In your own time - Intimations of normality, BB and first date outfits

18th June 2010 at 01:00
Pupils' amazement that teachers are 'like people', dressing for romance and love-to-hate TV provide forum fun

So exactly what do your pupils think you do when you're not in school? Not a lot, if the conversations reported by teachers in the online staffroom are any guide. In fact, some of them seem hard-pushed to accept you have any sort of out-of-school existence at all.

Yapyap was challenged after pupils found an empty Weetabix packet in the classroom bin. "What did you do with them?", one asked incredulously. On being told that their teacher had eaten the said cereal for breakfast, their amazement knew no bounds. "So all teachers eat breakfast?", said one. "Some, like any ordinary sample of the population," yapyap replied. This was even more confusing. "What, like people?" came the incredulous response.

While yapyap went to recharge the teacher battery, doomzebra reported being seen in Bluewater shopping centre. "What were you doing there?", a pupil asked. "Looking in shops. Buying stuff," doomzebra replied, not unreasonably. "For school?", the pupil said. "No, for home." That was just too much for the young mind. "That's weird. Why not use school stuff?" The idea that teachers' lives are not just filled with marker pens and Pritt Sticks is too ludicrous to contemplate.

Meanwhile, fretless said she had frequently been spotted by pupils when she lived in the catchment area for a school where she previously worked. "Some Year 10s were amazed to see me in the launderette," she said. "They walked past, saw me and returned to ask why I was in there."

But perhaps they were just baffled that a teacher did not have a washing machine. That would certainly fit with Otter's experience when seen by a pupil's mother in Sainsbury's. "She said you were buying Sainsbury's baked beans," the pupil said. "She thought teachers would buy Heinz baked beans."

Not only do teachers eat, shop and do their laundry, but they also - whisper it - watch television. It was the return of Big Brother that was exciting coffeekid, as an unashamed fan of the show. Her enthusiasm is tinged with regret, however. "What the hell! It's the last one, I only need to love to hate it one more time," she said.

After coffeekid had raised the standard, other posters came out of the shadows. RJR_38 is tuning in "just to see how terrible it is", while madwoman was excited by the opening line-up. "This BB is going to be ace - they are such a bunch of wanabees. I love watching them crash and burn."

But not everyone will be glued to their TVs over the summer. Even if occasionally they protest too much, some posters will be avoiding it at all costs. Like the plague, in fact, as pinkflipflop put it: "Big Brother is like herpes. Really irritating, pointless and every time you think it has gone away it just comes back to haunt."

Marmot.marveaux was looking for advice on what to wear on a first date, as well as whether he could expect a kiss at the end of the night. "Nice jeans, shirt, nice shoes and aftershave all go down well with me," said ilando, who said yes to a kiss and no to a grope. Johan14's advice was a little blunter. "Be yourself," he said. "Do not expect a good hard shag at the end, but do not complain if one is offered." Glad to have cleared that up.


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