Friday, July 04, 2008
Well I've been very quiet here lately (as I have been on all my blogs.) Thank you all for still popping by...
The truth is I have had no videogame news to tell, as I'm still grinding round the streets of Tokyo-to on my rocket powered roller skates. Yep I'm still plugging away at Jet Set Radio and haven't touched my Xbox or Wii since May.
So what can I tell you about? Well first of all there is www.glassgiant.com which is a fun bit of a site where you can do silly bits of photo-shop type stuff with ease. It's where I did the Elderly wanted poster and the FK Hollywood sign which now graces the side bar.
I've just finished the best book I've read in ages, Stephen King's 'The Stand'. The tale of a government made plague ravaging the US and basically wiping out 99% of the population, King is a master story teller and the book has just kept me enthralled for all of it's 1300+ pages. Just before I finished it, I discovered that it had been made into a King scripted mini-series in the mid nineties. I bought the DVD off eBay and it's an excellent adaptation of the book. I've only watched the first part (there's four) but I'm going to get through it all this weekend (and continue on my JSR odyssey!)
Then there's work, which has contributed to my depleted blog output. For those of you who don't know, I'm a teacher, working in primary school (5-11 year olds) in inner city Manchester. My school is situated in my neighbourhood of Moss Side, famous (or infamous) in England for being full of guns, drugs and gangs.
Therefore, as you might imagine, we have (amongst the vast majority of good kids) a few bad apples. Kids who are seriously fucked up and whose behaviour is really bad. Some of them have mental health problems, psychological problems and some are just bad to the bone! That's where I come in. I've specialised in behaviour management for seven of the sixteen years I've been a teacher. My official job title is 'Lead Behaviour Professional' and usually I float around the school addressing incidents of confrontational and antagonistic behaviour, moving from class to class and supporting kids that are falling apart.
Phew! I've never got that deep or personal before have I? Well what I was saying, in a very round-about-sort-of-way, was that I've had that role taken away from me. For the three weeks remaining in school before the summer holidays, I've been given a class to take full time. This class has been falling apart, because they've been shat on by their teachers for the last two years. Both teachers, the one they had last year and the one they had this year, are on 'long term sick leave'. Neither one is actually ill, both are playing the 'sick' card, which within the English system, means that they can both receive six months full pay, as long as they've got a doctor gullible enough to sign them off.
OK! Where has that left the children? Well basically, fucked. These kids have little consistency or stability in their home lives. They need those two things when they come to school. It's been taken away. They are moody, depressed, volatile and fragile by equal measures. They fight (and I mean FIGHT) at the drop of a hat. They can't learn because they are constantly 'dissing' each other. Typical comment? "Go suck yer mum!" Charming isn't it?
So I'm with the 32 of them trying to educate and impart basic social skills for the whole school day. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a tough gig. This week, I abandoned the curriculum and we did 'Superhero Week'. We spent a week looking at Spiderman, Batman, Wonderwoman, the X-Men and so on. It all led up to them thinking up their own Superhero and writing about them for 45 minutes.
It worked! They wrote good stuff! Last week they couldn't even sit together and this week they sat in silence (listening chill out tunes) and produced work that was really, really good! On Monday I take 30+ of the 11 year olds camping for three days, and I get to escape the class from hell.
Spending three days away from home has never looked so appealing LOL!
Usually, my long posts fail to pull in the comments. If you want to hear more of my school life I'll tell you. I could do an entire blog about it. If not, it'll be business as usual. You decide!