Follow the thread

1st April 2005 at 01:00
Bill Hicks takes a weekly look at the hot topics in the TES chatrooms

Last week was not only the end of term. It was also the end of one era for the TES forums, and the start of a new one. But none of you noticed. And that was just fine by us.

You all carried on enjoying yourselves in your various ways. Shifter and friends, for example, were having fun with Morse and other codes. I was going to write more, but this delicacy was politely levered out of my hands by the news desk (see page 2 of last week's TES if you missed it).

Then my eyes were caught by a quiet but teacherly thread. Its title: Comedy photocopiers.

"Have you got one of these?" lemonsqueezy wanted to know. "Hours of amusement, helpful hints in 'hunt the paper jam' game, all manner of knobs to twiddle and so popular there's always a queue."

"Too true!" chipped in Lolita at eight minutes to midnight. "Ours also comes with a French teacher who has a mile-high pile of documents that need photocopying - always first thing in the morning, when we ALL want to use the bloody thing."

Dekka provided the nostalgia: "Photocopiers are all evil. They know they can never replace spirit copiers like the faithful old Banda in our hearts.

Happy memories of kids (and me) getting high on copied maps of Africa on a Friday afternoon."

You might be unwise to follow myipodismygod's advice: "Always send a Year 7 to do your photocopying. It's amazing. They return in five minutes, clutching your photocopies. All are perfect, as if the child you sent has their own personal supply of toner."

Arriving like a cold shower early next morning, start-rite wanted to know:

"Why are you doing the photocopying at all?"

Has it dawned on you yet? Giraffe spelled it out: "Your LSAs are supposed to be the ones doing the copying, not teachers." Workload agreement, anyone? Stop sniggering, you lot.

As this thread reached its natural conclusion, RiverCam started to complain about an error message. Which takes us back to the end of an era. Last week, the person known to some of you as TES Techie left us. He was the one who would pop up at all hours in threads complaining about technical problems. He'd answer questions, offer solutions, and tell you when things were fixed.

What you perhaps did not know was that he also designed the forums. He's a Beethoven of CNoNo coding. But now he's left us for something so "new media" I haven't even heard of it. All of us who value and enjoy the forums are in his debt. We'll very soon have a new TES Techie, but in the meantime, thanks Adrian.

Bill Hicks is editor of the TES website: tes.co.ukstaffroom

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