Friday, 21 June 2013

Flashbangs; This Generation's Blackboard Eraser,.....It's Time To Panic Again......and "Your Career Options Are Either Destroyer of The World, Or The Saviour Of The Nauseous"

Weird Title huh? I bet you are intrigued..............if so, that makes two of us!

There has been some stories in the news recently about ex-soldiers being fast tracked into teaching, as it is thought that they would be good people to bring out the best in our young minds. Personally, I'm not sure that is such a good idea - bearing in mind the awful things that our soldiers experience in foreign lands, and the well documented evidence of post traumatic stress suffered by many ex-service personnel. In some ways it might be like letting a former owner of an abattoir run a petting zoo. Nonetheless, I'm sure that there are many ex-service men and women who would make excellent teachers.

And I'm absolutely certain that there are numerous members of the teaching profession who would make excellent soldiers - years of frustration at a system that doesn't work, every day dealing with smart alec little gits who don't want to learn but think they know it all, all the while safe in the knowledge that they can be as abusive and horrible as they like and that no-one can give them the clip round the ear that would simply and effectively eradicate oh so many problems. 6 Months in a modern secondary school dealing with 11 - 18 year olds would turn anyone into the perfect killing machine! It would definitely work - and the Military would save millions on training, cos they wouldn't have to train the teachers; all they do is drop them in the conflict area and say:

 "Our enemy had 4 weeks to complete their history assignment, and they didn't even bother. When you asked them about it, they just laughed in your face -  laughed in YOUR face. Here, have a gun..."

But I digress. Going back to the news stories about ex-soldiers being teachers, another story this last week came out about rural schools failing. One soundbite triggered this whole thought process - it was along the lines of 'parachuting teachers in to failing schools'. Now I know they didn't mean it literally, but combine that with the ex-soldiers as teachers idea, and hey-presto! S-A-S teachers!

Think of the impact on the pupils of a teacher smashing in through the window of the Geography in full combat gear and a balaclava, doing a commando roll before disarming the nearest pupil with his headphones in by garroting them with the headphone cables until they passed out!
He'd write his name on the blackboard - but it would be "Mr Dagger Three-Zero" or something, and of course he'd have to kill every pupil in the class in case they blabbed.
The SAS are experts in covert operations, so they could easily infiltrate a group of failing students disguised as a spotty 13yr old and influence them to form a homework group so that they do they homework on time.
Detention would now include torture methods, and trouble students would be 'educated' in how to behave - but without a single mark on their body.......

So.....ex-soldiers as teachers - what's the worst could happen?

I have my British Sign Language level 2 exams in July this year. The 2nd July is my Presentation; I have to give a signed presentation that lasts between 5 and 6 minutes to my tutor, while being filmed. My Presentation is on Food and Drink, and the topic is Sunday Lunch at my Girlfriends. The criteria I am required to meet is extensive, but includes four finger spelled names (can be place names or peoples names), and two separate role shifts. A role shift is when I have interaction with another person in my presentation and I have to be both people (not at the same time, but in turns as if we are having a conversation).

On the 9th July I have to have a 6-7 minute conversation with my tutor (filmed again). My conversation will be on Travel and Holidays, and I am supposed to lead the conversation i.e. do most of the talking (signing). But I also have to ask my tutor 4 questions, I have to show recognition of at least two finger spellings of his by repeating them back to him, and in both my presentation and conversation I have to have correct use of facial expression, non-manual features (signs that covey a feeling or a phrase i.e. "give it a try"), and lip pattern.

On the 16th July it is our receptive exam. We watch a signed story and then get signed multiple choice questions and we have to write down our answers.

So all of this starts in two weeks - I have my last lesson next Tuesday (25th June) and then the following week is my Presentation. As I think about it all as I type this, the nerves are starting to go. So far I have not practiced at home anywhere near enough, but I will make a concerted effort to do so. At the weekends I will do one hour a day (Adrienne, if you are reading this make sure I do!), and then during my working week will find time to do 15 minutes a day. I'm fortunate that I finish my second job on 30th June so will have more time to practice for my conversation and receptive. My presentation needs less work, so I will work on that this week.

It continues to be an amazing journey for me, and I have loved every minute of it. As to what happens next? well, if I pass level 2 I will need to look at what options are open to me, and take it from there.

Why is it that all the famous and best known scientists, mathematicians, physicists and the like all had really weird names? Albert Einstein, J.Robert Oppenheimer, Ernst Haeckel - all weird names! How come Dave Smith, Eric Jones, Tom Boring-lastname never made it to scientific greatness? I have a theory........

I call it "The Larry Theory of Why" - catchy, eh?

I reckon that Oppenheimer and all those guys were mocked at school because of their weird names, and developed such an intense resentment of their fellow man that they each vowed to develop a weapon of such lethal enormity that it would destroy the world and therefore deliver revenge on those bigger boys who flushed their heads down the toilet all those years ago.

Well maybe not Einstein - although he probably worked tirelessly to prove the existence of block holes in the hope that one might appear outside the home Ian Braithwaite (who cruelly wedgied Albert in front of the entire school, embarassing him horribly - it's in Einstein's biography titled "I'll get you Ian Braithwaite!!") one day and completely remove all trace of his existence.

So, childhood bullying drove these great minds to science, but not all made it to true greatness. Henry Heimlich was set to develop a laser that could melt the human brain from a distance of 4 miles, until an incident in a restaurant led him on the path to developing his "manoeuver".

And why have there been no other famous manoeuvres? Apart from the Picard manoeuvre, which any good Star Trek fan will tell you is the best, I'm not aware of any other such physical mechanics which could be used to aid bodily issues.
Why isn't their a manoeuvre for stopping hiccoughs? or for pins and needles - or shooty arse for that matter? (shooty arse is when you get that very sharp pain right up your bottom, that you think you are going to die from - and then it's gone.)
Surely, there must be someone out there who could come up with a workable action that would relieve these and other short term physical.....stuff?

There are - but they are probably having their head flushed down a loo.