Thursday, December 04, 2008
Look at me!
Well, I've had my meeting with the Head of Year and she had interviewed the Head of every subject I'd mentioned and each had prepared a written report on Danny Boy. The History teacher had also waited after school to meet me. I had a written apology from the English teacher but the rest of the remarks have dampened my crusading spirit. Danny Boy has been identified as one of the brightest students in the year but he is an attention-seeking class clown who finds it very difficult to concentrate, disrupts other pupils and is desperately immature. The reason for his shoddy work is that he is slap-dash and doesn't spend anything like the right amount of time on his homework, doing the bare minimum to get by. It made for an interesting meeting. Danny Boy was squirming as Head Of Year revealed some of his half-truths and excuses. The upshot of it all is that it's up to him, plenty of other children are prepared to work. Tonight DB and I have learnt the verbs etre and avoir by rote, tomorrow it's Spanish... there is a six year sentence stretching before me and Lurch (who's now testing him).
Why is he such an attention seeker? I can only imagine he takes after his father who has sported many an eye-catching look in his time from Country Squire manque, complete with plus-fours (aged 16) to Eurocrat with a leather handbag and hand-tooled Italian loafers, a fine dandy indeed. I have never been comfortable in the spotlight.
My worst work experience ever was in Jamaica. I was representing the company, sponsoring an evening of Caribbean culture, which was being broadcast simultaneously on radio and TV. The MC was a restless, slightly aggressive man who seemed to carry a large colonial chip on his shoulder. He referred to me as 'The Queen's Representative' at all times, accompanied by a direct, challenging gaze and a savage smile. I couldn't understand what I'd done but half an hour into the show his delighted tones rang out across the island 'Would the Queen's representative please come forward for an exhibition limbo dance with our country's champion?' What! me?! I was forced into it, wearing a tightish linen business suit. I had to perform a limbo with a 6 foot 6 liquid limbed, breathtakingly handsome Rasta in front of 1,000 people in the stadium but also on TV. My mouth was dry, my legs and arms were wooden. The Rasta tried his best and so did I, contorting, shaking and shimmying but I was worse than John Sergeant, it was the most humiliating episode of my life. I was stone cold sober and, unbeknown to anyone else, four months pregnant! I still shudder at the memory.