Thank God it’s Friday

I wrote this piece as a magazine filler, but it went unpublished, so here it is. I still sort of like it.


Now I’ll show ‘em how to run an art department! Policy change number 1: Students can listen to music in lessons.  Year 10 arrive and I inform them that they can bring some music in next lesson. Today we’ll listen to mine: Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust for Life’ End of the lesson: “That music was crap, sir.” No taste these kids.


Year 9 lesson: “Can we have some music on? I’ve got a tape”. The tape goes on. No idea what it is, but it’s not bad. “I can’t work with that rubbish on!” comes’ the chorus. I turn the tape down. “When that song’s finished can I put my tape on?”  “What is it?” “Eminem”. “Isn’t that a sweet?”


Year 11: A tape is produced and the room fills with trance music – not bad and no one seems to mind it. Must be trendy. The lesson’s going okay until I turn to see two girls dancing in the corner. I ask sarcastically if they think this is a night club. The girls stop but forget handbags, which I promptly trip over.


Year 8 lesson: “Can we have personal stereo’s on instead sir?” I have heard so much rubbish this week, personal stereos sound like a great idea.  I try to start the lesson but no-one can hear me. I go around the class pulling out ear pieces. The lesson gets under way when it occurs to me that the school rules ban personal stereos’. I stop the lesson and confiscate all personal stereos’.


Year 10 lesson: “Instead of listening to a tape, can I play my guitar sir?” The student produces an electric guitar and a friend carrying an amplifier. I start to wonder about my sanity in implementing this policy. I go home and relax to Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘The Sound of Silence’.


About Steve Gooch

Steve Gooch was born in March 1962 in Rugby, Warwickshire in England and grew up there with his two brothers and sister. He moved to Corsham in Wiltshire and attended Bath Academy of Art, where he studied sculpture and printmaking, before going on to work on projects for the artists Joe Tilson and Nick Pope. He also helped with the publication of a limited edition folio of Paul Eluard’s poetry. Steve moved to London to study for a postgraduate teaching certificate and then worked as a teacher of art in the UK. He gained his MA in Education with the Open University and also studied the discipline of Reiki with his Reiki teachers in Newcastle upon Tyne. His daughter Marianne was born in 1994. For a period of time, Steve devoted himself to teaching Reiki in his hometown of Rugby, before moving to Egypt, where he resumed his career as an art teacher, becoming the Head of Art in a prestigious British International School in Cairo. He continued to teach Reiki, introducing the discipline for the first time to Egypt. He also wrote extensively on the subject for various Egyptian English-language magazines. Returning to the UK, Steve’s son Sam was born in 2004. Not wanting to go back into the teaching profession, Steve took a job as a chef in a vegetarian restaurant and wrote his first book ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do: The Way of Compassion & Wisdom’. It was the world’s first book on that particular tradition of Reiki and is still considered to be the standard reference work on the subject. Steve them moved to Sudan, where he was again Head of Art at the prestigious Unity High School, and built an online living history for the school, called 'The Unity High School Archive'. It was in the process of building this archive that Steve uncovered a major scandal involving senior members of the Anglican Church, local dignitaries, and members of the faith communities. As a consequence, he got to know the head of the Secret Police in Khartoum quite well and then promptly left the country. Steve moved back to Egypt and took up a post as Head of Art in a school in Alexandria. Very much involved in the Reiki community in the UK, however, he founded the national organisation ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do UK’ and became the editor of ‘Focus: The Journal of Reiki Jin Kei Do UK’, and then set up the global ‘Reiki Jin Kei Do International’. He also set up the global video-arts project '12seconds for Peace'. The concept grabbed the attention of a number of big names in the peace movement, including Nobel Peace Prize nominees, and threatened to go viral. Circumstances (revolutions and social unrest) put it on the back-burner. Likewise, a major peace initiative called the 'Global Concert for Peace', scheduled for the summer of 2013, which would have been the world's biggest musical event, also went on the back-burner. Steve moved to Saudi Arabia for a little over a year in 2014, before returning to Egypt to take up a senior management position in another British International School in Cairo. Finally, after a year of professional purgatory in which he realised that there is no such thing as a good British International School in Egypt, he decided ‘enough is enough’ and quit the teaching profession for good to focus on his writing, art and Reiki classes. He is currently living in Cairo and writing ‘The Temple of the Djinn’, which is loosely based on the events that he uncovered during his time in Sudan. He is also teaching Reiki and working freelance for a variety of Egyptian magazines. He misses the UK and is looking forward to spending more time in his home country with his children. He'd also like to find time to paint and make sculpture.
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