We Are Valued

Inspired by the YouTube video 'Dear Mr Gove'. A little message to a few people in education.


3. The Night Before

Twelve o'clock AM

I should really be in bed
my foot twitching as I dream
brushing my Sherlock cushion bought three days before.

If only I could sleep at all.
As it's the night before results day
and once ten o'clock comes
I'll be back at the hellhole of a school I escaped from
or at least braided the bedsheet rope to begin fleeing.

I know I won't sleep at all
so what's the point in trying?
I bought a copy of The Shadowhunter's Codex
directly from The Mortal Instruments series
that I can read.

Wear down the hours until I get my results.


One o'clock AM

About seven-eighths of the way
through the Codex
I realise how quite honestly fucked I am.

I can't become a Shadowhunter even if they were real
as that requires at least a black belt in one Eastern martial art,
competence with all standard ranged weapons,
ability to pass undetected through a darkened room,
ability to pass as a mundane at a demonic sacrifice,
competence at acrobatics,
survival in harsh environments,
tracking demons,
forensic skills that would make Abby of NCIS look amateur,
fluency in three living languages,
and diplomacy to persuade a demon not to possess me.

So if my results are failing grades
then I'm stuck
as being cut out for Shadowhunting is certainly not me.


Two o'clock AM

Can't sleep
book finished
unsure what to do
so I'm down in the kitchen.

The whole house is asleep.

Except me.

I sit on one of the chairs in the kitchen,
in my 'Exorcizamus' plaid pyjamas
worrying still.

If only I was a demon,
then I could read out what's on my shirt
and exorcise myself to Hell.
Better than facing the kids I put up with for years.

Maybe I could try it.
Worth a shot.
After all, if I go to Hell I'll be fangirling like mad
playing Marco Polo with other Supernatural fans.
Why shouldn't I exorcise myself?

So I read it out loud.

"Exorcizamus te, onmis immundus Spiritus.
Omnis satanica potestas,
Omnis incursio infernaus adversarii,
Omnis legio,
Omnis congregatio et secta Diabolica.
Draco maledicte,
Ecclesiam tuam securi tibi facias libertate servire,
Te rogamus,
Adios, Bitch!"

It didn't work.
Well that's me fucked then.


Three o'clock AM

I'm so scared.
Results day
could go one of three ways.
Champagne, vodka, or bleach.
Or musically,
'Unbreakable', 'Scream', 'I'm So Blue'.


My family want to know instantly what I got.
When I get my results
I'd rather keep them private
at least from them.

All those 'We don't care if you fail, you're still our daughter." lines,
I predict are nothing but lies
and I'm gonna be in trouble.
Maybe I can hide for a bit
in town in the library?

that won't work.

I'm done for.


Four o'clock AM

I got the courage to talk online.
A dear friend of mine there for me always,
and I return the favour.
Swear on my afterlife as Commandress of the vampires.
Long story.

No matter what, it should average out,
The whole pass, pass, fail, pass,
meaning overall I pass.
If all those passes are C grades though
and the fail is a U grade,
then that'll average as a D.
A failing grade.

Still, all help is appreciated.
Even if that panic attack during the History exam
on The USA 1919 to 1941,
my personal favourite era of history,
does mean I get disqualified for all my exams,
I'll always have my friends.

At least that's something.


Five o'clock AM

The sun is rising and my hopes are falling,
My lips are smiling but my soul is dying.

I changed so much since our year eleven prom,
and everyone of John of Gaunt year eleven saw me
leaving happily with blisters on top of blisters,
little relics of dancing all night,
and Thirties inspired 'Old Hollywood' curls.

What will they think when they see me now?

With my Lauren Bacall curls now Clara Bow style short,
so much weight lost from dieting,
and purple braces on my upper teeth?

I know I shouldn't give a damn.
I'll never see them again after this one day.
I've grown more confident since I've left,
and I actually don't mind the woman in the mirror,
as like the old but awesome song says,

hey, it's a guilty pleasure of mine,

I started with the woman in the mirror,
I asked her to change her ways,
no message from myself was any clearer,
so I made my little world a better place,
and I took a look at myself
and made a change.

I'm more comfortable in my skin,
happier with what I see,
and I don't want that to go away
when I go back in the green-painted gates
and see everyone
all over again.


Six o'clock AM

Not long to go.
The news mentions GCSE results first-thing,
as if we don't need another reminder.

All those GCSE reforms
all thanks to the rat Michael Gove,
thank the Lord he's no longer in power
over the future of our country,
may cause drastic changes in results.

Thanks for the confidence boost, BBC One.
I really needed to be reminded about last year,
when they changed grade boundaries
right after the English exams ended.

Those students who were going to get C grades
well, they got D grades instead.

One simple change turned passes to fails.
So when we look back at all Gove's drastic reforms,
it does not look good at all in any way.

The boundary shift was just for English,
so what about the other subjects?
Maths, Science, History, French?
And don't get me started on the other subjects.
I'm not gonna call them soft subjects,
as I know from two years experience
that calling Music a soft subject is utter bollocks.

They've probably been wrecked by Gove.
Music, Drama, Art, Dance, Creative Writing,
and ICT.
Devalued in a time of great technological advances
when computing skills are essential for all.

It's easy to see why I'm a hundred-percent done
with our government.


Seven o'clock AM

I suppose I'd best start getting ready.
It feels like I'm going to my execution.

I have enough courage in me though
to write this.

It feels like my last words.

Just a message to those who have their GCSE grades
and who expect so much of us
and ram it down our throats how important they are

We know how much revision we did,
and whether it was enough or not!

We know these grades are the most important,
as though employers care more about A Levels,
we need good GCSEs to actually do A Levels!

They're the push at the start of the domino line.

We know that maybe we took a day off to rest,
but an entire month's worth of exams
is impossible to do without taking a rest
from the textbooks we enjoyed burning after the last one.

And my final words to those worried like me,
who will get their results today like me,
just remember it's not the end of the world.

The examiner doesn't know you.
You may speak two languages fluently.
You may play piano at grade six, just for fun.
You may be able to memorise an album of lyrics.
You may be able to make people laugh.
You may be able to cook wonderfully.
You may know CPR and First Aid.

The examiner doesn't know all that.
You know in your own way that you have talents.
So don't let those letters on a bit of paper define you.

You all have your own talents.
Never forget that.

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