Thursday, 18 September 2014

High Fidelity High!



Remember that? Good old Fame! That was one of the songs off the album - yep I had the album. The old one mind - you know the 1980's one. High as in High - I've been gone so long AWOL some might say. I've been dying to write but just haven't had the time. I had time in the evening when 2 were at school but now 3 are its proving to be a tad difficult. It will settle down I'm sure.  The other High relates to High School, or as I would prefer to say, Secondary School. Its my turn to look at High schools for my eldest along with phonics meetings with my youngest!

Prepare for all the "what school you looking at?" all over again. Just when you thought you won't have to do all that ever again enter High School which I actually think is worse than picking a primary school.

And I don't really know why everyone gets so serious about it. Well I do - everyone wants a good education, good GCSE results, good prospects, no bullying and everything to be hunky dory with the world and their child. But sometimes I think its more about the parents aspirations really because if you really think about it is your child really going to be a superstar if they get all A*'s - are they going to be happy? Or are they going to be a complete arse with no apathy or social conscience whatsoever as all they've been taught is to achieve, achieve and achieve. God dam it!

If the child gets A*'s and are a 'superstar' it, in theory, means they get lots of money and they can buy lots of things and that's meant to equate to happiness or certainly the parents happiness as they can say the child got A*'s and is going to X university and will become the head of Apple or whatever.

However, I know children who have done very well in exams and are still looking for a job and studying and getting these grades wasn't all that it was cracked up to be. Every child has to be academic when clearly we can't all be. We still need our young people to be builders, plumbers and electricians. We still need proper skills not just pen pushers.

I think a lot of people in high pressure jobs (earning lots of money means lots of hours, lots of work) might not be happy. Yes they might have a big house, a flash car and go on holiday (a few a year as they have to work to pay for all these things for the rest of the year) but I suspect that there are times when they just want to get off the treadmill of working to pay for things don't you?  What if they had dreams of becoming an author, a painter or a dancer? It might (okay does) sound naive but I'm sure there is more to life than just working to acquire stuff.

Also, sometimes I really don't see the point of visiting these secondary schools. What?! Are you insane? No, I suppose I'm being flippant and of course you want to see where your child will be everyday but you don't get to see the teaching, the pupils etc in these open evenings. You get a year 8 pupil showing you around (for about an hour - exhausting trotting up and downstairs after them trying to make conversation) all the different rooms and what not. Your child can do some literacy/maths activities in a room if they want. Who wants to do that they just had a full day at school? You'll hear a head teacher talk (we now skip those) about "striving for excellence" - not heard one yet that isn't striving for that.  So they're all working the PR, spinning the the results to make you pick their school. So how do you pick?

Well for me its about the journey. We have a secondary which is a 2 minute walk away, brand new building and the results are good not fantastic but good. It means my child would be home quickly can do their homework and then chill out. Or I could send him on 2 buses into down town South London to get to the all boys grammar school. Think London riots, knife, gun crime and general danger, danger that an 11 year old could be exposed to.  It would take at least 45 minutes to travel about 7 miles in the traffic and have my nerves on edge for the best part of the afternoon.  For what? Will he really get a better education and better for what? To be on that treadmill.  Is that happiness? I want for him to be happy like really happy with his lot. I want him to travel and experience things when the world is his oyster in his late teens early twenties before he settles down and works for the rest of his life. But work in a job he loves. He might go totally off the rails and that will be a different blog post entirely but the thoughts there!

He has sat the grammar exam which in the dead of night I imagining him dicing with death to get there. I know in reality he'll be fine and will probably do him good to have some street cred.

That was an experience in itself I can tell you!  Gridlock, police, army cadets and parents saying "remember what you were taught" "concentrate, don't get distracted" "are you nervous?". I'm thinking what with all the pressure you've been piling on me for the past 3 years - nervous?!

My son had a practice on a multiple choice for maths and english paper I got off Amazon. I didnt' want him going in blind so to speak. He's had no tutoring and if he passes then I'll be proud but I'm doubtful I will send him across town to the better school.  I know to some parents this is insane but you have to think about the bigger picture. He might not pass - very probable but then I'll know if he is very clever or just brighter than average.

In other news, the diet has not been happening. I attached my fitbit for about 3 days (did lots of steps) then couldn't be bothered. Likewise for my fitness pal. I did a big walk and got the most insane blisters. However, whilst in the Reception class one of the dad's is a personal trainer and handed me a leaflet (!) for a boot camp type workout in a local park for £3.50. I feel as unfit as I've ever felt but I'm going tomorrow! Wish me luck as I think I may collapse and I really hate group stuff. I just think I'm too old for this shit. You never know I might love it!

As promised here is a bikini pic in a more flattering lying down pose - not much difference to last year but I like the bikini!
A dim and distant memory

And here is the less than flattering Billy Bunter/Weeble pose...



And a few more holiday snaps...

Crabbing!


Attempting a selfie as I am 15 years old

The best terror picture in the world ever!

Giving it large! 

Next blog post will be from Rachel and the start of her fitness regime.

Be back soon.

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