Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Music: Keep or Cull No.12: Air - Moon Safari (1998)

A Level results days is always such a mixed bag of emotions: from the people who walk away with a handful of A’s, to the people like me who barely scraped a pass, or worse failed completely. To say I was gutted when I received my A Level results is something of an understatement. I was predicted C’s, so when my results came back as two D’s and an E, I was quite upset. Luckily, I’d managed to secure a place at university through the magic of an administrative error: the course I’d applied for at Keele University had been pulled from the curriculum at the last minute, so I was offered a place on any course I wanted, so long as I came out with two E’s. As soon as I received the letter confirming this, I pretty much checked-out of my studies, spending more time playing pool and drinking beer than studying. My results were my own fault, and I knew it – it was that realisation that I’d let myself down that bothered me more than the actual grades, and I knew that I was perfectly capable of better.

It’s strange how these results have stuck with me, and no matter what I have achieved since, they always seem to come back and bite me in the arse. In March 2011, I was awarded a PhD, and prior to that I’d completed a Masters’ degree with distinction – I’m a much different person now than I was as an eighteen year old, but as I say, the A Level results still seemed to matter. I tried applying for quite a few of those graduate recruitment schemes, but was kicked out of the selection process almost immediately due to my A Level results, with the universal response from these companies that those were the rules and they couldn’t make exceptions. The fact that I’d taught A Level and undergraduate classes was of no consequence. It seemed a little short-sighted by these companies, but I’m sure they have their reasons. ...

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