Apr 1, 2011

Lesson where the teacher told us stories + Monster Blood Tattoo series

Yesterday we were able to get the English teacher to tell us anecdotes for the whole period. We were talking about waxing and hygiene, tattooing, piercing (and how she pierced second holes in both her ears herself with a sewing needle when she was a teenager). We kept asking her questions and for more information on this and that, I wasn't expecting her to really keep answering them. I think we only got away with it because she didn't have anything important to teach us then.

I keep expecting there to be pauses where no one is saying anything, and everyone sits and looks at each other waiting until someone drags a remotely related topic up to extend the conversation. That's what's happened with me when I have long conversations, it's not that it's not interesting, just that you've got to exhaust the topic sometime. It came close a few times, but students were quick to keep prompting before it got awkward.

After the aforementioned impromptu ear piercing (done in a temper tantrum when her parents wouldn't let her go to a party), which is apparently very scandalous at the time, the huge non-reaction of her parents really floored her. Neither of them said anything. A week later she took the ear rings out herself. The only comment her father made was 15 years later when reading the newspaper: "That was one of the stupidest things you ever did."

I think the non-reaction would be much harder to bear than a huge fight. Has your parents ever done something like that to you? It\s pretty hard to say nothing when you think the other person is doing a really stupid thing, I think parents just generally want to yeah in that situation.

The English essay I blogged about was supposed to be due on Friday. On Thursday the teacher said, so you'll hand in the essay and the creative on Monday right? There was an awkward pause, where eyes darted around and no one said anything. It's like we were waiting for someone to contradict her. Then the moment passed and evidently the class thought it was safe and everyone started nodding and agreeing to it at the same time, saying 'yeah, Monday' and 'yeah, they're due Monday'.

No one spoiled it by saying 'what, I thought it was due tomorrow?!' I thought it must have seemed suspicious, but the teacher bought it. It confused the girl sitting next to me and she had the essay printed and in her folder already, but she kept quiet while the teacher was in the room, so it's all good. When the teacher was out of the room doing something, a girl told the class 'No one bring this up.' Nice to know the students are so united.


Right now I'm reading the Monster Blood Tattoo series by D.M.Cornish. I've finished the first two books and I'll read the next one on Monday.

The world building is incredible. The author's put an amazing amount of work into making a world in intricate details that's both exotic and familiar, it's like Victorian England, but with monsters. The glossary/encyclopaedia/appendix with illustration at the back is roughly 120 pages long. I've read every entry, it gives additional interesting information that's not in the book. The author is an illustrator himself, so the illustrations are also good. It's a very interesting world he's created, and it's very easy to like.

He has a gift with making up strange names that adds to the flavour of the world. The story itself, I think, is not too shabby either. Rossamund Bookchild is an orphan who's on his way to become a Lamplighter. Along the way, he meets some interesting characters: monsters and monster slayers, those who mean well, those who only seem to, and those who acts mean but really aren't that bad. Hints are dropped regarding his origin, which may be stranger than anyone suspected. He realises that the monsters may not all be as terrible as he had always been taught, and sometimes, it's humans who are much worse. Torn between two sides that are determined to be enemies, having friends who claims his loyalty on both sides, Rossamund feels confusion and hurt every time one side harms the other.


  1. The book sounds like a good read. That's funny about your teacher--I think sometimes even they just need to chat about nothing in particular. It's cathartic.

  2. Was it pathetic that I had to google 'cathartic'? It's always fun to get evidence that our teachers have a life outside of teaching, and they were also once teenagers. She did seem pretty stressed lately.

  3. O_O I didn't realise who you are. I love your blog! And thank you for following me, I feel like my idol just gave me a pat on the back.