Richard Herring, the middle-aged comedian who used to be on TV (his description not mine), looks at life in a very unreserved and truthful but always funny way. I’m a fan of his work and his recent show – The Headmaster’s Son – contains a nugget of gold as big as a really big diamond. In it Richard begins a dialogue, nay an argument with his 16 year old self. It’s his way of wishing he knew then what he knows now, but also that he wishes he was now what his 16 year old self wanted him to be then. In short, actually I’m lost, but the point is what does it matter what his 16 year old self was, all that matters is who he is now – and that’s just my point with GCSE’s and A’ levels. What possible use can they be on a job application form that requires you have a degree?
Phillip: “This man has PHDs from Cambridge in exobiology and cosmology, surely qualifications of note in applying for this research position. He’s gonna be a star. A star I tells ya!”
Gerald: “Oh dear, look, he didn't do that well in his GCSEs.”
Phillip: “No! Cast out his damn soul and let not his pathetic and tiny brain curse our eyes and our ears no more. He’s dead to me. Dead!”
Gerald: “That was quite dramatic.”
On reflection, looking back, way back I will admit I was a bit of a lazy bugger. I lacked direction, motivation and purpose. I did what I needed to do to get by and no more. The only area in life where my procrastination was a major problem was in school, and that’s only a problem now when I look back on my results - they were good to middling. I always did just enough to get to the next level. No one told me in twenty years time I’ll be judged on these results. I was focusing on the next step, A’ levels and University. Give me a break.
How do these kids do it with all the A stars at GCSEs. Seems today that every kid in the country comes out with at least five A grades, sometimes in swearing and knife crime, but As none the less. Is someone telling them – look out kids, you may think school is for having fun with your mates and getting by academically but in twenty years time this could make or break your life! I was too busy playing football and chasing girls (for chasing girls read playing Diplomacy) to care about the future.
It’s my firm opinion that junior academic achievements should be wiped from your record, like a spent crime from when you were caught pissing in the street by some overzealous policeman, as soon as you get to university. From that point onwards only your university grades need be given. As an aside I now detest public urination and see no good reason for it, you see I have changed.