Wednesday, August 7

A Taxi Ride To Academia

  It all started with a strange phone call from a Victoria who said she worked for the ITV Tonight programme.
Would I like to take part in the programme?
After getting over the initial shock, I got a few more details from her about what it was all about and learned that the story was to be about the controversial changes to the GCSE exams which are proposed for 2015.
It seems that they want drop the coursework part and make it all exams based a bit like the old O level      
or CSE.
So the challenge was to actually sit them both and then decide which you thought was the hardest.
Six candidates would take part in this, all in front of camera and recorded in every gory detail, all a bit terrifying I thought.

But why me, a mere Taxi Driver who left school many years ago at the tender age of fifteen without taking either of these highfalutin fancy exams? 
Well it seems that Victoria had read some of my views on the standards of numeracy and literacy of some of my fares. Such as the two who needed a calculator to divide a fare of £90 between the two of them or the many who just cannot tell right from left. But still, I like a challenge and despite reservations, I said I would have a go. After all I had left school such a long time ago that all the bad memory's had drifted away like ghosts in the light.

So it was off down to Manchester on the Monday and a drive round in the taxi whilst being interviewed on camera, scary stuff but as it was in my comfort zone, the taxi where I felt a bit more in control it wasn't as bad as I feared.  After a night in a hotel down Manchester, the really terrifying bit began. The building being used was the beautiful but huge and imposing Manchester Grammar School.
As we turned into the sports grounds and down the long drive to the stunning entrance some of the long suppressed dread and fear of school started to bubble to the surface. But once inside the crew and the other victims soon put me at ease again. I decided to keep positive and just relax and enjoy the day.
The other five masochist's were a bit of a mixed bunch and included a man who was a bookshop owner, a charity worker who delivered healthy food to needy area's, a lady who ran a successful review website, a lady who was a retired teacher and a very tall lady university administrator. The last two ladies (pictured) kept mentioning a place unknown to me called Academia one had worked there for many years and the other was still there, dunno what part of the world its in but it sure sounds exotic! The presenter we found was the well respected Aasmah Mir who soon put us all at ease. All in all it was a very slick well organised operation which was really interesting to see being pieced together.

  Three of us opted to take both exams on the subject of English leaving the other three with the dreaded maths.
Well if you want to know how I the long uneducated Taxi Driver from the grim north fared against better educated and far more academic folk from the big city you will just have to watch the Tonight show on the 22nd August. 

The group of exam candidates.
The two visitors from mysterious Academia. 


Lovin Barrow said...

Don't forget: the academic reputation of Barrow for the next five years rests on your shoulders!

Bob Mullen said...

Aye true, but when the weight gets to much for my shoulders I will run a chav over to do my bit to improve Barrow's gene pool.

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