As the Year 12s approach their moment of truth, you come to know what it is like to be stalked.
“Mr Diogenes, I really need help with The Quiet American.”
“Who is this?”
“You know who it is, Mr Diogenes.”
“Kyle? How did you get my private number?”
“It’s on Steph’s Facebook page. Please, Mr Diogenes, you need to help me get an A+.”
All this has not been helped by the genius who decided it would be a good idea to introduce daylight saving the weekend before we began back for term four. So not only are we being stalked but by zombies. Like a horror movie they emerge from the shadows, eyes like two burnt holes in a blanket, to scare the living tripes out of you.
“Mr Diogenes. Ve vant to suck your blood.”
There is a contrary spirit abroad, though. This is the preparation for last day hijinx which traditionally involve toilet paper, flour and eggs. Staff have been known to cower in stationery cupboard for fear of being egged. Happily, Principal Kevorkian has put his foot down and decreed an end to the saturnalia. All the teacher need now worry about is classroom invasion.
“Put down Ms Le Clezio THIS INSTANT,” is what we heard this time last year as the principal screamed at the horde of Year 12s who had abducted The Lezzie from her room and whom we had witnessed being borne aloft down the corridor like a sacrificial offering.
So here we are. Endings and beginnings.
In the last classes before they go into swotvac, you are struck by these faces turned expectantly towards you like flowers craving the sun. It is at this moment that you recall all the other moments which were always going to culminate in this last. You contemplate how those kids have almost overnight, it seems, turned into people. How this potential was always there only we couldn’t see it because we were too busily engaged in that pitched battle which is the junior and middle school. And then suddenly here they are hanging on your every word. What is the key, sir? What is the magic formula? Not only for the exam which they will soon realise is but a bump in the road but life itself. Good God, they actually think that what you say will make a difference.
So you turn to the whiteboard lest they see the eyes misting. Little bastards. You do love them. In spite of everything.