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The Kids are Alright!

January 30, 2013

I just had to share this moment, which happened right in front of my seat at a theatre recently. I won’t identify the show, person or exact location, to spare blushes, but it was at a show that I’d really, really wanted to see for a while.

Anyway, come the interval and a member of the ushering crew was hawking refreshments among the crowd. In front of me, a man purchased a couple of oranges and a sweetmeat for his ladylove. Oh, OK, two of those choc-ice on a stick thingies.

Anyway, he went to pay and… the very young usherperson (no gender, to conceal identities) pulls out a calculator to work it all out.

At this point, of course, being of the “O” level generation, I enjoyed a good old “Daily Mail” moment of “what is modern education coming to? Do they not teach mental arithmetic any more?”

But then I let the young person off the hook because…

… and this is really lovely…

… it was a dimly lit auditorium and the calculator was solar powered!

That’s not the great bit, though…

…No, this is the beautiful bit that got the kid out of the dock…

… The usher person produced a key-ring with a tiny torch on it, which they proceeded to shine on the solar panel and wait patiently for the charge to build, to make the calculator work so that they could do the sum required.

Whatever anybody may say about British education, I take this as proof positive that, whatever failings it has, it really doesn’t leave our children quite as daft as first appearances suggest.

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