Toeing the Line

I remember the first time I heard this phrase. I was in Scotland and my mother was wishing my father would do it, just occasionally. But as she said it, in front of some people who had found my father’s behaviour worrying (most people did), I realised she was doing it. She didn’t mean it. Like me, she was an extremely poor liar and I could tell from the pride in her voice that the last thing she wanted was for him to start being somebody else. I’ve always had a sense for when people do it.
       For many people 2016 was the end of a long line toe. In the States they found an insecure bigot to stand for office as president. Over here there were people like Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson. And for those people, who’d been pretending for years that they thought racism was wrong, and men and women were equal, and so on, etc, etc, they could cast their vote and relax. They could stop toeing the line and roll around in the swamp. Until Farage helps Trump drink it. Sorry, drain it.

Debbie Harry Does It

I was really much more interested in antisocial, underground things, and I didn’t want anyone choosing material for me. Debbie Harry

I like Blondie. I could write a book about them; but I found this quote and it seems to say more than I’d ever manage to. It’s from an interview where Debbie Harry’s talking about liking X-Factor. But, would she have taken part? No, she wouldn’t.
       Doing what other people tell you to do, when you could be doing something else, is fucking life up. There will always be things I can’t but do, but all the time I see people getting on with not doing their own thing because: they don’t seem to know their own thing very common; or they don’t see they’re being told to do something; or they want to get something and they’re happy to eat shit until they do.
       Not she (who looks amazing).

Teaching Plans: Small Forms of Resistance #2

I have heard from people who teach that they are being asked to produce lesson plans. These include learning objectives, an idea of teaching methods and so on. Having been introduced to this kind of plan when I trained to be a teacher I can say with some certainty that they make no difference to lessons. If you employ a lazy, sadistic, or in some other way bad teacher they will teach badly. If you employ clever people and treat them well they will teach well, and all that they do will be relevant and enthusing. The best teaching is done in the moment, based on how a class is at a particular time. The worst when it sticks slavishly to  a schedule. What’s needed is trust. Not dogma.