Better and worse

Bike and books.

Yesterday, John the Maths Teacher happened to say that he was interested in buying a bike, which has prompted me to do what I’ve long bee saying I’d do, viz. buy a new bike. I thought I may as well do it today, but when I got to school, I found that Lisa the Librarian, who alliterates much better than John the Maths Teacher, was going to be unable to get into the library until about midday.

I decided, since I had little better to do, to go and buy a new bike, and wandered up to the Giant Bike Shop on 人民西路 only to find that they no longer had the Hunter 3.0 which had been there only a few weeks ago. Instead, I had to go out to the Service Centre to buy the only model they had there before going back to the first shop where I was going to buy a lock and a basket. Unfortunately, there’s no bracket for a basket, which would have to go on the carrier instead and means that I need to carry my rucksack on my back.

The U-lock posed another problem because the mechanic attached the bracket on the side of the frame, which meant that it stuck out such a way that I had to hold my right leg at an ungainly angle to avoid bashing it against the lock. I was able to remove the bracket when I got to school, but I’ve since reattached it so that the lock now sits on top of the frame and, I hope, well out of the way.

But, the bike is certainly a decent piece of kit. I’m guessing it has a light-weight aluminium frame. The carrier seems to be plastic, again to reduce the amount of weight. It has 21 gears, which are operated by something akin to paddle shift levers. It’s all single click stuff rather than the levers that I used to have on my ten-speed bike which I’d push or pull wondering whether anything was ever going to happen. A lot of the time, nothing ever did.

The frame is red, the spokes are black, the wheels look to be 26-inchers, and it has front shocks, which is a first for me.

I went back to school. I went and bought lunch, and went back to school. I sat around. Eventually we went over to the library with some books and staggered up and down the stairs because Lisa had forgotten where the library was. We eventually found it and unpacked the boxes of books, which seemed to contain some books which were more relevant to the A-level programme than to IB, but I have no idea whether those volumes were ones I’d ordered or they’d been specifically ordered for the IB library. Anyway, I have them now.

But things don’t get any better. While there are spare copies of the AS books, there appear to be no spare copies of Listen to Learn, Level 1. There are also no teacher’s manuals for either of the Listen to Learn books (actually quite useful to have); no audio CDs (which renders the listening books useless for the time being); no teacher’s manual for the NorthStar TOEFL book (less vital); no discs for the main TOEFL book; no copy of the main TOEFL book (not counting the one we already have).

I’m going to have to try and keep AS4 amused for as long as possible tomorrow, but ultimately I think I’ll give them some newsademic. I was having another look at the Scheme of Work, to see whether I could tell them anything much about the programme this year, but it all looks so vague, and above talking about IELTS and TOEFL skills, I can’t really say much in detail.

PAL is less of a bother. I probably have enough to keep them amused for at least a class or so, and since I have the Lucantoni book, problems with Listen to Learn are less of an issue.

Still, it’d be nice if one year the audio CDs and teacher’s manuals would be delivered with everything else instead of eventually or, more likely, never. It’s still possible that they’ve ended up in the main library, but that’s like a fortress guarded by dragon.

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