Sunday, October 5, 2008

the crystal man...

so you want to hear about school?

or the crystal man?

completely inspired by my students. an eclectic mix of personalities and cultures. from cote d'ivoire, mali, tanzania, kenya, south africa, canada, chad, states, uk, and on and on. they are funny, clever, keen, typical teenagery, challenging, unique. beautiful.

still feeling like an imposter though but getting to slowly see the greater picture. was secretly delighted when year 11's requested that i teach them at least once a week. please.

i had been "covering" (which means taking someone else's lessons because they aren't there) for ms jura ( who was the lucky one to go to nairobi on an english course and meet like minded people and discuss lesson plans and plenaries and differentiations and things like that...)

anyway, when she returned i started giving back the materials and she said "oh no. please take them again. they asked for you..."

being the sucker that i am i was immediately complimented. fortunately for my more pragmatic and rational side i realised why, of course. damnit.

apparently there is a school inspector coming tommorrow. all the way from england. inspecting for the cambridge exams there was a mad panic end of last week on getting LESSON PLANS in order....lesson plans must include "differentiation" and "plenaries". immediate thought was "wot ees pleenareeeez? pleeeeeze? sorry i am from outer barcelona" . instead i sat in the meeting, twirling my pencil, looking up, every now and then, with a fake intelligent look, from my sketch of a fairy, pretending i knew exactly what they were on about. well. i couldn't ask, could i? clearly everyone knows what differentiation and plenaries cover would be blown if i had asked. THANK CHRIST FOR GOOGLE, i say. and a great uk curriculum lesson plan site...and good neighbour mrs baker.
plenaries are a walk in the park. they come naturally to me. and as for differentiation. phwww.

and boy do i love week-ends. who doesn't? doctors on call? pilots flying? anyway. i adore mine. yesterday was just, well, all lilac lined streets, jacaranda explosion, soft blue skies with little puffy clouds skidding across them, acacia stark in front of early rainy season clouds, heralding a change. drunken in in a blink of a moment, speeding along the road... the tree, the cloud, knowing what it says.

and there we were, mo and i scrummaging around in sparkly sari indian shops..buying sparkly indian tops and jingly things and feeling happy. twinkles in shop shadows, little light sequinned reflections shimmering in dark corners, like the sun. and saying shocking things to each other we wouldn't dare say to anyone else...and laughing our heads off about it in the traffic jam, while watching a witchdoctor trying to trick the crowds and longing to know what he was saying, watching the knife sharpener man - on his bicycle, with all the restaurant owners around him with their knives. mo tried to get a picture but the knife sharpener man became angry. so we ran away. in the afternoon i lounged about at a kids birthday party. all dreamy pastel and fat green telly tubby type lawns and landscapes. oversized extraordinarily large flowers. and children flitting around like those weird little telly tubbies.

i ate non stop. chips and avo dip, popcorn, more chips and avo dip, pizza, chips, wine, tea, pizza, liquorice all sorts, chips and scrapings of avo.and then cakecakecakeCAKE... lashings of yellow butter icing...licking my fingers and seeing the red sun glow at the top of the mountain.

and today. hazy lazy sunday, under an arced kind true blue sky, filled with those fat funny skidding clouds, which generally make one feel dizzy, happy and irresponsible. and give wide open spaces a dimension.

and who should arrive but the crystal man.

as they do of a sunday afternoon. in white saloon taxi man cars from town. all french. searching for The Perfect Crystal. no chips you understand. and looking way too cool for a western dusty windy tanzanian hill with a crooked little pink house clinging to the top of it, bravely leaning into a fiesty little kilimanjaro wind.

the crystal man, haling from a star war city in a desert searching for real light sabres.

i made the right decision. to take that job at school.

oh yeah....plenaries, warts and all....

kitchen board: sunday night: 5 october 08

Contributors: Gabby (section of board)

Comments: i believe in angels. and a responsive universe. and tommorrow is going to be a great and exciting day. even if its monday.
wishing you all an exceptional monday, in which each and everyone of you who read this, is surprised and inspired, even if its momentary....
toodely pip and bisous XXX janelle


tut-tut said...

Goodness, I was surprised and am inspired—and not momentarily, either . . . every time I read your posts.

Janelle said...

aw thanks tut tut! yes. i shouldn't conclude that everyone dreads mondays now should i!? xx janelle

Catofstripes said...

Thank you for the good wishes for Monday, and the same to you too!

family affairs said...

Thanks for the school update, just what I wanted - although you can't keep the knowledge about plenaries to yourself....Lx

Reya Mellicker said...

I'm inspired! Thank you for your prose poetry or would you call your writing lyrics? yes, more like lyrics than anything else. Lyrical.

The crystals are gorgeous. The crystal man - he buys them from you or the other way around? Crystals are a source of light, I believe that. And angels and a responsive world, oh yeah.

So glad you're at the school. Wish I could sit in on your class.

Mickle in NZ said...

So pleased your muse has returned. Wonderful post, and thank you Gabby for a beautiful picture.

Val said...

I am always inspired by your posts!
such great images - teletubbies, knife man, indian shops buying bling, chrystal man, school report.. you guys laughing your heads off..... so cool.

Lori ann said...

janelle dear, that reminds me. i would buy your book,as soon as you write one, are you going to write one?? right after you finish your next album? you really should.

I shopped this weekend too,with my sister, we found indian scarfs in a gorgeous missoni pattern and purses made in Nepal with that musty i've come along way from home smell. But i think i need a sparkly top too!

happy monday :)

xxx lori

Janelle said...

cat! great to know you're still reading and thanks for the wishes! XX j
oh lulu. i intend to shared the complexities of plenaries et al a s a p! never fear! xx j
hey reya! crystal man is buying crystals..not from me though...and indeed they are things of the highest 'em! xx j

ah val darlin'! thanks! so when you going to come and hang out with us then, in tz? xx j
and lori ann those bags sounds DELICIOUS and of course, every girl needs a sparkly top...toujours! xx j

Ernest de Cugnac said...

didn't know you were a witch (of the nicest possible kind, of course). Glad school's going well.

Miranda said...

Brain empty so got nothing to write. But just putting my footprint here so you know that mo woz ere. Thanks for a fun day and the cheering up. I need more of those sparklies....xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Adrianne said...

I love it that you laughed your heads off in a traffic jam. I keep trying to convince my fiance to do that, instead of succumbing to his usual traffic-induced anger, but he doesn't believe that it can be done. Thanks for giving me something I can use as proof!
(: )

Janelle said...

indeed ernest! now you do. i am a very responsible one though...?! xx j
oh ok mo mo...oh hope your morning with the acrobats was motivating for you?? xx
you tell him adrianne. it really is no point losing it in traffic jams here because there are ALWAYS jams,...always...xx j

Chimera said...

Hey there,
Gorgeous butter icing post me dear as ever! My Monday interesting too but i still wait on the job..p'raps need a crystal too! May ask Val!
School and high go girl!
T xx

ciara said...

~~waves to janelle~~i'm still reading :) i always love your stories no matter the subject. i do think though that teaching kids is great. in some ways to some you are making the difference. they learn from you, and then those same kids teach something new and different.

wish my mondays sounded as fascinating as yours. but no. nothing new. same same. mini-me of to outdoor science camp and youngest will be a bit lost this week.

Anonymous said...

How I always love to read your posts, so beautifully written and inspiring as always.Joëlle

reluctantmemsahib said...

bloody well done. that's all.on your teaching and your beautifulasalways writing x

Jocelyn said...

You did make the right choice--this school, this teaching.

I feel like I need a passport just to read your posts...what a great trip, everytime.

Janelle said...

hey tanvi..yeah..get a crystal and whack 'em with juju....hah! X
ah joelle..MERCI!! and feel terribly but still have not been able to get into town to post you my soon as work eases up will get around to it...actually. i just keep forgetting!!! XX
anthea! you're finally back! hooray.xx
and thanks jocelyn..i could say the same for yours too! xx j