Monday, 30 March 2009
OMGOMGOMGOMG: Alma Mater
Checking through my spam filter this morning I found a ten day old email from the Principal of my alma mater.
Did my heart skip a beat? Oh yes.
The title of the email was
Re: Scholarship Application.
Now, we haven't made a big deal of it but the BA did not get her Old Scholar's Scholarship after her interview. We received a lovely letter saying how well she had done and how proud we should be but that it was a highly contested scholarship and she had been unsuccessful.
She was disappointed, of course, but remarkably philosophical about it. I threw away the prospectus and we adjusted our reality. She would stay where she was.
But now, OMGOMGOMG, here is this email, and it is ten days old and what on earth could they be contacting us about?????
I shot an immediate reply and apology off to the Headteacher; later that morning I rang.
When the Principal finally got back to me I was convinced that it was simply a routine call, feedback on her interview, are you still interested (er no...can't afford it) etc.
Are you seeing where this is going???
The Principal told me how much she had enjoyed the interview, what a delightful girl the BA was and how tough a decision the Old Scholar's Scholarship had been. She was however, able to offer a few scholarships herself, at not quite the same fee discount but nevertheless......this was a Principal's Scholarship for all round excellence!!
I am still welling up at the thought.
My little BA, never the top of the class, never the undisputed best Player, never the academic, never the star of the show....but in her own vibrant way applying herself to everything. My little BA, terrified of Maths, not driven by competition, not passionate about any one thing, no idea what she wants to do with her life BUT with her own charm, her own persona, her own potential, has won this thing for herself. In many ways, this makes me about 1000 times more proud.
I mean it was easy for me. I was always academic. I just sat a scholarship and my grades got me in. Sure I was excited and proud and in some ways I supposed winning my scholarship confirmed for me that my intellect was my most important feature, a misconception which plagued me for decades. But for my BA, this is all about her, about who she is, not about what she can score in a test.
Today and tonight has been the frantic logistic part of the decision making process. The fee reduction was to be 30% for the original scholarship and this one is 25%. It will make an enormous impact on our budget. Her fees will double and there is the new uniform, books, amenities fee, new laptop etc etc etc. Her father (beside himself with excitement) and I got out our calculators. Grandma and Grandad came down to talk about what they could offer.
This kid has a whole bunch of people who believe in her.
So we're going to go for it. How could we not? How could we not give her the opportunity to learn in a focused, academic environment where she can be her best. There are facilities, there are opportunities, there is tradition, there is community. There are also really, ugly straw hats but let's not go there. At least the winter kilts are a step up from our hideous sack-like maroon tunics :-D (you know what I'm talking about Prof J!!)
So it's a very excited Arizaphale talking to you here. I am pleased to report that all this has blotted out the disappointment of her recent Maths report >:-( and the niggly issue of her droopy fringe which does not meet uniform requirements at her present school let alone at the new one! She won't start till next year so we'll have a bit of time to get a mindset/hairstyle going :-)
Meanwhile, back to marking. Tonight I believe I have the pleasure of 'surds'. Just Google it.