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* A Year 11 student was writing about his hobby of motorbike racing. He described how a colleague had been bullied: "He was an exceptional rider so we all took the mick out of him, calling him a wimp. In the end he cracked up under pier pressure."


* An angry parent confronted me one evening about the lack of an end-of-term disco ticket for his nine-year-old son. "I'm sorry they're sold out," I told him.

"Do you realise I've kept him off all week so he could go to this," he repied.


* Things were going along nicely with my brainstorming session on onomatopoeic words with Year 8 - my first time in front of a class. We moved on to words to do with fireworks night. But I did not expect the following contribution.

"What's your word, Michael?"


"Very good," I said, remembering my recent lectures on positive reinforcement. "What kind of firework makes that noise?"

"One with a cat tied to it."


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