MIXED MOVIE QUOTE: THE TEACHING FILM LOTTERY

One thing about teaching: being forced to a) teach film analysis to students who, for a variety of reasons, may have seen fewer than ten movies in their entire life, and b) choose films that conform to very strict rules regards purpose and rating, certainly results in watching movies you would never approach under any other circumstance.

Two cases in point.

First, the good: It was decided to teach our year eleven students horror movie this year, and the film that satisfied enough of the criteria to be chosen was the 2001 film The Others. I am about as far from a Nicole Kidman fan as it is possible to get — I find her cold, unconvincing, and so stagey I’m never unaware that she is dame-of-the-stage ahhhcting (a problem she shares with Judy Davis) — and yet, despite some shonky Kidmanesque moments (her pronunciation of ‘coh-TENS’ for ‘curtains’ raised a giggle every. damn. time.), the movie turned out to be an absolute masterpiece.

It was also, surprisingly, extremely teachable, even to a gaggle of boofhead boys who want nothing more than for this year to just shutup and go away so they can get on with the apprenticeships they’re just filling in time before taking up. Who’d have guessed? Not me.

On the flip side of the lottery, unfortunately, was case study two: the as bad as expected. In this case, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, a Disneybland assemblage of forced jokes, vapid life lessons, cliched everythings, and terminal eyerolls starring no fewer than four actors who make me want to run screaming from the cinema at even the mention of their names. The year eights I am teaching, of course, loved it, the treacherous little shits.

Ah, well. Can’t win them all.

So, two mixed movie quotes, and on the basis that the one for The Others pretty much chose itself, I’ve not remixed them with each other for once. In order of preference, The Others first:


And Jumanji: Welcome to the Executive Blandification.

ONE LONG WEEKEND, FILTERED THROUGH THE EYES OF AN EXPENSIVE HOBBY AND A BUNCH OF THIRTEEN YEAR OLDS.

So I’m talking about the long weekend with my Year Eight class, and I mention I’m going to spend some time working on my Lego display. Which leads to discussing how yes, I’m a grown-ass man and I’m into Lego.

STUDENTS: What do you build?

I call up Google images and show them some displays from previous years’ exhibitions. Cue discussion of MOCs v sets and how I get to where I do what I do.

STUDENTS: How many sets do you have?

I tell them.

STUDENTS: How many pieces do you have?

I tell them. I also tell them how much my collection is insured for.

There is a *long* pause.

SMALL VOICE FROM BACK OF ROOM: …………… Are you mad?

You’ll learn, my sweet, summer child. You’ll learn 🤣🤣🤣

WELCOME TO THE BUNGLE. AGAIN.

So…… lot of weather we’ve been having lately, innit?……

All right, let’s talk serious shit. I’ve lost my way since our son Blake completed suicide back in September 2019. Of course it’s understandable — Luscious and I have been swallowed by grief, and anybody who can’t understand how that level of grief can affect you has my permission to stay quiet — but the ultimate end of that process is that my life has turned in upon itself and started eating its own tail. Everything that was supposed to be good about coming to Karratha — gaining fitness, writing more, lowering my stress levels, finding my post-50-year-old-future, etc etc and so forth — was destroyed, and what’s more, I didn’t care.

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Continue reading “WELCOME TO THE BUNGLE. AGAIN.”

TEACHING DON’T MEAN NUTHIN’ IF YOU AIN’T MELTING HEADS

So, yeah, my life may have come to a screaming halt, but I’m slowly getting to grips with this teaching gig, and no matter how hard a day gets, it still doesn’t chew on my soul the way The Job That Soured ended up doing. Plus, of course, my style of teaching English doooooeeeessss tend to involve a whole lot of sneaking in other lessons around the side……

Some days, of course, just like writing, you do something so beautiful that you wish you could bottle it. Yesterday was one of those days.

Continue reading “TEACHING DON’T MEAN NUTHIN’ IF YOU AIN’T MELTING HEADS”