Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The English Faculty

My time studying A level English Literature was a fun time, a strange time. Our class was small, consisting of myself, My ludicrously out and proud, bear look a like best friend, the compulsive liar, who lied about anything and everything, but then felt guilty seconds after and had to tell the truth,

(e.g. "Have you done your homework?"
"Oh my god! Yes!... Well I didn't... Butttt"
"I've been to America too!". [brief pause] "Well I haven't... Buttt"

the giggler, who would burst into hysteric laughter at any given time without warning, the mother of the class who judged us on everything we did, our friend from Sommerset, who the bear look alike insulted constantly, in jest of course, and Jj, the personality double of Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. Thinking about the two years I spent with them, i thought it appropriate to write a blog entry sharing a few anecdotes. So here goes...

Ahh. Pomegranite Juice. Mighty Healthy for the Prostate.

For every single lesson we had with our strict yet humoured literature teacher who started every sentence with a soothing 'Ahh', my bear-look alike friend took it upon himself to make me laugh from start to finish. So much so that i would bite the insides of my cheeks so hard to stop myself laughing that they would bleed by the end of the hour. Everytime i managed to stop laughing I would scribble down notes and try to answer a few questions.

"Ahh Calum. What does ambigious mean". I fumbled nervously trying to find a way to describe it. "Erm. Open ended?". Okay, it wasn't the best answer, but it was sort of right.
"NO!" he bellowed and i cowered into the safety of my bear look alike friend's jokes.
"Ahhh JJ. What does ambigious mean?".
Now whenever Jj was asked a question, no matter what answer she gave it would be followed with.
"Ahh. Very important point Jj". Jj, bless her heart, once deduced that a characters name was Laura, because she was described as being surrounded by an aura. Of course this was followed up with the usual.
"Ahh! Very important point Jj".

Half way through this lesson however, the seven of us were in trouble. I can't remember what exactly it was we had done, but we had done something to make him very angry. He stood at the front of the room scalding us for misbehaving when his wife (It wasn't his wife but they lived together and were together for something like 15 years, so lets say it was his wife) enters the room holding a tray of cakes, biscuits, tea and pomegranite juice. "Oh.. Welll. Hey". She was also our art teacher and she had promised us she would treat us for something 'good', again I can't remember what, we had done earlier that week. She couldn't have chosen better timing. Our Literature teachers face dropped as he was completely undermined by his wife. He said nothing as she sat down at the table with us and started handing out cakes.

"I haven't interupted anything have I Rob?".

"Ahhh. No, no. It's fine. It's fine". She smiled and started pouring tea. I felt sorry for our Literature teacher, and in a way wished he had carried on scalding us. He strolled over to the table where we sat, a dignified, scary expression upon his face. He leaned over us, we held our breathe, and poured himself a plastic cup full of pomegranite juice. He took a sip, we still held our breathe as if we were waiting for his verdict. He closed his eyes and opened them.

"Ahhhh. Pomegranite juice. Mighty healthy for the prostate!".

Where in the world is Kelly Adams?

Now usually in a blog post I don't like to use a person's name, certainly not there full name without their permission but in this case I have no idea where she is, or if she still exists so it seems safe to do so.

In our first year of studying literature we were tought Dorian Gray by a lovely lady by the name of Kelly Adams. She was a very light hearted teacher and most of the lesson was spent laughing. We learned a lot from her. We were about two months in to the academic year when at the end of the lesson Kelly got up like normal and said happily. "Okay guys. See you all tomorrow".
"Bye miss". We replied and she walked out of the door. Little did we know that would be the last time we ever saw her. We arrived the next day to our lesson and stood outside the door. Ten minutes passed, the classroom was still empty. "Ten minute rule!" our compulsive liar friend said. The ten minute rule was a precise rule made by the students, never agreed upon by the teachers, that if they were ten minutes late we didn't have to turn up. We waited a little longer and by the time twenty minutes had passed we decided to leave to the common room. We sat down and talked for a while, thinking nothing of it, when our head of sixth form strolled through.
"Kelly Adams didn't turn up to our lesson today, and we didn't have a substitute".
"Oh really? I wasn't aware she was absent. I'll check it". She scurried off into her office. She returned a few minutes later saying it was sorted. As it was Friday, we went home for the weekend and returned the following Monday. We went to our literature class room expecting to see Kelly, but instead we had a substitute.
"Where's Kelly?" we asked. "She's ill I think".
"Oh okay". We thought nothing of it, that was until the following day, when the mother of the class ran up to us with news. "I saw Kelly last night!"
"At school. She was putting stuff into her car. When i went over to her to see if she was okay she sped off" "Maybe she didn't see you?"
"No she did. She saw me, got straight into her car and drove off". "Oh." I didn't understand what was going on. Weeks passed by and we still had the same substitute. Eventually one of the English language teachers came to teach us instead. It was only sixth months later when another one of our teachers told us what had happened to her.

"Kelly Adams?. I'm not suppose to say."

"Go on. We won't tell anyone". (oops)

"Okay but you didn't hear this from me."


"She's fled the country. She's in Barcelona. Or Barbados. I forget which".

"She fled the country? Why?".

"I'm not allowed to say".

To this day I still have no idea why Kelly Adams fled the country, and i'm not sure i want to know either.

I'm gonna Facking kill you!

In our second year, presumably to take the place of Kelly Adams, we were given my all time favourite teacher we'll call her "Cathy". She was very young looking and told us she often still got ID'd. She taught us some of my favourite books, and was quite friendly with all of us. She sat listening to one of our awful conversations about one of the teachers. Like all students we made fun of even our favourite teachers in one way or another.

"I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that. I hope you don't talk about me like that"
"Oh we don't Cathy. We promise". We all said in unison. The fact was, I'm ever so sorry 'Cathy', if you happen to read this, that we did. It was only the following lesson when the first thing she said to us was. "Oh. So i'm allergic to everything am I?". Cathy had a few allergies, and when trying to decide what to get her for a Birthday present, we were joking about it and being quite mean. Some of the first years overheard and told her. "We're sorry Cathy. We didn't mean it in a bad way." We presented to her our gift of candles (which we are pretty sure she put straight in the bin) which helped towards her forgiving us. "Oh and by the way. You call this a Facking essay!?" she said producing half a page of scribbled writing and forcing into my bear look alike friend's hands. "Sorry Cathy".
"She forgave him for that too".

Towards the end of the school year I went to Cathy's office for some help with my coursework. After i had got the help i needed she asked me to sit down. I sat down at her desk.
"Unrequited love is a sad thing isn't it?"
"Yeah, i suppose. Why?"

"You mean you don't know?"

"Your best friend is in love with you"

"He is?"

"Yes. Have you not seen the way he looks at you? You always sit together"

"We're just friends Cathy. Honest"

"Just trust me on this one okay. You won't tell him I told you will you?"

"I won't. Promise"

The next day, I couldn't help myself, i marched straight up to him in the common room and said. "You will never believe what Cathy said to me in her office yesterday".
"What?" At which point our whole class gathered around to hear the gossip.
"She sat me down. And well told me that you're in love with me". To which the seven of us sat around giggling.

We went to our lesson where Cathy had produced me a Caterpillar Birthday cake, as she did for all of us on our birthdays. (Yes it was my birthday, i forgot to mention). "Thanks Cathy" I said taking it from her and pulling off one of the eyes to eat. I began cutting it and sharing it amongst the seven of us. Half way through eating the cake, my bear look alike friend obviouslly couldn't contain himself any longer and shouted out across the room. "I'm not in love with Calum miss!" Everything went silent. Cathy glared at me, holding her I <3 NY mug at a slant, spilling some of her tea/coffee onto her desk. Our lovely friend from Sommerset shouted out. "Yes you are. It's obvious". To which he replied.
"Isn't it harvest season? Back to the farm with you!".
To which our giggling friend burst into laughter. A farce unwravelled the only silent people were me and Cathy. She was still glaring at me. After a few minutes the room went silent. Cathy held her glare and screamed at me. "I'm gonna Facking kill you!"
To which I was terrified. If it wasn't for the ban on corporal punishment i'm pretty sure she would have dived over the table and attacked me. Everything was resolved by the end of the hour. Oh Cathy, we love you so much.

The war elephant

On a Tuesday morning we had double English Literature and often turned up early to have a chat and a giggle. Most of the time one of the language teachers would be in there, who would join in with the conversation and tell us Chuck Norris jokes. One morning, very close to the end of the year, she was not there and we were left to our own devices. I don't remember how this came about, but because I had my saxophone with me, it seemed like a good idea for me to mount my bear look alike friend, like an elephant, and charge into the open cupboard doors, in an attempt to close them all, whilst playing a low resonating E, while our giggling friends video'd us. I'm sure there was a reason for it, I just have no idea what it could have possibly been. Half way through doing this, our literature teacher entered.
"Ahhh. Good morning class". We froze in our position and didn't dare move. We stayed in that position for a few minutes. The teacher acted like everything was normal. He sat down at his desk and began reading from the Duchess of Malfi.

"Ahh Duchess!".

I got off my friend and put away my saxophone. We both sat down at our seats and sat trying not to laugh. My friend drew endless pictures in my book to make me laugh and as usual by about halfway through i was in pain from trying not to laugh. For some reason we thought the teacher hadn't noticed us. For all that time we sat no more than a foot away from him, quite clearly laughing all the way through, yet he never said anything. The lesson ended and just as we were leaving the classroom we heard our teacher call us over. "Ahh. boys".
"If you want to play war elephant games, can you do it somewhere else next time".

"Yes sir".

"And don't laugh through my entire lesson please"


That's it we were rumbled, it didn't stop us though. My friend always found a way to make me laugh, but we never got in trouble, i can't help think that he must have had a soft spot for us.

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