1952, Doreen, 15July 24, 2010
I took my brother on the trains and buses to my Nan and Grandad's on Thursday. I'd only done it once and having an 11 year old with me for the second time made it more interesting* (*annoying). We didn't get lost and everything went to plan, but Matt wouldn't shut the hell up all the way there from being so excited to be going on public transport without an adult. I don't blame him really, seeing as I wasn't allowed on trips like that at his age but him having an older sister made things different so he could. I did the whole "Mmm" and "Yeah" responses as he gabbled on...and on (he wants to be a pilot, if you were wondering) until we finally got there. Then I consumed about tripled the amount of calories a 16 year old should, in the space of about an hour.
My Nan and Grandad don't have the internet (I KNOW RIGHT, HOW DO THEY COPE?!), so the only form of world wide webbing was through my phone...which ran out of battery *facepalm* So I spent the afternoon reading and getting beaten by my 11 year old English hating brother at Scrabble. You may punish me as you like, I am a disappointment I know. As the evening drew on, my Grandad went to have a nap and my brother went to bed, leaving me and Nan watching Eastenders and debating whether Denise was really dead or not. Then we proceeded to have a conversation which had me :Oing, WTFing and *jealousface*ing.
Me and my Nanny.
Me and my Nanny.
My Nan was born in 1937 when schooling and working was a lot different to how it is now. She left school at 15, which nowadays is seen as a VERY stupid thing to do what with all the "YOU HAVE TO DO A-LEVELS THEN YOU HAVE TO GO TO UNI FOR 43856234986Y209846 YEARS OR YOU WON'T GET A GOOD JOB AND YOU'LL END UP ON THE STREETS SELLING YOURSELF TO MEN AND GETTING PREGGERS WITH NO HOME AND YOU'LL DIE." thing, but you didn't have much of a choice back then, you had to leave, find a job yourself and earn your living at that age. 15! 15 seems so young now, even 16/17/18 seems too young to be working now (which I think is RIDICULOUS but I won't bore you with my rants). Nanny went into work as a typist with a load of spinsters (I have no idea what that means, but I nodded along in agreement nonetheless), and went to night school to learn about shorthand and further typing skillzzz (It seems to me that every girl/woman was a typist/shorthand...person back then), and one day her teacher approached her to ask if she wanted to work in a bank and be a typist/shorthand person for the bank manager. The pay was VERY good so she accepted right away. She was FIFTEEN. From then, my Nan travelled from East Ham to somewhere near Picadilly Circus every day for this job, until she was 19 and was asked to leave because she was getting married. *double takes that sentence* She was NINETEEN and was getting married, and she was ASKED TO LEAVE HER JOB because she was getting married. SORRY?! Now I thought that her boss was a total dick for doing that, but that was the norm back then. If you were getting married, you had to leave your job and become a housewife. Stereotyping woman hating much?! So she did, she left her very good job, got married, and managed to get another job in advertising, which she hated so didn't stay for long, and ended up working for the Council in East Ham instead.
Now imagine all that happening now, in 2010. A fifteen year old girl with no proper qualifications getting a high paid job in London. Erm, YES PLEASE! If I could manage to get a job in London (writing stuff, obv) then I would take it like a shot. But would anyone hire a nearly 17 year old even with a good set of GCSE results now? No, of course they wouldn't. Instead, I have to spend two more years at school doing A Levels that I'm 80% sure the employers I'm aiming for won't give two shits about, and then it's expected of me to go to University to study more about stuff I already know and can do before I can even TRY and get a job. I'm gonna be in my 20s before I even have a chance at doing what I want to do. My Nan was already MARRIED and had been working for 4 YEARS at 20. Why can't it be like that now? It worked fine back then, so why couldn't it stay like that? There is SO MUCH pressure for every single teenager to go to University that it makes me sick. The chances of achieving what you want in life is getting slimmer and slimmer because there's so much mothereffing competition now. It's all about STUDYSTUDYSTUDY and getting some letters on a piece of paper to prove you can indeed a certain thing, when all some teens (me included) want to do is bloody get out there and DO IT to prove we can! Getting the experience and actually living it, instead of taking shitty exams that will be no help to us whatsoever. Of course, some are well suited to University and want to learn hoards more (to be a Doctor or Teacher for example), but not everyone is. If it's like this now, then how on earth is it going to work out for young'uns like my brother? Does he even have a chance at becoming a pilot even though he's clever, but not as clever as somebody else? Just because he hates English does that mean he can't do it? Even though he has a passion for flying, is good at other things and is in great physical shape, he can't do it because he can't write an essay?
I want to write stuff and crave experiences SO BAD, but it's just not gonna work out like that, is it? Bring back 1952, Doreen, 15. X