My three half-days in Learning Support are done. I’ve been in such lessons before of course (SEN governor) but it was more concentrated than usual and, in addition, I was asked to fill in an observation sheet for each lesson as well as the sheet for the governors’ records. If you’ve noticed a certain distraction the past couple of nights, it’s been because that has taken ages, and much thought.
I sent a cheerily friendly email to a friend yesterday whom I haven’t seen for months. He and I are really good friends but rarely bump into each other and, now not being on the same committee (we’ve both left it), we haven’t got any particular reason to phone or email each other. I had a short reply (saying ‘to be continued’, however) describing the Burns Night party he and his wife went to last night. Everyone was expected to sing or recite something appropriate. I do know some Burns by heart, but I’d so not do that. Really. Goodness. What for? A few would enjoy it, the rest would find it an ordeal at best, totally appalling at worst. I’d be in the “what for” brigade of refuseniks.
No, actually, I’ve just thought, I wouldn’t. I’d quote Rudyard Kipling’s brief, twelve line poem about James I/VI. Which I should know. Not googling, so may not have it word perfect –
“The child of Mary Queen of Scots
A shifty mother’s shiftless son
Bred up amid intrigue and plots
Learnèd in all things, wise in none.
Ungainly, babbling, wasteful, weak,
Shrewd, clever, cowardly, pedantic.
The sight of steel would blanch his cheek,
The smell of baccy drive him frantic.
He was the author of his line.
He wrote that witches should be burnt.
He wrote that monarchs were divine,
And left a son who – proved they weren’t.”*
Yup, a good antidote to all things Scottish. Not that I’ve a thing against them. My middle name is Buchanan.
Regrettably, that’s true. If I’d been a boy, I’d have gone to school at Glenalmond.
* I learned this, years ago, while the Sage drove me to Wells Next The Sea. It was the year I decided to learn a poem. It was the shortest I could find.