Teaching Assistants

Have you heard of all the messing about and curios attachments that surround modern day living? I can’t go anywhere without being frightened of something being put into the mix. We’re all scared of this and scared of that. Makes you wonder why we bother going out of the front door!

Now, I’m only joking here but let’s face it, things are going a little crazy. There are so many things that we can do to avoid disaster it hurts. Here’s one for example. Teaching assistants. I never came across them in my day. The days when cobwebs and chalk hung from every blackboard in the country. Why does a teacher need an ‘assistant’? Can’t he just teach and leave it at that? On second thoughts, expecting a classroom to stand up and say ‘Good morning’ is just asking too much isn’t it? What’s wrong with a bit of good manners?

Now the reason I’m going on about all this, is that modern day culture has gone berserk, be in no doubt about it. The media and the press are not helping matters much (I saw one channel the other evening going on about teaching assistants) and to cap it all, we are being a party to this maelstrom of  sinister well-being.

Never mind ‘austerity’ put a stop to all this nonsense that one hears about every day!

There may be a few of you who get all irate about my attitude but think of it this way, if all the money wasted on these notions of culpability were to be put to good use, say a home for homeless donkeys, wouldn’t we all be better off? Just a thought.

I long for the certitude of old fashioned ways. The security. Who says one has to switch this or that on? Who says one has to be ‘connected’? Has the modern day come to this? I was in a meeting the other day, about 15-20 odd people and do you know what? I was the only one who didn’t have a mobile phone, to hell with social media and to being ‘connected’. And come to that, being on call for 24 hours 7 days a week can go and take a running jump too! As for the internet, well………

We have forgotten what it is like to be human. Taking a girl out for a drink has become a one sided affair. Both sit there and punch a mobile phone for a distraction from conversation. Both have forgotten why they are there. Charm and erudite conversation are for the birds.

Well, I’ll go off for a nice bit of rowing with my wife now – this certainly beats the online presence!




2 thoughts on “Teaching Assistants

  1. By this time I’d published more books, and my production rate was a boon to the University of Glamorgan in its annual application for funds. Among them were translations of works by Saunders Lewis, Gwynfor Evans and Islwyn Ffowc Elis, as well as a book about the Basques translated from the French. But all these were lead balloons as far as sales were concerned. Take ‘Shadow and the Sickle’, my translation of Cysgod Y Cryman. This is one of the Welsh books which have sold in large numbers over the years, perhaps as well as any book ever published by Gomer. Even so, fewer than a thousand copies of the English translation have been sold, and even fewer of its sequel, Return to Lleifior. It’s hard to understand why anyone goes to the trouble of translating Welsh classics into English if the publisher is unable to sell them. The inertia of Welsh publishers, which I’d tried to stimulate when I was at the Arts Council, and against which I thundered in an article entitled ‘A Ridiculous Mouse’ in Planet (134, April/ May 1999), still exists. I am speaking from experience: I’ve published books with a dozen publishers in all and there’s not much difference between them, as far as I can see. Considering the hundreds of thousands of pounds that go to publishers and the Books Council every year, this is very disappointing. I see the time coming when Welsh books will have to be given away – not a bad idea when you think about it. Meic Stephens: My Shoulder to the Wheel, pp.204-205.

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