A week into my new teaching job I already feel like a teacher, consigned to wear the cloak for decades to come. The rites of passage were bestowed on me today ten minutes into a language class with a group that I have teaching for the past week. After a breezy introduction to the lesson I noticed that a row of girls in front of me were smirking uncharacteristically (I feel I must point out, to satisfy the prurient, that they are all between the ages of 25 and 35). Instantly I felt that something was badly wrong. I was wearing a pair of sta-prest slacks that are so comfortable that often you forget to zip them up. And so it was: upon turning towards the blackboard I realised that I was flying lower than Mohammed Atta at flight school.
And so I was left in the difficult situation of having to raise the drawbridge while being the centre of attention in the room. I resumed position behind my desk though this was a flimsy barrier as all the students could see under it. I strategically ad-libbed and ordered my charges to read a passage that they were due to come to ten minutes further on. While they were distracted I lifted the anchor, though I could swear it was audible to everyone in the room.
It was all to no avail as by then my usually sanguine composure had been shot and my face had turned a telling peuce. I might be able to lie but my corpus has much more difficulty in this respect. Now I am no longer the cool new teacher (and, to be honest, I probably never was) but I am the standard buffoonish schoolmaster. I can already see my trusty students morph into the Bash Street Kids at this literal dropping of the guard.