Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.
Saturday, April 07, 2012
We split in late 1977, just after buying the house I still live in. He moved back in with his mother, and a few months later she married the man who'd been pestering her for years and moved out! That obviously wasn't far enough, because they then moved to Kos (she was Greek).
We were finally divorced on Leap Year's Day 1980, just a couple of quick signatures on a form and a fee of £25 (I made him pay).
I subsequently went to his second wedding (which also ended in divorce) and his grandmother's and his mother's funerals, and he came to my mother's funeral. Then he phoned me in drunken state (not unusual) sometime in 2000 and asked me if I'd come to his next wedding, and be the only other person there who'd been at all three of his weddings!
A while later, when I was looking into my family history, I had some wonderful news that I thought he would enjoy sharing. I got his answering machine, and left a message. He didn't return the call. A week later the same thing again. The third time I told him to get stuffed, and that was how a relationship that had stood the test of 27 years was finally finished, all because he couldn't be bothered to return a call.
I'm pretty sure wedding number 3 never happened, so perhaps he was too embarrassed to call back. Whatever the reason, it was his loss.
Friday, April 06, 2012
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
To get into university ove here you have to pass 18+ exams called A levels. Lots of people have been saying for years that they are getting easier, and that students arrive at uni needing remedial classes for their chosen subjects. I have no trouble with believing that, having seen the quality of learning of new teachers coming into the profession, and the ignorance of people in almost any walk of life you care to name.
So our genius boss has decided that the universities can assuage their doubts and remedy their complaints by having a say in the content of the exams and their teaching.
They don't want to know. They say, quite rightly, that A levels are not just used for university entrance. Plus actually putting your expertise where their mouths are might have unforeseen repercussions we cannot begin to imagine for these poor beleaguered academics in their ivory towers.
Thing is, although I've always taught in tough inner city schools where most kids even by 14 don't opt for languages, which is what I taught, I did have A level students on a couple of occasions. To make sure I did the best by them, at a couple of university reunions I asked my former lecturers (what in the US you call professors; for us professors are more illustrious experts who chair departments) if they could let me have a few essay questions for my students. They obliged. And when one student applied to my old university, then didn't quite get the grades they'd specified in their offer, I tried to save her a bunch of sleepless nights by phoning up to find our their decision - then found that my phone call was enough to tip the scales in her favour.
I have to believe that, just as they don't make students like they used to, they don't make lecturers that way either, 'cos 20+ years ago they played a part they seem unwilling to play today. Everybody's loss.
But Mr Gove, you weren't the first to think of it. Credit where it's due.
Monday, April 02, 2012
- ► 2013 (150)
- ▼ 04/01 - 04/08 (11)
- ► 2011 (478)
- ► 2010 (592)
- ► 2009 (561)
- ► 2008 (571)
- ► 2007 (673)
- ► 2006 (518)