Friday 29 January 1988

…The theme of this week’s assembly was Australia and I had to play Waltzing
Matilda on the piano, which was as usual HIDEOUSLY EMBARRASSING.
I made a few mistakes which I thought stuck out a mile, but nobody said anything.
Handed in my Australia homework which ended up being eight pages of waffle.
My blocked-up ears, cold and sore throat got me out of PE, much to the teacher’s
displeasure, but I didn’t care and went off and did some work instead.
There was a supply teacher for science and everyone messed around so much
that at times you couldn’t hear her speak.
I felt sorry for her…

My attitude towards supply teachers evolved (or regressed, depending on your point of view) from one of sympathy to impatience. At this point I was still tending towards the former. I would regret the way they were bullied by my fellow pupils – not that I did anything to stop it. But within a couple of years I started to get tired of their inability to control a classroom and, occasionally, a bit contemptuous of them for not knowing their stuff. This wasn’t true of all of them. But we did seem to get an awful lot. And all too often, the dreaded “let’s push the tables apart and sit in a circle” kind.

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