Errant Disciplinarian

Nicholas Quirke was not sure if it was the effect on him of working full time on 21 January 2021 or simply that his students were tired and fed up with having to endure studying English, but their behaviour seemed so bad that he could no longer keep a grip on his patience. By lunch time he had shouted, really shouted at them and eventually removed Amanda, who kept refusing to do any of the work he asked them complete, from the class. He had tolerated her behaviour the day before when the afternoons drama class had been sabotaged by her ‘pretence’ at having hurt her leg but her refusal to engage and then tearing up her vocabulary book simply infuriated him and added to the hideous noises that continually emitted from, Leon his Composure completely evaporated. The saving grace of the morning was the determined support of Hover who listened, answered all the comprehension questions and demonstrated empathy for ‘Mr Q’s’ plight. It was a relief when lunch came even though he had to eat the salad he had made and brought with him in the the same confines as his current nemesis. He started the afternoon drama class with an exhausting game of ‘Grandmothers Footsteps’ which they so enjoyed he managed to keep it going for 45 minutes. Mercifully, with an hour and thirty minutes break and some food inside them, their conduct improved dramatically and he realised that the presence of Leon in the mornings was a determining factor on how they behaved. This meant, although he physically exerted himself, he actually got some enjoyment out of the afternoon. Saving the end of the movie for the end of the day gave him the opportunity to sit down and they went home happy; hopefully looking forward to the final day. The news came in that all extra curricular schools were to close with effect from Monday which meant that the week of lessons that had been planned would be cancelled and he was looking at a week of Liberty. The sense that Covid 19 was too close for comfort was prevalent particularly since the UK mutant strain had come through Daxing Airport and the neighbouring Hebei province area had forced both areas into lockdown. The parents of some students wanted to squeeze one more class out of him and he reluctantly agreed to work an additional couple of hours on the next day. Peng’s conference was over and it was a relieved, happy Nicholas Quirke who returned home to the routine of an evening movie to relax to. Before which, he put enjoyed a session in the massage chair which he previously found painful but now felt its manifold benefits. The engrossing ‘Synchronic’ wove its sci-fi magic around him and feeling chilled out to the extreme he went to sleep.


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