Probably no structure or message here, just so you know. We’ll see. I just need to write some things.

Tuesdays after school we have a staff meeting. Today it was my turn to take the minutes. I’m sorry, take the what now? Take the minutes? Take them? Take them where? Oh, you mean take notes? But you call them minutes? Alright then. And then type them up? So that everyone who was in the meeting can read about what happened in the meeting? The meeting they were at? No, it’s a great idea. Oh but nobody actually reads them? Of course, because they were there, at the meeting, listening. I see. Ok, I’ll do all of that then. Heaven forefend I should actually get to contribute to the meeting, or spend that important typing time doing something like, ooh, teaching or something. That’d be just plain crazy.

I’ve had a good few days, school-wise. The kids are growing on me. They started off a bit quiet and nice but they’re gradually warming to the concept of education through irony, and I no longer have to disrupt my own lessons, which is a bonus; I looked kinda strange throwing things across my own room when my head was turned. The teachers are ok, but nobody ever seems to speak to anybody else (unless to explain the purpose of minute-taking). Then they all go out on a Friday night together and get arseholed. Then they don’t speak again for a week. It’s a curious thing.

Upstairs, in the house above my head, lives an American student teacher named Nick. Nick doesn’t drink. Nick’s a Christian. He’s all about Jesus. Now that’s fine. I’ve nothing against that in principal. What I have a problem with is his perception of God, and God’s priorities. And his total ignorance of any other point of view or religion. He has, for instance, absolute confidence that he’s going to Heaven while the rest of us heathens (including the Dalai Lama, I checked) are all gonna go burn in Hell (based on Jesus saying, rather controversially, that ‘the only way to God is though me’, or something to that effect). Now for me, if there’s a Heaven and a Hell, and God isn’t completely childish, surely it follows that it’s good = up, bad = down, right? For anyone to be walking around smugly self-assured of a place in the sky based solely on having signed a denominational dotted line is utterly bonkers.

Like I said, Nick doesn’t drink (even on a Friday night). Jesus drank, didn’t he? Water to wine? Blood, last supper, all that? So what’s the big deal? (Keeping up with the Muslims? Alas no, he didn’t know they abstained). If there is a God, then surely he’d want, having granted the most precious gift of life to a person, for that person to spend their lives doing a whole lot more than just thinking about him and talking about him and singing about him. He wouldn’t be all me me me. No, he’d want us to do everything we could with our lives, live life to the full, enjoy all his creations. Not mope about in some gloomy church. Good = up, bad = down. To believe that we are here to serve Him and Him only is to believe in a God that doesn’t deserve our time, creator or no.

Nick also believes that all the difficulties and temptations he’s faced in life are the result of God testing him, his strength, devotion, his faith. Now I dunno about you, but if I had, say, a girlfriend (which I do), and I sent some gorgeous bloke around to her house to see if she’d cave in and be unfaithful, I think that whether she caved or not, that’d make me a bit of a bastard. If there is a God, surely he can’t be that insecure?

Nick’s not such a ‘good Christian’, though I’d never tell him that (actually I might, come Friday night, when everyone but him is arseholed). He’s a terrible listener. Truth be told, he’s very selfish. I borrowed some trousers last week and he bothered me about it every single day. I washed them, gave them back, and he washed them again (must be the sin). I went up to get my own laundry and he’d put that in the dryer, but hadn’t turned it on. It was like they’d just been hidden. Then he said something to me in Spanish. Prick. Last week he came all the way downstairs to tell me that my laundry was ready. So he’d been to the machine, taken out my laundry, put his own in and then come downstairs to tell me that mine was done. But he’d left it upstairs. Now you tell me, what would Jesus have done?