Last day of school today. Clean up day for me involves teaching children to scrub, wipe and dry their plastic tidy trays. It is a pet peeve that in many classrooms many of their desk drawers start the year still coated with finger grease on the outside, and still soapy from the futile wiping at the graphite stains on the interior. I have sytems people! Pick your role wipe, scrub or dry and if it gets to the end dirty… Send it back. Astonishing how few children are seemingly made to do the dishes at home. I loathed the job as a child and have never really grown out of that, but I knew damn well how to do it, even if it was not without complaint.

I was disappointed by one interaction this afternoon. A sweet student was clearly in a sad state and I was unable to cheer her up before goodbyes. She has been being excluded by a bunch of little cows, too ‘popular’ to include her and creating divisions among her core friendships. A sad way to break for the year.

At our teacher’s feast the staff farewelled a bunch of teachers old and new, including a retiring deputy who had been in education since 1968 and your’s truly who plans to return. Astonishing to think of a career in one job longer than my lifetime. Practically unthinkable today, as is retirement before senescence for my generation.

My father called shortly before the bell this morning bearing terrible news. My uncle Jefferey had died overnight. Although not a young man, nor it must be said, a particularly healthy one. His passing is unexpected and tragic. He is survived by his wife Judith, his daughter Jenny and his twin brother Michael.

Jefferey was a cantankerous, cynical old bastard and I loved him. I was dearly looking forward to evenings of drinking, smoking and talking shit with with him during our upcoming visit to Scotland next year. I have a number of fond memories of him and his and my aunt’s houses. I dearly wish I could be there to see him off with my cousin and aunt. Sending much love to those who need it from N & I.

Working on a card tonight.


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