Online forms and recovering from cold

Still feeling pretty ill, but people don’t stop for colds. I’m not working though so I slept in and felt a bit better for it. Today was about online training for future dayjobs. I’m trying to think ahead and keep my options open. This little gap is my own fault for taking some work for granted, but I’m glad of it as I can take care of myself with this damn cold.

“If you repeatedly try to explain something to a student and try different methods to make it clear and they still don’t get it so you tell them they are stupid, is this abuse?” Questions like that in the online training. I guess it’s out of the compensation culture – they want to have a paper trail for every eventuality so if someone complains about a staff member they can drop the hammer on the employee and keep their head held high. I get it, but you wonder if there’s anybody doing jobs at this level that isn’t able to navigate the modern world.

I’m trying to think of the things I thought were normal at school that wouldn’t be tolerated now. I had a teacher whack me with some wood once… Another one threw a board cleaner at students frequently enough that there would be sweepstakes. Some were still caning. One of them bonked the back of my head so I butted the desk. Another one grabbed me and my friend Jocelyn who were shouting over each other trying to blame the other one, and banged our heads together. That shut us up. It was his fault.

None of these things were particularly remarked on or bothersome by us back then. This was in the private sector of course, and at some institutions it has since turned out that there were some darker things going on that I was blissfully unaware of. For the most part we were climbing trees and cutting knees and hitting each other with sticks and experimenting. One boy drank hemlock tea thinking it was magic and almost died. Another set fire to bits of the garden while showing off his woodsman skills.

I think it’s for the best that youth these days are largely safe from being punched by grown ups who are in positions of responsibility. I worry about the lack of mud and sticks though. I guess it’s a new form of character building doing the social things through a screen a lot of the time. Maybe I’m only suspicious cos I didn’t have it, although given the portion of my pocket money I would put into the slots of arcade machines by the seaside, I reckon I would have taken to the things pretty well.

That said I don’t like online training. Who does? I’m not a fan of online meetings really either. I get how they were a useful tool when we had to isolate, but we humans need to be in the same place as each other for the full breath of communication to take place. There’s a lot going on outside of the words and facial expressions and you can see when you work with young people that they have got slightly behind when it comes to the subleties of communication having missed a year.

Today has been precious though as it’s the last time I’m gonna have time to totally relax for a good while. All the everything picks up tomorrow and I’ll be a little random hamster on numerous wheels once more. Fun.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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