"My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together." “When I hear people say politics and religion don't mix, I wonder what Bible they are reading.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

"And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6.8

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Philippians 4.19

"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2.12

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sports Day at the Knowledge College

Here we are in the middle of July and summer has yet to come. All over the country sporting events have been cancelled because of the rain and members of the Italian Olympic squad have been bemoaning the lack of sunshine. Here at the Knowledge College we are made of sterner stuff: come on - some of the staff live in Hebden Bridge which has been under water for the last fortnight.

I arrive in the car park and am blinded by a strange light: it is the reflected glare from my colleague Adam's legs. They look like two pieces of spaghetti.

Have you got those legs insured Adam?

There is general aimless milling around while staff arrive and we locate our forms for registration on the track side. I am impressed: almost all of mine are here. My colleague Ben has a turn out of two.

I notice that some of this year's Yr 11 leavers have been drafted in as helpers. So there'll be no swearing in the staff area I note to Jim.

"Bollocks to that. Measure my concern in micro-giveashits."

"Can I run in socks Sir?" Sarah enquires after registration. "I can't run in shoes."

Did you miss an important developmental stage earlier in childhood?

Sarah is busy removing her shoes. "No they weigh me down."

Welcome the new Zola Budd.


Oh, you're so young.

As we await the formal start of procedings I note at least three sets of pupils on crutches.

All wearing full sports kit.

"You can take equal opportunities too far." Ben opines.

"Woop!" My colleague Amie is clearly over excited. "I only signed up to help to watch Wolfie eat all the leftover free packed lunches that the kids don't want." she confides.

Jags arrives in time to have missed his registration group. You're late. What happened?

"I went up to school first."

Liar. I did that and your car wasn't in the car park.

Jags grins sheepishly.

"I was sat in the staff room" Jim tells us. "And then someone asked me why I was there and not here. The trouble is I read my e-mails on a Friday and today's only Tuesday. Mind you, It's amazing what's resolved itself by the time you do read them. Don't you work like that with your pigeon hole?"

Termly. I confirm.

"Do you know I got away with not doing P.E. at school for two years by telling them I only had one lung? It was only when my Dad asked why there wasn't a P.E. report that I was found out."

"How long is this track Sir?"

Do you do GCSE PE?

"No. BTEC Sports Studies."

How long is a standard running track?

"How would I know?"

"Oy!" The dulcet tones of the mad scientist. "Don't forget you're going on the butty-run."

I look around. "No you, shit-for-brains."

Why me?

"Because you're a sap."

In the event Sam and Janet are sent on this errand. Sam and Janet ... hang on, let me think.... Sam and Janet...

Sam and Janet evening
You may see a stranger,
you may see a stranger
Across a crowded room.

O.K. Please yourselves.

The events begin and Kate and I move over to the High Jump area. I always supervise the High Jump what with me once having jumped 1.92. But that was in the last century!

The boys are on first and it all very businesslike and straightforward.  The girls follow and the entertainment begins.

"If I cry do I still have to do it?"

With the aid of a cattle prod, yes.

"It's too high."

Look. The clue's in the name. It's called the High Jump.

There is a distinct lack of style with a lot of drooping bottom sydrome. Some girls simply walk up and try to step over the bar. There is an awful lot of running around with flapping hands.

You run like a girl.

"I am a girl".

That's not the point.

"Oh, I've broken a nail."

Could you take this a little more seriously?

I notice out of the corner of my eye Jags and Jim undertaking the onerous responsibility of propping up the steeplechace hurdle. The High Jump completed, I wander over to join them and hear Jim claiming to be a technophobe.

"You can't be," Jags responds "You teach Technology."

"No. I teach kids to knock the crap out of metal."

Lunch time arrives and I watch one of the Yr 7s wander over to pick up his packed lunch.

"Tuna or cheese?" Wolfie asks, looking disappointed that there'll be less for him to eat.

"Chicken please." replies Tim.

"Touch my head Miss, I think I've got a temperature."

"No, I'm not going to do that. There are rules about that sort of thing and anyway you're a little bit wierd."

"I bought you a cake." I notice that Derinder is holding nothing in her hand. "I gave it to a kid who looked hungry."

Don't ever show them sympathy. It's almost as bad as turning your back on them.

Amie is rattling off statistics: "Well, Tony was sick and still came second in the javellin, Rob nearly broke his ankle and Sarah popped her hip. Not bad for a Sports Day morning. Still, Debbie managed to keep her beehive in place when she ran."

A girl's race of some sort is finishing. Wolfie is trying to drum up some atmosphere amongst the supporters who singularly fail to be dragged along in the slipstream of his enthusiasm. There is a failed attempt at a Mexican Wave which is pretty disappointing given that each row in the stand contains only about 50 seats.

A boy's race of some sort is finishing now. There is a boy I dislike intensely who has the ability to do well but has the mindset that says if he's not winning then he doesn't want to know.

He isn't winning.

He dawdles to the rear of the pack and finishes his race with a forward roll over the finishing line, looking very pleased with himself.

Nobody cares.

He is so self absorbed he doesn't notice, presumably thinking he has done something hilarious and witty.

There is an announcement that the relays are about to start. I notice my form in place, saunter over to them and give them a big smile.

I'm not saying I'll never speak to you again if you don't win but it's something I'd like you to bare in mind.

They win.

Eddie, our one wheelchair user, is disappointed that we've not managed to organise some sort of paralympic event. I commiserate but point out that as the only wheelchair user he was bound to be a bit of a shoe-in as winner.

"How about we organise the kids on crutches to compete against me Sir?"

Would that be challenging enough?

"Of course. If we did the Long-Jump."

"YOU'RE NOT GOING HOME UNTIL YOU'RE ALL SAT THERE QUIET!" Wolfie doesn't need a microphone.

Quiet? Shouldn't that be an adverb. You know Quietly  - L Y adverb.

"I know" says Derinder."It's really important that teachers speak English properly, Innit?"

1 comment:

  1. Shouldn't there be a DofE award scheme for teachers who have to put up with these, um, athletes?