Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Friend's Weekly Lunch Break

A friend of mine is a peripatetic music teacher somewhere in England.

Let's say he teaches the clarinet.

Peripatetic music teachers travel round from school to school.  They teach, in general, small groups of children how to play instruments.

My friend - like many peripatetic teachers, I'd guess -  works without breaks because otherwise he wouldn't get to enough schools in the course of a day.

In his timetable, he is given twenty minutes to travel from school to school and these schools are often - nay, usually - several miles apart.

So he finishes in one school at, say, eleven o'clock and then has twenty minutes to travel to the next school through the city traffic before starting there at twenty past eleven.

You may by now have worked out that this is a slightly unrealistic schedule, what with city traffic being what it is, and what with children wanting to talk to you at the end of the lesson, and what with the car not being parked actually inside the classroom.

But someone Up High has decided that because it sometimes takes my friend more than twenty minutes to reach the next school, he is spending two hours of his supposed teaching time every week having a lovely break driving round in relaxing traffic, rather than spending it teaching.

So they have given him an extra couple of hours' teaching at the end of Friday afternoon, running an after-school group.

Because he complained that he was finding it all rather exhausting, with this constant rushing from place to place in an unrealistic time scale and never any breaks, they have given him a lunch break for the week.  It's on Monday morning at half past nine, for two hours.

He's going to try eating five sandwiches during this time, one for every day of the week, but is slightly concerned that by, say, Thursday afternoon, he may be getting a bit peckish.

Of course, if he continues to complain I expect they'll find a solution to the problem.  And it will be to get rid of all peripatetic music teachers.  You read it here first.