Many, many years ago I used to go to school, so long ago that it was in the era when only the cleverest two percent of pupils went to university, unlike today where everyone goes.
It’s so long ago I have no idea how we were assessed but I seem to remember, certainly at the end of each term, although it may have been on a much more often basis, we were given our position in class. When receiving our results the form teacher would offer congratulations to those at the top of the class but was somewhat less congratulatory to the poor fellows unfortunate enough to find themselves at the bottom.
“You boy, are dim, yes young man, you are a dimwit, a pusillanimous, procrastinating, sybaritic, idiot,” a phrase often metered out to some poor spotty faced youth, for in my schooldays the masters didn’t pull their punches.
It’s fairly safe to say that, we as pupils also didn’t pull our punches either as boxing was a compulsory sport during my school career. This was an opportunity for the less academically minded pupils to come to the fore, although quite how two boys beating each other about the head was going to improve anyone’s mental ability, I’m not sure.
Myself I was always in the middle of the class as I was, I have to admit, a bit of a daydreamer, often paying too much attention to what was going on out of the window, although the teacher usually gained your attention with a swift blow to the head, by the judicious throwing of the board rubber. Sometimes their accuracy was uncanny and from some distance away too, usually accompanied by, “pay attention, dimwit.”
It never ceases to amaze me how much knowledge I managed to acquire during my school career, perhaps when our heads were knocked together by the teachers using the phrase, “this will help knock some sense into you,” there may have been some truth in what they said.
We had a much more structured system in my day, whereby the pupils in the local state school really were dim, whilst in my private school we were adequate, leaving the upper class to go to Eton and Harrow and a very small minority to go to Oxford and Cambridge.
There were many more manual jobs in the old days which was ideal for the less academically minded pupils who whilst excelling at sports, boxing and the like were then fully trained for a manual job. Even those who felt more at home with a life of crime were equipped with the ability to fight with opposing gang members and to flee like a gazelle when accosted by the rozzers.
Well, it’s time to finish for today as I can feel my mind getting a little dim, hopefully you will enjoy this blog and come back again for whatever is tomorrow’s word choice.