Social Skirmishes

With all the talk of whether the social work students in Big Brother are giving the profession a bad name (or so I am told I’m afraid I am to popular culture what unbroken sunshine is to Wimbledon), I wonder if we should be so precious. It’s all well and good taking the moral high ground – but the air can be a bit thin up there.

I look back to my student days and fear I might have been a bit dizzier than I would choose to recall. It was pretty difficult being 19, pretty, tough, and knowing it all.

Through my Rosie-tinted glasses, I saw myself as a seeker more than that, I was a New Seeker. I thought that my life was a circle and, if I liked to, I could teach the world to metaphorically sing (preferably in perfect harmony), even if I had to beg, steal or borrow to do so. They never found another fool like me.

But my school career was, in truth, more chequered than the dress code in Marlboro Country. I never did fully recover from writing on the blackboard in Careers that I wanted to be a “brian surgeon”.

Remembering the days in the old school yard is something I can do fondly if we judge success or achievement through attainment and qualification. However, assess it on whether education excited in me a thirst for knowledge, provided a greater understanding of our place on the planet, helped refine notions of responsibility and citizenship, or just introduced the sheer enjoyment of learning, then it is safe to say that my school career was without question an unmitigated disaster.

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