Monday, September 29, 2014 in Dodger.

A giant of a boy threw himself at what he considered to be the easiest route to the try-line.

The easiest route was...myself.

He took the wrong route.

He stopped short...

The bigger they are...the harder they fall and all.

I enjoyed tackling.

"Bravo that boy, very brave!"

I smirked, I admit to being not a little proud of that tackle.

Refereeing the match was a talent-scouting house-master who went by the name of Dracula.

A few months later, I was in Dracula's study.

"Tell me, Simon, what are your ambitions?"

"I would like to play rugby for England."

"Yes, yes... but what else?"

"Would you like to be head-boy for example?"

"No, I think it is ridiculous that older boys have power over younger ones, I think the idea that monitors are the only ones who are allowed to wear brown shoes is...ridiculous."

I liked the word ridiculous, particularly the stress on 'dic' and the  two last syllables, I liked the way the tongue moved to say it.

I embodied disdain. 

From that moment, I was marked as a nuisance, an annoyance, one not to be trusted.

Not even brown shoes would buy me, good heavens.

His final words when I finally escaped his clutches were:

"We shall miss Simon's way of... er making his his disagreement...clear."

Prostitution Ring

"Are you prepared to prostitute yourself for this agency?"

I was a little surprised at the up-frontness of the interview question.

I figured that that was how they must speak in Public Relations.

"Of course."

I said it, convincingly enough for them to move onto the next question.

"Would you like to drive a BMW? All our executives get to drive BMW's."

I wasn't too sure about the BMW.

The serial car-incidents flashed before mine eyes.

  • My father's Austin - Gate post.
  • The vinyard's Citroen Van - Dangerously close to tumbling down a valley near Beziers.
  • The boss's Morris - Ran out of petrol in rush hour in Oxford Street.
  • The boss's Citroen - Break-down in Camden
  • The boss's Transit Van - Scratched before exiting car-dealers.
  • The boss's Taxi - Abandonned while driving itself in Drive.
  • The four driving tests - FAILED.

I reckoned that the BMW could probably wait.


I was invited at the weekend for a coffee.

I thought that that was a little suspicious.

It appears one always gets offered a cup of bloody coffee when they give you the sack.

"Thank you for giving me the sack, that way I will not have to put up with any more of your stupid jokes and I will be entitled to unemployment benefit, as otherwise I would have had to have  resigned."

Those were the words that I remember spitting, or words to that effect.

Trust me. It's Official.

As we are talking about TRUST this week here in Connected Courses, I feel the need to come clean.

I love working in a team for a cause that I can embrace, fully.

I enjoy being in a band of imagined villains, pirates, outlaws.

I am terribly uncomfortable with badges, labels, official sort of stuff...

Unless of course it is part of a piratical plan.

If that's the deal, "Ahoy mates!"

The Academy won't save us. 

Oscar might come in handy.

I am brought back to a book of one of my favourite authors Joe Simpson - him of Touching the Void.
He never really comes to terms with the idea that one day he will not be a marginal climber on the dole.

I am, I suppose, like my friend Terry Elliott, an outsider.

I reread his article this evening: Iconoclasty 101: Outsiders in Academe for reassurance.

The Academy won't save us!

I want to enable us to have a space where it is difficult to distinguish facilitators from facilitators.

I want to us to have all sorts of biographies, all sorts of photos of unknown urchins with whom we may connect.

Artful then?

I am not sure how possible it is for me to be other than....


Pulling here, pulling there and giving a broad grin to a band of fellow urchins.

For Mia, Howard, Claudia et al.


  1. funny how some of the most rebellious folks like us become teachers in systems that generally reward compliance

    1. I don't consider myself as rebellious any more than a bird which takes flight.

    2. the bird rebels against the ground, gravity...or maybe not....

  2. If y'all keep talking like this, I just might get serious. Picnic serious.

  3. What a beautiful post with glimpses, moments in time, defining moments (of confrontation) that direct course. Your reflections here make me consider my own location(s). I really appreciate that kind of provocation.

    And I am quite sure you are correct about the academy, which is sustained in order to sustain privilege. But here we are, as we set our course in and out of "sides". I have often thought of my own efforts (to teach, to learn, to facilitate) as a never ending (and hopeful) attempt at translation(s). And yet I know too well that translation is the act of the impossible. Still, I try to move meaning across boundaries. The upshot of all efforts to translate is that in engaging the act of the impossible, new meaning is generated.

    Thank you for the think again Simon. You are most certainly artful.

    1. Mia thanks for your comments. I suppose we are all trying to move meaning within and across boundaries.

      I look forward to new adventures. This crew is growing on me.

      Not sure what happens to old vessels...

  4. Simon, there is a LOT in this post, but one part that I could not stop thinking about ALL day is the part about head boy/prefect and how doing so gives the older kids power. They already HAVE power over the younger kids by their age and size, giving them more power, and moreover, adult-endowed power, to help the adults monitor the kids... woah. The hidden curriculum behind that never struck me so strongly. Thanks for making my head spin, as you often do :)

  5. Terry's post here three years later annotated