They Have To Grow Up One Day

August 19, 2008 at 6:12 pm (Parenting) ()

Apparently it seems that this year, for the first time, UCAS have allowed parents to act as proxy’s for their children – handling their University applications procedures themselves. Not to sound too Tumbridge Wells but I really am a little shocked and appalled.  These are the so-called “helicopter parents” who will go so far as to attend their little darlings interviews with them.

The problem is these parents are doing the cruelest thing possible to their children. They are depriving them of an essential human experience – learning to do things for yourself.  Now my parents were pretty damned good at this.  From the age of 16, in fact possibly earlier, I was expected to handle my own bank account, phone bills and anything else that came along.  Sure I could ask for help but at the end of the day you have to learn how to deal with the day to day admin of living in this day and age.  Applying to University and handling UCAS was a breeze, especiallly when compared to applying for student loans, getting all the registration garb together and actually getting registered at University but this was a process that I was old enough and intelligent enough to handle.  Surely if somebody is qualified to go to University they have to be qualified to deal with the apperwork and admin that comes along with it?  By taking that away from them parents are making it harder for their children to cope as they get older.

In the same way pre-historic parents had to teach their children to deal with the rigours of day to day life through hunting and protection from predators, modern parents have to equip their children with the ability to pay a utility bill, set up a bank account, fill out a job application etc.  We live in a world of administration and beauracracy – children have to deal with it and parents have to do their part by letting their children deal with it.

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I Love A Parade

August 10, 2008 at 1:51 pm (Sport) (, )

The months until my PGCE starts have suddenly become weeks and terrifyingly may soon become days.  I’m slowly panicing at my lack of preparation or reading.  You would think that would prompt me to do some reading but I get precious little free time as it is – I don’t need to go completely insane.

So instead I’m indulging in my four yearly sport fest that is the Olympics.  I’m not a very sporty person – in fact that’s an understatement.  I am completely unfit and the only sport I actively watch is football.  I say actively watch, I just hang around with men mostly so I have over the years learnt how to enjoy watching a football match – I never go out of my way to do so.  My point is you wouldn’t expect me to be the sort of person who is watching live streams of all the Olympic events, but you’d be wrong.

I fell in love with the Olympics because of my insomnia originally.  I’ve had trouble sleeping since I was a small child and it’s led to me watching a huge amount of late night television.  The Olympics is fantastic for insomnia if it’s being held in a country with a decent time difference – and of course the advent of the internet and interactive television means you can watch whichever event you want.  Well I says that, unfortunately it’s not true.  For some reason you can only watch one of four events going on on the BBC at any one time.  Why no fencing yesterday eh? eh?  But I digress.

I got into the Olympics because of insomnia but I stayed into it because of the education value.  I love learnign about something new – jack of all trades, master of none is a phrase designed for me.  So the thrill of getting into something for a week, learning all it’s rules, tricks, skills, conventions is just amazing.  I’ve watched weightlifting, three day eventing, badminton (lots of badminton – it was seriously competitive and they haven’t even whittle the field down yet!), gymnastics and much more and absolutely loved it.

Frankly I don’t have the long term endurance that is needed to get into a sport or support a team day in day out all year long.  But two weeks (give or take a few days) is the perfect length of time to get feversihly excited about sports.

On a final note though please don’t think I’m unaware of the fact that a totalitarian dictatorship is running the show here though.  While watching the events and thinking “Wow that is an amazing and huge facility they’ve got there” don’t ever forget that it was built using slave labour and that people have lost their homes and jobs for it to be there.  China is trying to put on a pretty show for the rest of the world to distract us from their apalling abuses of human rights (and possibly as well to distract from their pals the Russians killing innocent Georgian civilans but that’s for another post). They’ve succeeded in putting on a pretty show and I will thoroughly enjoy watching it – but I won’t for one minute allow it to distract me from the truth about the Chinese regime.

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