Negative reinforcement

Teaching staff
This is called 'negative reinforcement'. It's rubbish and, thankfully, rare these days. In moments of despair, fatigue or bloodlust, I may have called Dave Mania 'a buffoon', but it was never meant to be malign.

Teachers have famously got it well wrong with genius. Einstein pretty rubbish at arithmetic and Charlie Parker wasn’t much cop on the saxophone. Some of my old teachers went in for some of this stuff with us much lesser mortals. Like my old French teacher Mr Emlyn Jones. 

He thought I was deliberately “thick”, when I was merely useless – what with having him for the subject. He once called me “a cabbage”. Then, warming to his theme and upping the volume, he barked: “Whitwham! I would rather be planting a vegetable than teaching you!” He paused to let the full significance of this sink in. It didn’t. “At least it bears fruit!”

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