Thank God it's Friday

26th January 2001 at 00:00
MONDAY 1.34am: I'm awake, thinking about school, specifically the mock interviews I've arranged for our 252 Year 11 work experience pupils. Will the interviewers from industry mind the props for Grease in their rooms? Will the pupils making the coffee remember? Will Year 11 give answers of more than one word? 2.17am: my literature class needs to watch a video of Lady Macbeth sleepwalking.

TUESDAY 6.15am: a good night's sleep. And after my accident too. Yesterday, rushing from my room, I bumped into a pupil, lost my balance and fell flat on my back in front of a startled interviewer with my legs sticking out in the corridor. Hordes of pupils stepped over me delicately on their way to lessons.

WEDNESDAY 2.20am: some people deal with insomnia by ironing, reading or marking. I'm entitled to rest, so lie here I shall. 2.43am: I bet Shakespeare was an insomniac. He knew. 4.07am: must prepare Shane and Nazia's writing frame for their Lady Macbeth assignment.

THURSDAY 4.17am: I know I'm now unlikely to get any more sleep before getting-up tie. Yesterday an interviewer, impressed by "Sandy" and other cast members, tried to get tickets for Grease but they were sold out. The dream sequence for the "beauty school drop-out" number is particularly effective. In fact, that tune is keeping me awake. That and Macbeth. What a wonderful image. "Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care." 5.52am: no wonder Lady Macbeth went mad. Sleep deprivation is torture.

FRIDAY 3.27am: the last day of interviews. The next thing on my mind will be the week of work experience itself in three weeks' time. Will more employers pull out at the last minute? It's the last night of Grease too. 4.03am: the literature class are well on with their assignment, but Shane and Nazia are still confused, even with a writing frame and a video. Must find a cartoon version for them. 5.11am: Oh! Oh! Oh! What a sigh is there! 6.15am: Macbeth does murder sleep? I know: he murdered mine.

Ruth Lewis is work experience co-ordinator and an English teacher at Ian Ramsey C of E secondary school, Stockton-on-Tees


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