Sunday, January 30, 2011

One Day in 4AL
Period 5, Friday, 1986
Aka why teaching sucks. 


This is an actual transcript from a tape recording I made of what Social Studies was like at Wellington College with Mr Henderson in 1986. It was a conservative, academic all boys' school where everyone was called by their last names mostly.

Whenever I find myself bemoaning how schooling has gone downhill, I'm reminded of this. If you're ever considering being a teacher, try and do basically the exact opposite of Mr Henderson (aka 'fascist boot') did. I guess in the end, it was all fun and there weren't any knives or terrorizing so I guess it was pretty tame.

This class was by no means unusual -- everyone quickly realised that Mr H was in la-la land and almost nothing got done.

Jargonbuster note: a 'meat' was a popular term back then for a moron or stupid person. I think it was shorthand for meat head. And a Room 9 was an afternoon detention. And 'sucked' meant 'serves you right'.

Mr H: Oh, not you again, do you have to come here?
Reed: Oh, no we'll quite happily go home sir.
C.O.G, Me, Hince: Oh yeah, we'll go home, ok, see ya, bye!
We start to leave the class room
Mr H: No, no, I was only joking, I'm not allowed to let you go.
Reed: but we won't tell.
Mr H: No, come on, everyone sit down.
We all sit down. Class trickles in. Usual hubbub of class. 
Phear: Hey, Harris, hold this end of the rubber band and I'll...
Biro whistles across the classroom, just missing Hay, bounces all over the place
Harris: Far out man!
Hince: heheheheheh! Look! It just missed Hay! Haaahahahhaha!
Hay: Bloody hell Dorian! Bends down, picks up pen, chucks it at Dorian, misses, hitting Mr H, who's close by
Mr H: Who threw that?
CLASS: HAY DID!
Laking: What a MEAT!
CLASS laughs
Mr H: Hay go outside!
Hay: But I've only just come in!
CLASS laughs again. But this time most of the class have come in. 
Wharton enters. 
Wharton: Hey Hay, where are you going?
Hince: Hey hey Hay! (Reference to Fat Albert)
Hay: Shut up Hince! Your'e such a meat!
CLASS: Wooooooooooohh. Laughter.
Hay, totally pissed off, goes outside. Wharton follows. 
Kennedy: Hey Julian, (shows rubber band), Heh heh heh
Harris: Get um, get Baldwin!
Kennedy smiles cunningly and fires missile across the room. Baldwin is hit on the head by the missile. 
Baldwin: Ow, who did that?
Kennedy: It wasn't me. Totally innocently apart from a stupid grin on his face
Hince: Sarcastically. No Kennedy, it wasn't you.
Baldwin: KENNEDY DON'T FIRE BITS OF PAPER AT ME!
Mr H, who by now has gone into a mild stupor: Who is that yelling like that?
Simpson: It was Baldwin, sir.
Mr H: Baldwin, be quiet
Bucknell: Give him a Room 9
Baldwin: That was Bucknell sir, spelt B-u-c-k-n-e-l-l
Class laughs
Bucknell: That was Baldwin, sir
Baldwin, who by now is involved in a full scale war between Hince, Bettelheim, Kennedy, and various other people): Hah, sucked Hince, I got ya right down the back.
Hince, struggling to get it out: Right, let's get BALDWIN!
Pellets whistle across the class room. One hits me
Harris: Right Bettel. I fling the biro that hit Mr H
Bettel: Ow, that hurt
Harris: Well it wasn't supported to be relaxing, Robert
Mr H, who is now beginning to look like a volcanic plum: Look, 4AL, BE QUIET!
Simpson, growling loudly: Rrrrraaaarrrr!
Mr H: And we can do without the noises, thank you.
Bucknell: That was Simpson, sir, spelt S-i--
Mr H: Shut up!
Reed, Hince, COG, plus various others: wooooooooohhhh!
Mr H: Look I think have had enough of you. Pointing to Bucknell. Go outside.
Bucknell: Me?
Mr H: Yes you, go on outside.
Absentee form guy (AFG) pops his head around the door: Absentees, sir.
Mr H: And you can too.
AFG: Me? But I've got to collect the ---
Mr H: Don't argue, go out!
Simpson: Hahahaha!
CLASS laughs
Mr H: Right, class: Quieten down now.
Class continues to talk.
Mr H waits for a full 5 minutes
Hoggard: Shut up guys!
Kerr, really loud: SHOOOOOSH!
Hince: Shut up Kerr!
Phear: Yeah Kerr, god you're a meat!
Laking: What a meat, man!
Class finally quietens down. This is a 55 minute lesson, and at this point we must be a good 15 minutes into the class. What follows just gets weirder.
Silence. 
Laking, deliberately exaggerated: HAHAHAhaha.
Mr H: Who is that laughing?
Hoggard: That was Laking, sir
Mr H: Shut UP you!
Hoggard: I was just telling --
Mr H: You were just talking out of turn, that's what you were doing!
Welch: No he was just telling Laking to ---
Mr H: Look: BE QUIET! Laking and you and you (pointing to Hoggard and Welch) go outside.
Welch: I don' see why I should go outside because --
Reed: Don't argue Welch
CLASS sort of together: Yeah Welch, don't argue!
Welch: I was just saying -- before I was rudely interrupted glaring at Reed who goes red) that I don't see why I should go out when Laking's the one who caused it all.
Mr H: The reaosn you are going out is because you and Hoggard rudely interrupted me, as you always do.
Simpson: Hahahah!
Welsh: Fair enough. Come on Hoggard, hey bring your tennis ball.
Hoggard: Yeh, okay.
They start to leave the room with a tennis ball.
Mr H: Where are you going with that tennis ball?
Welch: We're just going outside, like you said.
Hoggard, Yeah, because you said --
Mr H: All right, sid down, I've had enough of you tow, you've got a ROOM 9.
Class laughs hysterically
Hoggard, incredulous: What for?
Mr H: For being totally uncooperative
Welch: Is there any way we can get it taken off?
Mr H: No, I'm fed up with you so sit down and SHUT UP.
Class: Woooooohhhhh
Mr H: And none of that silly woooh-ing either.
Welch, putting hand up: I know, how about if we go outside for the period, and be quiet, will you consider it?
Mr H Sighs: Okay.
Simpson: Hahahaha!
Hince in absolute disbelief: Whaaat?
Harris: God he's a pushover
Phear: I'll say.
Door opens.
Phear: Hey there's Hay outside. Hince fire a pellet at him.
Hince fires a pellet with an old garter he found outside Room 7
Hince: Wahay! God eeem! (He's an Aussie)
Mr H: Chris, come here, and hand out these sheets please.
Baldwin: Ha, SUCKED Hay!
Hay from outside classroom: Right, Hince!
Hay then chucks an eraser but the door closes and it ricochets all over the place outside the room
Kerr: Shit, see that! Haha! It bounced off the door and went into the rubbish bin outside! Heeheeheehee!
Class laughter
Mr H: Right class, obviously you can't keep yourselves quiet, so I'm going to make a 10 minute silence while you get on with that sheet that was handed out to you by Chris here.
Bucknell: What sheet?
Class laughter
Silence.
Laking, deliberately exaggerated once again: Hahahaha!
Class laughter



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