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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Waiting for Results

We are waiting, just like so many other parents, teachers and tutors for the approaching 11+ results. We know for some there will be great joy. A number of parents will be quite extraordinarily excited. Some, however, will feel faint and need some form of stimulation.

We know that no right minded parent will turn to anything so vulgar and debilitating as alcohol to help the waiting. In fact some parents will have already made a vow to give up wine and chocolates if their loved one does pass the examination. I can not think of any thing more extreme - but who am I to judge?

Other parents will naturally be increasing their consumption of tea and coffee. Both are very well known stimulants. Both beverages have amazing recuperative powers. Spare a thought however, for any descendants of Gustav III of Sweden. He was murdered in 1792. (It is possible that some of his line may be involved in writing the eleven plus examinations.)

Gustav III believed that coffee was poison. (We hope that none of his family have or had shares in Starbucks.) To prove his theory he sentenced a murderer to drink coffee every day until he died.

At the same time he pardoned another murderer on the condition that he drank tea every day.

He then appointed two doctors to supervise the experiment - and then to see who died first. Well you will have guessed by now.

The doctors died first.

Then the King, as mentioned earlier, was murdered.

The first murderer to die was the tea drinker.

The whole point of recalling those anxious days is to highlight the anxiety and concern of our present eleven plus parents. All of those who only drink tea - be very careful over the next few weeks. No late nights, no shouting at the children - and lots of smiling at your child’s school teacher.

For those who are only coffee drinkers be even more careful. In fact a pertinent piece of eleven plus advice would be have equal parts of tea and coffee - but neither in excess.

While you wait for the results you will be working everything out in your brain. The reasons for success. Where you may have gone wrong. (Did the family really need to take the long school holidays off to fly to Australia to see Aunt Mary?) How you will reward you child for passing. What you can give as a consolation prize for trying hard. Should you give the same prize for failing as you would for passing?

The really hard question will be trying to work out is what detox method you will need to adopt to get rid of all the stimulants in your body. Taking the discussion just that little bit further - what about booking yourself in a weekend break? Massages, facials, lettuce leaves, Jacuzzi - the full works. No one else will give you a prize for all the hard work you have done.

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