21 December 2007


Jonathan left my school today. He was my right hand man. He came into teaching as a mature student, having secured a degree in English in his late twenties. I was his mentor as he undertook his teacher training and then he joined us as a fulltime teacher in September 2005.
At that time, he was still with a woman he had lived with since the age of nineteen - but it wasn't love - it was simply convenience. They had a dog called Brandy. He left her two years ago - both the woman and the dog.

He knew Denise before he bedded her. She is from Birmingham where she also teaches English. Their relationship was never meant to happen but sometimes life gives you little bits of magic and so it was with Jonathan and Denise. Most weekends he has been down in Birmingham with his new lady. They are very much in love and as he departed our school for the last time today he confided in me that I might be receiving an "invite" before too long.

Leaving schools is a weird phenomenon as the annual educational cycle is unlike most work processes which are simply continuous. Jonathan asked me to both draw his caricature and to write him a fun poem to be read out at his departure buffet party - and here it is, based on Edward Kamau Brathwaite's famous poem about Afro-Caribbean emigration - "Limbo":-


Well it make you sick
When he grumble in front of you

Grumble grumble like Booth
(Sing) Grumble grumble grumble like Booth
Grumble grumble like Booth

Booth is tall and his suits are all made of wool
But he come down to earth
When the Owls are whupped by Hull

Grumble grumble like Booth

Listen for de echo of Booth as he shouts
Discipline for de yobs and de louts
Come in kid hope you got a pen
If you ain’t got one then count to ten

Grumble grumble like Booth
Grumble grumble like Booth

Kicking balls in de staff football team
Smoking dem fags – the habit’s obscene
Scoffing meat pies in de builders’ hut
Interrupting meetings with “Yes but…”

Grumble grumble like Booth
(Sing) Grumble grumble grumble like Booth
Crumble crumble like Booth

We’d send him to Coventry
But Birmingham will do!
So long Jon!
It’s been

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:18 am

    But he come down to earth
    When the Owls are whupped by Hull.

    I just KNEW there had to be a reference to that in there somewhere!

    However, I do so like that poem lol. I think you did a fine job :D


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