Not long to go now before El Goth reaches another landmark in his life. A time to reflect I suppose but then, the temptation to think that you would do things differently proves all too tempting.
How could you have done things differently? One makes decisions based on the information at hand at the time. Granted my parents were distraught when I turned down the scholarship to a private school when I was 10. As a family we didn't have any money so the opportunity for one of us to join the 'elite' must have seemed a gift from the gods. BUT, I did't want to play 'chase the soap' with the 'chocolate soldiers' (later to become lawyers, paedophiles or whatever).
I was more interested in proving that you could play with sticks without taking someone's eye out. I was curious to know how you could create fire without matches or a lighter - the ants found out the hard way. I wanted to wrap dogshit in newspaper, set fire to it on someone's doorstep and then ring the doorbell. Simplistically, I wanted to be a child and discover for myself - not follow some script that should make me a 'better person'.
Teachers didn't really help - they didn't understand the concept of multi-tasking then. They assumed because I was talking to my friends at the back of the class I wasn't listening to them. Not true. It's just that the interesting parts were so fragmented between repetitive nonsense that the only time I came alive was during exams.
Apparently, this was not very popular with the educational community so I used to get sent from lessons to somewhere I had to be quiet. In typically myopic fashion, the only place they could think of was the library. So, I sat quite happily educating myself.
I'd like to think it was a clever ploy but, I knew the odds that were running on me failing exams. I know this because I had an inside track. The few teachers who actually cared would say things like:-
Art - "You're supposed to learn how to draw an eye? Come and look at the work of the Pre-Raphaelites"
Music - "Scales? Listen to Bob Dylan and then Mozart..."
English - "Cider with bloody Rosie - Jesus Christ, come and have a look at The Iliad"
Do I regret not going to a Private School? Do I fuck. You can keep your privates....
*to be continued*