Modern classroom is a different world

WERE they the best days of your life? Unfortunately for me I was never really very good at anything at school - certainly not sport - and my school career was unremarkable, without any notable achievement or glitter.

WERE they the best days of your life?

Unfortunately for me I was never really very good at anything at school - certainly not sport - and my school career was unremarkable, without any notable achievement or glitter.

Was it the same for you? Well we can't all be brilliant pupils can we?

Anyway, as I was sitting in my Felixstowe salon with sea views (distant) the other evening, I was thinking about how times have changed.

Even since the time I went to school, which really wasn't that long ago, the modern classroom is like a different world with interactive everything and ever-increasing exam results - goodness this latest generation must be clever mustn't they?

Not that I remember, but back in the 1960s Britain's schools were far removed from classrooms of 2008.

Most Read

Imagine the following scenarios…..

Johnny and Mark get into a fistfight after school.

1960 - Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up mates.

2008 - Police are called. Armed Response Unit arrives and arrests Johnny and Mark. Mobiles with video of fight confiscated as evidence. They are charged with assault, ASBOs are taken out and both are suspended even though Johnny started it. Diversionary conferences and parent meetings conducted. Video shown on six internet sites.

Jeffrey won't sit still in class, disrupts other students.

1960 - Jeffrey is sent to the principal's office and given six of the best. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.

2008 - Jeffrey is given huge doses of Ritalin. Counselled to death. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADHD. School gets extra funding because Jeffrey has a disability. Jeffrey drops out of school.

Billy breaks a window in his neighbour's car and his dad gives him the slipper.

1960 - Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.

2008 - Billy's dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to foster care and joins a gang. Psychologist tells Billy's sister that she remembers being abused herself and their dad goes to prison. Billy's mum has an affair with the psychologist. Psychologist gets a promotion.

Mark, a college student, brings cigarettes to school.

1960 - Mark shares a smoke with the school principal out on the smoking area.

2008 - Police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug possession. His car is searched for drugs and weapons.

Johnny takes apart leftover firecrackers, puts them in a model plane paint bottle and blows up an anthill.

1960 - Ants die.

2008 - MI5 and police are called and Johnny is charged with perpetrating acts of terrorism. Teams investigate parents, siblings are removed from the home, computers are confiscated, and Johnny's dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly again.

Johnny falls during break and scrapes his knee. His teacher, Mary, finds him crying, and gives him a hug to comfort him.

1960 - Johnny soon feels better and goes back to playing.

2008 - Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces three years in prison. Johnny undergoes five years of therapy.

Many a true word said in jest eh?

I'VE had a look round the new University Campus Suffolk building and it's pretty spectacular.

From the outside, coming into Ipswich from Bishop's Hill, you can see it taking shape and I've enjoyed watching the progress of Suffolk's first university haven't you?

Inside it is huge - probably because they have yet to install interior walls - and very impressive.

Though I was forced to dress up as a member of the Village People the views from the top floors were amazing and very interesting.

As you can see, Lucy my plain-speaking photographer friend caught the moment.

JUST a few wines with your meals can so easily turn into several too many can't it?

It's very easy to use a few drinks to forget or to relax or to help you sleep but at what point is using a drink become a dependency?

Problem is I don't really know and neither, I suspect, do you.

As regular readers will know I like a drink - especially at weekends - but rarely do I drink during a weekday evening? I wonder if this is sensible though.

At the weekend I somewhat over-imbibed on a rather strong Merlot. When I was in my twenties this wasn't a problem but just recently I've noticed that hangovers are much more unpleasant and longer lasting.

How very irksome. Is this a sign telling me something? I suspect it is so next weekend I have decided to have booze free and see how I get on - I'll let you know.

HAVE you been to the cinema recently?

Last time I went I was shocked.

A few nights ago I popped along to see a film called Cloverfield - a rather strange story about a monster and some nasty creepy crawly things that attack New York. It's a race against survival full of all the usual clichés but with the twist that it's all filmed on one of the actors' video cameras.

It is, I suppose, an attempt at a first-hand account.

Strange though isn't it that with all those millions it cost to make they couldn't afford a proper cameraman?

THE other day I found myself up at East Lane in Bawdsey.

Right on the sea and quite remote, it's a strange place.

There are what appear to be Second World War battlements and bunkers presumably to stop the expected German invasion of 1940, just along from a Martello Tower which was built, I assume, to stop the French in previous times of European strife.

Do you know anything about East Lane in the Second World War?

What was there? I'd be interested to know.

IT'S the mayor's annual charity quiz later this week - always an enjoyable event, which includes a buffet with quiche.

Last year the Evening Star team, which included me and my colleagues Grant, Paul and Lynne, scooped first prize after answering ever so many questions.

So this time we have a title to defend and our honour is at stake.

Even if we lose though I shall enjoy the buffet I'm sure.

I'm not looking forward to Friday are you?

It's February 29 and I'm sure I'm going to be inundated with proposals of marriage from fans keen to hook up with a wanna-be celebrity on the Felixstowe peninsula.

It won't be the first time.

My friend Penny, who knew me before I was almost famous and lives a very sophisticated live in London and is a member of the Putney Light Operatic Society - we have am dram in common, once asked me to marry her.

She now, of course, denies this episode claiming to be drunk or momentarily insane or joking or all three.

My plain speaking photographer friend Lucy has mentioned that she'd marry me only if there was on one else and she was over 40.

So I'm very much in demand aren't I?

As a last resort.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter