I don't know where I first heard the term 'brain dump'. It may have been my first husband's army reserve jargon or one of those cynical 'in joke' expressions people working in the same department use. It certainly emerged around the time that IT was becoming a major part of the education coalface, back in the days of Dinosaur Discovery and Granny's Garden when we all used real floppy discs, discs that were floppy, and had to back up systems nightly. I think it was related to the dumping of unneccessary data in order to increase speed and efficiency. Perhaps nowadays a defrag would be the most useful parallel.
A brain dump most frequently occured on Friday nights after school, at the local pub . When we worked in the bush, the local pub was the meeting place and the one across the road from the school offered all teachers their first beer free on a Friday. Thus followed many more far from free beers and a brain dump. These could be painful, and messy.
I actually met my first husband during a brain dump at the local pub. He worked at the primary school in the regional centre and I drove in, like a bat out of hell, on Friday afternoons to get away from the tiny hamlet some 80km out in the donga where I spent the week rubbing shoulders with people like this.
Not that they were all like that of course but there were enough products of overly friendly inter-family relations to make it essential to vacate the area on a Friday afternoon.
But back to brain dumps.
Today I feel a bit like the chap here. My head is being pulled in a number of directions by a number of issues.
There's the general aggro of working in Support Classrooms compounded with the lack of continuity and resulting chaos that is afforded by my having days 'off' to attend courses. This has happened twice in the last two weeks and renders the following two lessons alopaecia inducing as pupils wallow in the luxuries of misdirection and missing work.
Today one of them brazenly announced,
"Well, you can't expect us to do work when a relief teacher's here! "
Strangely, I also can't expect them to
* arrive on time
* bring a pen, pencil or ruler
* bring a book
* visit the bathroom prior to class
* speak to me or any of their classmates in a civil manner.
Then there is the business of arranging assessments for pupils within the school: phonecalls, schedules, distribution of information and collection of same. Fill in this form please. How often does the pupil pick his nose or attack other pupils in the course of an afternoon. Record the frequency of interactions with other class members.
Then there is E. For any of you who remember her from the post I did before I deleted it for anonymity purposes, you may remember that she is hard work. High maintenance would not cover it. Today she holed herself up in a classroom where I was giving pupils homework support at lunchtime (yes, lunchtime...I have no need for relaxation.....didn't you know that?) and refused to leave when the bell went. Wouldn't go to class, wouldn't go and discuss it with anyone else.....Ended up I had to go up to the office and fetch someone to coax her out as I had a lesson to babysit oops I mean teach. *sheesh*
Now I have to document all this. >:-( Just what I need.
So I guess this little blogging sojourn is a bit of a brain dump for me at the moment. I guess it's better for me than gin.
Don't mind me folks. I'll be fine in the morning.