Thursday, 17 March 2011

Week 7 - The Monsoons Cometh...

Week 7) The monsoons cometh.
While paddling my canoe into town first thing this morning, it occurred to me that I actually ought to feel privileged to be receiving a practical education in ancient civilisations from an original pre-historic person. I should feel honoured to be spending two whole hours each and every Wednesday bearing witness to such traditions as exclaiming "I wonder what's in the book box this week?" (It’s always the same books), and sharing my life with elders wearing several obviously hand knitted garments, beneath a bulky overcoat, while complaining incessantly about the central heating being on.
Fossil practically disappears under her pile of outer layers, bless her, and you only know it's actually her, and not a discarded pile of clothing left behind after a prior jumble sale, by the occasional glimpse of her spectacles peering out from within.
The class librarian takes her job all too seriously, and is thrown into a state of absolute panic if anyone so much as flicks through at a hardback without signing away their life for it. I'm now beginning to suspect that know it all does this deliberately to ruffle her feathers, simply so he can delight in a particularly patronisingly boom of "Dear Lady, there really is no need to get your knickers in a twist!" inevitably leaving the poor woman slightly flushed and even more flustered than ever.
With a grave expression, befitting of any funeral director, the lecturer informed us today that new wules and wegulations were afoot within the WEA, and the Colchester branch in particular will be adversely affected by these up and coming changes.
He then went onto announce that it is very likely he’ll choose to retire from lecturing, and the follow-on course he was planning to take …..another 20 weeks of much the same would render me sectioned under the mental health act…… may well not come to pass.
A sigh of relief would've seemed a little tactless under the circumstances, but my elation was surprisingly difficult to contain.
The inevitable mass mumblings and protestations followed, mostly initiated by know it all of course, clearly irritated that although he thinks he knows everything, that piece of information had actually eluded him.
Space invader suggested optimistically over coffee that it would be "a jolly good idea" to have an end of term Christmas social!
I lack any amount of festive cheer at the best of times, but I sank into the depths of depression as terrifying images of being force fed repulsive home made mince pies while know it all knocked back the sherry, flashed before me.
Just thinking about the lecturer belting out Wudolph the Wed Nosed Weindeew, whilst wearing plastic flashing antlers, is enough to send dear old Santa back up the chimney pretty sharpish.
I quickly withdrew from the negotiations, and returned to the distinctly non-festive classroom.
I suppose it should have come as no real surprise, as we are situated in an actual church, but nonetheless, I was somewhat astonished when all of a sudden we were treated to a deafening impromptu organ recital from elsewhere in the building. I think the lecturer was a tad put out by this musical interlude. His only option for the next ten minutes was to show a selection of slides that required no narrative whatsoever. Elephants in water, elephants on riverbanks, hippos in water, hippos on riverbanks, zebras in water, zebras on riverbanks, and so forth were indeed pretty much self-explanatory.
With peace eventually restored, we covered the entire history of ancient Egypt in less than fifteen minutes, and raced into 1800 A.D. at breakneck speed. Space invader made a valiant attempt to keep up by scribbling her lecture notes in shorthand, but I fear we lost her somewhere during the slave trade.
Squelching home in my waterlogged trainers, I pondered, beneath my reassuringly big blue brolly, whether I really should've applied a little more effort in selecting my footwear first thing this morning.
After wringing my socks out in the sink when I arrived home, I feel the rather obvious answer has to be yes. Another valuable lesson learnt.

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