Daily Archives: April 30th, 2004


I’ve been thinking about naming my fish. James is slightly disturbed by the idea. I think he’s most disturbed by the fact that I want to go with classical names – Just Because.* You may recall, Faithful Reader (if you exist), that this trend was begun with the late, lamented Hektor. So: the bumblebee gobies are Castor and Pollux, because they’re virtually indistinguishable. The male molly is Zeus, of course; the beaten-up molly is Hephaestus, and the baby male is Ganymede… The Bitch Fish is Hera, also of course. I think the snail is Ajax. I’ve been trying to think of a couple to name the rainbows after, but I want to encourage them to be nice and have little rainbows so there aren’t really that many good role models that spring to mind! Maybe Priam and Hecuba. And I’m not sure whether the neons or the harlequins get to be the Argonauts. One or the other; the others can be the Nereids. Which leaves the SAEs, and I’m not sure about them either.

*Errata: actually, he tells me that he thinks naming them is a bad idea because their deaths cause enough grief as it is.

Revitalising as a teacher

I’ve just been at a VATE Beginning Teachers’ Conference, which was fantastic. Much too short, actually: you had to choose 2 sessions from 8, so personally I think they should have had it over 2 days (I almost wouldn’t have minded were it Friday and Saturday), so that you could do 4 or even 5 sessions. Anyway… I think I am a little more enthused about teaching English now. It’s been getting me down a bit. I realised a few things I should change that should both change student attitudes to me and the class and my attitudes to the whole teaching thing; hopefully this will be healthy. I also bought a book on teaching films and one on teaching poetry; I think these will be useful, because they are two things I’m really keen on. If only HTAV did the same, and I could get re-enthused about History. I might go and visit their offices, and see what material I can pick up there.


I forgot to mention… I also got a Mystery Snail.

Yesterday, I thought I killed it.

See, the glass lid sort of slipped as I was manhandling it, and it fell into the water. This wasn’t a huge worry, just a pain – I fished it out again and all was fine. However… a little while later I was ogling the tank, which I do sometimes, and noticed the snail was not looking good. Like not attached to anything. And no gooey bits showing. And THEN… he sank to the bottom of the tank! Oh no, I thought! He’s lost buoyancy, which surely means he’s dead! AND THEN: he started falling out of his shell! As you can imagine, I promptly thought about bewailing my misfortune and how bad a fishkeeper I am (because it’s all about me, not the fish and/or snail). However, I decided to delay that a little and see what happened with the snail. What happened was that he finished turning himself around inside his shell, bringing the skirt-bit back to where it usually is rather than protecting his innards, and proceeded to suck scum from the bottom of the tank.

Snails are a lot more complacent than their owners.