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Growing up in the 21st Century- by Sophie Richardson (class 2D)             Dec 2010   

One of Bob Dylan's most famous song titles was The times they are a  changin' and the older we get the more we become aware of that  inevitable truth. Many of us look back with fondness to the times  when we were growing up and still favour the fashions and music of  that era when we were young, adventurous and still able to walk to  the shops. We wonder how kids nowadays put up with that stuff  they call music - which is really just a noise - when we grew up  listening to the different ages and stages of Bowie, Dylan and Neil  Young. Well, Sophie Richardson of class 2D, one of the younger  reporters at KA Web, has written a piece on growing up in these  modern times and,  according to Sophie, while it isn't all good, it  certainly isn't all bad. Read her report below.

GROWING UP                                                                                                              by Sophie Richardson, 2D

It’s funny how the older generation say "School days are the best days of you life,” however I must disagree having attended my primary school, where the teachers had some very unique opinions on discipline. Indeed I was very proud of myself in primary 4 when I renamed my school “The dreaded pits of Hell” - and I had good reason to, after lying on the floor for half an hour and being expected to “think about what you have done”. We had been doing our favourite subject, “social dancing”,  and the girls wouldn’t take the boys hands because some of the boys had licked them.  However, my teacher didn’t see the logic behind the girls' answer “We just won’t hold hands at all” - which I still think, to this day, to be a perfectly reasonable answer - so she decided to punish all of us. We had to lie on the floor for half an hour and we lost all our golden time but the weirdest part was that some of the parents agreed with the punishment!

Then there were the hour-long weekly tortures, otherwise known as 'hymn practice', where teachers let down their hair and danced like they were walking bare foot over hot coals.  Now that is a memory I wish to forget.

The last day of primary wasn’t exactly fantastic but it wasn’t dreadful either. We went to the church in the morning, collected our prizes at prize giving and then we mostly wept in the afternoon about how much we’d miss each other, which was daft because we’d see each other at secondary and weekends anyway.  That was the last bell I ever heard at primary school and it never sounded sweeter.

However, not all of the memories of growing up are bad. I do have an abundance of fond memories such as going to Wimbledon earlier this year and painting my friend’s hair green at nursery. Also, I do appreciate that if I had grown up in the 1920's I doubt if I would be permitted to do half the things I am able to do now. Instead I would have been told to stay at home and help my mum care for my younger siblings and help with the housework to get me ready to be a good little wife, instead of being encouraged to study hard to enable me to get the best possible career.

If there is one thing on this planet I hate, its sexism. Women are equal, if not better than men because women are multi-taskers. Nowadays, the average woman will hold down a job and care for a family as well as running her home, whereas a man only has to have a job - although there are a lot of “New Men” out there and single male parent families - but on balance women indeed do more in the home. I think Emmeline Pankhurst and the suffragette movement would be very proud that their sacrifices in the past have given women the opportunities and lifestyle they have today. These women have not only improved the life of their own sex, but they have also changed the opinion of women in general. Not only did British society in the early 20th century have different opinions on moral values, there would be no coloured TV, unfashionable clothes, no Silverburn and above all hardly any technology. I could never imagine myself without an ipod or my PC. And neither could I imagine myself being slapped with a belt by a teacher.
So, without having to give the matter too much consideration, given the choice, I would definitely like to relive my childhood in the “noughties” and not 90 years ago. My decision is purely based on the information above and that it was a completely different society with very different moral values that I totally disagree with.  Therefore, I am happy I grew up when I did - in the “noughties”.