International Writers Magazine:
Around The Block Again:
The Further Adventures Of Guy Block
Block yawned and stretched in his chair as he stared out at the
morning sun that dappled in through his study window.
It was a Monday
and Guy Block was bored.
Like The Boomtown Rats Guy hated Mondays
Unlike that song however, Guy had no desire to run amok with a gun and
slay a few pupils and staff
Well there are times when
No he is just bored.
Bored and unhappy.
With an immense feeling that he had wasted his life.
A hesitant cough came at him from across the desk. Gathering his thoughts,
Guy adopted his professional lecturer persona somewhat reluctantly,
this in turn meant taking out his headphones and terminating his listening
of Manfred Manns Handbags and Gladrags.
He was still there
Stimpson the student
Blocks student, and this was his tutorial
A tutorial that has been spent ignoring the little idiot and hoping
hed take the hint and go away.
And now hes going to ask a question
Why do they ask me questions, Guy thought
Because I teach them, or am supposed to
"Well what did you think?" Blocks student said shyly.
"Well I was thinking of buying an Ipod"
Ipod, good technology, Guy was sure, but they sound horrid.
Like some kind of optical complaint.
Clearly Guys answer was not correct.
Shouldnt he have the right answers and Stimpson the wrong?
Oh well, second attempt. Come on Block
"About your work?"
"Yes, my work" he answered keenly
"You desire an opinion?"
yes please Professor Block"
Guy Block let out a sigh that caused his in-tray to scatter.
The student held his course work tightly, unsure of what to do next.
"Pardon me, but
"Spit it out man! My word, I am teaching you English, Id
expect some use of our language!"
"Well, you dont seem especially keen?" He said nervously.
"My dear boy
of course Im not! I mean I decided to teach
so that I may spend more time reading the classics, well twenty five
years later on, Ive realised that all I do is read other peoples
interpretations of the classics! And often bad ones at that!"
"You think my work is bad?" he asked a little hurt
How could he? He wasnt listening
Wasnt the headphones a clue?
"No, not yours, everyones"
"Is something troubling you?" said Stimpson
Something troubling Guy Block?
Now theres a novelty.
And sadly there is no novel ideas, which is the trouble
The Dean was rapidly running out of deadlines for Guys speech
at end of term, another study of modern academia, he explained.
And one he hadnt even started to write yet.
Block was bored
Bored and unhappy et-depressing-cetara
"Tell me, youre an English student. What do you make of these
terms? Malaise? Depression? And Losing, and The, and Will, and To live?"
"Oh dont be. No sense two of us committing suicide. Good
Lord, theyd think it a pact born out of some kind of homosexual
tragic love. Dear me no, that wont do"
The student flushed and licking his lips tried to speak and catch up
with Blocks mental process simultaneously.
Not a good idea.
Best just to let him carry on, to lecture you through it.
Have you ever heard of the difficult second album?
Block is suffering with it badly.
"You see it took me twelve years to write my first book. And now
the buggers want a speech from me! And I dont know where to start
or what to write about. I wish I did. Why did I even go into teaching?
I hated being a student!"
"You always tell us to write about what you know and feel?"
And suddenly Guy saw him in a new light, a student who actually had
And a lecturer who could learn something
"I do? Yes I do! Thats it! Ill write about what it
is like to struggle through with academic impasse"
Writers Block indeed
"Everyone knows how it takes years and years for a definitive book,
we all suffer with it and the delays of writing such masterpieces because
we have to teach you lot!"
And so on that Monday tutorial, Stimpson the student taught Guy Block
what to write for his speech. He learned again what it was to be an
Stimpson the student however, will be taught and expected to learn from
that very speech when it and Guy well be well received at the end of
The teaching cycle continues
© Mark Cunliffe July 2006
More adventures with Guy Block Two
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