Tuesday Down…


I was planning to write something about balls of paper.

I have never before worked in a school that uses so much paper. The teachers are forever recycling the stuff whilst the kids are always screwing it up and throwing it in the bin. 

Now, I am not a tree-hugger but I do like paper. I like it to write on and I like it when it holds fine words or images. Paper and me go back a long way. So it is with true sadness that I see a veritable paper mountain being demolished each and every day at my latest institutional establishment. No sooner have I given out some A4 for students to mind- map with than a unhealthy number of them are screwing it up; tearing it up in some circumstances. It makes my heart bleed and my blood boil.

I get annoyed. 

“Why are you screwing the paper up?”

“I went wrong.”

“Yes, a tiny little bit wrong, but why screw it up?”

“Because it is wrong. It is useless now.”

At these times I am thankful that I was never born as a piece of paper.

If I find it hard to forgive the screwing up of pieces of paper on which students have ‘gone wrong’ imagine how I feel when they do a fortnightly cull of all those handouts that they now deem to be obsolete. They just pull them out of their books and trash them.

“Why,” I ask in vein.

“Cause we don’t need them any more. We already did that.”

My, “Yes, but…” falls on deaf ears.

They belong to the generation that only prizes the up-to-date, the new, the relevant.


All else, including the Magna Carta, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the first Saint James Bible are just so much junk that is taking up space, clutter that needs to be uncluttered.   

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