So far this week, I’ve been exceptionally brave and have NOT mentioned the fact that Brandon is away. Brandon – my Son, my Court Jester, my faux Gay Best Friend… Oh how I’ve missed him! But today he “graduates” from the course he has been on, so (after the ceremony) we can bring him home. Yay!
He has been on a residential course at Manchester University, designed to encourage the brightest kids from schools in “rough” areas to continue into higher education… Excellent, we would love him to do that. And the whole thing has been free; including his room, meals, tuition, a night out bowling, a disco and a hired costume to “graduate” in! Apparently they spend £500 per child, on this four-day course.
So what lofty intellectual ambitions have they been instilling in my child? What dreams of academic excellence? What plans for studying and learning, once school is finished and his future profession calls?
“I’ve been doing Street Dance” he told me, during a phone call on Monday night, “And DJing. I was the best one at scratching – they wrote my name on the board and everything”. Great. Clearly they are going to turn him into the next Stephen Fry. Even now I can hear Oxbridge calling his name. Since then he has been able to do a class in Chinese and have a go at cutting open a fake arm… But even so, I do think it is lazy of them to immediately equate the idea of kids from deprived urban areas, with the idea of studying “street” subjects. These kids are clever, the course is meant to get them to aim higher – so stop with the f*cking graffitti, drive-by, urban fashion nonsense and get them reading Shakespeare, or Descartes!
Each child is going to be involved in a little presentation about their course, at graduation this afternoon. I wondered what Bran would be doing, so I asked him, when he rang last night. Hamlet’s Soliloquy, perhaps?
“I’m doing a rap about recycling plastic bags” he said.
Oh for goodness’ sake.