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Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Enhanced 11+.

We have just had some tea on the patio of a richly appointed restaurant. The service was good and the waiter was articulate and knowledgeable. We all agreed, as the waiter walked away with our order, that the service charge deserved to be more than a mere fifteen percent.

Some of the tables were close together. The warm sunlight shone on the friendly face that was obviously under reconstruction. We were feet away - not inches. To the un-tutored eye 1 could only guess at the extent of the cosmetic surgery and did wonder about the starting point.

We have all heard of the lengths some parents have been prepared to go to while preparing for the 11+. We are not just talking about papers, tutors and pressure - but what about the interview!

The interview must follow a reasonably predictable formula covering questions to relax the family and moving on to : “What makes you think you will be happy here?”

Suppose that Question 12 was: “We really do admire your nip and tuck. Where did you get that done?”

Question 13 could be: “Have you, or any one in your family, felt any long term mental health benefits?”

Question 14 would naturally follow: “Did your cosmetic surgery improve your self esteem and body image?”

The interview could then continue with remarks to the parents about how well their child had done on the previous three questions.

The family would leave with these words on endorsement ringing in their ears: “Well Mr. and Mrs Wilson, this is certainly the best prepared and most masterfully created 11+ child we have seen so far. Do you mind if we use your testimonial to your surgeon in our prospectus? We naturally have a place for your super enhanced child.”

(Names have been altered to maintain privacy.)

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