Alter Ego

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,

A paintbrush,

A trowel,

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!