Thank God it's Friday

28th April 2000 at 01:00
Monday I start the week with optimism, as I will be taking my Year 9 maths set to the Millennium Dome on Thursday. I ignore the envious glances as I walk into the staffroom or the comment from the jealous Mr Jones: "So what's it got to do with the curriculum?" Tuesday My hopes for an easy day fade a little when Brigid, the other teacher on the trip, arrives with the 58 Travelcards for the journey. The decision to get to the Dome by train "because it'll be fun", suggested by young Sarah, is now looking to be on slippery ground. I imagine losing some of them in the middle of morning rush hour and them ending up as merchant bankers in the City. Would their parents ever forgive me?

Wednesday The final meeting before the trip increases my anxieties. Everyone must wear a plastic wristband, which I show the girls how to put on using Laura as an able assistant. A few minutes later Laura says that it seems to be a bit tight. I look down to see that her hand has turned white. I realise that I am not related to Houdini as after five minutes' struggle the wristband stays resolutely in place. Laura starts to get faint as I wonder if t's too late to take a sicky tomorrow.

Thursday Going by Tube proves a dream as the guards whisk us through with a knowing wink of "rather you than me mate". We've chosen to get there early, as the queues for the zones aren't too bad in the morning. I tell the girls to explore everywhere but they all rush for the Playzone. We meet back at noon to see the show (superb) and then on to lunch. There are plenty of places to eat so I am disappointed to see them troop off to burger bars. However, my spirits are raised when Alison leads a brave band off for a curry.

After lunch the girls are free to explore some more and I decide to visit the Mindzone. I leave filled with information about Neural-net creatures, bouncing mirrors and what I'm going to look like when I'm 60 (not a pretty sight - I blame Year 10). We all meet at 6pm, with the girls full of stories about all the things they've been up to. Rush home to collapse.

Friday I get back to school to find that my request for 180 tickets for the Dome has come through. Here we go again.

Mark Finnemore teaches at Coombe girls' school, New Malden, Surrey

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