Teaching Days

Nicholas Quirke was not ready for the high temperatures that were now being recorded 37 was uncomfortably hot on 17 May 2021 and though he hid from the heat for most of the day, with a short trip to the grocers across the road to get some onions and his favoured red bean ice lolly’s to help cool down he finally had to brave the sunshine and get himself to Chaoyangmen and the school. Though he was still feeling the effects of the jab once he was on the bike and cycling to the station he felt the energy returning and he continued to pedal all the way to his work. It was however too much and he felt a lassitude overwhelm. Him once he had arrived. Fortunately he only had Jean to teach who was always easy. It seemed though that as she was getting getting older the demands he parents were making on her was beginning to pall and her mother shared her concerns that they were making her do too much with ‘Mr Q’. His tongue was loosened by the compliment that he was a wonderful teacher and he did say he didn’t know how much longer he could be in China anyway and seemed to be a gratefully received piece of information. The highlight of his day was catching the latest episode of ‘Mare of Eastfield’ and he realised just how long it was since he had last had to wait impatiently for the next episode of favoured TV series to be be shown. His wardrobe seemed relatively low on sober tee shirts which, he felt he needed to wear to school and he agreed with Peng to use the next day to go to Livat mall and visit Ikea and Uniqlo. With a plan for the next day he slept well and was beginning to feel a full return to health on 18 May 2021. They made an early start for Livat mall and in the warmth of the morning sun he sped to Caishikou Station and found on arrival that Peng had not kept up with him and he had to longe outside the station under the scrutiny of the guards. Its was a fleeting visit to Ikea and a slightly longer one to Uniqlo where he bought a pair of shorts, a tee shirt and some summer socks. His appetite had not completely returned and spending nearly 3 hours in In We sipping ‘Emerald Green tea’ and catching up on his blog did not generate a desire to eat either and he chose instead of joining Peng for a Jing Ding Xuan meal to head straight to the school at Chaoyangmen for his afternoon class with the reading group. Individually he liked all the members of the class, but he was always frustrated by them collectively and balancing the variety of abilities proved again to incite some behavioural issues. He used his stern voice which momentarily reigned in the chaos and playing Hangman also bought some peace to the proceedings, though William had to be consoled and convinced that he wouldn’t actually be hanged if he didn’t get the word. He left the class feeling more cheerful than he expected and it was an asset that he was in good spirits as they started to watch ‘Beanpole’ which within 5 minutes had him wincing at the painful direction it was taking. It was over 2 hours and they decided to only watch half as there was only so much murk he could take. The film may have made him feel unnerved but he was relieved to note as he drifted off that it did not stop him from sleeping.

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