Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Exam stress

Has it really been more than a month since I posted?

Last week was chock-a-block.

Monday morning I helped to take son's Form (two classes with total of 26 boys) to the Barbican on the Tube. They were to attend a special concert by the LSO introduced by Gareth Malone (recently on TV about boys who won't sing).

They were one adult short and as I had volunteered to help before (being CRB checked and all that) was called upon to do my turn. Enjoyed the experience though I found the sergeant-major emerging in me.

The boys were given partners for the day. The teachers forgot what I think is another important rule or two:

  1. do not talk with a person walking behind you, and
  2. always stay not more than two paces behind persons in front of you.
I was bringing up the tail and found myself saying/shouting, many times, "Boys! Eyes front. Keep up!"

Somehow in the middle of the line you would get one or two who kept turning to the person behind (maybe they didn't like the partner they were allotted) to talk. They start lagging one step, then two, then three behind. Soon there will be a great break in the line and a teacher shouts for them. They run to keep up. So must I, in my heels.


On the whole the boys were a good bunch and I enjoyed the time with them even though it was a bit noisy. Why is it that nine-year-olds cannot wait their turn to speak? Why do they all have to ask questions and make statements together?

Tuesday, late pick-up because son was at drama rehearsal. He was not pleased that his class didn't get to do much as the other class took such a long time to read their lines.

There was to be a String Concert at school. Son planned to go to support his friend performing for the first time. But he realized that he was too tired and there was too much homework. We stayed home. The rain thrashed down.

Wednesday was Fun Choir. He survived that and enjoyed the chocolates given out after the event. (He hates it when they get given those haribo sweets instead.) He also managed to fall badly at play time and sustained cuts on both palms and bruises elsewhere.

After bath we slopped/slapped on the savlon and magnesium. He had been cleaned up a bit at school but there was clearly still lots of dirt left. We call magnesium 'happy cream'. To keep the bedding clean we decided to bandage his hands.

Thursday was fraught.

8.30am piano lesson. We had been trying to get a swop because of his long day but it was impossible. Apparently this then got cancelled as he didn't manage his arpeggios with his hands in bandage.

3.00pm I had my turn at the Uniform Shop. Supposed to finish at 4pm. 4.04pm when I was 'cashing up', some parent wanted something for his son. Straight-forward transaction, I thought. But he made such a fuss over paying, etc, etc. It wasn't 4.15pm before I managed to get stuff back to the School Office.

Looked in at Late Class to see whether my son needed help with his revision as he sits Music Theory exam at 4.30pm. The Late Class teacher didn't know where he was. A classmate said Mr E mentioned "exam".

OK. Nobody seemed to know where he was. But as I had seen Mr E's car by the shop I suspected that he was not at games that afternoon and decided to start son's exam earlier.

I trudged home. 4.25pm. Put the kettle on to make myself a cup of tea. Removed my coat. Phone rang.

Son on the line saying he had finished his music theory exam, could I come fetch him?

Back to the school. No sign of him. Found him upstairs in Mr E's classroom grinning from ear to ear. Exam regulation was he could not leave till 35 minutes after the start of the exam. OK, time up, he could go as Mr E started him at 4pm.

Either my son is a genius who answered all his questions correctly and quickly or he has done very poorly. Who knows?

Poor chap still had a whole lot of homework to complete.

Friday morning. I had written a note to Mr E to explain why he had not completed his homework. But son decided to complete his h/w after breakfast. And did.

Only Toddlers group for me to look after this morning and Cubs for him in the evening. And the optometrist and music shop to buy more clarinet reeds.

Finished school at 3.45pm. Yay!!

What a week!