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Jerry’s extra-curricular work includes…
1) training school runners’ team.
2) writing plays for annual performances.
3) providing evening courses for parents.
Presenter: Today I’m in the old English city of Salisbury and talking with the local
secondary school teacher Jerry Lewis. OK, tell me first a few words about
Jerry Lewis: Well, I’m a 44 year old unmarried American who moved to England
over 20 years ago, and I teach English in a local secondary modern school. I own
my own house - a smallish terrace house just outside the centre of the city, with
three bedrooms and a small garden. I've got two younger brothers. One of them,
Julian, also lives in Salisbury. He's a teacher too, but he works in a private language
school teaching English to foreign students.
Presenter: Secondary modern schools like Jerry's take children who have not
passed the entrance examination for a grammar school. They attend the school between
the ages of 11 and 16. Jerry explained that his school day begins at 08:30am
and ends at 4:00pm. How much extra-curricular work do you do?
Jerry Lewis: Quite a lot, actually. There's always marking to be done and evenings
when I meet the parents and so on. And then I take on extra duties, mainly in
the areas of sport and drama. I’m a keen cross country runner myself, and I train
the school cross country team, which means taking groups of children out running
during their lunch breaks, usually a couple of times a week. And then, on the drama
side, I produce the annual school play. We normally have to start preparing this
in the spring term to have it ready by the summer.
Presenter: What plays have your pupils performed?
Jerry Lewis: It varies from year to year. We’ve done an adaptation of Treasure
Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson, and we’ve done Shakespeare - A Midsummer
Night's Dream. Last year the boys wrote and produced their own play.
Presenter: I can see from Jerry’s house that he takes running very seriously. His
shelves are covered with medals and cups that he won over the years in various
races. Since he is now over 40 he is classified as a ‘veteran’ - a term he doesn’t like
- but he still continues winning. To keep himself fit, he usually runs from forty to fifty
kilometres a week and more if he's training for a race. What else do you enjoy
Jerry Lewis: As well as running, I love walking. The countryside around Salisbury
is magnificent, and there are some wonderful walks. My idea of a perfect day
is to walk out of town and stop for lunch and a drink at a small village pub - in the
summer you can sit outside, or in the winter by a log fire. Then there's my garden,
and I'm very fond of gardening. Every year I add to my collection of roses, and it's very satisfying to sit outside on a summer’s evening doing my school marking, surrounded
by wonderful colours and scents.
Presenter: Jerry also likes cooking. On a Saturday he goes down to the market early
in the morning to catch the best of the produce, and frequently invites friends and
relatives to dinner in the evening. When not at home he is often to be found at his
local pub, the 14th-century ‘Haunch of Venison’, where he has many friends.
Jerry Lewis: I've been teaching in Salisbury so long that many of my ex-pupils are
now friends that I meet in the pub. It's strange, sometimes to think to myself: I remember
when this chap was just a boy!
Presenter: Occasionally he goes to the cinema, but, he explained, he prefers the
Jerry Lewis: I go by myself, with friends, or with groups from school. Last week
we went and saw Noel Coward's Relative Values, I'm not very keen on Coward myself,
but the kids loved it.
Presenter: One last question. Jerry. You've lived and worked in Salisbury for over
20 years. What keeps you here?
Jerry Lewis: That’s a difficult one. My job, I suppose. I often complain, but who
doesn’t. On the whole, though, I’m happy with it. Then most of my friends live
here or nearby. And the city itself, it’s a beautiful place, full of history, surrounded
by amazing countryside and within easy reach of some of my favourite places. No,
I wouldn’t change it.
I’m a keen cross country runner myself, and I train the school cross country team, which means taking groups of children out running.