My kids got their school reports this week. Parents (and the teachers who have to write them) generally complain about the generic, computer-scripted statements that fill the comments box: “Johnny showed improvement in KPIs 3, 5 and 7 and completed all aspects of Benchmark 9”. Bring back the good old days of free-flowing commentary! Truth in reporting!
However, there is another side to this “teachers being honest” business. Back in the late Mesolithic period I had a science teacher called Mr Tolson. He was one of those groovy teachers with tinted glasses, a Zapata moustache and unconventionally shaped trousers. The girls swooned over him and we spotty boys seethed. I remember the parent-teacher meeting the year of my O levels for two reasons: first, one of my parents actually came; and second, Mr Tolson gave my mother a free-flowing and honest report on how I was likely to do in my forthcoming Physics exam: “He hasn’t got a cat in hell’s chance”.*
Fortunately, my years with Mr Tolson weren’t entirely wasted. I remember an early “experiment” (this was a low-budget Northern comprehensive) in which surface area resistance was demonstrated by dropping two sheets of paper, one flat and one crumpled into a ball. Heady stuff, which I’m sure turned on a generation of boys to the wonders of science.
I was reminded of this after the recent flush down the creek when looking at how far things had moved, or hadn’t. This set-top box first appeared halfway between the Chatham Road and Griffiths Road bridges a week or two ago.
After the last creek run it made it down as far as the railway bridge, a good few hundred metres.
The roadworks sign (which first appeared in the creek beneath Chatham Road bridge the morning after Halloween) has survived several flows and has barely moved fifty yards.
Shopping trolleys are a staple of the creek, but how far they move depends on how much debris has gathered in and around them. One of my earliest posts showed this beautiful Andy Goldsworthy-inspired trolley wearing a pelt of dried leaves. One good flush and shazoom! it was off. Other trolleys move more slowly. This one (from Officeworks, I think) took ages to make it as far as Chinchen Street.
I was down at the Tighes Hill dog park the other day and, it being low tide, I counted eleven trolleys stuck in mangroves. I’d be interested to know how long it takes for these rusting hulks to make it to the harbour, but that’s a project for someone else. Over to you, Throsby Creek bloggers!
* I got a “C”, Mr Tolson. In your face!