Departmental tasks. Well, I have one thing to say to that. Fuck off. I’m not doing a fucking thing. No way, no how. I’m out. I’m gone. I am doing as little as possible for the rest of the year. Professor is talking about accessioning. She loves that word – accessioning this, accessioning that. Accession.
Cunt. I love THAT word.

I wonder what would happen if I yelled out BOMB.

Half an hour in and professor is still talking. On and ON and ON and ON AND ON! I am fighting off the tourettes, and I wonder when I will finally slip into the coma I am wishing for. The biscuits are yum though.

I notice the Welshman has his phone out. I get his number and text his phone …”you give head…” and crack up laughing.

There is a 3 way discussion going between the Professor, Crazy and Sycophant. So I chime in with something intelligent. I can’t remember what it was, but it must have been good cos Crazy looks shitty and Prof ignores me.

I got a text. The Welshman called me Beverly. Reminds me of someone else I know!