Friday, 10 September 2010

And today we'll be studying Cats Do the Funniest Things

Banshee: O, I am so stressed!
Ma: It's only your first week.
Banshee: But if I don't get all As, I'll never get into university.
Ma: Says who?
Banshee: All the newspapers, all the TV channels, all the teachers -
Ma: Erm -
Banshee: And it's going to be much worse in two years' time.
Ma: Well -
Banshee: If I don't get into university, I'll have to be a plumber.
Ma: A plumber?
Banshee: I don't want to be a plumber!
Ma: You could be a dog-groomer. You like dogs.
Banshee: Aprons make me look fat.
Ma: Or a -

But we'll draw a veil over the mother's well-meaning, but ultimately stupid, unhelpful and depressing (quote) suggestions.

O, the poor younger generation! We pile on so much pressure throughout school: exams, exams, exams. Results, results, results. And there are few jobs at the end of it all anyway.

When I was at school, we ran books on who could distract the teacher from his/her subject the longest. (Richard Meeks won in a German double lesson by stating that all German pillows were as flat as envelopes and setting Frau Taillby off like a battery of Howitzers.)

Today, Banshee is distraught because her double lesson of Religious Studies was spent watching The Truman Show. Why? Because apparently Plato's Allegory of the Cave is 'too difficult'. (I think the teacher wanted a nap.) History was spent watching  The Tudors, and English was spent watching - O, I forget. I'd zoned out as the level of indignation rose.

Banshee: I didn't sign up for two years of TV.

Watching a film - and it was a film, in flickering black and white, projected onto the gym's wall - was a real treat in my school days. For seven years, if a class teacher was off work, the Head, Mr Turner, showed us a slide show of his honeymoon in Venice and a film about a steam train. We knew the script by heart, but never failed to be thrilled by it.

Still, that's probably because the rest of the time we were stuffed full of books and encouraged to discuss, challenge, and debate.

I am aware that many on Blogger battle to deliver an enriching educational experience. Somehow I suspect the Hollywood blockbuster isn't part of their source material, and thus cannot help feeling that Banshee is being cheated.


  1. In case anyone hadn't noticed, our current system of education is broken. Too many targets, not enough innovation.

  2. So this 'Mr Turner' who showed you film of his honeymoon and steam trains (thundering into tunnels perhaps?) - he'd be the human biology teacher, I'm guessing?