Grey and anonymous

Could life be more bland?

It’s monthly test day today, which largely means nothing in English because it’s too soon to measure anything substantive about the progress of students in English. Actually, the test is really a measure of their ability to listen to my advice and see whether they’ve followed it.

While we have the tests today, we also have the progress reports to deal with. These are short reports which will allow us to track our little darlings’ progress or inertia. As I was doing some of the reports this morning, it struck me that a lot of my students are anonymous, and the most anonymous ones are the girls. There are quite a few names which I still can’t put to faces because there’s no personality to link them. I have got some good kids in the PAL classes this year, and they stand out, but there are also quite a few who would’ve said, “I’m not” when Brian told the crowd that they were all different.

I’ve got, but haven’t glanced at the test I gave the AS classes. It’ll be interesting to compare their performance with AS1’s last year. Can AS2 be even worse? Or will that award go to individual dunces in the class?

The weather seems to have shifted its mood so as to be as bland and dull as some of my students. Yesterday afternoon the haze (whatever it’s actually constituted of) got thicker until Xihui Park, which is just on the other side of the Grand Canal, almost completely vanished. There was a little rain when I left school yesterday afternoon, but nothing more substantial until I happened to be invigilating the English exam this morning.

I was going to go to Carrefour to do some shopping before I have to go back to school to do some more invigilating this afternoon, but that opportunity is slipping because of the unsettled weather.

You can relax and have a snooze.

With all the hammering that’s going on? Chance would be a fine thing. Yes, the ubiquitous worker is banging away with his hammer somewhere in the building, no doubt on the orders of some corrupt official who’s probably driving around in his new Mercedes-Benz.

On that note, I saw another three new Mercs this morning on my fairly short trip to school. When I was a boy, the chance of seeing a sports or luxury car was extremely remote. Here, they’re an everyday occurrence. The BMW Z4 (£29,700 to £44,000; not quite as expensive as I thought it might be) was back again on the far side of the bridge yesterday, but they’ve been doing some work on the pavement in front of the shops there, which appears to mean that people have been forced to park on the side of the road.


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