Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Man Who Stank of Piss.

The Man Who Stank of Piss

At the beginning of this week I went home to Welshpool for a few days. Welshpool is a quaint little market town set in the idyllic landscape of the Mid-Wales countryside. It's the kind of place where everybody knows everybody. Furthermore, if the locals don't know you they will probably just stop their conversation and stare at you whilst you walk past. Those who are so shocked to see somebody not somehow related to them may even throw out an observational comment such as "ya fuckin dickhead" or just ask you if they can "crash a fag".     

Anyway, I spent a nice few days there before returning on Thursday. When I first got on the train to go back home I was lucky enough to get a seat by myself so I could stretch out a bit and read my book. That was until I got to the first stop at Shrewsbury. A man (probably in his late 30's/early 40's) got on and sat down next to me. I am in no way exaggerating when I say this was the worst smelling person I have ever encountered in my entire life. The stench of stagnant piss immediately hit my nostrils with such violence that I was forced to drop the book and quickly move my head towards the window with a hand subtly placed over both nostrils. I tried breathing through my mouth but it was as if I could literally taste the sour urine. 

Why didn't I just move straight away? Well, I would have had to get my bag from the overhead rack and for some insane reason I felt I couldn't bring myself to make it so obvious I was moving away from him. Instead, I waited for the next stop which seemed to take forever to come. People around me were asking questions such as "is it just me or does it smell of piss on here?" and "what's that fucking smell?". Of course, I knew where it was coming from but I was instantly paranoid they would think it was me. Along with the genuine feeling of nausea and a urine smell induced headache it was a very uncomfortable few minutes (seemed like hours). 

Do you know that Jasper Carrott sketch where he talks about how the nutter on the bus always sits next to him? I know exactly how he feels. If there is someone on public transport who is highly intoxicated, openly aggressive, having a breakdown or just smells or urine they will always choose the bloody seat next to me. There are a multitude of reasons why somebody might not be able to look after their hygiene but when the man who smelt of urine got onto that train why was he always going to sit next to me? Maybe its karma for writing nasty posts like this. I got some good karma from helping an elderly woman get something from a top shelf in Sainsbury's today though.  Afterwards, she looked me up and down and said, "I'm surprised you could reach it". 

Nutter on the bus sketch.

Monday, 9 July 2012

PGCE, Peru and Phones.

PGCE, Peru and Phones.

Those who know me will have recently heard me mostly banging on about two things. The first is that I recently successfully completed my PGCE (yay!), the second is that I have just booked my flights for my two month trip to Peru (more yay!). Amongst all this enjoyment is just one tiny little bee in my bonnet. T-Mobile have somehow managed to change me from an 18 month contract to a 24 month contract without me knowing about it. Oh well. 

I am mostly looking forward to Peru because this year I have been one of those boring people who works all the time. When I first got into teaching I thought that placement would probably involve staying in school until around half 5 to get my paperwork done. Unknown to me, placement would consist of staying up until about midnight every night to finish everything that needed to be done (planning, assessment, Uni work etc). The times I wasn't on placement were a bit easier but the Uni side was often quite boring to be honest. Teaching also has a lot of great points, mostly the fact that children are hilarious, but its fair to say I need a bloody holiday. 

When I say children are hilarious I mean it in that cheesy 'kids say the funniest things' sort of way. I can have quite an immature sense of humour which I was pretty good at hiding from the children I taught. I was actually quite a strict teacher for the most part. Although there were times when it was okay for the class to be a bit chaotic I generally preferred quite a calm atmosphere in my classroom. However, getting 30 children to create a calm atmosphere can often only be achieved by the teacher being not quite so calm. Basically, I mastered the scary look and scary voice every teacher needs to be a disciplinarian. 

However, now and again I would let myself drop to their level a bit. When I was teaching last week I overheard one of the year 6 girls in my class gossiping to her friends about another girl in the class. I said,

"Don't you think it would be better for everyone if you kept opinions like that to yourself and only talk about people you have nice things to say about?" To which she responded,

"Well, when you're with your friends do you talk about people you don't like?"

"Yeah, I guess so."

"So what's the problem then? We all do it."

She had a fair point to be honest. This is why I shouldn't always try to reason with children.