Thursday, 5 January 2012


Knitwits Yarns

Teenagers - on the whole - get a pretty hard rap, I think. En masse they can be a pretty intimidating site but individually you'll usually find they're kind and decent and, at times, very, very funny. At the time of life when their hormones are raging and, ideally, all they'd like to do is sleep (preferably with a member of the opposite sex) they are expected to do the most critical exams of their short lives and learn some quite bizarre and, seemingly, irrelevant stuff.

Our boys have a double whammy as they are both doing the International Baccalaureate, which is a testing course by anyone's standard. Even if they don't intend to study English, Maths or a foreign language at Uni they have to do it for IB, plus 3 other subjects. In addition they have to write a 4,000 word essay on any subject of their choice (which must include independent research) {this element alone has recently been compared to an undergraduate dissertation} and they have to give a talk on a subject of their choice which includes some controversy and includes "ways of knowing" (G is doing his on fox hunting) and - oh yes - they have to fit in hours of community, service and activity as well.

G is nearing the end of this very testing process with final exams looming in May and over the holidays he was asked to, ideally, read The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams and something else by Chekov (and, I'm sorry, I can't remember what!). Being realistic about the probability of G reading The Glass Menagerie I turned to our good friend Amazon and managed to find a DVD of it - starring Katherine Hepburn - which will give you an idea of how old the film was.

It was in colour (just) and - being the good Mother that I am - I offered to watch it with G last night so at least he had someone to bat ideas around with and wasn't all on his own.

The brief overview on the box described the mother (Katherine Hepburn) "suffocating" her children and G was mightily disappointed when I broke the news that this wasn't literal - this wasn't going to be a murder mystery or gore movie.

"Oh" - he said.

So we watched it and occasionally - at some particularly salient point - pointed at each other and shouted "Ha"! - that's bound to be relevant - lots of symbolism and metaphorical images and other things that exam boards love.

Given that the entire play takes place in one room it wasn't ideal fare for a testosterone-fulled 18 year old.

At the end we sat in silence for a few moments and then G simply said,

"Well, that's two hours of my life I'll never get back" !!

Teenagers - you've got to love them!

No comments:

Post a Comment