Friday, 18 January 2013

Poor Condition

So I mentioned a few days ago that I had a conditional place to train for a PGCE in Classics at Cambridge School of Education.  A couple of you asked, conditional on what?  After all, I obtained my degree several centuries ago.  I too was curious and waited for a letter of confirmation.  Day after day, when the letterbox clacked, I ran to the doormat like a deluded Labrador with a fetish for envelope gum.  But nothing.
“Maybe it was all a mistake, Carenza?”
“No, Mum, whatever it says on UCAS is binding.”
Furtively I print off a screenshot of my offer.  I shall brandish it as proof in court.
After a week, I decide that I’m allowed to ring the University now.  The administrator answers. 
“Oh, yes, a letter is on its way.”
And the conditions?
“An enhanced CRB check.”          Fine
“A couple of health forms.”         Uhuh.  Yep.
“You should attend a Latin Summer School .”  Yes.  Very  enjoyable.
“And the Teaching Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy.”  Gulp.
“But I have O levels in Maths and English.”
“All trainee teachers have to pass these tests now.”
I put the phone down and perform a silent imitation of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”.  The last maths exam I sat was thirty-five years ago, and frankly, that didn’t go too well.