I hold, in my hands, an exam paper. My exam paper. OK, so it isn’t really in my hands because I need my hands to type, and OK so it’s my coursework exam paper which I don’t actually hand until under after Christmas, but still! Unlike A-Levels they’ve actually taken the candidate number business seriously and used it instead of a name, rather than Britain’s
exam boards awarding bodies who still get you to sign scripts. There are eleven questions and seven themes for me to make up my own question from, out of which I need to select one before my first and last supervision and thus teaching for this exam. Super. But it’s a false choice – a bit like school choice – because it just raises the anxiety level. What if I pick the wrong question? What if I spent the rest of the year staring at the blindingly obvious question I should have chosen instead? Oh, stress! But not really stress, because real stress is an actual exam in an actual exam hall which first year historians are magically exempt from.
Today (well, yesterday) was a rather productive day, with another essay completed and supervised. On race and immigration, which invites questions like ‘are people just hysterically anti-immigrant, or are they also really racist too?’ – although I must stress that this wasn’t actually my question. But it would be if I was setting it. But even more – more! – productive than doing this was making the amazing discovery of the difference between homogeneous and homogenous. Go on – without looking it up – I bet you don’t know? But I’ll remember this for the rest of my life now!
Tomorrow (well, today) is Natasha’s 16th birthday which, as ever, follows hot on the heals of mum’s birthday – double woos, yays and houplas! The experience has made me realise that birthday cards take on a whole new meaning if you’re actually sending them from somewhere other than the same house, and you can cram in letters and news and requests for money and stuff. Although I must stress that requesting money wasn’t actually what I did. But it would be if I was desperate.
And finally: it took him a little under a month, but Boris Johnson has finally put a great clunking foot wrong by scrapping half-price bus travel for those on income support. Well done, Boris, you’ve managed to double the fares of the very poor in a single stroke. I’m seriously starting to regret voting for him… although I must stress that, of course, I most certainly did not.