The senior school tour
I took DD to look around a senior school the other day. It was the first time I’ve set foot in a senior school since I was, well, in senior school myself. And that was (unfortunately I’m not exaggerating) decades ago.
I’d forgotten how much teenagers know; how much stuff they learn at school. We went to the science labs, where spotty adolescent boys showed us incredibly complicated chemistry experiments that sparked long-forgotten memories.
‘Look! That’s a Bunsen burner!’ I yelped, noting as I did so that today’s burners are far slicker and more modern than the crude things we used to use.
In the biology labs, girls in lab coats performed tests involving food, litmus papers and test tubes. I vaguely remembered doing things like that myself in dark, fusty labs long, long ago.
Diligently, the girls wrote up Hypothesis, Method, Result, Conclusion. Goodness, I remember those days: writing up an experiment (assuming you’d made notes in class and not eaten Kit Kats under the bench) was a fun and easy homework that involved different coloured inks and lots of nice underlining.
We went on to the gym, where the squeak of trainer and ingrained smell of teenage sweat took me straight back to my own school. We saw language labs, home rooms and the sixth form centre; we saw the netball courts, art studios and music rooms.
‘How was the school?’ DH asked when he got home that night.
‘Wonderful!’ I said, and proceeded to tell him in great detail all the things I’d done, learned, experienced and seen.
‘And the dance squad was amazing!’ I trilled, as DH’s eyes slid shut. ‘The facilities were brilliant! And it had loads of shady courtyards and open space. The sixth-formers had a kitchen! With fridges and microwaves! It was beautiful!’
After some time without comment from DH, my verbal appreciation of the school we hope DD might get into came to an end.
‘You do realise, don’t you,’ DH said, opening his eyes to prove he was awake, ‘we’re actually looking for a senior school for DD – not for you?’