Wednesday, December 10, 2008

On getting the results of my 11-plus

There's a scary scaled-down 11-plus test on the BBC today. I did common entrance in my day, but I'd heard of the 11-plus and the brutal way in which an 11-year old's future in the state education system - and possibly their livelihood and life - was determined by a single childhood exam.

So I took the mini-version and found it harder than I expected in the time. To my surprise I received 11 out of 15 marks - a pass, which would have qualified me for grammar school. Looking at the answers and explanations, I'm sure I could do much better with a little practice in this kind of problem - but then it's a long time since I was 11, so there's not much comfort in that! 

Dear reader, how would you have done?

All I saw of Mumbai was the airport!

Just to let people know, yes I did travel to Pune via Mumbai and yes, the trouble did happen while I was out there, but as I've explained to many kind questioners - when you're over there you realise exactly how far away from the trouble you are.

In the event I had two long stopovers in the airport and in neither case did I actually leave it, except in a large Boeing of  Jet Airlines.

I have visited Mumbai as a tourist, a few years back. I had a good time, and I was really sorry, this time, to see the harm and hatred that had come to town. But from what I've seen of this city and its inhabitants they will rise up, not roll over, rise up to life and business and all the rubbing-along cosmopolitan attitudes and activities that those who attacked Mumbai probably hated most about it.