Thursday, October 28, 2010

Advice, Please!

I filled half a Visy box today with old notepads and files and photocopies and past exam papers. Dust flew in the face of my industry. I gave no quarter to ancient textbooks, nor stopped to have pity on last century's transparencies. Colleagues marvelled at my wrath. When it came to taking down the blu-tacked pictures and poems on the wall, however, I quailed a bit. My Auden, my Donne, my Christina, my Blake, my Dante, my pretty postcards from exotic galleries! So I didn't. I might leave them up till the last, a brightly plastered bit of beauty in that dim and cloistered staff room.

It feels like an ending, but it's not, yet. I still have half a stack of exams to mark, a whole set of reports to write, and four weeks of what, for want of a better description, is going to be relief teaching; filling gaps until new teachers arrive next year. (To explain - our school has an 'Early Start' program: the 2011 academic year begins for us in November after exams, so Year 10s become Year 11s, etc.) I've been given everything from Year 12 English to Year 8 Geography, which is a peculiar way to end my time here - a sort of twiddling of the thumbs. Of course, the days will be extremely full, but I will be relieved of much responsibility. Also, the days will be summer days, which casts a sunny glow of happiness on everything.

I quite like the idea of sending a box of books to myself, and am beginning to think about its contents.The Traveller's Guide to Good Health has been stipulated as necessary material, to which I reluctantly acquiesce. A couple of books on missiology and practice are also required reading. Still, there is plenty of space for other volumes; but the task of deciding which of my four-bookshelves-worth-of-books deserves an adventure in Central Asia is utterly overwhelming.

So...what do you think I should take? What would you take?

(It's kind of like that question - if you were stranded on a desert island...)

1 comment:

  1. Ouch! That's tough choosing books. Do you take a well-loved book that you read often or something you've never read before? And what about that book that you picked up years ago, but never finished (if you have those)?
    I don't envy you the task.