The weather has closed in and we've got overcast skies and the threat of rain. As yet the ground is still try and the rain is in the South West and over the southern half of the country (Kent and Sussex). I got up too late to walk to work via the wicket to check to see the affect of last nights nocturnal activities, but i'll check it out on the way home tonight.
Today's the last of the Ofsted inspections of class activities. So far I've not been seen and the closest I got to one was the woman stuck her head round the door and was looking at the facilities and then left. I've been prepared in the ridiculous manner that they expect for all of the lessons so far, but this mornings is the one I'm least prepared for as I have to cover stuff which is not in my subject area. We have to do tutorial sessions each week. Everyone on the planet knows that in tutorial sessions you basically conduct one to one sessions with students and help them with their work and general issues surrounding deficiencies. Somehow you're supposed to see and do this with 18 of them in 1 and half hours. In reality you're lucky if you manage to get through 4 of them simply because they all having some kind of aggro or problem. But in Mickey Mouse world in every lesson we're supposed to deliver lesson content to the whole of the class and today it's scheduled to be disability awareness and issues that surround attitudes and laws relating to disabilities. The thing is the students have come to socialise - whoops sorry learn photography and the last thing they need to be doing is wasting time learning stuff that doesn't help them attain their main qualification in a direct manner. Okay so it may mean that if they're taught this stuff they may be better more rounded people, but surely that kind of stuff is taught by the parents?
Later 17.00hrs - did that and survived. The lesson as expected didn't go down that well, there were several individuals that wanted to speak to me one to one regarding thier work. Despite that some of them filled in the worksheets and did the research but since then it's all gone in the bin - it's not part of their accredited course. A pointless wasted exercise.
So now it's 17.25hrs and I'm typing on the train and the world as of tomorrow will return to reality. I reckon we all did pretty well and that our dept may even get a grade 1. As for the whole college I reckon we'll retain our grade 2 status. We'll see, but there's been consequences that I may talk about later in the month, but one of them is terrible and relates to people suffering from stress. It's raining and overcast and a great deal cooler and I feel good for having gone out last night and mowed the practice wicket. The weather for the weekend looks fairly grim, but there has been an indication that as the weekend develops it improves, so fingers crossed. Doesn't look so clever as regards getting over the field on Friday evening with the boys though.
Dry but overcast damp in the air. Been spinning the ball all morning but no bowling, watched a bit of the Ashes in Oz last year or the year before when we lost like dogs, good watching Warne get them massive big leg breaks very impressive. Went outside the house and tried bowling a few up against the wall I can get massive amounts of turn on the ball but the line and length with this new "backspin approach" isn't there yet so the ball was flying all over the place. I need to get out on a field somewhere, so hopefully tonight the rain will hold out and I'll be able to get over to Blackshots with Alex and some others? My little - un Joe (Aged 6) has noticed that I'm now spinning the ball backwards into my body rather than from hand to hand and he's asked why? Which is good as it's meant that I was able to explain it's what he needs to practice if he's going to be Englands Shane Warne when he's older. He likes the idea of being Shane Warne and has been picking up different balls and trying to spin them back like I am at the moment. It'll be interesting to see if either of them want to go over the field and join in with the colts again tonight? I think Ben the older one will if he thinks it means he'll end up going to bed later, but Joe might go because I think he is interested in playing cricket and does enjoy it and he's mentioned Neil our captain a few times and has obviously remembered his name. In fact this morning watching the news and the report on Eng v NZ I asked him (referring to M. Vaughn).
"who's that bloke Joe"?"Don't know Dad"."That's Englands captain Michael Vaughn"."No it's not.... Our Captain's called Neil Samwell"?
So maybe he though that the practice last week at Grays was an England team practice or something??!!
Now that I'm getting the ball to turn to off when practicing outside my house, it's spinning so much that it's ending up in the bushes everytime I bowl which is a real pain in the jacksy and I'm going to make more effort to practice further afield which is aggro. In an ideal world I'd be able to practice in the manner that I was able to last weekend - bowling it back and forth to someone. It was interesting that in discovering what I needed to do, my mate Thomas was also discovering that he was able to do the same and seems to be in the process of changing his bowling to spin rather than seam bowling.
The injury sustained at the match in Loughton still hasn't got better, so I'm still unable to bowl Flippers or Gippers which is a pain. It's got better slightly but if I put pressure directly on the area that was obviously hit it still hurts, so it seems like there's going to be at least another week maybe two before I'm able to use it to put Flipper type spin on the ball.
We did it - the Govt have gone and overall the college got a "Good" which is what we had last time. There was a bunch of additional stuff saying that our dept almost a grade 1 which is exceptional - the grades being 1 - Exceptional; 2 - Good; 3 sufficient and 4 Poor. We were let down by the fact that the attendance this week overall was 65% and that the building is designed badly and hinders learning, both things that are totally out of our control as teachers. I'd say that 80% of my students have no interest in photography whatsoever and my attendance is around about 75% on average so I reckon I don't do too bad considering.
The weather's holding out so far - still dry and overcast so hopefully there's a glimmer of hope for some practice tonight and hopefully little Joe will come along too, maybe even Ben we'll see. The weather looks as though it may rain over the weekend but Sunday looks fairly promising with some sunshine and the possibility of showers. I had a look on the internet for info on the next team we're about to play - Loxford or somewhere and it looks like it's somewhere round Ilford (East London) on the very borders of Essex. I asked last week what the area was like and Neil said it was okay but nowhere near as nice as the last place we played.
Gutted - as soon as I walked up the garden path both Ben and Joe came running up saying "Dad we don't want to go to cricket tonight, we'd rather stay here". Initially I thought that they'd been brainwashed by Michelle, but it panned out over dinner that Michelle was actually trying to get them to go, but neither of them were up for it. Joe almost did change his mind but then asked Ben if he was going to go and Ben said no and that was it Joe swapped back again. I still intended to go on my own, but then sensed that might be problematic and opted not to go. But I still needed to get some practice in as I've not bowled all week and after the weekends positive new approach to bowling Leg Breaks and it seemingly working really well I desperately needed to get out on some grass with some balls and try it out. So suggested that we go over to the "Rec" and play on the outfield, they were both fairly up for that but not specifically with cricket in mind. I chucked all the gear in the back of the car including theirs in the event that they did change their minds. I wasn't that pleased with going to the rec as it's on a slant (The outfield) but at least it's flat. Got there and set up and Joe wicket kept and Ben mucked about in some adjacent long grass. But what with Joe being at the other end I wasn't able to fully concentrate and my bowling was pretty crap. The ocassional ball was okay with some nice turn, but the flight, length and line was pretty much all over the place. What I need to do is get out on a field on my own for a couple of hours or with someone else throwing the ball back and forth to each other with some stumps. The whole thing was pretty frustrating with no rythymn or anything. Tried a few flippers and found that I can do them with a bit of back spin now and also tried bowling wrong uns in a different way and that worked as well and looked quite affective. All these things need loads of practice and that's not really going to happen till the school holidays which is still weeks away.
Tomorrow I'll be gagging to get out on a field and bowl Leg breaks, but I don't want to really p**s Michelle off, so I've got to be diplomatic and bide my time, but I do need to practice before Sunday. I certainly need to practice before the match as well otherwise I'll have the same problems that I had last weekend.