Monday, 23 June 2014

Guest Article feat. More Cheese than a Delicatessen

I have been asked to keep this one polite, which is fair (although not de rigueur for a satirical blog). With the academic year coming to a close, and GCSE exams finishing, Thursday and Friday provided Year 11's with a graduation ceremony and the long-awaited prom.

The graduation ceremony had the usual make-up, of tutors on the edge of tears talking about their varying lengths of time with their tutor groups, some reminiscing through rose-tinted spectacles about the five years they have spent with their twenty-odd students, some thanking the lords that they have only had to endure those 20 minutes of sheer boredom for 6 months.

Then, for each respective tutor group, there was the handing out of Yearbooks, far inferior to that of this blog (beloved by our glorious leaders), although commendations must go to the attempt made by whichever teacher worked to put it together. Through the grainy, five-pixel background, there were messages of heavily censored venial mutterings of students, which were the usual cheesy cliches, any erudite messages which must have been written at some point being filtered out by the Thought Police. These included: "Watch your step in the journey of life", "This should be blank as I have now [sic] idea what to say", "We're all born to die, but that's my goal" (side note: get that guy a councillor), and our personal favourite: "this is a good yearbook quote", as well as a quote from Mandela on the back who, despite the school's alumni, didn't actually go to Hampstead.

Then there was the usual show of embarrassing photos of the Year 11's back in Year 7, which was a fine show of how anaemic, misshapen and ill-clothed we were, the pages upon pages of childrens' mugshots flashing up looking like the victim records from Operation Yewtree. After a few videos, the Year's humiliation ended to the disappointment of the candid Head of Year up front.

The form tutors were handed, what can only be described as, bags of salad as recompense for their sacrifice, and we were all allowed to go home.

Despite all the jokes I make, all the little jibes, and the general mocking, the graduation ceremony effortlessly showcased the true heart of Hampstead; not the SLT that were greasing palms up front, neither the (almost but not quite) uniform-perfect crowd that provided fine photo opportunities for whatever publication will take them (most probably the Buzz), but the teachers and the students. Because it isn't the Head that makes Hampstead, and it isn't the Management that manages the school into greatness, it is the teachers, who shepherd us through each and every exam season, and the students, who stick their head down (pardon the pun) and allow themselves to be shepherded. I know I'm starting to sound a bit twee, and I'm sure the Head is taking notes for next year's posters, but it is true, there would be no Hampstead School without the students, nor would it be without teachers; the only missing link seems to be the management, who could be gone tomorrow and no one would feel the impact, save perhaps a few less reminders in the corridors about the state of uniform.

I'm sure if the Head is reading this he is now shouting 'communism!' and 'such mad writings!' but it is what I truly believe, and, coincidentally, it is one of the beliefs of this blog. Uncanny.

Our Year 11 guest writer says they don't remember much about the Prom night, apart from waking up the next day in someone else's bathtub wearing someone else's prom dress. However, as it was hosted by the Marriott and Hampstead, we can assume that it was pretty much the same as last time, the review of which can be found here.

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