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Friday, 21 July 2017

My Relationship with Science


I was an all-round good student at school, but excelled at Humanities, particularly English. I didn’t love Maths but I was good at it if I worked hard at it. I wasn’t overly fond of Science, but I was good at it and didn’t mind it until year 10, when I got coaxed into doing Triple Science. At the end of year 9 we all had to take a biology test and the head of department said my score was very good and suggested I do Triple Science rather than Double Science.


I hadn’t wanted to do Double Science at all, but the dumb Tories introduced this lame shit called ‘The English Baccalaureate.’ What they said was students all had to do English, Maths, Double Science, a Language, History/Geography, and an additional subject for their GCSEs. This pissed me off because I wanted to do Drama and Music at GCSE, or Film Studies (which I did at A level), or Media. But because I was one of the ‘smart’ students, when I looked at my options I was super mad because it said Music, History, Spanish and Double Science. Looking back, I think I overreacted. Music, History and Spanish were all choices of mine, I had just wanted to do another arts subject instead of Double Science.

Now that I’ve been through GCSEs, A levels, a brief stint at York Uni doing Philosophy and now at an esteemed music college, I’ve learned a thing or two. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you are good at it and enjoy it. Your GCSEs are not that important. They test basic knowledge of subjects; teachers spoon-feed the students the answers (yet kids still complain that it’s all too hard), and too much emphasis is placed on them which stresses students out. GCSEs are treated like the be-all and end-all. The jump from GCSEs to A levels is horrendous. I was one of the few geeks that actually studied for my GCSEs, but a lot of people don’t. You can’t not study for your A levels. If you don’t study, you will fail (which I think is better because it weeds out the lazy fuckers from the hard workers).

It doesn’t matter what you pick at GCSE level. Universities do not care about GCSEs, they care about A levels. If you want to go down a specific discipline then the subjects you pick are important, but if not then it doesn’t matter. If you fail your Maths GCSE you’re not going to fail at life. I got an A in Maths and did well in school, but if it wasn’t for Alcoholic Anonymous I’d be lying in a ditch somewhere with my wrists slit. Sciences are not more or less important than Arts. They are if you want to be a doctor, but not if you want to be a musician, or a history teacher, or a journalist, or a lawyer.

Teachers will lie to you because they need their school to look like it’s achieving well. They need the high success rates so they can promote their schools and get parents to send their kids there. For some reason, doing better in Science and Maths looks more impressive than doing well in Drama. ‘The English Baccalaureate’ was nothing more than a stint imposed by the government to make schools try and up their OFSTED ratings. We were told lied to that universities wanted students with the EBACC. Bullshit. They want students with a solid personal statement, good AS grades and good predicted grades for A level. And even if you don’t make the grades you can still go through clearing, or negotiate with the uni if you’re a grade off and there are available spaces.

I did well in my A levels, got AAB, and walked out of sixth form a depressed, stressed alcoholic. Maybe I’d have been happier at a performing arts college. I envy people at ACM who went to some music or arts college rather than doing shit levels. Yes, I chose to do A levels. I could have just applied to Brit School. I didn’t have to say yes to doing Triple Science. I could have said a few weeks in that it was too much, I was unhappy and not enjoying it and wanted to switch to Double Science. Doing Triple Science GCSEs killed whatever joy I may have had of Science, stuck with a class mostly full of kids who wanted to go be doctors and me feeling like a dumbarse. I got CCC in Biology, Chemistry and Physics and A's and B's in everything else. I could have done Double Science and gotten 2 B’s.

But to wrap up, I’m going to end with a poem I wrote in year 11 about my frustrations with Science. Nowadays I wouldn’t say I hate Science; I wish I was better at it and understood more science-based things, and I respect its use in subjects such as Psychology which I did at A level. I’ve been reading up on Biology to gain more insight into it because I did like Biology. Hated Physics and probably always will, but then we can’t be good at everything.

I hate you so.

You make me feel like I am the
lowest of the low.
Small, diminutive.
Uninspired. Unhappy. Uninterested.
Never did I think that me and you would have such a terrible relationship.
I pore over you for hours, days, weeks, months; two years I spent loathing you from the word go.
While others worship your honour and success I take great pride in snarling, yawning, frowning, even in some cases crying.
Darling, how you bore me to tears!
The irony is that I've managed to embed my hatred for you within the context I love that is poetry, a language I can understand and relate to, but to which you feel no value nor connection.

If one were to understand how much I hated, couldn't stand you, they would laugh, for unfortunately you are a part of me.
You are me, and everything that is absolute; the universe, what makes the universe, the blood from what drips from my wounds, the sweat glands that arise from endless attempts to understand the art that isn't your art, the soil beneath my veins, the air I smell as my fingers caress the particles and atoms as I respire.
Surely you have guessed by now?

I want to enjoy and observe; unfortunately you spoil that for me with your endless terminology and never-ending vocabulary and data.
I hate you so much it makes me feel guilty, as if I was sneaking a truffle away from my mother, or borrowing my baby cousin's toy; having an overdue library book or long needing to return my friend's earrings.
Fortunately you and I will soon find our time coming to an end. I hope that one day I will find some beauty in you that everyone else seems to see.

My brain is filled with chords and keys and civil rights and sociological issues, historical and humanitarian knowledge.
The arts. That is the path in which my brain chose to take an interest in.

So I am sorry, not sorry, for I am NOT an airhead, I am not a fool, I simply do not care for you and your tales of transpiration, equilibrium, titration or atomic formation.
Sincerely, why me.

13th May 2013

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