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A few days ago I got a call from an old friend I'd not heard from in ages. I had texted her about a mutual friend who, a little to our surprise, had become a C of E vicar. In the course of wide ranging catch up she reminded me of an oddly comic prefiguring of my interest in French history.
We used to teach together in a school that was seriously and unreasonably under the cosh from Ofsted. Together with our colleague [the newly ordained rev], we took it upon ourselves to maintain staffroom morale by satirising [slagging off] our chief tormentors - I might write much more on Ofsted if I can dip my pen in sufficient venom - but Teresa reminded me of how we used to sit either side of a little coffee table and of our intention to get a working model of the national razor and fully embrace the role of tricoteuses. Nowadays I'm a 1794 clemency caller, but if those inspectors had fallen into my hands in 1999 my retribution would have outdone St. Just. In my defence I have to say that I went on to run an Early Years unit in another school [same eductional principles, same moral climate] and got two consecutive judgements of outstanding. Not a trace of bitterness - oh no.............
Talking to T reminded me of how much I miss her [she lives miles away now] and that this is the first time in my life I have been without a close female friend who is also a Virgo - T was second in a line of three - I think I need them to keep me grounded - but I'm not really sure I believe in all that stuff.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 16th, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
Ah well, even the clemency-callers only wanted a modified amount, and I'm sure they'd be on board with no clemency for OFSTED ....

- indeed, anything that makes schools more miserable than they have to be (not MY opinion but possibly his) is bound to be damned in someone's eyes. And I think he'd consider that the function of OFSTED, non? To bring misery to the innocent.

Your work must give you such a profoundly heightened awareness of that age group and those years - which applied to C. - I can't even imagine how that must feel to you. It's painful enough for me, heaven knows, and I don't know any children at all.
Jan. 24th, 2013 10:46 pm (UTC)
Mmm I suppose you're right- my children have lots of difficulties bless them, but the idea of being sent away at seven........ how could you feel anything other than unloved and guilty? and yet people still do,it don't they?
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )