Simple English ~ Nicola Prentis

Thoughts on ELT, English and whatever else comes into my head

The alternative universe of Summer School

Summer School is its own little universe with a distinct set of laws governing reality that make re-entry to the Other Real World a simultaneously yearned for and feared event.

I’ll leave you to guess which category the following Laws Of Summer School fall under.


1.  Shit happens – everywhere.

In four years as Centre Director at my school (120 ish international kids aged 11-16, 30 ish staff) I’ve had to give a lot of shit themed meetings. Not every culture values aim and precision like the English. Some prefer just to spray their waste around somewhere in the general vicinity, others to smear it on the mirror.

2. Friendship inversion

Arrive at Summer School knowing no-one and leave with some of the best friends you’ve ever made. Arrive with a friend and leave wondering why you ever hung out with them in the first place.

3. The Universal Carb

There is no other moluecule combination at summer school. Any meal double or triple carbs as a minimum and the rest of the country goes into white flour rationing  in order to supply vast numbers of foreign teenagers with low GI dishes. English food goes all out to merit its terrible reputation and thousands of people go for their rest of the their lives believing it.

Actually English cooking is great, it’s our catering that lets the side down. Only in the UK is a cook something different from a chef.

Time warps

As Einstein knew, planets and stars warp time. It’s taken scientists decades to decide he was right but, if only some of them had spent time in Summer School, they wouldn’t have needed to spend $700m proving it.

The 5 weeks plus induction is both infinite and fleeting, stretching time so that each week is like a month but shrinking it so days pass at the speed it takes the Russian boys to lose their tempers.

Laws of (non) attraction

In the Real World, I almost need a PA to keep track of the men in my life. But every year in June I dust off my wimple and don the sexless habit of  bossdom. This summer might have been the hottest on record in the UK – not in my office.

The money quark

No matter how often you count petty cash it disappears and reappears in accordance with laws that have no relation to mathematics.

Blue law

Ability to perform any basic function is relative to whether or not there’s any Blutack. There is no task which can ever be accomplished 100% Blutack free, even on the Sabbath.

The Summer School Constant

Five summers in a row, already planning next year, there’s nothing I wouldn’t rather be doing in July and August.


One comment on “The alternative universe of Summer School

  1. Pingback: The A-Z of Summer School, Part I | Simple English ~ Nicola Prentis

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This entry was posted on August 13, 2013 by in Summer School and tagged , , , , .
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