In light snow, I drop-off The Boy at his school. He is excited at today's visit to a local theatre, 'We might be there all day' he mentions. I feign jealousy, remind him that I'll be away for a couple of days, and say that I look forward to seeing him on Wednesday. Super-efficient, this morning, I dodge all manner of trendy mums and wholesome dads, as I make a quick get-away for a dart across the city.
A different school:
The reception area, a 9:20am whirlwind of children and their parents (or folk assumed to be their parents):
There is some confusion as to the identities of one or two late-comers. In the office, someone questions whether at least one of the children may have just returned from a lengthy spell overseas. Recognising the challenge and the absence of the regular home-school liaison (translator, to you and I), the headteacher steps up to the hatch, to help out a couple of stretched secretaries:
Headteacher: (pronouncing clearly) Has he been away?
Parent: (frowns, not understanding)
Headteacher: Have you been on holiday? Pakistan?
Parent: (pause for processing) Lost jumper.
I move off to speak with twenty or so of their colleagues, with whom I have business on Friday.
Later, as I depart, one of the secretaries is taking a list of names from a girl, who has just led her three younger siblings into school. Again, there seems to be some confusion as to who and where these children should be.
Secretary: How do you spell that?
'Four-day week' I chime to this secretary.
She smiles, 'See you Friday'.Driving away, I think ahead to discussions that I'll be having later this term, about tracking pupils' progress - an action not without hurdles, especially where the tracking of names is not to be taken for granted.
The light snow now seems to be mixed with rain.