A week before Covid kicked off I was asked if I wanted a permanent contract at my teaching gig. These are rare as face masks in Tesco’s, so I was well chuffed to be asked. But then university shut, students were stuck at home, and the coin counters got twitchy. The contrast over was taken away like an over keen waiter whipping your plates away cos he wants to go home.
My teaching schedule ran out last week, but I was called to a meeting with the external examiner today. Fair enough. I’m still drawing a wage despite not being on site for two months, although the shifts we, as VHTs, have put in have merely evolved rather than diminished. We’re now expected to be on call, and I think that’s going to be a given going forward. Anxious students stuck at home have questions outside of regular teaching hours and it’s now our job to be there for them whenever they need us.
As further practice for drawing the protests this coming weekend, I focused my pens on mouths of the others as they spoke. Facial features are where I fall down, so zoom’s great practice got that. I managed a borderline batshit full frontal of my course leader and, if you ignore the manic eyes, it’s not half bad. Adding pupils is always the point at which I lose a decent drawing to the recycling bin, but here I’ve managed to channel a little of Dash Shaw. If you can imagine a painted background and the black line shaking, that wouldn’t look amiss in a film of his.
When discussion moved onto students, I had no involvement with, I was swapping broadband providers in the background. I think my current provider felt their routers burning and decided to choke my service for having the temerity for wanting better service at cheaper costs, and my WIFI died. Meaning my meeting was over. So, I went to the park for further life drawing.
A local community arts figure, and another local mum, and their kids, were having a meeting in the middle of the park. I wasn’t really welcoming any interaction, but I managed to sit just a few metres away without them seeing me. One waved and I waved back only to fall to that age-old anxiety inducing trap of them having meant someone behind me. Still, they failed to spot me. This ability to remain unseen may come in handy at this weekend’s protests.