Every silver lining has a cloud. Just a few short observations today and tomorrow. I realised recently how often I get in trouble with Rachel (and other folks for that matter) for storing everything important from keys to DVDs, from money to essential certificates in the pockets of my multi-pocketed shorts. The problem is, I change my legwear everyday resulting in stuff left behind in yesterday's pockets which at times finds its way through the wash. I caught myself recently, much like an Israelite wishing for Egypt, thinking how nice it would be wear a jacket for a change - a big leather one with an inside pocket for a wallet and two hand pockets on the sides for keys (to the left) and coins (to the right) as was my way in York. Living in a climate where no jacket is required (spot the Phil Collins reference) is its own reward and I should be grateful but I can't help thinking that this is an example of a thing I miss about England, in this cast #99 to be exact: leather jackets.
Things I miss about England #63: photocopiers. Things I miss about England #64: people know how to photocopy. Photocopiers are expensive beasts to maintain up in the north-east of Brazil and, like many things, they break down with monotonous regularity (why would it work?), and despite the language school being a good-sized business which relies heavily on photocopied material, its not possible for us to have our own "xerox" as the Brazilians say. So, we have it done at a shop down the road.
Teachers have to prepare their copies several hours in advance if they want handouts for every student in their class. As you might expect, I am only ever that organised about 10% of the time so my photocopying count is always quite low. I always seem to get inspiration for my lesson plans 5 minutes before the class starts (necessity is the mother of invention?) but I often have to make do without copies because there isn't one handy for last minute emergencies. If only I was back in the purple towers of the St.Mikes office in York...
Anyway, even when you do order photocopies from the shop, there's a fair chance they might cock it up. This they did spectacularly for me this week. I am giving an exam preparatory class for FCE (the world's most popular general English test, by the way). I wanted 15 tests photocopied and stapled, one for each student coming to the class. When the copies came back, some bright spark HAD stapled them, oh yes, but without collating them. In other words all the page 1s were stapled together in a pile, all the page 2s were stapled together, all the page 3s etc. As I grumbled away with furrowed brow pulling the staples out, re-collating the whole stack of sheets and re-stapling them one more I wondered to myself, "what possible use in the whole world could I have had for a stapled collection of exactly identical sheets?" - I suggested that the jobsworth at the shop obviously had no lateral thinking capabilities. Fiona, my boss, thought s/he probably didn't have any thinking capabilities, full stop.