Onwards and upwards

Life has moved on in the Guineapig  Household this summer.  In fact, I was wondering if it was time for a name change but I’m really quite attached to Guineapigmum so I think I’ll stick with it for the time being.  The biggest change is that Number 1 son, GP1, is now in residence at one of those institutions where teenagers practice sleeping, drinking and spending their parents’ money.  Yes he’s now at university. It’s not quite as far afield as originally planned. He got cold feet at some point during the summer (it may well have been the point at which he hitched up with a new young lady) and changed his UCAS options. He’s now in halls somewhere on the outskirts of Edinburgh and learning to cook, drink (did I mention that?), run up phone bills and play. And he’s home almost every weekend.  Well, you get fed at home, don’t you?

He didn’t work quite hard enough during 5th year Continue reading

In denial

Three weeks and counting…

Nag, nag, nag, nag, nag, nag

GPM:  “That’s 3 weeks. THREE weeks. Well OK 23 days and a few hours until Higher English.  You won’t be able to put it off any longer then.”

GP1:  “I kno-o-ow.”

Nag. Nag, nag, nag, nag.

“So have you learned that poem? Read that book? Written out those quotes?”

“I’ll do it tomorrow.  Sigh.”

Nag, nag, nag, nag, nag, nag.

Bup-a-lup goes MSN.

Nag, nag, nag, nag.

I think I’m turning into a moany old nag.

And I wish someone would move that wall that’s making lumps on my head.

Nag, nag, nag. Nag, nag.

It must be summer – exams are upon us.  It’ll all be over soon. Thank goodness. Until next year, that is.

And until then…

…nag, nag, nag, nag…


Geo what?

Subject choice time looms for GP2, my 14 year old son.  He has to pick three subjects plus Maths and English to study for Higher.  “What do you want to do when you leave school?” everyone asks.  “I don’t know!”  he wails.  “Earn lots of money.”   Don’t we all.  Did you know what you wanted to do at 14? 

Anyhow, Chemistry and Physics are firmly at the top of the list with Geography and Graph Comm (Technical Drawing to you, I think) tying in third place.   “What can you do with Geography?” he asked.  Geochemist, geophysicist, geologist, oceanographer, meteorologist, cartographer, accountant (OK, I didn’t tell him that one), teacher, search for oil…  lots of interesting things.   

What about Graph Comm?  We came up with engineers of various sorts, architect, accountant (no, not this time either)….  lots of interesting things. 

“Go and speak to your teachers” I said.  “Ask them.  Speak to that nice careers man.  The one who plays the clarinet.”

So he burrowed about on the internet and found various things.  I was burrowing about today for some work I’m doing (honest!) and came across this, which I thought you might like:-

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/jxbIJH4fTYo" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

And even though he's a teenager, I like to think I still have some idea of the things that interest him most ;-) , so I'll give a gentle prod in the Geography direction.  His choice, though.  Ooops - the font's gone funny. :oops:




Onwards and upwards

 Standard Grades seemed so simple.  Were they ever an issue?  Did I ever worry that GP1 might not be working hard enough?  Surely not.  The fact that GP2 is sitting his SGs this year is really just incidental.   Because, dear reader, we have Highers looming.   I have written very little about GP1 and his meandering journey towards Highers for the simple reason that I find it all too distressing.  It’s also difficult not to get too personal about it all.  Why, I wonder, am I the one waking in the middle of the night worrying about oldest son’s English essay?  I’ve got my own report deadlines to worry about, thank you very much.

But I was cheered the other day by an email comment from the wonderful lady who is struggling to tutor him through English and I thought perhaps Continue reading


Timetable in a Norwegian school by Edublogger.It was the end of June and so the end of term when I found myself reminded of the reason why I adopted Guineapigmum as my nom de blog.  Three years ago (was it really that long ago?) the school decided to bring the Standard Grade exams forward a year.  The students would choose their 8 subjects at the end of S1 (Year 8 ) rather than S2 and sit their exams at the end of S3  (Year 10) instead of S4.     They would choose their 5 subjects for Higher at the end of S3, do a 2 year instead of the more usual 1 year course and sit Highers as normal at the end of S5.  Got that?  Come on, keep up at the back of the class.  If you stopped gossiping you’d know what I said.  

GP1 was in the first year group to go through this system and so he sat his Standard Grades a year ago, in 2007.  With this first cohort, the teachers had to deal with two entire year groups Continue reading