“Gap Years are a waste of time” – ahem – sorry?

Steam, smoke coming out of my ears. Blood pressure risen to dangerous levels. I am not only in high dudgeon am floating well above it and grinding my rapidly diminishing teeth to boot.

The reason The Daily Telegraph. I know I know it’s called the Tory graph for a reason. It’s not the only paper I read but today I was so incensed I dumped the rest and rushed for the laptop when I read this.

“Gap Years are a waste of time, says advertising supremo” by Javier Espinoza, Education Editor.

OK the article is written about a very successful bloke – Sir Martin Sorrell. His claim that “Gap Years are a waste of time” goes on to say that kids who take a year out before continuing with their education are achieving nothing meaningful , that gap years lacked direction, they need to be more focussed and specific.

This is not Harry Enfield. This is Sir Martin Sorrell.
This is not Harry Enfield. This is Sir Martin Sorrell.

Definition of a Gap Year: a period, typically an academic year, taken by a student as a break between school and university or college education._

Definition of a break: a rest, respite, interval, breathing space, lull, recess;

The majority of kids start school 5, some as young as 4 and are relentlessly drilled to learn, to hit targets, to achieve in an ever competitive school environment. School is the official title but as the school day ends often their days continue with extra tutors, music lessons, sports, language learning until eventually these little people fall in an exhausted heap into their homes where, after a brief “break” for their fish fingers and chips, they have to settle down to deal with far too much homework. The self as a developing individual personality being given little or no time or space to emerge.

Unknown

Sir Martin Sorrell, putting himself up as the all seeing knowing commentator on such matters as Gap Years according to Wikipedia “is married to Cristiana Falcone. Sorrell was previously married to the American-born Sandra Finestone, with whom he has three sons, but the marriage broke down in 2003, as a result of Sir Martin’s “obsession with work”.

Obsession with work.
Living to work. Not working to live.

So it’s a choice really isn’t it? Some may choose to have balance. Have a life where you expand your horizons and experiences without feeling every moment of every day has to be accounted for in an endless round of point scoring exercises in the pursuit of the betterment of the self to impress potential employers or tart up a CV.

Sir Martin is simply out of kilter. I believe the emphasis is shifting where more value is given to a developed and happy individual as a whole, not just in terms of exams, awards, boxes ticked on an outmoded and outdated list. A list clearly still adhered to by Sir Martin Sorrell, that man in the Ivory tower .

OK steam petering out, jaw no longer clenched, spleen vented. I’m off.

 

PS I have a son. He had a gap year. He came back refreshed, independent, mature and able to settle down to his next stage in life. Best thing he ever did.

 

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Teenwolf is in Zante – NOW


UnknownHe packed his case 6 hours before he left. He was leaving at 4am so it was just before he fell into a slump.

After he had put in 3 vests, 2 pairs of shorts and some aftershave ( vital obviously)  I stuffed in half a loo roll, some dried apricots, white kit kats, and a medical supply box that would impress  Dr Quinn Medicine Woman.

imagesWipes, bits, stuff for allergies, rehydrators, paracetamol, plasters, mosquito spray.

I recall his first trip away when he was 7 he came back with his toilet bag unopened. Perfect clean folded facecloth, pristine unused soap, toothbrush missing. All clothes folded, and clean – he hadn’t changed his clothes at all.

Yup he left for Zante on Thursday. What I didn’t realise was they were leaving from Glasgow at  6am so had to get there for 4. Herding cats is an over used expression but 16  x 17 & 18 year old boys going off to Zante for the 1st  time free of guidance, nagging, money and bossing of parents is a real cat herding exercise. No shit.

 

Taking a deep breath and determined to give him his space. I have resisted texting. In return every 2 days I get a two work text from Zante boy.
I am happy. This proves many things.

 

  1. He realises I am a neurotic old bat
  2. He is coherent enough to text
  3. He has the foresight to charge his mobile
  4. He notices he is not here.

The brief  communications have been as follows.
Day 1. Arrived safe.

Day 2 NOTHING

Day 3 Apartment dodgy

Day 4 Nothing

Day 5 Need decent food.

 

Of course I have tried cajoling him. What are you eating? How hot is it? And just before I press send I think. Woah. Stop. Being the stalking woman it is not a good look. So I have refrained.

As I sat tucked up on the couch getting over the 2 week stay of our pals from Australia I flicked through the TV idly. And what did I find?

Inbetweeners Movie.
3 minutes in in I recalled the strict instructions from those who know

‘DO NOT under any cicrcumstances watch the Inbetweeners Movie.’

Too late.

Palpitations.

More insomnia – if you wonder if you  can actually have more insomnia and less sleep. I am (zombie like) living proof you can.

The joys of parenthood.

Oh and take it from me. If you are a parent. Do not watch the Inbetweeners Movie. Ever.

If you’re not though do it’s funny as hell.

Hello! Today is the day to meet Teenwolf and the Mongrels !

Living with Teenwolf – a joy for a mother to behold. I’ve written about him so many times I felt it was time to share a peek at the reality. Put it this way Kevin the teenager is no longer a comedy it is a documentary of our life. Proof is in this pudding.
Then of course I have to fess up I am not a perfect mother. I know, I know it’s a shocking admission call the police, but it’s true.

But I do get it together to feed the beasts – and no I’m not talking about Dave and Teenwolf but the hounds of the baskervilles, our two that’s  Sam our nice but dim labrador and Flora half dog half womble who are joined on this occasion by my Mothers big hairy nelly dog called well…eh..Nelly actually. By the way I am not housewife of the year but the reason there is newspaper on the floor is because we finally had to defrost the freezer as it was frozen shut it’s not usually quite so Wayne and Waynetta Slob – honest.

Of course the combination of teenagers, animals and a typical Scottish bloke husband does mean that occasionally under duress I am forced to drink wine  the consequences of which become more dire as time goes on. Gone are the days of leaping forth in a fragrant fashion to face the day after a a wild night and a few hours sleep. No sadly the morning after the day before now means many hours of shuffling around regretting the 3rd glass and wondering how on earth to start feeling human again. After the usual suspects a banana, a berocca, a yoghurt , a vat of water, a pint of coffee, some paracetamol and a full cooked haven’t worked there is nothing left for it but to go for a lie down which is exactly what I was doing when Dave snuck up with the camera and caught me at as you can see here.

Typical he can work my new video camera but he can’t set the video when I want the latest episode of how To Look Good Naked. So from The Sunday Mail, a flat one dimensional page to a confessional box as this is turning into. Technology is a strange thing.

From day-to-day on this here blog I have been spouting lots of stuff – its great being able to be so proactive  from being restricted to just a Sunday I have been running amock – is that how you spell amock?  So if my pal Fiona finding the best buy in an antique shop  near Callander , a nitwit trying to flog utility kilts and sex education for the deranged 1950’s housewife are of interest either scroll on down this page – it goes on for ages – or click on ‘Day to Day’ tab at the top of this page and have a look. Alternatively….come back any day you have a moment. Coming up over the next few days I will introduce Matthew, a  B&B proprietor from Kilmelfort who may well steal Keith Floyds crown as he produces a delicious chocolate pud with the help of a quantity of wine oh and me, his very able (to drink) assistant in fact here’s a photo to whet yer whistle…

Matthew fabulous Kilmelfort cook at home swigging wine & handling fondants. Form an orderly queue.

Get yer pen and paper ready for next time though as the pud he creates will hit all the right spots as well as possibly giving you one or two – but hey it’s worth it!

Don’t forget to subscribe to this on the right hand side by filling inyour e mail address  yup – it’s a free bottle fo champagne every week at stake – you’d be mad to miss it. Til next time! Have fun!   Alison x