Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Suits you, Plato

I try not to earwig other peoples conversations on my daily bus trip to Leeds, but over the last few days a couple of kids have had discussions which I find it difficult to get my head around.

First, I heard these two older adolescents discussing a suit. One had 3, apparently, on the advice of his mother.

The next day, it turns out that 2 of these suits are awaiting completion at the tailor.

This is odd, because I've only ever had 3 suits. One I got married in, one was from Grattan, and the third was an oddly striped item from Southwells on Anlaby Road, Hull - it was cheap, but I didn't pay for it. These two kids were both wearing tailored suits to wear to school. Leeds Grammar, as it turns out.

This morning's chat involved maths. The conversation revolved around whether Maths was a language, and culminated in a discussion about the views of Plato on this subject.

Now, when I went to school, I certainly didn't wear a suit, in fact f I'd have turned up at Wolfreton in one - and Wolfreton is one of Hull/East Riding's better comprehensives - I'd have certainly arrived home in attire resembling rags and a level of street-cred lower that it already was. I could easily bamboozle people with discussions about palaeontology, but never actually discussed the works of philosophers, and certainly not on the bus. Being able to pronounce 'Archaeopteryx' already labelled me a bit of a geek anyway. More likely, the discussion would be about the state of the cheddar butteries in the canteen, or who'd been seeing/beaten up by who.

Private schools appear to have a different agenda to the bog-standard comprehensive I went to. My cousin went to a private school. He flunked his GCSE's, retook most of them at my 6th form, and preferred his time in the state sector primarily because they actually called him by his first name. However, he carried himself very differently to the people I knew, and was certainly more confident than I ever will be. Maybe the private education gives you life advantages, or maybe it's just that people in private education have better advantage anyway. Certainly they have more money, judging by the procession of top-of-the-range 4-wheel drive vehicles that delay our progress in the morning, delivering Jeremy Whittington-Smythe to his day of Latin lessons.

I remain open minded about private education. But if I had kids, there's no way they'd get away with discussing Plato on the bus. That's just not right!


  1. Given that they discussed Plato, did they also discuss Neptune and Uranus?

    I went to a comprehensive too, as you can tell. As Jim Hacker put it: "You should have a comprehensive education, to make up for your comprehensive education."

    I do wonder why, at the age of nearly 37, you are catching school buses of a morn. Be careful.

  2. Ah, I can confirm it's not a school bus, merely a bus which some school children use. I also used ordinary service buses as a child, but we simply made big dust clouds appear from the seats to annoy other passengers as opposed to discussing maths conundrums.