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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Class Genius

In every class there is always a class genius. This is the person, boy or girl who simply knows everything. The genius knows how to do division of fractions, the length of a football field and how to remain calm under pressure.

When I was at school the `Class Genius’ was Peter Drybrough. Peter was able to do chemistry and this was a great help to all of us.

We had a remarkably pleasant chemistry teacher. He was a young man, as I recall, and he always started the day cheerfully and happily. As the morning went on he became more morose and grumpy.

He collapsed in front of a class one day at about eleven o’clock. Not in front of us I am sorry to say – but we knew all about it. It ensured that in his back room there was a still where he made pure alcohol.

Every class knew that the teacher made frequent trips into his back room over the course of the morning. The chemistry results in the school were not very high in any event. After our teacher had been carried away we were left with no one who could teach chemistry.

Peter, however, knew everything. Is that just not true of all of the genius class? Peter gave some of us help with our chemistry as the examinations grew closer. We did not, however, do all the practicals.

In today’s world we can feel completely sure that no teacher, tutor or parent would ever fall victim to the demon drink. If something did, by chance, go wrong – who could we turn to with a few weeks to go to an examination?

It is simple really, provide as many materials and aids as you can find. Develop a timetable; look for where you can help. If you meet a topic that is really hard just say: `I am sorry, I don’t know – but I know someone who does.’ That gives you a breathing space to phone a friend. Some one will know. You can then go back to your child with the correct answer – and feel good about yourself at the same time.

When the eleven plus examinations are over you can turn to the search engine of your computer and type in the all powerful words: `How do I build a still in my home?’

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