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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Eleven Plus Dreams

I had a myth shattered today. The Sea Life Aquarium at Brighton had a tank of piranhas. The modestly lit notice explained, in rather too much detail, that the piranha had had a bad press and only occasionally ate humans.

I had grown up on Boys Own stories of intrepid explorers falling out of canoes into the Amazon. I can still picture today piranhas, in a feeding frenzy, tearing the flesh off the still living body.

We enjoyed the tunnel with a glass roof – and it was possible to watch sharks swimming over head. The other plaque that caught my eye was an explanation that sharks are really gentle fish – and very seldom eat humans. Bang goes another myth.

It becomes rather easy then to destroy a myth by the simple task of exhibiting a little notice.

On the entrance to `the bed room of the candidate’ you need a series of little notices.

  • Eleven plus examinations really are quite hard.

  • When we say, `Do your best’ what we really mean is that we really do WANT you to pass.

  • We don’t really mind which school you go to, so long as you are happy.

  • If you don’t do a reasoning paper every day a shark or a piranha will get you in your dreams.

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