Getting a teenager and a college GCSE course in the same room together is a lot trickier than I had previously anticipated.
I appear to have been mistakenly labouring under the impression that you simply located the college, put your name down and the following Monday turned up ready to get your head down and your learning, on.
Wrongly, as it turns out, I believed that GCSEs came in a relatively standard array of subjects such as Maths, English and Physics and that if you joined the group late, well you just had to work harder.
Nah-Uh, a simple frigging O’Level is totally out of the question.
Not only did I discover today that the closing date for applications to our local college was back in January (so that would be a ‘no’ then?), but that, even if The Teenager and I had managed to get our act together and show up on time for once, the variety of course options that he would have had to compare and contrast would have sent him into one of those coma like trances that he slips into every time I give him the choice between baked or mashed potatoes.
There are NVQs, apprenticeships, fast-track courses, slow-track courses, options A through D that combine with levels one through six in a mix ‘n’ match blended type dealy, not to mention the GCSEs that have names like ‘Human Physiology’ (is that like Biology and that?)
Clearly the people who design these courses have a rather hazy and idealistic vision of what, precisely it is, that your run-of-the-mill teenage boy is capable of doing with, and more importantly in; his head.
The reason, I tearfully attempted to explain to the (as ever) terrifying voice on the end of the phone, that we are even having this conversation, is that my particular little handful misread his timetable in his last year of upper school and somehow became convinced that he was on the ‘Distract-The-Teacher-By-Telling-Yo-Mumma-Jokes-Course.’
Unfortunately, but quite understandably, when he came to sit his exams there was a distinct lack of ‘She-So-Fat-She-On-Both-Sides-Of-The-Family’ answers required and so, shockingly enough, he failed.
All of them.
Hoping this information would give the admin bird some idea what we were up against here, I tried to persuade her to just agree to take him off my hands to do, well, anything really, but she stubbornly refused to fudge the rules and so, since she was clearly unresponsive to either bribery or blackmail (I wouldn’t really have hidden in the back-seat of her car until she’d driven out of the car-park tonight, whereupon my reflection would have loomed out of the darkness and into her rear-view mirror) I agreed to write a pleading letter to the head of year, and she agreed to send me a prospectus.
Apparently it’s too big and complicated to come by Royal Mail, so it’ll be arriving in it’s own Parcelforce van.
So here I am, smack in the middle of a big puddle of poo.
And as usual, I’m wearing flip-flops.