Thai Days: School Days and recollections!


Hugh Paxton’s Blog studied Divinity at school, and did rather well. An A grade A level.

This might bring a rosy glow to the heart of a true follower of Christ but my selection of religious studies was not motivated by a thirst for spiritual growth. I had a look at the A level options available and one look at Chemistry, Physics, Maths, Biology etc. made my legs wobble and prompted a Hugh Paxton Tactical Think! The chances of me obtaining an A level in Physics were on a par with me inventing something involving Physics. Zero. Chemistry? I lost all interest in that after we (me and a few inquisitive friends) tried to make things explode in an otherwise fantastically boring class that didn’t even let us throw sulphuric acid at each other or make bombs! Biology involved dissecting a frog. Fuck that! I don’t dissect frogs! I rear tadpoles for release and dig ponds. Maths? I’m just no good at it.

So I opted for religion.

And, my reasoning was this: It wasn’t cool. No real men in my school would go for that. I could stand a bit of ridicule. And I was the only boy in the school studying it! The hardcases swaggered off to their Physics and I shared tea in the vicarage watching the vicars socks (rather adventurous and changed daily) and tried to select the shortest possible biblical text for my exam. I hit upon Philemon. A letter from Philemon. He didn’t say anything, nothing worth repeating anyway, and I thought yes, “Thanks vicar, I will have another ginger biscuit, and I’d like to focus on Philemon.”

Looking back at my school days I confess there was a degree of evil cunning. Philemon and I got an A Grade, I also pursued the study of The History of Art (nobody else was interested and the teacher never turned up), The History of Art and Architecture ( same teacher), Art (same teacher), English (I’d got the knack of that one and didn’t need a teacher and when he turned up he didn’t have anything to teach me), General Studies (multiple choice – I got an A in that one by banging in ACDC without paying much attention.)

I swam out of school with too many prizes (I requested Mein Kampf, Das Kapital, Hitler’s War Machine etc. and on prize giving day all my requests were replaced by books called “The Far Pavilions” and so on, but my books were hidden for personal retrieval) and a fury in the teachers staff room. I scooped more A levels than anybody else and the teachers weren’t dumb. They knew I’d wangled it. Winning all the damn prizes was salt in the wound.

HUGH PAXTON BLOG ED: What has prompted this boastful post?

Hugh: My daughter is currently at school and competition seems to be important. Winning. I’ve a few tips for her and if you have a son or daughter in school these tips might be helpful. Don’t cheat. Cheating’s for losers and I despise them. Just walk through the rain drops without getting wet.

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