Monday, September 22, 1980

Monday September 22nd

I felt hemmed in today, and ever so slightly down-hearted about the amount of work I’ve taken on with four ‘A’ levels. Will I make a mess of things? Have I committed a tactical blunder in taking four and will I end up failing them all? I suppose it’s up to me.

After a school assembly and two free periods (during which I read half of Albert Camus’ “The Outsider”) we had History. We are starting to get onto the really exciting part of the course now – the political situation behind the Revolutions of both 1905 and 1917. Ingham described to us, in a pretty heated and enthusiastic manner (banging the desk with his fist, etc . . .) how the seeds of Revolution were sown among the Social Democrats. He also advised us to read up on some of the philosophy and arguments behind Lenin and his compatriots, on Chernov and people like that. I suddenly became aware that I have so much reading to do that I simply have no time to be reading books irrelevant to my school-work. There is so much to look at, so much information to digest and analyse, and quite honestly, I’m looking forward to it. It can only be beneficial to study the writings of thinkers who influenced Lenin and people like that – ideas behind history – and it will certainly be interesting.

After History, in which I felt that I was doing something wrong, presenting the wrong impression to people (especially C. Pearson), I had Biology with Mrs Wade in L4. We had a test on cell structure in plants and animals (in which I got 60% - 9 out of 15), and I was told to write up notes on the above.

After school had finished, and after attending registration, I went over to the F. E. Lounge, where the first meeting of the EGS Debating Society was to be held. The motion was – “This house believes that 6th formers should be paid” – and it was being proposed by Steven Bates and Robin Quinn and opposed by Nick Gaunt and Jeremy Beaumont.

There was quite a lively debate ensuing from the motions, the main dialogues being conducted by Jeremy Beaumont and Mr Scott, who usually “controls” these meetings. I did not participate one iota, and somehow I felt out of it. I have proposed (well, seconded) a motion – back in spring with R. Q. – “this house believes that Socialism has an Answer.” What a pathetic argument we put forward – weak, ill-based and totally laughable. I daredn’t think what Ingham thought of me. “Trendy,” “Trying to be a leftie” probably. I made myself a real spectacle I bet. We were defeated – 8 for, 16 against, 2 abstentions –and looking back I only wish I’d kept my mouth shut. Somehow, carried along on a wave of enthusiasm, I managed to get myself seconding a motion which proposes that “God is dead.” Yet another pillory. It’s impossible to debate such a subjective issue. Anyway what would darling Claire think!!!? I’m being self-abusive now because I get myself into situations by acting so bloody impulsively.

Anyway, the 6th formers pay issue was defeated by 9 votes to 8 (I voted against), no abstentions, with the casting vote coming from Chairman Claire Pearson. I’m going to have to try get this debate either cancelled or altered otherwise there’ll be nothing to debate.

For homework I had to dig up a picture which I “admired” and explain why. God, what an effort. I eventually chose one by an artist who I’d never heard of (I’ve forgotten his name already) – a picture of “Ernie Marsh - 1954” – an impressionistic type thing. All this only added further to my sense of being overwhelmed.

Easterby Poly. tomorrow.

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