Apologies for my overlong absence but life ( aka work, chores, family in revere order ) got in the way. That makes me feel guilty including family in with chores and work so maybe I should re-word that as family-related chores - nope , still feeling guilty ... ah forget it ).
Well, it's 'that' time of year - exam season - guaranteed to strike a chord of fear in any parent's heart let alone their kids'. We are two thirds of the way through youngest son's A levels and the 'end of exams' present was opened last night in an act of undelayed gratification or rather desperation. In an attempt to keep the motivation going I allowed him to open the headphones I'd bought him which were supposedly to assist with his music technology coursework but in truth will be put through their paces in a late night computer gaming orgy. Yes, I've turned soft. I recall admonishing him for his inability to demonstrate any patience when it came to retail therapy , but when your children have watched you rip open a parcel before it's even hit the doormat, in a barely concealed frenzy of delight , you haven't really got a leg to stand on.
So, does that mean I may have to get him a two thirds of the way through the exams incentive ? A pack of Pokemon cards used to cut the mustard when they were seven but not any more now they're 6'4" tall and even a pair of trainers costs an arm and a leg and probably two feet more appropriately.
I feel so sorry for all the teenagers in the UK sitting their GCSE exams and A Levels right now. My gut wrenches as I see them trudging off to school first thing in the morning with a back-pack full of revision cards and a bottle of water with the label ripped off ( parents of exam age children will know what I mean by that - as if you could even write the amount of formulae and quotes today's youngsters have to memorise on the back of a water bottle label) .
I'm incensed at the way the government have forced them back into a Victorian styled examination system that ensures success will fall to those who can memorise the whole of Romeo and Juliet and the equation for the volume of a frustum* ( yep - sound more like a rather depraved sexual act than anything to do with geometry ) , rather than celebrate the fact that many of our youngesters may have a more original take on knowledge that goes beyoned the purely methodical recall method that exams have become. Shame on you Michael Gove - and to see his rubbery grinning face gurning for the cameras as he stepped back into the cabinet made my stomach turn. Good grief , what did the Environment do to deserve him ?
So, if you , like me are parenting a youngster who is still only a fraction of the way through the exams that they are told will either make or break them ( no pressure then ) , buy them a pack of Pokemon cards and remind them of their happy childhood when Frustums , iambic pentameter and iterative methods for solving cubic equations were a mere distant blot on the horizon of their otherwise happy lives.
* the portion of a solid (normally a cone or pyramid) that lies between one or two parallel planes cutting it.