Pluripotent School

We’re trying to find a balance on Questie with school. And as I am most certainly the school matron 🙂 it’s been down, or rather three-metres-up-in-the-air for me to co-ordinate this. Hmmm.

Firstly, I have to formally apologise to Lulu for busting her 12-year-old butt in Barbados last year. That kid worked so hard during our last season on Quest, she almost expired. She was getting up at 4:30am at one point so she wouldn’t miss live lessons. Ok, I did get up with her in case you wondered. No chip on my shoulder except that huge one. Got up before her even to make breakfast – since without breakfast, there was no way in the universe of waking Lulu up.

We’d be eating noodles still officially in the middle of the night and learning about Charles I. Pocahontas. The lost colony of Roanoke. I loved it, I have to say. I’m a little surprised now she isn’t doing History for GCSE now. Ha! I think I permanently traumatised her.

Now, I’d like to do things a bit smarter. More measured. It’s become a key part of the ‘being able to do stuff, not just school’ programme. There’s something about doing these GCSEs too which has oddly taken the pressure off. Even though they’re proper exams which will have proper consequences – CV, uni admissions, etc, they also give you the opportunity to focus. What are you really interested in?

I was a bit surprised at first with Lu’s options for science. She’s doing triple science IGCSE. Not going to lie. Mixed feelings alert. Biology; sure, I can whip out our microscope under the saloon seat in a myogenic moment. It was just a little unexpected. Since she used to moan and groan with my biology class when I did boat school. Must have been my excellent teaching skills.

Physics and Chemistry IGCSEs? Ok, for these subjects I’m feeling more twitchy. See, I never did them at GCSE, much less at A level. This made me a pretty mediocre scientist overall. I needed to get that good quality degree to just level myself out. And even then I had raised eyebrows at interviews.

I’d watch the interviewers flicking through my CV. ‘You did Theatre Studies and Classics A level and now you want to work in an immunology lab?’ Yep. Good times. I’d be getting up to leave already. What, you can’t fit any Greek tragedy hubris next to your Bunsen burner? Fair play.

So, nowadays I have one – if not two ears open when Lu does Chemistry and Physics class on Quest. Lulu particularly likes Chemistry, which is awesome. That could all change of course.. I’m just feeling smug I packed our chemistry set four years ago before we set sail from Milford. I really had to smuggle it on. With the electronics set. And the microscope. When Jack finally saw it, boy did he give me a look.

‘The chemistry set? You brought a chemistry set? Really?’

Big smile. ‘It’ll have its uses,’ I wish I’d said. I would have been the cool, slightly freaky, psychic lady. Though some of the bottles of chemicals have leaked while we were away. In fact, when I pulled the set out a couple of days ago from the cupboard, I got covered in the dust of digested cardboard.

Some of the chemicals – not sure if it was tartaric acid or iron nitrate, since the labels burned off both bottles, have burned their way out of the chemistry’s set cardboard box. Scared to look in the cupboard again in case the chemicals have reached the hull. I can just imagine what Jack’s going to say. Maybe I’ll have a peep when he’s gone – no need to stress him out after all. We’ve got excellent gorilla tape.

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