Archive for 2015

A darker shade of blue

26.10.15 § 1 commentarius

I haven't blogged for a fucking long time. And there's a reason for that: I haven't hated my life recently. I'll happily admit that blogging was an outlet for me, a vox clamans in deserto. I howled in frustration at the world, and at times the world howled back. (Thanks for that...)

Therefore, I suppose, my life is now in a pretty good place. And it is. I'm happy to be me. I passed my PGCE (a year that will ever live in igmony, dear reader, on account of my second placement being fucking horrifying: not because of the children, but rather because of my "supportive" colleagues. I ain't bitter.) and subsequently my NQT year, which was not at all easy. I am now a proper teacher. Which is at times terrifying: they actually let me teach young people? I am now the primary non-family role model for thirty-odd eleven year old boys? Are they quite mad?

But I love it. It also turns out that I'm pretty damn good at it, which is something that never would have occurred to me. Five years ago, had anyone told me that I'd be teaching actual children French and Latin in a grammar school, I would have laughed in their face. Before clocking them one for taking the piss.

I find myself not only returning to Caecilius est in horto[1] but also trying to add in some of the stuff I wish I'd learnt at the time. As a result, my year sevens can not only confidently discuss Proto-Indo-European and Grimm's Law, but also translate into Latin such useful phrases as "the teacher beats the boys with a big stick" - magister pueros cum fuste verberat, if you're interested. I'm pleased with that.

The French side is also going pretty well. Last year it was a bit shit, given that I was teaching the boys how to describe the contents of their pencil cases, but this year with the arrival of the new exciting challenging GCSE we're talking about Alexandre Dumas (père) in year eight, which kind of suggests that I ought to have read some of his books. I haven't, but dammit, I can fake it damn well. If I can teach the boys to fake it like I can, I'll consider myself to have paid it forward.

1) Thanks to a school trip, I have actually been to Caecilius' fucking house! Those who have never studied with the CLC will never know how much of a thing this is. We took thirty-odd boys to Pompeii, and obviously our first port of call was the house of Lucius Caecilius Iucundus. While we were all shuffling about trying to get a group photo in front of Caecilus' house, a random Swedish woman walked past us and asked if we were somewhere significant. "It's Caecilius' house!" was the response. It rapidly became clear that she had absolutely no idea why thirty fifteen year old British boys were clustering around and acting so excited, and mutual bafflement ensued. Nemo erat in horto, depressingly.