P&J Column 17.3.16


Give your baby the name of a superhero? Be careful, he might be Thorry.

Jonathan M Lewis, local headteacher

There was a time when pupils’ names were simpler. When a teacher could tell a great deal just by glancing at a class list. For example, you knew where you were with a Ryan. If you had a Ryan in your class you knew that he should be right under your nose where you could keep an eye on him. Newcomers to the profession would dismiss this as stereotyping, but give even the most saintly educator 3 months with a Ryan in the back row and they were converted.

However, each year at Garioch, our S1 intake features fewer and fewer names that we know, with an ever-increasing supply of unknown quantities like Arizona, D’Island or Thor.

That’s what our most recent staff development session focused on. Poring over the National Records of Scotland’s list of baby names was not, as has been suggested, “a childish exercise in time-wasting”. Analyzing the names of our future pupils will ensure that we know what to expect from the likes of Khaleesi, December-Lee and Axl when they arrive here at Garioch.

Staff development sessions are a vibrant and dynamic environment, where staff come together to engage in a range of activities, share their expertise as we prepare for the uncertain but exciting future of education. The tiresome accusation that all we successfully develop at these sessions are bigger waistlines from gorging on cakes could not be further from the truth. We very rarely get cakes, particularly last week, when a mix up in the Senior Management Team saw the staff trying to get through the session with only a somewhat bashed packet of Garibaldis.

Jimmy Hollywood, Sandilands Most Eligible Bachelor

Jimmy, although a child o’ the seventies, is still in prime physical condition, even noo he’s in his early 30s. But employers is gettin’ increasingly interested in their staff’s physical health and I wiz aghast to hear o’ a mate – aye a mate ye understand, nae Jimmy himself – fa hid tae ging through a horrific medical examination as part o’ his employment contract tae mak sure he wiznae (a) dying (b) likely tae die soon and (c) a fat pleiter fa drinks too much and thinks a personal trainer is a specially-made jimmie .

So, my mate (fa is definitely nae me) turns up tae his appointment this wik and is measured fae heid tae fit, hiz his blood pressure ta’en (efter a particularly stressful postal round fan he wiz chased by an unusually aggressive Pekinese. Oh, they look funny on Crufts, but it’s nae laughing matter fan they sink their teeth intae yer diadoras) and is then asked tae strip aff, lie doon and hae something called an EPG. Noo – Jimmy’s mate his some experience o’ being asked tae lie on a bed and tak aff his boxers, but nae by a hairy phsyio ca’ed Barry!

Next thing, the boy Barry is attaching electrodes tae hiz nipples, and asking if he checks his chuckies on a regular basis! Weel, contractual obligation or no, he wiz oot o’ that consulting room faster than Matt le Blanc at the Cenotaph.

I da ken if I passed the medical, but there’s definitely nithin’ wrang wi’ my reflexes!

Ron Cluny, Official Council Spokesman

So, the Torcher parade has been cancelled, and once again, the mischief-makers who delight in deriding the local authority are having a field day, accusing us of pig-headed obstinacy. As usual, our critics speak from a position of deep ignorance. When the students sought to change the date of the parade to the 19th of March, we told them that that fell within our winter maintenance schedule and as such we could not make staff available to steward the event. We then made the perfectly reasonable request that the event take place on a date on which virtually no students would have been available to attend. This was a win-win situation – a short, crummy event would have been particularly easy to steward and would have been over in a jiffy, allowing everyone to dump their 2ps into a single bucket before getting home in time to catch the tail end of Ant & Dec’s excellent ‘Saturday Night Take Away’. However, the students were not interested in efficiency, and instead wanted to put some kind of ‘meaningful event’. Ah, the idealism of youth! As they grow up they will learn that when it comes to weighing up the benefits of a unique 126 year old civic tradition and the orderly execution of a pothole-filling programme, there can only be one winner.


See us live in ‘Dreich Encounter’. June 2nd-11th 2016 at HMT Aberdeen