School underlay three stories this week. First, bullying children who find their supporters, and victims, by way of schoolyard friendships. Grace has to be the most hideous child ever seen on the cobbles. She surpasses even Faye, vengeful killer of fish, and that takes some doing. Grace zeroes in on the vulnerable – including Faye who, for the sake of being BFFs, remains her accomplice in terror even though she knows what they are doing is wrong. Mary and Simon are their targets of choice. They are easy because they’re both a bit off-base; Mary because of her nature and Simon due to the instability of his present situation. I feared for Eccles’ safety when the children were hired by Tracy to walk her. Fortunately she came through unscathed. Simon wasn’t so lucky.
Second, as a headmaster Brian has had enough of children and Julie wants to bring his work home with them by fostering one. He told her, before fostering was ever mentioned, that he was no longer happy in his job. She did not listen. He has told her in words and body language that he is not keen on taking in a child. She has not listened. He wants a pleasant job in a museum in Wales where the presence of children will be somebody else’s concern. But he won’t tell Julie straight out. He’s caught himself in a snare of deceit. Julie has not helped by persisting in her image of what she believes him to be and refusing to listen to what he tells her. It will not end well for either of them.
Third, Steve’s return to night classes. Maybe it is just an excuse to get off work, or maybe it is due to the mortification he felt in not knowing the war from which the term Armistice Day originated. I thought it was interesting last week that no one, not Steve nor Liz nor Michelle, suggested that perhaps Amy herself should have known seeing as she is the one studying the topic. Also, no one suggested that maybe Amy should have taken at least the lead in her own homework project.
On Thursday, when he was heading off to class, Michelle and Liz finally gave him a tiny bit of support. Michelle even apologized, sort of, for her earlier ridicule of him. Liz’s face showed some fondness and pride as she wished him well. Her previous reaction, laughing at the very idea of school and him thinking he could do it, made me think it was little wonder he’d done poorly when he was younger if that had been her attitude. Michelle said her teasing had been due to envy. Is that the case for Liz too? Maybe. If so, I hope she admits it to herself and Steve soon. It was nauseating to watch her belittle him, and learning in general.
A recent post on Bluenose Corrie discusses Coronation Street’s portrayal of those who have, or seek, higher education. It points out that, from Ken Barlow in 1960 right through to Todd Grimshaw now, those who go to university never comfortably fit in or they become nasty – even mad killers, as in the case of English teacher John Stape.
Here is Pink Floyd’s “We don’t need no education” from The Wall.