Winter has arrived here, as is its habit, with a cold snap and rain in mid-April.
Actually it often rains around Meggi’s birthday. It’s the last rain of the season; I guess it really classifies as Autumn rain, interspersed with hot sunshiny patches and chilly nights. Time to get those “storm blankets” out. (“Storm” is actually the name of the dark-grey colour of these phenomenally warm poor-man blankets, but it was such a poetic concept that for us, they became “storm blankets”.)
I’m spending precious holiday time with my 3 that are so big already… 2 in high school and one moving there so fast now. My oldest is finishing school this year, it’s an exciting time in her life. Unlike some, she isn’t entirely sure what she wants to do; we have various leads and a general direction but no decision (“I want to be a fireman, period”). Well that is okay; I told her the stories of practically everyone in the family, and a good few friends. When one is 17, one is (brought) under the impression that this is a momentous decision, that whatever you pick now, is what you will be condemned to do forever after. This is simply not true. Virtually each one of us changed careers in mid-flight, at least once.
Nothing you ever do is wasted. So in the case of my oldest offspring, it’s practical to take a gap year, shadow people in their jobs to discover how those work; take some courses, then in the following year (2017) begin a degree course of a general direction, in her case BA fine arts, that leaves various options open at the end for a post-grad that will be more specific. By the end of her BA she can make that decision, but it will not limit her options the way a more specific first degree would.
The way to deal with the panic mechanics, I suggested to her, is to tell them she’ll be doing a PGCE. That is a post-graduate certificate in education which would make her employable as a school teacher – one of the jobs she is considering. Of course telling a relative you’re going to do a PGCE, will be met with a moment’s surprised silence, and then the obvious objection, “but you can’t just do a post-graduate certificate, you have to have a degree first!” To which the answer, naturally, is a sovereign smile and the comment, “yes, that’s the plan”.
Because there are a lot of panic mechanics. They see a “directionless” child and spot a “future unemployable problem adult”. Oh for heavens’ sakes. And they were never 17 and at that junction with nary a clue what they wanted to nail themselves down to doing for the rest of a lifetime? “Your daughter should do this and your daughter should do that”… right, but it is her own choice. Not mine; not theirs.