Monday, 5 December 2016

Education and results.

Our daughter-in-law has been teaching their small daughter Spanish. All was going well. The little girl was having fun. This morning I received a text message. One stage of the learning had gone like this:

Mummy: Grandma speaks Spanish, doesn't she?
Little girl: Yes.
Mummy: Hola, abuela.
Little girl: Hola, umbrella.

I love the logic of the small child's brain. Faced with a new-sounding word, the brain substitutes a familiar word. Fantastic. Years ago, when our first granddaughter, now a very grown-up 19, was just a little, two-year-old dot of a thing, there was a song around called "I need a miracle". The small person, nicely in tune, sang out, "I'm in America". Brains are wonderful!

On the subject of education, Phil read out a headline to me: "Graduate sues Oxford University for £1m over his failure to get a first".

Well, I thought, it was bound to happen sometime. We live in a litigious society. I have to say that I thought the first case would be a pushy parent suing a sixth form college because their super-intelligent offspring had not achieved high enough grades at A-Level. I was really only surprised that it had not happened sooner.

And then I read the article. It turns out that the graduate in question received his degree 16 years ago. He then trained as a solicitor and did not have so successful a career as he expected. Apparently he believes he would have had a career as an international commercial lawyer if he had been awarded a first rather than the 2:1 he achieved 16 years ago. And he blames his teachers! According to his lawyer, he suffers from insomnia and depression because he did not achieve his first class degree. 

Oxford is largely dismissing the charge since it all happened so long ago. I tend to agree with them. Surely, if he was going to suffer from insomnia and depression because he did not do well academically, his symptoms would have manifested themselves long ago.

A rather more important court case is going on at present. The government is trying once more to sort out the rights and wrongs of the methodology for getting us put of the EU. We wait to see the outcome!

Meanwhile, I was beginning to feel a little more optimistic about things when Austria did not vote in the right wing candidate. But then the results of the Italian constitutional referendum came out this morning and it would seem that the lunatics continue in charge of the asylum. My mother always said that bad things come along in threes. 

The writer of this article believes that Renzi's defeat is not in the same class as Brexit and Trump but my Italian friends are very upset about it.

Once again, we shall wait and see.

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