Wednesday, February 18, 1981

D minus

I met Claire on the way to school. She was full of embarrassed laughs because she’d had her hair cut last night. It's much shorter but I think it looks good, and it really alters her appearance. We walked to school and talked about our English essays. I’d got my satirical piece done but I still had my seminar to write up, so after a predictable assembly, we all went up to the library and worked. Of course Jeremy and Duncan are taping their seminars and have extra time as a result, and I said I thought this was unfair. Deborah agreed and J. snarked something to Deborah to the effect of “I should’ve been ill and then maybe I could’ve got it done.” This really set her off and she blasted him viciously in front of everyone. I’ve never seen her quite so angry.

I scribbled away frantically until half-twelve and Slicer’s lesson (on Enobarbus’ character traits). Then we had Hirst’s lesson. The bitch really revelled in it, picking people to read their work out and then putting them through the mincer over every little point. Sure enough, with about ten minutes to go, Lee and I were chosen. Lee waffled on OK, but I was terrible, dry-mouthed and embarrassed, and my speech lasted only a few minutes. I felt humiliated and Hirst was obviously unhappy. She kept Lee and I behind to say she’s worried about our exam prospects. She gave me a D minus which spoiled my entire day.

After school we had a magazine editorial committee meeting in the library and I got home resolving to turn over a new leaf. I read Ronald Hingley’s biography of Stalin for part of the evening, reaching the events of 1905 or thereabouts. I was quiet around Mum and Dad because I felt guilty about what happened in English. I dread to think what my report will be like.

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