…some nice memories in this one, I’ll tidy it up through the day.
There was an old guy teacher slouched to my left-[hand] side.
‘How long are you gonna bloody keep us here?’ he said, ‘I have a greenhouse y’know.’
I shot him a glance. ‘You damn traitor,’ I thought. ‘This is our new teaching squad, gathered to grapple 1500 Scandinavian teens, so pay attention.’
He picked his nose, yawned, farted. I flicked my hair abouts, made eye contact with the lady teachers in a most enigmatic way.
‘Look, if you don’t mind I’d like to bloody leave [and] soon,’ said the old guy.
‘You bastard, where is your team spirit?’ I thought.
The tutor boss with spectacles gave us a little chat about developments in education, about how Spanish students liked to smoke joints and Swedish students never did. Finns preferred to drink a gallon of vodka outside the classroom, in fact [the tutor presented] a range of misdemeanours we might encounter in our duties to come.
‘What about paedophiles?’ I said intensely.
‘Don’t worry about the paedos, worry about traffic,’ said the head tutor, ‘five deaths in ten years.’
‘What,’ I said, ladies across from me gasped, I remained in my chair. The ladies regained composure with swipes of palm past their faces, I said,
‘That is so terrible…’
‘We drive left, they look right,’ said the tutor, a veteran.
‘Fools,’ said the old guy, he chuckled.
I delivered my death face. What kind of teacher was this animal?
Then the old bugger – sat in his chair, folded upon himself, gurgled laughter, said
‘And year on every year, every nation conforms to every national stereotype, it is incredible.’
I squared him up for the fist thump, ‘Vile racist,’ I thought, ‘how dare you slander my European brothers and my sisters, you scum.’
Teaching teens from across the borders of Europe[stan], initially I was sympathetic towards predominantly rich students lodged among some of the less wealthy residents of my own city, Brighton & Hove [Albion].
‘What’s in your sandwich today, Stefan?’ I said.
‘It is your fucking tuna shit with litre of mayonnaise. Your disgusting white bread, what about my health?’ said the chairman Volvo/BMW, year 2025 etcetera.
‘Wait till you try our delicious fish and chips,’ I said.
‘It is very greasy,’ said Gurnerika from Helsinki, she coughed.
‘If only we had sauna,’ said Ketemina.
‘Oh sauna,’ said the entire class.
‘Krispbread,’ they all moaned.
‘Settle down, settle down,’ I said to the classroom, ‘right lesson three, consequences of Normandy landings in light of the Dunkirk debacle. I have handout…’
I sat back into my own chair, instructed, ‘And for the next forty-five minutes, in your pairs craft a creative writing piece as a Tommy in the trenches.’
They were an easy-going crowd to begin with, then after one week only, rebellious whisperings emerged from behind daisy headpieces.
‘Why, why everybody say please and thank you all the facky time?’ said a chap, Boris, military combat jacket, typical Nazi Finn, or a film director, ‘it is so fake, you people are fake.’
‘Just good manners really, talking to old ladies at the sandwich bar,’ I said.
‘I want coffee, she give me coffee. What is the problem with that?’ he said.
‘You make a great point,’ I said, ‘next question?’
‘He is right,’ said Fanny.
‘Very right,’ said Titty.
Her written name was Ptite. European hooligans watched, enjoyed my crumble every morning registration. I stood, held clipboard, called a tiny child ‘titty,’ and felt ill. They knew it.
Italian students arrived a week later:
‘Okay, tell me your recipes again.’
‘We hava beautiful meataballa, sauca, macaronia, sunshina, lovaly beaches, olive and reda wina in a bucketa for bambino,’
‘Please Mauro, say it again, more slowly, and chefs write down all of your recipes for my wife and family.’
‘When can we play footballa?’ they said
‘Now,’ I said, ‘now, go outside, play, playa football.’