Tuesday Writer’s club, you know the sad shadow of my time in KSP (cursed be that place), when Alex, Tabby, Charlie and I sit at the dining room table and pretend we can still pretend to learn to write. A really nice guy joins us. Anyway today we did an exercise in honour of Troglet 4’s imminent return to school.
We had to write something for 20 minutes on one or more of three subjects; School (cos’ that’s were the monstrous one was going), Begininngs (new school year beginning) and Endings (the holiday was ending).
But before we go into that, our friend brought in Show and Tell; a model DeLorean from Back to the Future and a red Dalek keyring. Big fun. Which was fitting because we kind of think of Tasha as our own little human Dalek.
I stupidly didn’t take a photo but you can not be teased so here is some of my Doctor treasures.
So we all wrote thingamies, Alex expounded on one of her favourite stories. Our friend wrote about his school days, I can almost believe I know what I’m doing when I consider how fast his writing is improving. And Tabby wrote, what she wrote is a secret but at least she wrote, didn’t go mute, didn’t cry and didn’t need Grandma to help her.
Ooops I forgot, Grandma, well she doesn’t sit at the table, like she did at the place that shall not be named, but she does sit nearby and will poke the children upon request. And of course she brings coffee and nibblies because retired people need to feel useful. Aren’t I a thoughtful child?
Anyway then we read, commented and had a break. Then the big twist, we had to change our piece into a poem. Again Alex did a beautiful job, our friend wrote a really good limerick and Tabby’s poem matched her piece in that she would not let anybody see that either.
Anywho to cut a long story short, my effort is below:
Is it the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning? The end of the beginning is the more hopeful. Probably as there is an inference of a middle in both statements. Middles where things can be worked out, middles of indefinite possibility.
But this is very much contextual. The end of the beginning of a love story is possibly the day when the rosy spectacles of infatuation drop, the middle where mature insight deepens and strengthens the love is about to commence.
The beginning of the end of school holidays is a terrifying time of anxiety and panic. Buying school supplies, realising the idiots in charge of things are incompetent for morons and your life is in the hands of the inane. Wondering whether your new pastoral care teacher will be a sociopath just out of training or something bad. Knowing that you don’t have a chance in hell of passing all your subjects as they stand because an entire grid line is devoted to classes by and for maniacs.
But then again you’ll soon see your friends. An additional fear for your poor parents. For some reason your parents seem to think your friends are uncontrollable hooligans, possibly because they are out of control hooligans, but they are your hooligans and you love them, well not really love but you know them and they are not the worst people in school. The worst people in school are of course the swots, who bully you behind the teachers’ backs, plus they remind you of your sisters.
Even the beginning of the end of the school year has an ominous tone. You would think it would be the opposite of the holidays. But no; the joy of impending holidays is oft ruined by the tumult and pressure of this ending period.
Work undone must be finished and quickly. Teachers and students are tired, especially of each other. Both yearn for time off, but with administration ever on their backs teachers have things that need to be done. Students need to be forcibly refocussed into finishing pointless busywork that they may be judged. Well that sounds like an incentive to me. Finish so you can be criticized, sounds like the kind of thing that would appeal to, well your sisters, and your mum come to that. Weirdos!
Plus the fears start. Holidays are black holes, friends and teachers disappear and never return. And the black holes have taste. Bad teachers have much greater staying power than nice ones. Maybe that’s why Grandma stayed so long in one place. Sorry I’ve been listening to your Mother. Bullies always turn up next year, nice kids have parents that move, and take them along. Maybe that’s the reason, the jerky kids parents leave without them, smart.
The beginning of the end just sounds ominous. And it is for that reason not lack of inspiration or care that I say:
Beginning of the end or End of the beginning?
The difference the middle where hope lies glimmering.
Context surely determines the sway,
The end of beginning can be a wedding day.
The end of holidays is fraught with countless panics;
From School supplies to fear of the new maniacs.
For you the joy of reuniting with your friends.
Parents see the renewed company of hooligans.
You know the truth and dread the teachers’ pets;
A fear your family of swots just never gets.
So if the holiday’s end is filled with sadness,
The ending of school must be filled with bliss.
But alack it is ruined by pressure and toil,
As teachers from admin sharply recoil,
Finish your work so that you may be judged,
Grades on paper leave your struggles smudged.
Fears swell as vacations often mean loss,
Which friend will return is just a dice toss.
Nice teachers leave while bad ones remain.
A sensitive soul just can’t take the strain.
The beginning of the end, words that spark dread.
So I will have no ending, just an end instead.