Knowledge is the best weapon

4th July 2008 at 01:00
A life in the year of Emily Shark
A life in the year of Emily Shark

"Oh, Emily! Disaster. We've lost the dagger for the summer production. Can't talk now. Must dash. Could you go through this box and see if you can find it? Byeee."

Thank you, Suki Bluster. There she goes, the brainless tornado luvvy at the helm of our drama department. I wonder if she's like this at home, or is her power flurry something that she puts on at school as an excuse for high-speed delegation?

I'm a sitting duck for panicking colleagues in my free period just before lunch. There always seems to be someone desperate for help with some club or rehearsal, and they're soooo glad they found me. Well, maybe there is something in this drama box to help me disguise myself ...

I wouldn't mind sweeping around the school in this purple cloak with that jewelled sword on my hip. This truncheon feels nice. And I love the Roman shield. I'm quite envious of people who get to wear something that says, "Look, I know what I'm doing. So shut up and obey me or things will only get worse."

Today's teachers could really do with a few more trappings of power. Children used to be impressed by bunches of keys and heavy boots, but not any more. Now they have powerful props of their own to tell us how irrelevant we are to their lives: iPods, mobile phones, and knives.

Teachers should be equipped with the following on their first day at work: an academic gown, a stab vest and a terrifying war helmet with a bionic eye at the back. We should also get a mask and gloves to protect us from germs. We should carry a walkie-talkie with a direct line to the local police station, and wear roller skates fitted with sirens and flashing blue lights. After the first term, we should get a quiver of tranquilliser darts and a gun that shoots Ritalin.

"Hi, Suki. I found your dagger. It's a bit wobbly, though ... ".

"Oh, Emily! Chaos - riots - two girls are fighting over the same wig. Please come and help."

All right, but I'm keeping the dagger. I'm not facing this unarmed.

"I don't know how they got hold of those wigs and I don't know what to do."

Okay, but let's just see who they are first. I don't recognise those screams.

"You bitch! It's mine!"

"Sodding well ain't!"

Wait, I know these girls. I've never taught them, but I think they were on a school trip that ended with someone calling the fire brigade. Yes, come on Shark, somewhere in a dusty mental drawer those names are still there ...

"Kelly Spleen and Amanda Scar! Stop acting like Year 9s and come here for a second. Look, there are lots of wigs in this box."

"Wot! How do you know my name?"

"Yeah, Miss. How the 'ell do you know my name?"

Heh, heh. Knowledge. It's still the best prop there is.

More from Emily in a fortnight.

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