It must be a secret dream of many eleven plus parents that when their child comes across a hard question in the examination the answer is suddenly revealed in a flash of light.
Now any grandparents of eleven plus children need to take caution. You will, no doubt, remember the story of the funeral of a grandmother from Georgia, that was held in Blairsville in July of 1982. The preacher concluded his moving address with the words: “We never know what is going to happen next.”
Seconds later, a bolt of lightening hit one of the mourners - who was killed instantly.
The preacher remarked that that an unusual event had happened.
A different type of light can appear to come from stroboscopic movement. Before the days of 3D cinemas and 3D TVs the perception of movement was achieved by different receptors in the brain being stimulated. Normal movement on the screen was achieved by images being projected at the rate of 24 per second. We now have the ability to see events in slow motion so that we can see what happens when a golf ball is hit or lightening strikes. The 3D effect can now allow the ball and the bolt o come towards you at a terrifying speed.
Parents worry about many things in the approach to the eleven plus. They worry that they are feeding their child the right kinds of food, they worry about the time their child goes to bed, they worry about friends and the time spent on the telephone. Parents also worry about the amount and the richness of work their child is doing. Up to now I have never heard of an eleven plus parent worrying about their child being struck by lightening.
From early times, well before the eleven plus, man has worried about lightening. We know that lightening is the visible discharge of atmospheric electricity. One theory is that lightening comes about by the collision of water droplets in a thundercloud. The theory is that when falling drops hit smaller drops there is a discharge of positive energy. The air around is filled with a negative charge.
When your child is in the eleven plus room just think of all the positive and negative charges that will be flying around. Some children will have been told that it does not matter if they pass or fail. “It is just for a bit of fun.”
Other children will need to pass: “Enough. Work hard and make sure you do not dishonour the family.”
A pretty universal refrain will be: “Just do the best you can.”
When your child reaches Question 34 – and the muse fails to ignite - suggest to your child that he or she taps lightly on the head with a pencil. You may care to explain that this could possibly loosen a few little drops of brain cells and thereby ignite a little electrical storm in the brain. This could allow the brain to heat up and thus institute an explosion – the answer may come in a flash. Your child could somehow find the answer to Number 34. The honour of the family might be saved.
Mother to eleven plus child: “Well, how did it go?”
Child to mother of eleven plus child: “All right – but a rather unusual event occurred on Question 34.”