Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kerry Blue and Primary School

The day started off in exciting fashion when young Matthew from across the road knocked the door and presented me with a curly haired terrier. 'Twas very likely a full bred Kerry Blue if I know my dogs. It was a lolloping, friendly, tonguey sort of a dog when presented with humans. However, as soon as it met Stenchbreath it jumped on top of her and got medieval on her neck. To quote the Kerry Blue wikipedia entry "they have always been loyal and affectionate towards their owners and very gentle towards children but were often considered downright mean toward other animals including other dogs." I concur on this limited evidence.

So I tied the animal to the fence with Stenchbreath's spare lead and phoned the Dog Warden. I got an answering machine and left a message. Then I rephoned the answering machine half an hour later. Next I rang the council switchboard and politely asked what I should do with the creature. They finally got a warden to contact me and said they'd send someone out.

With the situation in hand I went out for an afternoon stroll. I met a young girl coming down the road shouting what sounded like "Taxi! Taxi." When I got closer she asked me if I'd seen her dog Pepsi and after asking her for a description I reckoned the captured beast was hers. She set off with with barely a by-your-leave and soon child and animal were reunited to scenes of unbridled joy. Champagne corks were popped, the sky was black with tossed hats etc etc and the dog warden was turned around and set on his way via a quick phone call. Which was lucky for the wee girl, as I don't think brer pooch was licensed.

The second part of the day's exciting adventures was a trip to my old primary school. Built in about 1975, the old school building has come to the end of its lifespan and is being demolished in favour of gleaming new facilities on the same site. The 1970s seem to have been the era of the jerry-built school with their flat leaky asphalt roofs and flimsy corrugated plastic window fittings. Compare this to the many sturdy Victorian school buildings, built to last like the churches of the day & still in use.

I was a bit apprehensive about going because I didn't really enjoy primary school and thought it might evoke bad memories. But it was fine. Everything was amazingly familiar, even though I hadn't set foot in the place for well over 20 years. It wasn't like stepping back in time, it felt like I'd never been away. Maybe that's because I've worked as a primary school since.

The only person I talked to out of my year was a person I see regularly anyway. The only teacher
I talked to didn't remember me. But it was good to have a look around the old place. Everyone was enjoying themselves but we were unceremoniously chucked out at 9.00pm sharp. First time I've ever been forced to leave the school gates. And I didn't even claim my free styrofoam cup of boxed red wine.

The current pupils told me they are getting a week off while the building is demolished, but they're annoyed because they have to bring work home with them. It's a hard knock life.

Someone has put my P1 class photo on Facebook. I wish I got still grow my hair like that.


whynotsmile said...

A week off while they demolish the old school? And... build the new one? Or they come back after a week and there's just no school?

bresker said...

Sorry, I should have made myself clear. The new school has already been built on the current playground & sports field. The kids get the week off for health and safety reasons as the old building is demolished.

I like the idea of the kids learning in the open air while the school is built around them, though.

I had to teach a maths class once while an air conditioner was fitted to a classroom. The books kept blowing everywhere and the kids ran wild.

bresker said...

the word 'outdoors' has been left out of the previous comment.

Wandering Photographer said...

That sign on the toilet door is a classic!

As for getting taught outdoors, I remember decamping outside on the odd occasion of having a sunny day.

(I'm sure that these days this would require a risk assessment and the provision of suitable safety clothing.)

whynotsmile said...

I see. It all makes sense now.