The Loneliest Jukebox

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Teacher training/Nine Songs

Earlier today I was in my local library, sorry Ideas Store, and I overheard the future of Britain unfolding.
The unseasonal heat meant that the doors were being kept open - silent libraries are a thing of the past anyway - and a crop of future pedagogues were getting the official line drilled into them (excerpted below):
Tutor: "I'm looking for a common problem with kids today. Anyone? Mmmm. Anyone? Peer pressure. That's right, peer pressure. Anyone? Mmmm. Anyone? Not a wooden thing in Blackpool or Southend. Peer pressure. Like the idea behind grammar schools."

Audibly bored adult: "Do they have schools for grandmas now?"
[No, but they had that joke when my grandma was at school. GB.]

Tutor: "No, grammar schools based on the idea of peer pressure..."

And so it went on; I would have gnawed my arm off to escape at that point, so I can only assume these future teachers were there on pain of having their Jobseekers' Allowance suspended.

In the TES, Dennis Hayes argues that the relationship between between teachers and pupils is a unique and special one ('Banish this band of classroom meddlers', 19 May 2006). I agree, but for how long, with this kind of 'training' on offer?

Finally got round to watching Michael Winterbottom's Nine Songs the other day (buy it here). Once critics got their heads around the explicit sex, they rightly argued it was a dull movie. In its defence, the film (video?) logged some astute and therefore uncomfortable indicators of day-to-day decay in the relationship between a Brit researcher and an attractive US grad student. Ouch. But you have to be on the same wavelength as the characters to spot this going on. 24 Hour Party People it ain't.


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