Artist as Teacher, Institute of Education 2016
This is verse about my alter ego,
I’ve struggled for the summer
Trying to think of a sculpture that best suits the ‘other’ me.
I’ve asked around my town,
For what they think it could be…
And when the results came in they were quite varied,
I’m quite the chameleon it would seem.
I respond to each independent situation
“Using my initiative” the fake sentence on everyone’s Personal Statement.
I work in a café, and head-teacher of a small language school.
Wherever I am, part of my character is always the fool!
My granny says I should have been an actor or a comedian…
Only because I wind the Ol’ Irisih Catholic up
She’s all alone now my grandpa’s gone
And needs a good pick me up..
… So I pretend to be the Priest on the phone
And throw the ol’ girl a bone
I tell her in my best fake Irish accent;
That I’ve come across some rumours during confessions
That dear Marie Gleeson models lingerie
She’s working for Satan!
What the ladies in the box describe as Ann Summers,
The snakes tempting apple!
Invited the Priest to pick up the phone for this conversation.
I asked my boss who’s akin to another mother,
She and her husband replied I should be a nun.
To which I laughed and joked, asking
Do you see the opposite of me?
Only because you’ve gone out with every boy in this town she replied
Which is hard work when there’s a million and one..
I asked my summer students what they thought of me
After teaching them Rhyming Cockney Slang this could only end disastrously!
From all the vocab learnt that week
They liked the word legless
So for the rest of the week they shouted
Sorcha ist Legless at me down the street
However when I ended the week
Given a treat
Opening a thank-you present
Hysterically to see
… A beer mat staring back at me
A beer mat featuring a Union Jack
And in the tackiest typography
“Britiain’s Best Teacher”
Led me to shed a tear!
My flatmates say I have many hobbies and crafts
However not long do they last!
They suggested creating a sculpture with many hands
A spanner in one,
A knitting needles,
All to be stacked…
To which I laughed
That will only ever be half finished!
Then I had an idea…
I’d never tried this before…
… But maybe I could sculpt it from glass!!
My dad suggested that I could be Snow White.
With my seven students learning from me
I said I wasn’t a Princess
And hated Disney,
After hearing all the songs sung by my sister constantly!
To my boyfriend I am a Mountain Goat
When he’s in a gruff
There’s only one place to go
To climb on all fours and rest on his shoulders,
And pretend to eat like grass, whats left of his hair
My colleagues and I enjoy a good wind up
The ladies in the café vary in age
And I enjoy being rather crude
Which the ladies older than me do too!
This is my favourite character,
But not for the students
The one for the staffroom
And Friday afternoon drinks
I play the old lady who’s got a hearing problem when you’ve whispered you fancy someone in the room.
The Protagonist from Fleabag breaking the Fourth Wall
About how much she’s in love with a customer,
Who has come in with their wife and kids, and they can sod 'em all!
I’m big, I’m small
I like to pretend to be controversial
I’m round, I’m flat
The world is my oyster and all that wank
I like to pretend to make a scene,
Invoke laughter and bring up the moral of a team.
I can be appropriate and tune my language when I need too
But who I am in the classroom depends on each kid I see
Some like Disney, and reluctantly but willfully I join in their fantasy.
Some like football, to which I have no clue,
But I will happily kick a football around if that’s what you want me to do.
Some like music, and we can jell over a band
Others tell me that they love Justin Bieber
…. Which is when I stop, and say the world has gotten out of hand!
I’m the posh girl that my Elephant and Castle Kids laugh at
When I try and repeat their lingo,
Like a Dad winding you up,
Yeah that’s like well reet gonna go get me some peng grub!
I like to get involved with the kids in my school
Some come back year after year
Surprised I still remember their name
Some ask if I’ve stopped smoking?
And is Subway still open until ten?
I’m the girl that can’t dance
But will give it a go
I feel like Beyonce on stage
When in reality I’m just spinning like a yo-yo!
What even is an Alter-Ego?
The opposite or someone I would rather be?
Cause my rhymes are crap,
Even Jay-Z does a better job than me
My alter-ego would be more organized
I’ve had a 5p stuck in my CD drive for well over a year
Terrified to fix, ceasing to watch any DVD’s.
I’m the pastoral figures when a student is homesick
We sit on a step and have a good chat
Learn a dance and a handshake to build them back up.
Then we go back into the classroom
And I handle whatever else has come up…
I’m giving you my characters
In and out of the classroom
As a student teacher myself
All forums agreed
We will need a good cheer up,
This year when the going gets tough,
I’ve got the essential “good humour”
That the reading list stated….
I apologise for how long this is,
But the brief set something 2/3 the size of me
You can go figure your own alter ego of me.
The rules of perception
That’s not for me to decide
It’s for you to perceive
I didn’t know what to sculpt
It’s like I’m modern art
And you asked me to create a postmodern me?!
I play the fool, trip up and make mistakes
I think its important for my students to remember to have fun as we go.
That we all make mistakes and continute to grow
That YOLO’s got a meaning,
So don’t live with regret
That I always wanted to be a Pirate
And now with age
As my eyesight detoriates
I will get that eye-patch which I have wanted since I was eight!