Gorgeous dream of pastures new

18th January 2008 at 00:00
A life in the year of Emily Shark.

"No, emily, you can't have any more time - I need it today. Just the first two pages will do if you're desperate."

All right, Melinda, but if you become head of department, I will either have to leave this place or kill you. Hmm... I might kill you first, then leave.

Whatever happens, I am never going through another peer observation with you. You are not my peer and you are not observant. So you'd better enjoy this while it lasts.

"For every lesson observed, do a self-assessment in each of the columns below. Attach two copies of all lesson plans. Then cross-check..."

This is mad. I have to write down what I've done, what I'm going to do, why it won't be enough and what I'll do when it isn't. But there won't be any time left to do anything. Right, biscuit first, and a calming moment with the jobs pages of The TES. Hey, where have they gone? Damn, they were here just now.

Noooo! Mr Gorgeous is reading the jobs pages. He can't leave!

Calm down, Shark. It doesn't mean he's leaving. If you look at a sexy person on the train, it doesn't mean you're going to divorce your spouse. It's just, you know, nice to see what else is out there.

Is he reading the adverts properly, though, or just flipping through them?

If he's reading them, maybe he does want a new job. If he's flipping, well, that's part of the Friday feeling - the secretly glorious part: it's Friday, I'm free, and maybe I won't come back, ha-ha! In fact, I am so very free that I can just skip through these pages that offer me so many alternative lives. I can flirt gaily with the gathered hopes of all these fabulous schools.

See how I shun their glittering wares without a backward glance, pah! Though that one looks nice... Captain of my own soul, master of my fate - that's me. I tell you, if I'm back here on Monday, it will be my choice and no one else's. Don't count on it. I can leave any time I want. A-ny-time. Just watch.

I think that's what Mr Gorgeous is doing. No, wait, he's writing something! Oh, that's not just looking at the sexy person on the train: that's getting their phone number. It's admitting you're interested. Why did he write it down? What's so special about that one, eh?

Now he's reading a cartoon. That could mean anything. It could mean, "Yesss! I've found the school I want. Here's to new horizons, life is full of promise, let's read this cartoon to celebrate." Or it could mean, "There's nothing here. There's no way out, life is full of broken dreams, I'm depressed, maybe this cartoon will cheer me up."

This was not your usual Friday-feeling jobs-page flick. Deep in those dark eyes I saw the first fires of escape joy.

More from Emily in a fortnight.

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