Friday, 18 May 2012


As I mused the other day, contemplating what I might post about I received messages from two of my three children. One telling me how her maths exam had gone, the other telling me about a ‘published’ paper of his. Ah, the word - Academia:

The word comes from the akademeia in ancient Greece, which derives from the Athenian hero, Akademos. Outside the city walls of Athens, the gymnasium was made famous by Plato as a center of learning. The sacred space, dedicated to the goddess of wisdom, Athena, had formerly been an olive grove, hence the expression "the groves of Academe."

In these gardens, the philosopher Plato conversed with followers. Plato developed his sessions into a method of teaching philosophy and in 387 BCE, established what is known today as the Old Academy. By extension Academia has come to mean the cultural accumulation of knowledge, its development and transmission across generations and its practitioners and transmitters.

In the 17th century, British and French scholars used the term to describe types of institutions of higher learning.

Not a word I would ever expect to be using when referring to my family. I didn’t even do any A-Levels let alone attend University, in fact it was never even suggested. I’m clinging to the belief that this was due to it still being the province of those that could afford to go rather than the fact that I wasn’t capable lol. But somehow my children are in this space.

My eldest, The Boy B, was adamant he would NOT be going to ANY University. Sadly I have to admit that I didn’t really present any resistance to his decision, so strong was his voice. Suddenly though a girl changed all that and I found myself rushing off up North, touring the halls with potential students all a year younger the The Boy B so late had he left his monumental decision.

Ants Grad 1 (Medium)

But he went and I can still remember the day he moved into student halls and how I felt as I left him there. I can remember his little face as he sat on his bed in his little room as if it were yesterday rather than nearly 7 years ago. I can still remember the girls saying goodbye to their big brother, the oldest smiling though her eyes were full of tears and the youngest wailing and sobbing all of the journey home in the car. He never came back. Oh, he visited often (and still does, so all is well) but he made a life up there with his girlfriend (soon to be wife) and I think they’ll continue to live in that area, and I’m glad – it suits them. What’s more he seems to be continuing with the Academia as following his degree (4 years) he started a 3 year KTP with a PhD to boot and is now slowly switching to lecturing so that at the end of the 3 years he hopes to become a lecturer. Bit odd for someone so set against going to Uni don’t you think.

Then we have Grumpy, DD1 on the left, determined to do even better than her big brother. She’s in the middle of her AS exams and is really trying as hard as she can to get good grades. She plans her revision so that focus is placed on the areas that need more attention and so that she can re-cap in a timely manner just before each exam. She worries about which subject to drop as she still can’t make her mind up about what she wants to study at Uni let alone what she wants to be ultimately - But the The Boy B has NEVER known what he wants to be so I tell her not to stress about that lol

the girls

Lastly we have Tattyhead, DD2 on the right, who wailed so much when we left her big brother all alone in that nasty place. Tattyhead will always do things her own way, and that may not coincide with what I might want but boy does she has a cast iron will. She’s year 10 and starts a few of her GCSE exams next week. Once again the rules have been changed and there will be NO re-sits allowed for the exams she takes now. Not that I advocate being able to re-sit endless times BUT she isn’t ready yet and I just hope it isn’t her undoing. She is revising (some) but I do worry that being the third she feels she has a lot to live up to and rather than being outwardly determined to do as well or better than the other two she’s setting the scene for doing the opposite. I don’t know how to counteract this, all I know is that she’s easily as bright, if not brighter, than the other two and she’s my baby. She too wants to go to University but has no idea to do what yet.

So come the summer we’ll be doing the rounds of Uni’s (at the right time) for Grumpy and then once again two years later. Hopefully by the time Grumpy goes The Boy B will be secured as a lecturer and then when Tattyhead goes all three will be safely ensconced within the world (or is that word) of Academia – fancy that!

Phew, is that (part 1) job done do you think? T’hubby and I will then sell up and run off while there’s no one home lol, only joking ……….  But then I do quite fancy Crete !!

Thanks for dropping by and please feel free to leave me a comment, it is lovely to hear from you.

Wendy xx


Gem's Crafts said...

It's great that they're all wanting to go to uni and study hard to get there. Fingers crossed for DD2! I never knew what I wanted to do at uni either, choosing my degree (and my A-levels) was one of the hardest things I did!

Alison said...

Hope DD2 gets on OK Wendy..I think it's very difficult for youngsters these days trying to decide what to do...Kirsty graduates in June, but has no idea what comes next- she just keeps applying for random jobs!
Alison xx

Ginger said...

Hi Wendy! It's so good to see you here :) I enjoyed reading your post of academia! Your son is smart to do it all now - it doesn't get easier the older you get!