The Minotaur is alive and well in Dughall McCormick's head

4th November 2005 at 00:00
Best book ever

We have a staff book club at school and read the range, from a Robbie Williams biography to Iain Banks's The Wasp Factory. When we do guided reading with pupils, we can tell them the staff read for pleasure too. My choice is coming up soon: The Siege of Krishnapur by JG Farrell (about the siege of the British community during the 1857 Indian mutiny). I think he writes so well and has a lovely turn of phrase, and even in the depths of tragedy you are laughing.

Best film ever

I never tire of Casablanca (1942, Michael Curtiz). The ending is awesome and I always get a lump in my throat when Rick lets Ilse go. You know he is doing the right thing and you desperately want him to do the wrong thing.

Best on stage

I saw Macbeth at the West Yorkshire Playhouse about seven years ago and I have never forgotten it. There were dozens of types of rain during the performance, from a veritable downpour to your real McCoy Scotch mist. It was just so clever and incredibly atmospheric.

Family affair

We went to the Minoan palace of Knossos (fresco pictured) in Crete during our family holiday this year. I love telling stories and I spent my time relaying all the different tales about Theseus to my children. They loved it, especially the narrative of the Minotaur, but I think I went overboard as usual because my son keeps having nightmares about Minotaurs and is afraid to go to sleep.

Best on the web

I often go to www.20q.net. It's an addictive game of artificial intelligence: you think of an object and the computer asks you 20 questions to discern what it is. Nine times out of 10 it arrives at the right answer, which seems extraordinary. Pupils love playing it on the whiteboard as a winding-up activity.

Dughall McCormick, 38, is a class 4 teacher and ICT subject leader at Holmfirth junior, infant and nursery school, West Yorkshire, and teaches one day a week on the PGCE course at Leeds University. He was formerly a trainee manager for a large company producing plastic bags, but he took up teaching in his mid-20s, halving his salary and doubling his job satisfaction. Interview by Elaine Williams

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