Looking for a first line?

I would give anything to be able to write a coherent blog. So much so that I’ve even considered using my weekly Twitter stats as a ‘starter for 10.’  My current paucity of creativity and ability to foreground what I know and feel is whizzing in my head is baffling. What appears as I’m trying to think about my experiences, thoughts and connections is nothing. Nothing appears. It’s like an absence. Yet I know stuff has surfaced as I’ve apprehended them as scrawled notes on a lined A4 pink sheet of paper. It reads: Sat. Radio 2 – Nirvana at 9.35 am on BBC Radio 2 Sounds of the 60’s – a particularly good playlist that day, earworms and sticky notes, Ruby Wax, ESKA – singer on Woman’s Hour (scroll down for the link), colour theory and Assad from ‘Educating Cardiff.’  Assad appeared to be struggling with the transition to ‘big’ school. I was rather taken aback by the negative views and predictions about Assad on the twitter community – #educatingcardiff. I saw a child struggling to make sense of the transition to ‘big school.’ He voiced it himself during the programme (19 mins in) when he says “we used to be the big ones, now we’re the small ones.” Assad, like Aaron who received very positive and supportive comments in the twitter community, were 2 kids ‘at sea’ but showing it in very different ways.

As Lewis Carroll wrote in ‘Alice in Wonderland’ –

“Who are you?” said the Caterpillar ….

“I – I hardly know, Sir, just at present,” Alice replied rather shyly, “at least I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have changed several times since then.”

Both Aaron and Assad voiced how it was different from their primary school and were still internally moving to the rhythm of their old school days. Aaron had a very supportive plan put in place whilst Assad had a very different plan involving isolation rooms, time in the behaviour room, exclusion or ‘sorting his behaviour out’ in the next 5 weeks.

The transition to ‘big school’ is huge and ‘settling down’ to the new rhythms, expectations, colours and forms of the day takes time, understanding and resilience. Asssad is offered a lifeline by the headteacher who suggests a change of approach where “he is to know we’re behind him and we want him to be good” (33 mins in). It’s not easy viewing as we would all see different things, and, feel that we may have done some things differently. It takes a great deal of courage to teach and I saw a great deal of humanity and caring in the teachers.

Listing my scrawlings  as bullet points was unsatisfactory, unnerving. I’m saving them for a time when I can give them the space and form they should have.

I browsed my yellow writing school-like exercise books seeking inspiration and stumbled upon a list of writing start up lines :

  • When is a joke not a joke?
  • I’m alone ….
  • Here, then, is the chain of events which led to this …
  • To use an old fashioned term …
  • More specifically it was …
  • Fast forward to …
  • The object of …
  • That’s the thing I like about …
  • The subject of …
  • But strangely it did seem to matter when you …
  • I suppose that’s what I’m saying …
  • What interests me …
  • It might be more accurate to say …
  • I wrote a piece for …
  • It was my idea because, well, its true and also because …
  • The problem is, when …
  • Oh yes they can!

Oh, and let’s not forget ‘It was a dark and stormy night!’ 

Thanks for reading.

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