|In Edinburgh Botanic Gardens, resting my Super Powers|
At half term I returned to being full-time mother and daughter in a disorienting programme of visits to see my sons in Edinburgh and Bristol and my parents in Cornwall. On Monday, however, I pinned my hair back into a bun, perched my glasses on my nose, donned a work jacket and returned to being old Dr Hobba the crusty Latin teacher at a local school.
It’s a bit like being a superhero. Inside, I find some of the things the pupils say hilarious. In my head, I use some choice words, when I am thwarted. But I must keep these super powers hidden. Pupils like to think that teachers are completely unable to access their in-jokes, and actually probably don’t even know any swear words.
It’s all about boundaries. The only time one crosses them is to reprimand a pupil who is covertly (ha!) being mean to a classmate. At this point, the selective deafness has to break down, rather like one of those old-fashioned hearing-aids which would unpredictably pick up a private aside on the other side of the room.
The pupils look at each other with amazement: it is as if Clarke Kent just morphed into Superman before their very eyes. Not only did old Dr Hobba hear what they just said, she even appeared to understand it.