A Good Day

Several nice things happened today.

First of all, I got paid. A thousand English pounds for a month of teaching. Which is to say, between 3 and 7 hours a day, sitting and sweating in hot, muggy, bad-smelling rooms with 16 or so German teenagers who are supposed to be on holiday. Me teaching them grammar they don't want and vocabulary they don't remember.

And you know what? With the shit pay, shit conditions, shit resources and bullshitting management with shit-for-brains organisation...it's actually worth it. Solely because of the students.

I've introduced them to Doctor Who, Fawlty Towers, Swedish synthpop, the Swedish Chef, and the fact that every single English language textbook is both crushingly dull and stuffed with elementary mistakes. Which is why I don't use them.

They've introduced me to Oktoberfest and Currywurst, One Direction and Justin Bieber, Maroon 5 and Rammstein...and the fact that teaching English in German schools consists in a teacher who doesn't know the subject, drawing on a literal blackboard with real altmodisch (old fashioned) chalk. And not letting the students speak in the language they're supposedly learning.

Second, having got paid, I got that three terabyte drive, for storing the astonishing amount of TV that I've recorded and might get around to watching in my old age. If I don't show it to my students first.

Oh, and that bit of software I've been agonising about buying...I got for half price.

I finally got through to the Saudi embassy, where I spoke to a fantastically bored lady who told me that no, I don't need to make an appointment for them to take five days to stamp my frelling visa.

In the morning I learned that the German word for 'bullshit' is...'bullshit', and that the theory of conditional grammar forms I was taught in college makes no sense at all. In the afternoon a beer-fueled musonerdfest with a colleague - Delia Derbyshire, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luigi Russolo.

And back home there was a letter from an old friend waiting when I got home, and a text message from, er, a different kind of friend who feels like, um, meeting up.

A good day doesn't have to add up to anything to be a good day.

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