Cars, Children, Nagging, Education

Both my daughters have cars, both cars are playing up. What a pain. Your children are your children however old they get. you drive them around, pick them up at all hours , help them learn to drive, buy them a car, tax, insurance,get the car fixed, MOTed etc, etc. I love them really, honest.

What constitutes nagging? You ask nicely, you say please, you ask nicely again another day, say please, ask nicely, please,nicely,please that’s NAGGING apparently. Of course , if what you asked to be done the first time was done  the first, or second time there would be no need to ASK again would there? Have you noticed how this applies to children and husbands ? They never NAG because what they ask for gets DONE .

Both girls have been peering over my shoulder saying I do nag and they are sweet and innocent.

Education. My husband went to an ordinary primary school where he did very well A+,A+,A+etc “Nigel could do better”. Then he went to a very good grammar school and he did very well and became a doctor. He loved school.

I went to a private primary school because the local primary school wasn’t that good at that time. My Dad was quite forward thinking.There was a French headmistress ( yes headmistress, not headteacher) there and he thought that the ability to speak another language would be advantageous . Well it was crap. Our French lessons consisted of learning lists of nouns. If you could recite these you got a badge. No verbs, just nouns.

Reading was taught using Janet and John type books but once you got to a certain level there were no more childrens books only some old history tome. We pretended we couldn’t read that well so that we didn’t have to “progress” .

We were forced to eat all our food at lunchtime. We tried to squash left overs between plates but could only conceal a small amount.

One of the teachers sat at a round table with a chenille cloth draped over it (reminiscent of a fortune teller).You had to walk through this room sometimes and she would point at you and say”Child” in a very scary way.

The eleven plus was a disaster .Only two of us took it. My friend (who had six younger sisters) was popular with the school as they could see more money coming there way. My sister is nine years older than me so she wan’t going to swell the coffers. Anyway there we were doing our eleven plus. The teacher looked over my shoulder muttering about me “doing it all wrong”.She then moaned about having to invigilate and said that one of  us would have to move to another room. Like a fool, I said I would. To the music room (we’d been hearing strains of a host of golden daffodils from there) where the kind music teacher kept saying”don’t worry about me dear, don’t worry about me”. I should add that I was writing a “composition” at the time  and I completely lost my train of thought.

I failed. Apparently I was also on the young side(June birthday)and could have taken a ten plus. I was told off for failing! My Mum had to go round to the school and tell them to desist!

So to the next private school. Not so bad although I did see a girl swinging another round by her hair which was rather unpleasant . No fuss about exams, one day we did the thirteen plus and we weren’t even told that’s what were doing.
I passed. Off to grammar school where I knew nothing and was teased. The school didn’t know what to do with me, I’d only done general science , they did physics, chemistry, biology. I hadn’t done latin or german.

Each term I was told to drop another subject. I did my geography in a physics class, the teacher threw chalk and things at the physics pupils. When they hit me he said sorry.

Maths 2% for spelling my name right.

English was fun, my best friend (she’s still my best friend) and I used to take it in turns to write the best essay, manipulating the teacher. Another teacher gave us better marks if we mentioned sex in our essays!

Anyway, you weren’t allowed in to the 6th form unless you got four O levels. I only took four and got three. My dear Dad had already found me a crammer to go to in Windsor. As it turned out , I could have gone in to the 6th form because our year did badly and they needed the pupils.

The crammer was hilarious.Full of a complete mixture of people, two guys (on the timetable as Arab 1 and Arab 2 -not pc in those days), little ones cramming for common entrance and us O level types. One of the little ones didn’t know his alphabet, when asked if he didn’t think he should learn it he said it was ok ‘cos his Mummy had already booked him in to his next school!

The head (who owned the crammer) told me to take maths and fail it so that my Dad would get the message. He had paid for numerous tutors who had had no luck in making me numerate.

I passed French, I can’t remember if I got anything else.

Next stop, Harley Street. A posh college which I hated. Greek Literature in translation was good , the rest awful. In desperation I said to my Mum”You don’t care I could be going to London for an abortion!” She sensibly replied “Not every day dear”. My sister had been to this college before me but in those days it was handy to have your A levels on the right headed paper.

My Mum and my sister managed to persuade my Dad that I was really unhappy and I went to jolly out Slough college where I was told “You used to come to Slough to die but things are looking up a bit”. Much more my style. Eventually I got two A levels , an A/S level and two more O levels in French ( for failing A level twice).

So, there you are, a wonderful education…..

My girls both went to the local primary which was good enough except they didn’t pick up on ADD or bullying. The oldest (with ADD) didn’t get the eleven plus and the youngest didn’t either but got in to grammar school on appeal, rightly so. It was the same grammar school which I went to but it was nothing like it’s former self. No drama, very little music, narrow minded teachers, far too pro sport.

The secondary modern school that Claire went to thought it was a grammar school . They could not understand that Claire had a problem getting things down on paper because of the torrent of information whizzing about in her head. Sure, she knew it and answered well in class and had neat handwriting and could spell … so she must just be lazy and uncooperative then. She was also an individualist and a rebel. ( Jen was also an individualist with blue hair extensions at one point. She had these for about six weeks and was suddenly told she wasn’t allowed.) Schools just can’t cope with any one being different can they?

The diagnosis of ADD (adult ) has now been confirmed by a professor at Addenbrookes. It is a neurological disorder.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t envy today’s teachers . In fact I fail to see how they can teach anything anymore. the national curriculum is a boring disaster, the rules re punishment (- ie  one) and targets? Oh targets, the government’s great love.  Another subject, maybe another day.

I’ve had stick for doing this , I ask is it any worse than watching television or reading a magazine.

All I want now is some comments – please!

Published in: on January 28, 2007 at 1:48 pm  Comments (3)