Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy, happy!

Six days into the New Year and already I am feeling the need for some downtime.
Half the newsroom, at least, is still on holiday so we skeleton staffers are being worked to the bone. And I get to be in charge on the early shift.
It has been an interesting experience. Covering the matric results for both private and government schools has been interesting to say the least.
Stories of kids with strings of distinctions have been the main focus for days on end. Some have been tales of epic success - like the boy at school in Utrecht (in itself a distinct disadvantage) who promised his mom he would do well as she lay dying two years ago. He then raised his two younger brothers, became captain of the first rugby team, headed the school representative council and then finished up as Dux scholar with five distinctions. So many challenges, every reason to fail - yet he succeeded.
Then there was the boy in Soweto who would stay at school til late in the night to study where he had light, walking home alone in the dark to a poverty-stricken home. He described himself as a rose that emerged from a crack in concrete.
And then the other stories that seem to be sagas of success layered over every advantage. The blonde teenager who notched up 10 distinctions, no shred of nerdiness in sight as bounced along in a mini skirt looking every bit like a promising candidate for Hugh Hefner's Playboy mansion. Or the girl who managed a clean sweep of distinctions while simultaneously taking time out to qualify as a pilot. Or the other girl who was relieved that her exams were now over and she could put her six distinctions aside to concentrate on a career as a super model.
Congrats to the class of 2010!


  1. Those are amazing stories indeed! And even more amazing is the fact apparently that the overall pass rate is up percentage-wise over 2009 even with all the time off for the World Cup and striking teachers. Well done Matrics of 2010!

  2. There were some awesome stories indeed, and some shocking ones! Like a school that had like two matric pupils and they both failed!
    And of course we still haven't been told just hoe much of the "wonderful increase" in the pass rate was manipulated.