Sunday, 23 May 2010

It's a scorcher!

I'm writing this whilst slowly melting into my bedsheets (which need changing, but I'm far too hot and bothered to actually do it). Yes, folks, the sunny weather has finally arrived! Of course, it's predicted to get colder and wetter as the new week begins because... Well, because I'm writing this in Britain. We don't really do prolonged good weather, after all!

Everywhere I've been lately, however, I've seen people making the most of the heat and the sunshine whilst we've got it. And it has been something of a revelation. Something happens to us when the sun comes out - we change somehow and after much reflection, I've decided it's for the better.

Yes, there will always be lads going around without their tops on, regardless of their general physique. Yes, I will always - and I mean always - run screaming from wasps, no matter how many times I'm told to "stand still and it'll ignore you." And yes, we might get tired and teasy in the heat, as we stand around like lobsters, poking at a barbecue sausage (not a euphemism, honest guv). But the positives seem to far outweigh the negatives.

The children at the school I work at have rejoiced in running around on the playing field, without the needs for coats or jumpers, with traces of sticky sun lotion on their cheerful faces. The beaches have been full of families, laughing together and making the most of a bit of time off work. Everywhere you go, there are little signs that Summer is on its way: The scent of a barbecue wafting through the air; the sound of an ice cream van trundling down the road playing a merry tune... And suddenly, people are smiling more. People are laughing more. People are thinking: "Lets ignore the housework for a day and go out and enjoy ourselves instead." Strangers are passing comments about the weather, rather than passing each other silently in the street. That has to be something to smile about, surely? I mean, I can be a surly so and so, but even I'm happy to smile and say: "Can't believe this sunshine, can you?!" When I'm queuing at the post office (for ten million years, but that's another subject).

Apparently we're set for a return to rain and cooler temperatures next weekend (which, on a selfish note, pleases me because I'm liable to be making a long drive and didn't fancy boiling to death when I inevitably reach a traffic jam), but I'm hoping we see a return to the sunshine and the warmth, soon. Because it seems that when the weather is sunny and warm, so are the people I meet. And that's actually rather nice.

Summer 2010? Bring it on.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Out of The Mouths of Babes...

I've long said that one of my favourite aspects of my job is hearing some of the brilliant quotes the children come out with. I mean, it's only one of my favourite aspects; I'm not discounting the excitement of "tiny chairs," the smell of the poster paint or the fact that I get all the school holidays off (three weeks til half term, you say? A week off, you say? "Get" and indeed "in")...

Children of a certain age don't quite yet possess a fully-operational sense of tact. Obviously it's pretty crucial that they're taught what they can and can't get away with saying (I'd go so far as to say that helping them to learn that is part of my job), but their innocent naivety with regards to what pops out of their little mouths can produce some absolute gems. Today, for example, I was asked: "Miss? You usually wear pretty dresses or skirts. For the last two days, you've been wearing trousers. Is there something wrong?!" I doubt I'll be winning Vogue's Best Dressed Teaching Assistant award this year, then. Unless the judges are prepared to discount days when I just can't be arsed to shave...

One award I apparently will be winning, according to one girl in the class in which I work, is Teacher With The Boingiest Hair. I'm going to assume she meant curliest. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank my parents, my sister, my friends and my hairdresser...

Sometimes, however, no matter how (more often than not accidentally) hilarious a comment a child makes to me is, it pales into comedy insignificance when compared to the conversations they have with each other. I recently overheard a boy and a girl have the following chat:

Boy: My dad got really excited today because of his erection.
*At this point I leapt, Cat-woman style, to defend their innocence, only for the conversation to continue...*
Girl: What?
Boy: It's where you tell someone who you want the pie minister to be.
Girl: That's not called an erection! It's called a "lection." Stupid.

Well duh. Another of my favourites was:

Girl 1: I know what Miss T's first name is.
Girl 2: So do I, silly. It's "Miss."

What I particularly like (because who doesn't like their ego being fed?!) is the fact that children will be willingly complimentary (I was told I was the best teacher in the universe last week - a title I treasured until I heard the same child pay the same compliment to someone else the next day. Turncoat!), but they don't always know how to phrase their compliments so that they sound... Well, complimentary. I once got told by a four year old boy that I looked nice in the dress that I was wearing, which he followed up with: "You look nice cos my Granny has a dress with flowers on, too. You remind me of her." I'm 27. I nearly had a breakdown. One which would have been compounded by being told, by a six year old boy a little later: "Miss, that make up on your eyes is really pretty. My mummy doesn't wear that. But then she doesn't have to, because she's younger than you."

*shoots self*

Still, at least I have pretty eyes. And the "boingiest" hair. What more could an elderly, granny-dress wearing woman hope for?!