It's the last two days of term. Students are flocking like confused gazelles, starting and trembling and dashing around all over. I must have seen thirty of them today. I'm very under the weather, what with the sinuses and the sneezing and the happy hormonal troubles (menstrual cycle all wayward and random for no adequately defined reason), and I consider it to be a significant achievement on my part that I haven't actually bludgeoned any of them to death with the staple remover. I also have a solution. It's in two parts.
- Chocolate. One of my co-workers is going all mad with charity Christmas shoeboxes full of goodies for underprivileged kiddies. (I hate the word "underprivileged". It's all politically correct for "uneducated and poverty-stricken and neglected and unhappy". Weasel word.) Anyway. I went forth and bought a bunch of toys and stationery and socks and stuff to donate to boxes, including about three giant packets of mini chocolate bars, only to re-read the instructions and realise the organisers didn't want chocolate. Why, I don't know. Chocolate makes the world go round, and can only help, even if only in momentary and superficial ways, if you're uneducated and poverty-stricken and neglected and unhappy. Anyway, I now have a massive supply of mini-chocolate-bars which, if I don't stage a direct intervention, I shall completely eat myself. I'm going to stick them in a giant jar on my desk and force them on students at the start of any consultation. I figure it'll make them feel better and less quivering, which will probably make me feel better and less homicidal. Also, I can eat them at intervals (the chocolate bars, not the students), which means I'll be soothed, but if I do happen to crack, any assaults with the staple-remover will be particularly energetic.
- Nonsense poetry. I nearly bit someone just now, and then had occasion to open up The Jumblies in a browser tag, and I feel much better. That's a particularly lovely, gentle, poetic piece of nonsense writing: the quest ambles happily off in the direction of wherever, no goal, no practicality whatsoever, its participants green-headed and blue-handed and off to sea in their sieve with a sort of dreamy implacability you have to respect. Since early childhood I have derived enormous happiness from the lovely inevitability of their response to the sea-worthiness of sieves: when the water comes in, as of course it does, they "wrap their feet / In a pinky paper all folded neat". Because of course they do. Always keep your feet dry when adventuring. If Bilbo Baggins didn't take extra socks, he certainly should have. I also love the images of the places they visit, and their simple joy as they drift along, whistling and warbling "a moony song / To the echoing sound of a coppery gong / In the shade of the mountains brown." As a kid I was always particularly charmed by the "dumplings made of beautiful yeast" when they get back. So satisfying.