Dean and Darren stopped me in the playground this afternoon. ‘Sir, is it true you’re retiring soon? What about our book?’
What indeed? They said the other students would rather it came out on my blog than never appear in public at all, so I promised to go through the whole work and publish it chapter by chapter. It is their book, not mine, so I owe it to them to get it out before I leave what we call great Elms School. So to begin with, over to Emily.
Jackie Unmasked –
A book written in self-defence
Unless you’re totally sad, you probably skip the paragraph at the front of novels that claims, “No character in this book is intended to represent any person living or dead.” Well, don’t. There are “many recognitions dim and faint, / And somewhat of a sad perplexity” in here, because this whole book, not just one paragraph, was written in self-defence against a Certain Person. This person always prints these disclaimers while she makes money out of someone else’s experiences or even out of someone else’s (e.g. my) English homework. So this person’s name has been altered, as have all the others. Some of us thought we should disguise this person’s dress sense but we finally voted against it. Whatever she may say, the general picture is fair and if she doesn’t like it, Mr Turnstone’s brother-in-law, the lawyer, says she’ll just have to lump it and we can say it’s not meant to be her anyway. So let me hand over to the great man himself, to get the story rolling.
Great Elms School,
on behalf of all the students on the trip to Wales.
– not written in self-defence
by William Turnstone
My daughter says that teachers write books to get out of teaching. I had no intention of writing one, not even a blagger’s guide to English SATs, because I have no intention of getting out of teaching till my pension comes along. I can’t face sitting with a laptop in the garden shed, watching the bird table and pretending my gleams of half-extinguished thought are original ideas. Original ideas belong to young people. You may find a few in this book, but they have not been stolen from their owners. Only their names have been altered. Go back and read Emma’s foreword now and you’ll know why, but I’m the editor-in-chief, and apart from my brother-in-law’s advice, I have the final decision on what goes into the book.
I do not need to defend myself, not from Year 9 nor anyone else in what we call Great Elms School, not even the head. I know too much. My brother-in-law banned some of our material but we won’t discuss that now. He seems to think PE teachers are a minority group who need protecting from incitement to hatred or ridicule. I maintain that they do quite enough inciting on their own, they don’t need me or anyone else to do it for them. So I’ll keep my opinions of PE teachers to myself, and I’ll start by introducing Dean and Darren, cousins who look like twins, act like twins, live almost next door to each other, and were in fact born within a week of each other. You may feel it’s as well that names have been altered when you read these pieces of work from last year. They might not like seeing them here, but my lawyer passed them. Not all spellings have been corrected.