Literal thinking

30th March 2007 at 01:00
In a previous age, before she became the continuing professional development czar, Margaret Alcorn might have had a struggle.

In the good old days before teachers were invited to develop professional attitudes, she recalled at a conference recently, one of her former teacher colleagues despatched a boy out of class to get him 20 Benson and Hedges.

The boy duly came back - with a pie. When questioned why, he said the teacher had told him that, if he couldn't get the BHs, "just get me anything".

Was that a story about CPD - or enterprise?

But is it art?

The expressive arts are alive and well in Glasgow, as an innovative pavement artist found out a couple of weeks ago. Inviting passers-by to express their artistic feelings on Sauchiehall Street's pedestrian precinct, hordes of school pupils took up his offer.

Two lads of first year size got down to drawing with great gusto as the crowd looked on to see the biggest ever phallus appear before their eyes in chalky outline as one of them enthused to his pal: "That's what I call a willy!"

The artist looked on in horror, hoping no doubt for a quick cloudburst.

No hoodies here

A newspaper feature on youth work recently highlighted Dumfries and Galloway's community learning and development service, aka "com ed", with an accompanying ad which seemed to be about their anti-boy racer project in Whithorn.

The image chosen at the top of the text, which included references to Corsa's, Peugeot 106's (sic), and being "ASBO'd", portrayed a hoodie looking longingly into a car scrapyard. And the name of the person in charge of the project? Donna Hoodless. Inspirational. Hopefully, she is in a good position to encourage the neds to give up their own hoodie hoods, park their racing cars - and even learn how to use the apostrophe.

Repeat performance

Walter Humes, of this parish and Paisley University, is not a man of few words. But sometimes words elude him. As he said to this year's annual conference of educational advisers, as they used to be called: "Let me not be accused of never saying a good word about SEED - a stopped clock is always right twice a day."

Linguistic operation

"Pushy parents" has a different meaning in Korea: there, parents send their children for tongue surgery which apparently makes it easier for them to pronounce English words, giving them an advantage in oral exams. See these international league tablesI

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