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Monday, January 16, 2012

Eleven Plus Clouds

The term `Cloud Computing’ is one of today’s buzz words. The `Cloud’ is not a product like an ebook for your Kindle or an on-line eleven plus test. The `Cloud’ is a service. The `Cloud’ – like real clouds – is scalable. Many different devices can link into the information and the applications held in the `Cloud’. I can recall at school learning about the cumulonimbus – you know the towering cloud that looks so dramatic in pictures. It is difficult to know from the poem which type of cloud Wordsworth was talking about – but his immortal line `I wandered lonely as a cloud’ will be with us forever.

I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o'er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of dancing Daffodils;
Along the Lake, beneath the trees,
Ten thousand dancing in the breeze.

For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils.

There will be many interpretations of William Wordsworth’s poem. Most of them will concentrate on imagery and attempt to capture the essence of beauty and happiness. Of course eleven plus parents won’t always see it that way.

When the eleven plus parent is wandering around trying to find the right books and materials he or she could enter a bookshop and see the abundance of eleven plus materials on the shelves. There will be so many to choose from. Or he or she could do a search on the internet and see page after page of books, materials and recommendations. There could be as many as ten thousand pages dancing on the shelves and on-line.

The question of feeling vacant and pensive is quite compelling. This is where the parent slumps onto the most comfortable chair in the house. A cool glass of something is close to hand. The spouse is on child duty. The moment of reflection and peace is at hand.

“I have bought a pile of papers.
I have found the best tutors.
I have organised on-line tests and exercises.
I have listened to reasons for not working.
I have done my best.
Tomorrow is another day.
Please fill my glass with another."

When your child seems to have his or her head in the clouds – you may well wonder if he or she is thinking about little drifts of stratus, eleven plus materials from the internet or just plain dreaming. What you cannot do is interrupt in case you break the spell.

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