And on that walk, what do we see? Scores of miserable looking teenagers trudging their way to big school. The poor little sods.
You’d have a long face too, if you had your youthful spirit systematically crushed five days a week as a conveyor belt of bright, sparky children are moulded into dead-eyed, compliant employees.
Daughters #1 and #2 were model high school students. More or less 100pc attendance, homework in on time and virtually identical exam passes despite attending different schools – one where you have to pass an exam to get in and the other where mum or dad attends church every Sunday for a year to score vital admission points.
Both are at university now, studying subjects they enjoy and can make a good living from, hopefully. Maybe that’s the trick, instead of having your weaknesses ruthlessly exposed, find something you like and are good at and do that.
I asked our kids what they learned in high school that was of any use now. Answers ranged from “Nothing” to “Forgot everything the minute I walked out of the exam room.” To every kid struggling at school, what you learn there will not prepare you for later life. The kids who do well in school are good at passing exams, that’s all. So don’t sweat it. And you’ll probably spend your first few years at work unlearning most of the stuff you were taught.
It’d be quite handy if teenagers were taught how to eat and live healthily on minimum wage, start their own business, save money, invest in the stock market, develop a genuine love for exercise and discover that failing isn’t failure, it’s how you learn.
As for exams. You will NEVER, in your ENTIRE working life, be expected to graft in solitude and silence for hours on end, regurgitating everything you know about the Languedoc Development Scheme. It just won’t happen. If you get stuck, ask a workmate. It’s not copying, it’s not cheating, it’s learning.