Having fairly recently started to work at a school (not, I should hastily add, as a teacher - I'd be awful), I've found myself somewhat intrigued by the vision I am afforded of life on the other side of the staff-room door.
(Just as, when working in a library, those years ago, I gained an appreciation of the Issue Desk barrier, and the manifold revelations on offer to those transcending it.)
When one is at school - as pupil (judging, at least, from my own experience), one tends to consider oneself pretty much as an item on the production line. Okay, so, in proud moments, I'd've been so bold as to imagine that, amongst all those other packets of digestives going through the factory that day, I might've turned out quite well (perhaps destined for the hallowed shelves of Waitrose or Marks & Spencer). But I was still (if you'll indulge me in my metaphor) just a stack of biscuits, at the end of it all.
But - working amongst teachers - one has the keys (as it were) to the factory foreman's office. And it's as if, on peering inside while the factory workers are all on their tea-break, one were to find row upon row of lovingly-framed biscuity portraits hanging on the wall. Individually named. Perhaps in Comic Sans. (Ow. What was that for?)
Of course, if I'd thought about it, as a nipper, I'd've realised: these teachers do actually care. Of course they do. But, somehow, from my youthful perspective, I'd never quite have made so audacious a presumption.
It's lovely - really, lovely - to hear teachers speak of their pupils with such affection and optimism - and respect.
A Note to Loyal Readers (les deux, les deux):
At some point, the Intellectual Hooligan may fully reacquaint himself with the entirely whimsical, facetious nonsense you have come to expect - nay, to crave. Until that point, however, he respectfully entreats you to have patience, while he dabbles ineffectually in his own peculiar and vaguely repellant brand of emo-philosophy. He'll pull through. Don't you worry. Just, y'know, keep on commenting, as before. It makes the Socratic inspiration flow that much more freely.