Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Achievers, huh?

Just came across this site, where I find one of my offspring recorded as having achieved something. (Where is the other one, I find myself asking indignantly - and it's not a wiki so I can't do anything to it). However, rather than dwell on this minor irritant, I find myself considering other FPs of our local school - the ones who will not be considered as having achieved anything much, ever. I had an interesting encounter with three of these former customers of mine today, as I returned from an equally interesting trip to Glasgow. The first two were in the Cal Mac waiting room; I had sat down fairly near them before clocking who they were.

The one who hailed me first was half cut, and swigged from a half-empty bottle of Buckie in between remarks - mostly friendly but excessively loud - which soon had the attention of every concession ferry passenger in the room. (The non-rush-hour traffic is mostly made up of old people. Like me.) He had acquired a villainous-looking scar down his cheek since I last saw him, and became alarmingly verbose within minutes. His pal, who had been in my class for years, was obviously embarrassed and eager to tell me that he himself was working hard at college and doing well, that I would be proud of him. When the drunken one went out for a smoke, the other apologised for the disturbance and seemed eager to show that he was civilised and adult and pleased to see me again.

The third lad was in the saloon when I boarded, working on diagrams in a college log-book. He was friendly, natural and proud of the work he was doing, which he was pleased to show me. Enjoyable company, in fact. He had obviously matured beyond the stage where he needed to prove himself with macho posturing or hide his embarrassment behind giggles and whispered remarks. The nadir of the afternoon came when I found myself wheeling on the drunken one and telling him not to use language such as he was shouting in my hearing. I'd been jolted out of my "normal person" mode and back into school-think. An old lady looked alarmed, but Buckfast Boy stepped back, hands spread: "Sorry, Miss. Sorry."

I relate all this partly to make sense for myself of the mindset of a boy like this. He was a nuisance in school, and he's now skiving college and annoying more powerful thugs who carved his face for him. He's about to acquire what his pal called "an ankle bracelet". As Shakespeare would say, "His eyes were set at three o' the afternoon". He told me he's going to grow up soon - but into what? All he seems to have learned is that I was not someone to mess with - and that's not going to see him far, is it?

And the visit to Glasgow? Very pleasant - lunch with
David to make up for distractions at Teach Meet 06 meant interesting conversation before I headed for the train.

And he paid - thanks, David!


  1. It must be weird when you meet FPs... it certainly is when for us former pupils when we discover our English teachers online!

    Great blogs miss! Hope you're well.

    My blog is at

    Feel free to pop by anytime and correct my spelling.


  2. I'm well and having a great deal of fun, thanks - beats work any day! Your spelling seems to have survived DGS intact - and your blog is extremely interesting.