Right, chuck those bloody Christmas cards, put the tinsel and baubles back in their boxes, that’s that over and done with for another year. I have a mercifully gradual re-introduction to the teaching treadmill this term, with only two days’ teaching this coming week. Then there's a full week, followed, Arctic weather and BA strikes permitting, by a week in Athens. Then it starts in earnest again with wall-to-wall English for Academic Purposes and a new crowd of Khalids, Khuluds, Ahmeds and Mohammeds.
I dreamed of teaching again last night. The classic teacher’s dream is of standing in front of a class with your dick hanging out and realising you have no notion as to how you got there. You have nothing prepared, and find yourself forced to busk, hands covering genitals, to an increasingly restive and unsympathetic audience. Last night’s version was a bit different. I started off with about fifteen students in a smallish room. Good: the ideal number and space for a trusted activity I had decided to trot out. Two of them I knew had done it before, but I decided I could accidentally-on-purpose overlook the fact, and count that their Arab respect for teachers would stop them drawing attention to my ‘mistake’. More students arrive. Sod! The classroom stretches to accommodate them and becomes L-shaped, and I peep tentatively round the corner to find that whole rows of new students are sitting there patient but unoccupied, awaiting instructions. Now the protean classroom is growing in all directions, and I’m facing what looks like a congregation in St Paul’s Cathedral. The bench upon which I and several teenage boys in shorts are sitting (how the hell did they get in?) rises into the air to afford an overview of the assembled multitudes. The boy on my right, who I note despite my vertigo and panic, has very nice legs, aims a kick at the boy on my left, wobbling our airborne bench and… I wake up.
Oh, Happy New Year, by the way.