vallin

active 3 weeks, 6 days ago
active 3 weeks, 6 days ago
  • vallin posted a new activity comment 3 weeks, 6 days ago

    Your description of the academic aspect certainly resonates with my recollection (and my daughter’s current travails at Cambridge). However, you present your “brilliant survivors” as the winners in the Oxbridge environment. My experience was of being surrounded by a thousand very able, very ambitious peers for whom the academic tasks were a tiresome distraction from the business of transitioning to adulthood. Those aiming for nothing more than a first class degree were the losers in most eyes!

    It’s a matter of objectives and expectations. You were very probably more interested in your chosen subject than I was. I opted for modern languages, over other subjects at which I was more adept, primarily on the basis that the workload was relatively light. The achievement of a place w…[Read more]

  • vallin posted a new activity comment 3 weeks, 6 days ago

    @adam This observation is certainly true in many circumstances, like shortlisting cvs in some professions. But the favoritism would, at least in part, be recognized for the extra mile that many Oxbridge graduates are prepared to undergo to meet their objectives. A place at Oxbridge denotes a combination of objective setting and hard work that is prized across many walks of life.

    But I’d say that the greater advantage an Oxbridge education bestows is not that doors are opened for you. No, after battling through the experience, it’s that you never fear you cannot contend with what is on the other side of the door. And that is priceless.

    • >This observation is certainly true in many circumstances, like shortlisting cvs in some professions. But the favoritism would, at least in part, be recognized for the extra mile that many Oxbridge graduates are prepared to undergo to meet their objectives. A place at Oxbridge denotes a combination of objective setting and hard work that is prized across many walks of life.

      If you are saying that an Oxbridge degree primarily indicates the achievement in getting there in the first place then I agree, though obviously, that will often be partly due to the support is given at school and at home. I certainly worked extremely hard for my place at Cambridge, though it didn’t really seem like work at the time because, for me, spending a large proportion of my time practicing the sort of…[Read more]

      • Your description of the academic aspect certainly resonates with my recollection (and my daughter’s current travails at Cambridge). However, you present your “brilliant survivors” as the winners in the Oxbridge environment. My experience was of being surrounded by a thousand very able, very ambitious peers for whom the academic tasks were a tiresome distraction from the business of transitioning to adulthood. Those aiming for nothing more than a first class degree were the losers in most eyes!

        It’s a matter of objectives and expectations. You were very probably more interested in your chosen subject than I was. I opted for modern languages, over other subjects at which I was more adept, primarily on the basis that the workload was relatively light. The achievement of a place w…[Read more]

      • My problem was that I had to work really hard just to keep my head above water (lectures each morning then most of the rest of the day, often into the small hours, struggling desperately to understand my notes) and, far from aiming for a first, I ended up, after three years, more or less relying on some doable questions on seismic waves (!) to come up in the exam to get a degree at all (I felt near break down and almost thinking of packing it in half way through my final year). The result was that I made nothing at all of university life and lived a Jekyll and Hyde existence, hermit like in my room most of the week and just about staying sane by escaping to go climbing for a day or two at the weekends – and Cambridge is a pretty rubbish location to be a climber, though my escapist…[Read more]

  • But that doesn’t mean grammar schools are the way forward – it means all students deserve the same resources, smaller class’s sizes, proper infrastructure, proper resources. You shouldn’t get ‘more’ of these things because you’re more academically able!

  • Another teacher here, I work in a mainstream school and as far as I’m concerned (and the entirety of the 15 person science department within which I work) the net effect of grammar schools is incredibly negative.

    We are a Gloucestershire school and the detrimental effect the grammar schools have on the comprehensive schools around them is horrendous. They do not support high achievers from poorer backgrounds, they merely create sink schools with students who believe they are worthless because they couldn’t pass the 11+, regardless of academic ability, because they’re fighting again students whose parents can afford to have their children tutored for it. We also do not have schools that are specialised for those who show talent in different areas (yes I am aware that we have tech…[Read more]