And now we cross live to Geraldine Doogue and Kerry O’Brien at the International Teachers’ Day festivities at Lowbottom High.

“Well, it’s a day of vernal promise here as proceedings get under way. Welcome, Kerry.”

“While it is not quite the Festival of the Supreme Being, there is something optimistic and dare one say revolutionary about the atmosphere.”

“By my calculations it is the 14th Brumaire.”

“Yes, well let’s not get too carried away with the metaphor, Geraldine. But I can see the principal of Lowbottom mounting the dais beneath the Tyburn Tree festooned, if that’s the word, with crows.”

“I think you’ll find they’re ravens, Kerry. Imre Kervorkian is the principal of this celebrated seat of learning and he is invoking the shade of Colonel Lowbottom himself who first negotiated with the local Aborigines for the land hereabouts.”

“And that would be the school choir giving voice to the school chant in a lovely setting by Doreen Mullaly, Lowbottom’s redoubtable music teacher.”

Lum, lum, lum
Drum, drum the dum dum
Lum, lum, forever lum

“Stirring stuff.”

“Lum, of course, is the correct pronunciation of Lowbottom. I’m told you can still find elderly locals who refer to themselves as Lummites.”

“I’m sorry to interrupt, Geraldine, but I can see the first of the floats making its progress through the school quadrangle. It is in the shape of a giant apostrophe, that criminally neglected diacritic.”

“Is it a diacritic, Kerry? Or just a punctuation mark? Now look at that banner constructed by the Common Room knitters! How many hours of work went into that, do you think?”

“Too many, I’d say. But I can see the PE faculty is attempting to construct a human pyramid as a physical expression of the strive for learning.”

“They’re not having much luck, I’m afraid. Meanwhile, another float is hoving into view. Looking down the order of proceedings I see this one represents, and I quote, Crap Projects in Science and Geography.”

“An essential part of any education when you think about it. There must be a ton of clag and icy pole sticks and play dough in that.”

“O look, the Sodality of Waggers. I’m guessing that this was not easy to organise.”

“Not so many together, that’s for sure. In fact, the program says that this is a first — all the school refusers marked present on the one day.”

“Remarkable and not a little affecting, Kerry. As is the Students with Special Needs float.”

“Those sprites dashing thither and yon are most likely the Attention Deficit Disorder Kids.”

“And the ones glaring at the onlookers must be the Asperger’s Syndrome kids. But look at this. A representation of Education Past. I don’t think I’ve seen so many bulky knits and leather elbow patches in the one display. And look, it opens into a giant grammar book! Remember grammar books?”

“I think I used to stuff one down my pants when I was sent to the head for a good thrashing.”

“Things are reaching their climax, I see.”

“It wasn’t the mention of a thrashing, was it?”

“The entire school community is forming itself into some great message of hope. Can you make it out, Kerry? Yes, yes, it’s beginning to resolve itself. There’s a D and an I and a — oh dear.”

“I think, Geraldine, it reads DICK-TATION.”

And now we cross back to the studio for a fascinating program on the navel lint theory of the universe.

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