How can anyone doubt that there is a god? One has only to look upwards at the sky, arching overhead, stretching benevolently into infinity. Contained yet so much beyond us. It is not our realm, this sky. What a ridiculously insignificant word for such a symphony. And how awesome its fickleness of mood. One moment blue as calm white puffs of cloud glide contentedly riding the wind. The next grey, filled with ominous warning. Dark armies scudding overhead, gathering in the growing dark, preparing for unknown wars. See now the blindness of the night sky- in itself a paradox, black tarpaulin studded with pinholes of light, or yet again split by a more blinding streak of powerful masculine writing. Stealing that which it does not own. Robbing the virgin sky of its chastity as it rips through to the ground. Plundering, leaving the earth sobbing, the sky weeping tears of shame.

But oh rain can be victorious too! And the sky at raintime is a celebration, how can you question that it is?

Felix gives me scientific reasons for all this glory. I nod, outwardly fascinated. Inside my soul laughs. Foolish little man. You can only explain that which you see. How can you ever comprehend the live power of my mother sky?

Only look up, little man. Away from your footsteps, away from your streets, away from your walls and buildings. But look up. Stand, arms outstretched, heart open, throat open, head thrust upward. Look up little man. And then close your eyes. I swear you will feel my mother sky embrace you. And then you will weep, as she does for you.

How can you explain away your feelings as you turn to the sky? The connection you sense with something you can never touch?

My darling, it is the hand of god.

15th August, 2005


Trouble on board

A little bird told me that there was some trouble in one of the classes I teach. Apparently two monkeys have been rather busy in the primate section of the zoo today. My source tells me that they had been building up to a showdown of some sort and that the eruption, when it came, was a doozy! I understand that the zookeper handled the situation with aplomb and fiery skill. My prognosis is that there will be a simmering down of sorts for some time. But you how it is with our simian friends- you can’t keep a good monkey down!


So the exams are just around the corner and I’ve given you all the info I could possibly give you at this stage. Some last comments: do read the questions carefully, choose well, and remember to plan your answer. Even the situational writing question needs to be planned. Don’t forget our basic structure: INTRODUCTION followed by 3 BODY PARAGRAPHS and finally CONCLUSION. Any other advice at this stage will probably go in one eye and out the other. All the best, my young ones. Go into battle with your heads held high!

Oh my aching head

I have spent the whole weekend marking students’ essays. This is one of the worst parts of the job. Mind numbingly boring, it makes me feel more depressed than I have ever felt before. Azkaban does not have a dementor that can match up to the happiness-sucking power of a pile of badly written essays. There are woefully few really good ones that lift my spirit. Usually I keep those till the end- kind of like dessert after finishing your greens. Oh I know how feedback is important and that this is the best way to give it when the classes are so huge (more on this in another post) but why does it have to be so DULL?

Why English?

I guess you thought this was going to be about why you had to learn English. Who cares about you, man? This is MY blog. I love English because of the many nuances it is possible to convey. Do other languages have this ability? Of course they do. English just happens to be the language I am most proficient in. Any language is fun to study. When you have the time, try teaching yourself a third or fourth language on the internet. You will see what I mean. Especially when there are no exams related to your learning, you will have a whale of a time.