Exams and Playtime

There is a report out that suggests that exam results are poorer if the exams are held during big football events. Never having been a  follower of sport I don’t exactly see the importance but I can see several things about this that show how weak our priorities are becoming.

For those who don’t revise properly there seems to be a feeling that there are not enough years to enjoy oneself and every possible time should be taken, including the ones in the few formative years when we take our initial exams.

There is an acceptance of this in the answer given that exams should be set at times that do not clash with big sporting events.

Worse it would seem to me that most of the students effected by this are only watching on TV so it’s hardly a problem of participation, more a problem of being able to say one watched so one can discuss the results with one’s friends. The wrong kind of results in this instance.

But then very few of the overpaid sports people have good exam results anyway but quite a lot of expendable income, so perhaps there is wish-fulfillment here amongst certain students.

But our Government wants a certain percentage of students to be poor students because they expect them to be the ones who collect our rubbish and clean our streets.

And it is Governments who give out licenses to TV companies and make the laws about examinations. They hardly care.

Life’s Got Nothing To Do With It

The more I watch TV shows and their supposed realism the more separated from living I think they are. I know they are just stories and it is escapism on a grand scale but as a story writer I can assure you they are not that inventive or that interesting, going over story-lines and themes as old as Roman,Chinese and Greek myths. The hero, the heroine the enemy.

They say there are a set number of story-lines which we re-interpret for each generation using the old motifs with different attributes. So for example no one two hundred years ago would have ever written about a telephone in a story but the idea of communication across distances is not new, it just goes from the field of magic to the field of fact.

I don’t have an argument with these shows, they are what they are, but I do feel it’s like reading a trashy novel when you know there are wonderful literary experiences to be had, that viewers are sold short and that actually TV could be an inventive medium that engages the viewer in an extension of their experience not an affirmation of their day-dreams.

When they invented TV they said it could educate in a way not know before in the human race. I think that baton has been handed to the Internet.

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