I wonder if delivering my first sermon will be as nerve-racking as the moment of handing it over to my mentor for her to read. I hope not. I felt very vulnerable indeed letting go of the three sheets of A4 which contained my inane ramblings on the subject of the parable of the sower and sitting on the sofa drinking my coffee while she read it was a real exercise in nerve-control! But she liked it. Phew! We planned the rest of the service together, so now all I have to do is organise for someone to do a dramatised reading with me (Oh, and I HATE phoning people I don’t know, too. Why couldn’t my mentor do that for me???) and wait another three weeks until the big day. Oh, and organise a babysitter so I don’t have to drag the boys along with me.
This morning was an interesting exercise in patience. Everyone at work is stressed to the eyeballs with SATs tests…. kids and staff alike! I found a mistake on the exam timetable – they’d forgotten to timetable in one of the tests for one of my groups and wanted a supply teacher to take them for it while I was testing another group, even though for my nervous children and autistic-spectrum children they really needed to be with me in their usual room. One look at the timetable and, from my position of irresponsibility, I could see a simple workable solution. Easy. But could I get anybody to stand still long enough for me to put my idea to them? Oh no, they were far far too stressed and busy trying to organise three yeargroups of children taking major tests and one lot needing to be kept busy out of the way while they did. They just didn’t want to listen.
My hero-worship of Michael Morpurgo has increased tenfold… as if that could possibly be possible. You recall my reluctant reader who’s now well into the second chapter of “Kensuke’s Kingdom”? Well, yes another miracle occured yesterday and this morning. Not only does Tiddles have an aversion to reading, he’s allergic to writing too (so often the case). Homework is generally a battle, and I’ve all but given up on him ever writing a nice thank you letter at Christmas, much as he longs to thank the people who’ve given him things. The counsellor’s suggestion of a diary to help him work through his frustrations was a laugh because he only got really frustrated with it because it involved writing! But what’s happening now? Yes, you guessed again. He’s writing a book! He had a lockable journal for Christmas and he’s using that. He’s planned out his story and has already written two chapters of really quite good stuff — and in beautiful handwriting and with hardly a wrong spelling to be seen!!! He just shut himself away almost all day and worked on it… coming out only to read a bit more of Kensuke’s Kingdom and to see my sister and brother in law when they brought Dad home.
As for me, I’m reading “Private Peaceful” with ever increasing trepidation as it nears the point at which the young soldier is executed at dawn for cowardice during world war 1. I can’t put the book down, but just don’t want to read… I don’t want to read, but just can’t put the book down. This is a children’s book which really doesn’t pull any punches and I just know I am going to cry and cry when the crunch comes.