Thursday, November 23, 2006

knowing impulses compatible

This was going to be a simple short story but it turned into a manifesto of sorts. If you're not in that mood then skip this one. -B

Johnny Know-it-all was too good for work, so he said, and the truth is that there isn't much room for such people.

Johnny became an English teacher. Teaching something he'd known how to do since he was a baby.

Johnny thought teaching was the same as knowing.

Sometimes Johnny would walk into a class with only a slightly better idea of what was going to happen in the classroom than the students.

Samuel Epimetheus was too good for work, so he said, and the truth is that there isn't much room for such people.

Samuel became an English teacher. Teaching something he'd known how to do since he was a baby. He was a lot like Johnny in the beginning with one small difference:

Samuel worried that knowing wasn't the same as teaching.

So, in his anxiety over how best to teach something he knew automatically how to do, he would spend all his free time rehearsing the whole class front to back and back to front. Every student in his classes knew that he knew exactly what he was doing during every second of the class.

Perhaps surprisingly, perhaps not, both Johnny and Samuel produced students with an excellent command of English. Furthermore, as Johnny and Samuel progressed in their careers they began to resemble each other more and more. Johnny became more methodical and Samuel became more spontaneous and to see them in most classes today it would be difficult if not impossible to tell them apart.

Sure Johnny sometimes abandons his plans and Samuel is sometimes distressed if the class goes in an unplanned direction but both have been teaching for over a decade now so they must have been doing something right from the very beginning.

Johnny and Samuel both got lucky, each in his own way. Johnny and Samuel benefitted from great students. Great students made Johnny and Samuel outstanding teachers in the end.

Every English teacher who's ever felt the pull of little Johnny know-it-all and little Samuel Epimetheus in their guts knows this.

Great students make teaching days, evenings and weekends worthwhile.

But in the end, Johnny and Samuel realized something else, in an odd way, they were right.

Great teaching is not work. Great teaching is a mission. Great teaching is a vocation.

Great teaching is painting the Forth bridge. Great teaching is Sisyphean.

Great teaching is never being able to finish teaching nor being able to desist from teaching.

Great teaching is great because it is hard, if it were easy everyone would do it.

Great teaching is:___________________ (complete the sentence with a suitable adjective)

Dedicated to my great teachers. I was fortunate to have so many that the list would be longer than the text. Thanks for the inspirations. B.

Friday, November 17, 2006

hundred studies diplomatic

Vince reached into his sock and pulled out Jackie's pay.
Vince eyed Jackie warily.
"Boss?" she said.
Vince smoked 2 packs a day and drank 10 espressos a day and everything he said sounded like the bottom of a stainless steel beer barrel being hammered by maniacal monkeys on pharmaceutical-grade amphetamines. Jackie, when she first started at the office, thought the other employees were exaggerating when they warned her about 'The Beast,' managing to pronounce the capitals and everything.
As Vince vibrated away on his black patent leather high heeled elevator shoes she fought to get a grip on herself. She wouldn't let herself panic again, not after last week's embarassing episode where she'd locked herself in the staff lounge and refused to come out.
Even the CEO crossed himself at the mention of Vince.
A short swarthy Sicilian with wiry black hair, a set of arms like steel bridge cables and pupils like pinpoints of blackness and a vicious enthusiasm for his job.
Jackie kept her pay at arm's length until she could put it in a plastic ziplock. Her bank hated her.
Why he kept her pay in his socks was a mystery, why he wore his underarm sweat stains so proudly was another.
Jackie fought the urge to run out of the building. Just a few more paydays, she told herself. Just a few more dollars in the bank and she'd be free forever...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

cruel holland bechamel

Cold wet icy rain. A real downpour. A flood. A deluge.

"Quit it, Hopey," said Desormais Chandrelle, a singer.
"I'm sorry Dezie, I just get distracted by such awful weather," Said Hopewell Hudson, a bartender.
"It's not like you're out in it, I love the rain when I'm indoors where it's warm" said Desormais, giving a meaningful nod of her auburn head towards the monumentally sized victorian marble fireplace roaring at the far end of the piano bar's dining room.
"I know, it's just sympathy shivers, that's all," said Hopey, looking glum.
"Let me buy you a drink, cheer up," said Desormais.
"Ah, thanks but you know I'm not allowed to drink when I'm working," said Hopey.
"And you never-"
"I never, but thanks for offering,"
Desormais regarded Hopey's grin and surrendered to it.
"All right Hopey, at least I got a smile out of you," said Desormais.
Hopey's grin widened into a smile. "You always cheer me up Dezie."
"Even singing my sad old songs?" said Desormais.
"Especially when you sing your sad old songs" said Hopey, tilting her face forward conspiratorialy.
Desormais smiled, "We'll have that drink some other time, I've got to get back to work." She glided off the barstool and walked back to the small stage where the pianist was just about finished his smoke. She drew his cigarette from his lips and dragged down hard to the filter and crushed the remains. Then, she sang.

Desormais Chandrelle sang tears and frustrations and lonely nights. She sang heartaches and sorrows and empty rooms. She sang rusted memories and dead friendships. She sang cold wet icy rain. A real downpour. A flood. A deluge.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

volcano onion supplanted

Snowflakes like feathers. Welcome to paradise. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 02, 2006

fluent chunk cleans

It was a dastardly day for sales, that's how Mook Mickleman thought about it.
The phones hadn't rung, the door hadn't jangled, the showroom was deserted, the weather beyond the display windows was tuned to a dead channel. Mook mentally credited Bill Gibson, the assistant sales manager, for that metaphor. Bill was a fan of oxymoronic literature.
"Saaay-faaay," drawled Mook affectionately. Bill glanced over.
"So Mook, got time to embellish your monologues I see?" said Bill. Bill was of the journalism school of business; at work, Bill never drawled, cajoled, exclaimed, ejaculated or yelled. Bill said things. Even when he questioned, whether rhetorically or in fact, he never asked, he said. As Mook pondered this facet of Bill's character, he wondered how a man could make a question without inflection, not even a rising intonation, but Bill managed it.
"Bill, I'm having a lousy sales day," complained Mook.
"By that you mean your sales are infested with Lice?" said Bill.
"Ha ha," snided Mook.
"Could be worse," said Bill.
"We could be having a bad sales week?"
"Bad sales month?"
"Bad sales year?"
"What's worse than that!?!"
"No you're right, I can't think of something worse than that."
Bill left Mook fuming and went back to his paperwork, outside, The snow was letting up. Bill allowed himself a quiet whistle.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

assure slots truncates

Lord Crystal and Cecilia Socialette were watching a naughty film in Duke Barrington's home theatre. On the screen a large number of athletic and hyperventilating gentlemen and ladies were improvising new and hitherto unforeseen methods of practice procreation.

"God forbid that we should go that far," said Cecilia Socialette, a very important person.
"Lord knows, it's all we can do just to keep up appearances," said Lord Crystal, a gentleman.
"Those people, they...they...they transgress," said Cecilia.
"It's not like we couldn't do that, we could, but why would we?"
"I really think there is some illness that makes people want to do such things."
"Unsatisfied lives is the culprit, unsatisfied lives."

Cecelia and Lord Crystal, feeling very judgemental and satisfied then retired to their private residences and engaged in private debauceries, even cochoneries. There seemed no limit to their individual inventiveness in dreaming up new and blatantly illegal activities with which to pass their evenings with expensively hired help.

Repression made hypocrites of them both.

motor component commisioned

 Grey Suit, a banker, got into his car on Monday morning and waited.

The onboard traffic computer would begin his journey at the precise moment calculated to acheive maximum traffic flowthrough with a minimum of bottlenecks.

In simple English, this meant Grey Suit would sometimes get into his car and wait for up to 15 minutes before the vehicle would begin moving of its own accord into traffic and to his office.

Grey Suit didn't mind. Sitting on the large couch in his car, watching the news and preparing a report on his tablet PC.

Grey Suit didn't know the following words: drive, driver's license, manual transmission, steering wheel.

They appeared occasionally in antique books but Grey Suit didn't read fiction.