Saturday, June 16, 2007

If you can't face the heat ...

...then get out of the blog! The discussions in the blog, on certain posts, has caused me to make this post. I will not be commenting further (hopefully!) on the issue of 'class' and 'social groups' in that blog. I will hopefully have my peace here. That discussion has made me think- a lot. I don't know what this post will be about, but it's getting things of my mind in whatever order they come in. I think a lot can be said on that issue, and in this country it is of some significance. To be honest, I don't really have a clue of this post. Just my 'two pence' on things I suppose, but first a Venn diagram:

The size of the circles are not significant. The blue circle is maths, and the other one 'etc etc' is everything else. Now you may notice the lonely pink circle on the outside. The circle which I have 'banished' from my life, so to speak. It's pink as well- my most hated colour. That's just me not being able to keep partial. Anyway, the pink, horrible, disgusting, slimy, yucky ahem well the pink circle represents politics.

Once upon a time, when I was 16/17 to be precise, in my first year of college I was head over heels into politics. Having read the Jeffrey Archer (top author in my opinion!) book-First Amongst Equals, I was absorbed by it. Much like I am nowadays about maths. I'm making that comparison so that you can understand how much I immersed myself into politics. Honestly it is a fascinating profession, and I won't deny that. The book really did open my eyes and gave me an insight to politicians daily lives. I don't mean their 'external' affairs etc. but there daily business and what their job entails. I read about the chief whip. The ayes. Everything. The house of commons. Lords. The Queen opening parliament. Dare I continue? Prior to this I was 'ignorant' of the how the country was governed. I was just a loopy teletubby doing my daily business and wondering what lies the news reader was telling us. Yes, I was always told to be critical of the news. My school English teacher had always told us to form our own opinions and not those broadcasted by news readers. She encouraged us to get our news from different sources to make sure you knew what the truth was.

I don't think I ever really did that- I just used to keep myself mildly informed. I was ignorant. Proud to be ignorant. However in year 10, during my humanities lessons, I realised that being ignorant wasn't a good thing. Knowledge was 'power' after all! Like I said, I only knew the surface of what was happening. However, in year 10 I did start to slowly build up an interest in this whole 'world news' business, because the teacher encouraged us to since it would help us in the exam. I used to argue with friends, debate with family and I was informed. This 'informative me' continued into college. However college was a larger platform for me- I was exposed to many more opportunities. Amazingly, some time after I read Jeffrey Archers book in year 12, I happened to have a chance to go to the house of Parliaments. I jumped at this opportunity. This was it. I was going to be where the action was- meet politicians. (Up till that point I had only spoken to my local MPs-one had come to college for a question and answer session).

OK yes, I was with my head in the clouds again. I wanted to one day be a politician. I wanted to help implement good change. I wanted to make this country great. You know how I am, I get one small sniff and already I start thinking about eating the food! My ambitions were going sky high. I spoke to another local councillor and he informed me of what he had done to become a councillor and that he was going to run for the local seat. Basically I was into it. So I went to the parliament, and it's one of the best experiences I've had. I loved every minute of it. Walking down that corridor which we see on the news, hustle and bustle everywhere. Not for one second is that place quiet, and well I'm not exactly what you'd call a quiet person which made it even better! We went and did our business and yes, I loved it.

The 'stupid' thing is that I was not going to go because I didn't want to miss college! On that day I had a further maths lesson, and well I really was struggling with further maths at that time. In college if you missed one lesson you were doomed. We were doing something about networks and well basically I didn't want to miss a day off! (I hate missing days off school. :o) On that day I happened to bump into and shake Gordon Brown's hand. :D It was quiet weird, because we were going to get some lunch and I had been dragging my feet and walking behind everyone. Suddenly a lift/door opened on my left and at first I didn't realise who had stepped out. The man and woman had walked in the other direction, and a second later I'd realised that it was Gordon Brown! I ran after him and shouted excuse me. He said, 'yes?' and I stupidly said, 'you're Gordon Brown!'. He shook my hand and said yes the woman laughed and said 'something funny'. I was pretty gob smacked! Having been into politics for quite some time, he was a mini celebrity. (The way Ian Stewart was when I met him!). I then asked if he'd mind taking a picture, he said it was ok and by this time everyone had realised what was happening and the corridor was pretty noisy. [also bumped into that Boris guy :D]

Yes, I'm dragging that bit out, but that has to be the highlight of my politics bubble. I even got the photo signed! (hehe). After this trip my interest for politics continued. I used to sometimes come home and watch erm... *coughs* the parliament *coughs*. I was sad, and mad about politics at the same time. This lasted until the end of my second year in college. I used to actively participate in events at college which were geared towards politics, since I enjoyed it. I used to talk to my biology teacher about voting, and about policies etc. I don't really know what happened. One day, I saw the light! I was watching the prime minister questions and all I saw was little kids having tantrums and screaming and shouting. I didn't see men and women, whose hands the future of our country was in. No sir- all I saw was little guys. Little annoying kids, who just wanted to be the last ones to shut up. I mean I've seen all that school. I probably did see this before, but on that day, something slid out of place.

I realised that nothing that we do makes any difference whatsoever. OK, maybe to some degree it does. I'm not being pessimistic, but in the grand scheme of things, we don't really have that much influence. So the Labour party proposes something which would be brilliant for the countries economy etc. The Conservatives would probably reject it because of not wanting to agree with Labour. What I say now is due to my new ignorance. Yes, I slowly withdrew from that circle. I wanted to have nothing to do with it. The small circle is touching the big one, because still in my heart I believe that I can 'change things'. Well I believe one can always change small things- the way things are run in your local area etc. However my heart has broken for politics. It has no taste for me now. I do glance over the politics news at times, however not in the way I used to.

That is my ignorance. I'm not proud of being ignorant, but I have no real reason to be 'politically informed'. I do believe that one should be, but you can't take me seriously after I've just said that I'm ignorant of nowadays policies etc. Obviously when something major concerns me, I'd probably dip back into it. The minor things that concern me, well they bounce of my thick skin. (at times). My further maths teacher- Mr H- told me that I should consider myself lucky to have broken away from that 'obsession' so quickly. Yes, we didn't always do maths, and he himself had been mad about politics until after he left university. :D

Back to the blog that I linked above. My peace with this issue is here. I don't want to talk about class and social groups again. Is it important? Maybe to some people. However, I believe that no matter what area you grew in, no matter what class or social group you're from, how you do in life depends on your upbringing. That is my personal belief and obviously you're free to disagree. Your upbringing i.e. your parents play a heck of a role in your life. A I am lucky that my parents have brought me up to be who I am. I'm not the best of people, but hopefully I know the difference between what's right and wrong. I know what I can and can't do. I know what's best for me. My parents helped me and guided me to differentiate between right and wrong. I mean, as I previously said, we weren't allowed to play in the back street. Why? Because it was full of cack. I can't judge whether or not them kids were good or bad, but a few are in prison at the moment. If today you ask the kids of my local primary school what they want to be in life, they say, 'I want to be like x, he's a bad boy he is. etc etc etc'.

So my parents did their duty as parents and kept us away from them 'bad boys'. They did that and that is why I'm not looking up to them guys in prison now. You see as kids you don't know what's right and wrong. I never knew that the 'bad boys' were bad. They were the cool kids. In primary school, when silly B used to bully me because I used to get picked for the football team before him, they looked out for me since I lived opposite them. That's who they were. They were the big kids looking out for their neighbours. I did look up to them 'indirectly'. I remember, during playtime, I was kicking a tennis ball about near them just because I wanted them to let me play with the big football with them. They eventually did let me play with them and I was the happiest kid on the playground. I was a midget in year 3 (just joined the juniors from the infants!) and they were giants in year 6. I didn't get much of the ball, but I was with them!

Now looking bad, I realise my parents did the best thing ever. During that football game, the ball had been kicked over the fence. If that happens, it means the games over and that's it. The ball never comes back. A big dog used to live on the other side of the fence, and trust me it came into the playground once and it wasn't one of them nice dogs. The owner wasn't nice as well and didn't exactly stop the dog when it chased the pupils. The land over the fence was owned by this not nice person. There was a hole in the fence. Not too big. A kid from year 3 could fit through it. I could go through it. Yes, they made me get the ball. I was pretty scared, since the school has forbidden us to climb the fence. I got the ball and chucked it over. The stupid big kids had formed a big circle around the fence. It drew attention. I was caught. I got into a lot of trouble by my class teacher, and that was the last time I kicked a tennis ball near them big kids. They used to laugh about it. I never found it funny.

Basically what I'm saying is that I am firstly who my mum and dad made me. It starts at the home. You parents have to encourage you. They have to motivate you. My dad going to university may have given me a 'head start' since he knew about the importance of education, however to say that this head start is the reason why I'm at university is a load of codswallop. My best friends parents didn't go to university. Yet, they always encouraged her to study and basically even they knew that being educated is important. Being educated doesn't mean what has to go to university! What I'm trying to say is that my Dad being at university meant that I had that extra help at home. It has, in my opinion, made a lot of difference in my life, but that's because I was lazy. My friend might not have had that extra help but that was because she did all the work herself. I didn't and so my dad, knowing this, used to push us.

That is the job of the parents. We used to come home and read our primary school books with our mum. My parents used to come to our school assemblies, watching us make fools out of ourselves. This is my belief. The emphasis to learn was always there. Not necessarily to study and do well, but to learn. I wanted to be like my dad when I grew up. No question about it. However I never really knew what one had to do to become like my dad. School was a place of fun. My primary school teachers were awesome. Mr H. and his stories, and Mrs H reading Beaver towers to us. Yes I remember it like it was yesterday. I met my bestest friend at primary school. Anyway, I tend to easily get carried away, but my point is that our primary socialisation depends on our parents and possibly the primary school we went to. That is the teachers there as well. I will continuously say that times have changed since I went to primary school. I knew nothing about anything then.

We didn't have sky or cable, just normal TV. Watching that 'oooohhhh Lazio' programme on Sunday mornings used to be the highlight of my week (think the presenter was called James something). We weren't allowed watching riff-raff like Family Affairs etc. We lived on cartoons. I still do. The point is that nowadays kids watch eastender at such tender ages. I may be old fashioned in my beliefs, but what's happening to kids being kids. Why are they being denied their childhood by their parents? Why are they watching big brother at such young ages? Why are they even downstairs at 10pm? I can't exactly comment on that, but what I'm trying to say is that these parents have control over what their children can and can't watch, as well as other things.

So a my primary school years went good, considering where I lived etc. Yes- I'm talking about 'class' now. Oh noes run for your lives! *slaps wrists* Sorry about that. I'm getting frustrated one could say about the discussion at maths under the microscope. It's my own fault, hence why I'm now stepping out of the fire. The area I live in is one of the worst in town. We have them bad boys who think they're cool. I mean does robbing cars and trying to kill people make you cool? I got through primary school because of my parents and my school teachers. I loved school. I used to be the first up in the morning and my Grandad used to get annoyed when I used to be the last one out of school. (hometime kick about on the field cannot be missed!) Anyway, the street I lived on was slowly becoming worse. My parents decided it was time we moved houses. We moved and this was why a in secondary school I survived to tell the tale! We still remained in that same area, because the other teletubbies didn't want to change primary school. They continued going to 'our' primary school.

Now it's where secondary socialisation comes in. Parents and secondary socialisation. I believe that I'm lucky that I found positive role models in my maths and English teachers. However I believe it's because I always looked at teachers as my second parents, and as teachers who educate me. The word duh is being screamed at me, but come on, I wasn't the best of kids (asking to be given high marks!), but I was nurtured into who I am today. Once again credit has to be given to my parents. They did a lot for us, and always used to encourage us to make good friends. 'Don't get in the wrong crowd beans, don't do this beans, don't do that beans'. All the time I heard it. It possibly went in one ear and came out through the other, but even Milo's mum did the same. Don't make this friend Milo don't do that etc. Once again my dad used to always ask about school work and even if he didn't I was there asking him about cells and so and so. I made my share of 'bad friends'. I got into the wrong crowd in year 8. It was a bad time, because whilst you're in this crowd you don't understand how it's harming you. You don't. It's only now that I look back and think, 'phew, thank God that friendship didn't last'. The people who you hang around with in secondary school ultimately influence what you do and your attitude to things in life.

In year 9 my group changed. I became friends with Trevor (was it?) Trevor was a genius and motivated in life. He had his ambitions and everything, and knew what he wanted to do. Trevor's friend Bruno, apart from being a funny so and so(!), was the same. Basically I became friends with Trevor, Bruno, Ash, D etc. These were my positive role models and positive influences. In year 8 I was labelled the black sheep of the class with my friend, by our biology teacher. I was proud of it. On parents evening I told my dad, 'that teacher called me the black sheep of the class. hahaha' (You get what I mean). Damn my big mouth, but the first teacher my dad went to was her. It wasn't pleasant I can tell you. As I've said before I was also put on report in year 8- I still argue that the teacher wasn't feeling too well and took out all her stress on me, but I was a bad egg then due to the friends I had.

My different, motivated friends indirectly encouraged me to work. My dad set his marker down. 'You get less than this mark in your end of year exams you're in trouble beany'. Or so I was told. My English and Maths teacher came into the picture when I was in year 10. They did the final moulding- maybe the most important. I believe that when I look at the integrity, sincerity and honesty that my English teacher carried, I want to do the same. I'm a bad liar believe it not. Why? Because to be a good liar, you have to convince yourself of that lie. Yes, I may have said a trivial white lie here and then- I don't deny it. 'I didn't do my homework because of so and so'. but that eats me up. I get laughed at by Noddy since someone once misunderstood me and I freaked out. I hate lying. I just can't do it. I tend to be vague nowadays and either don't say anything. This is due to my English teacher I believe. I can't explain how my maths teacher 'moulded' me since I'd be here for days. My foundations were made firm by these two teachers, as well as the others. I mention these two the most, since they helped me when they weren't teaching me as well.

So there you have it- what I think of why I am who I am (eh?!). My Parents, teachers and friends are the reason for this. NOT MY CLASS OR SOCIAL GROUP. I lived in a 'crappy' area and I don't exactly live in a palace now. I think as Jake mentioned in comments to a previous post, quality of life is important. A I believe that my parents gave us the basic essential needs. Yes we always grumbled about not getting so and so, but by not getting it we were taught the value of money and to appreciate what you have. We didn't even really need much then- just pogs, and each other to play rounders with in the back yard. Yes there has been one thing which could differentiate me from some one else, but I'd rather not say. :)

I'm not denying that where you live might influence your education- but if the foundations have been set by your parents, then it's up to you. At 16 I'd say that you're 'sane' enough to know where you're heading in life. Yes you can be influenced, but at that age you have some idea of what you want to do in life. What you decide to do with your education after that is up to you. My dad didn't encourage me to go to university, nor did he encourage me to go to college. After school I think that if I didn't want to go to college he wouldn't have had a problem with it. He would have wanted me to make something of myself (modern apprenticeship etc), but going to college was my decision. Going to university was my decision. I think he would have been happier had I done a course which wouldn't have me in debt of about £20,000 when I finish!

The difference is that when I did decide that I wanted to do my A levels, my parents still warned me and cautioned me about making the right friends. My dad still set his marker down and always enquired as to how I was doing. He no longer might have helped me, since he didn't understand this whole modules business (:D), but I knew that I didn't want to fail. The seed for wanting to do well in life had been planted during secondary school by my parents, and the plant was looked after by my teachers. (now do you understand why I look up to my teachers- they make or break you. :) ) Even now at university- my parents still tell me to be wary. You see I'm slightly (ahem) mad, and I will always need their guidance. I know they mean well, since my track record isn't good. At the time, when my mum tells me not to come home too late, I might scoff and disregard what she says. But when I come home and hear of what happened late at night on the street I had walked on a few hours ago, I understand that my parents say them things for a reason.

My parents don't tell me to do such a thing because they've been educated! They tell me because until I stand on my own two feet, it's their duty and they want to raise us to be good human beings. I'm not going to be living with them forever, (sadly!) and they will probably say to me, 'beans it's time you started thinking about your future now'. But you know, when that day comes they'll be confident that I'll be able to survive on my own. I believe that if you know that going to a certain place is going to bring you harm, then why do it? For eg. going out at night at 3am and doing what not. Your business, but if you're on your own and something bad happens to you then whose fault is it? Why put yourself in the position where you could bring harm to yourself? I know that people argue that you learn from your experiences, but if I may be 'blunt' (?) what are you going to learn when you're dead? (You put yourself their once for the experience, and if you know something is bad after 'this experience', would you still do it?)

Whilst I was at school, I didn't really see the world outside my school world. All I cared about was playing football at break times, amongst other things. You could say my parents have protected me from a lot and filtered a lot of bad stuff from my life. Inevitably we experience and comes across what they previously haven't. How you respond to this makes you who you are. We weren't allowed swearing. If you were caught swearing you were in big trouble. The cool kids swore, my cousins swore and so one day we swore. Never in front of my parents though, we knew it meant trouble. We did get caught swearing(!), but we never knew what were saying. As children you imitate the grown ups and the cool kids. Bear used to walk, clasping his hands behind his back. I used to do that. I've got this 'handshake' with bear, which ends with him punching my fist really hard (ouch) and going yo. (:D) Little bear sees this and he wants to do. That's natural. As a child I called my cousin something bad because he hit the ball over whilst playing cricket. He knew that he couldn't physically hit me, because I would run for my life, so instead he told the folks! That was worse.

Then when I swore it was because of my ignorance. Now I do occasionally swear, and hate myself for it, but now I have control over it. I know what is wrong and right. I make the decisions. Yes, my parents will always be there- guiding me, but at the moment I need that. I am yet a big kid and haven't grown up. I don't when I will, and whether or not I want to. Maybe I should stop watching them cartoons!

I have possibly gone of a lot of tangents in this blog. Apologies if I have offended anyone, for that wasn't my intention. I am not the best of people, but in everything I do, I hope not to cause offence or harm anyone. Call it stupid, but that's me. I'm going to try and talk about everything I have to say on this issue in this post and henceforth will push that politics circle slightly further away from me. Intentionally and with regret of course, but serious politics is not the place for a bean like me. Yes, my local town is different, but the welfare of the country, I hope is in able hands.

What I'm trying to say is that I don't concern myself with the 'differences in class and the link to education' because I (un)fortunately regard people as individuals. I never see a person because of their 'social group' or class. Damn I hate them words. Why do we create these barriers? That might be a dumb questions, but so we have them 'barriers' but why does that mean we treat each other differently because of them? I mean I can honestly say that I have never looked at someone because of their class. I never really knew it was important. So what that someone is from the posh area of town? So what that they dress in a certain way and act in another way? Their upbringing is the reason for this, and if they look down on you then that's also because of their upbringing. In terms of 'class' I think it's a blessing that I've been ignorant of the many classes that exist. Being aware causes you to differentiate between classes and then possibly treat people differently.

In college we discussed, once upon a time, that rather than looking at each other and seeing how different we are i.e. skin colour, class, social group, hair, eyes, accent, culture, religion etc (whatever tickles your pickle!), we should look at each other and see how similar we are. We should see the things we have in common! We might love football! Or the obvious one, we might love maths. That is what we should see in each other- the similarities. That is what I try to do. I think in life, being fair is important. You should not be quick to pass judgement, and yes you might form first impressions of people, but for Pete's sake don't be stubborn about them!!! I know that initially I wasn't taken in by my supervisor because she did things different to my PT. I didn't 'pass judgement' though. Now I am grateful for the influence she had on my maths. I mean if I had continued to be bitter about things being different with my PT (personal tutor), would I have learnt or gained the wealth of knowledge that my supervisor imparted?

Yes, our experiences do cause us to be bitter about certain things, but what do we do? The picture of that wood that I posted, was actually thrown at me from a school bus from the school near my house, as I walked home from college. It hit my head and hurt badly at that time! I kept that piece because that event has become a joke in my house. I'm prone to these things and won't deny it! (I supposedly have a punchable face :D hehe). But do I treat every kid of that school with venom? Do I live in the past and say that so and so school is bad because such a thing happened to me? What will I get from that? Yes if I knew who threw it, and if they were punished then that would be different. My problem was with an individual not the whole school. Bad experiences will always happen to us in life. What is important is how we overcome then and not allow them to take over us. I don't say this lightly. It is easy to be consumed with bitterness. Just because a gang of people act towards us in a certain way, doesn't mean that we should label the whole group in a way which causes us to treat them all differently.

Sigh. Yes, this posts length has increased without a bound. I don't know when I started typing this, but it's half two now. I sometimes lack the ability to properly put across my opinion, this is due to my poor English vocabulary etc. and so I thought I'd post everything here, where hopefully you can excuse any mistakes. If I may drag this out further, and possibly conclude, we are who we are because of our parents. They give us definition in this world. I will always be seen as my parents kid. There's no question of that. In this country, when applying for student loans etc, they may ask you 'whether or not your parents went to university', 'your social group' etc. These two questions may have some significance as to whether you go on to study university, but in my case and the people I know they don't. When these questions are asked to our children (!) and say that we are all educated, then what are the results of them questions going to say? From my school friends it is only my dad who had a degree. They're all at university doing medicine, dentistry, law, English, psychology etc. Their parents worked and had jobs etc. but these jobs didn't instil the beliefs and values that my friends carry with them nowadays.

Maybe I've been lucky in life that I've had the right accidents. Maybe not. I believe that it is because of my parents that I am where I am. I probably don't appreciate them as much as I should(!), but I will not stop saying that the values and beliefs I have in life are what are going to carry me forward. How long can the school I went to, hold me back? We have to realise that we have passed through that phase in life, and what we carry in our back packs is more important. Mum, Dad CHEERS.

I hope not to blog about politics and this issue again. I hope to avoid this fire, since I believe we've all had different experiences in life, and I may on this occasion be looking at the bigger picture form a different angle. An angle due to my upbringing, and my experiences which will be different to the next persons. By giving each other labels like 'class', 'social group' etc, we create for ourselves restrictions for interaction. I have many diverse friends because I've never created them labels. I don't intend to. Why should we deny ourselves to get to know another person -not another 'it' from so and so class? Every one is unique and we learn a lot from different people. We should choose to be 'not know' people because of their characteristics etc- not their 'class'!

My tangent is probably unrelated to the whole issue, but I think it boils down to first removing certain labels from ourselves. I mean have one label maybe, but why do we need so many labels?! I don't have a label for myself in terms of class. I have never considered what class I am- I just know that my parent have worked hard and hopefully I will too. Social group- what the heck. The one label I have is what defines me, however never, as Milo says, do I let this label interfere with how I interact and talk to other people. It's my personal thing and I keep it that way. That's what labels should be. Get rid of the labels, since they are what make you look at other peoples labels. If you can and want to carry labels then go ahead and do so, but if you can do so without them interfering it's even better. I'm from up north and that's another label. I'm British that's another label. Does it really matter? NO. Yes I joke with my friends from down south, but it's all in good nature. I don't see them as 'people from down south!' After all these are labels which cause division and conflict between each other.

Politics linking with the maths syllabus and education may crop up from time to time, but maths is what concerns me. Once again, I apologise if I have offended anyone for it is not my intention to do so. If you comment and find that I don't reply, it is because of my inability to use English constructively when debating. Using small words may help! :D Lesson of the day- politics is a messy business. Boy am I glad that I washed my hands of it when I did! This business is not for me.


beans said...

Wow- that has got to be the longest post in this blog! Damn, it's not about maths as well. :(

Best get to bed now. :D Actually wait, might as well leave something for those who dare not read it!

KTC said...

I had to give up, might come back to it sometime.

Politics, the thing which I truly believe does make a difference, yet which I absolutely hate. And I say that before, during, and now after 3, 4 years of (mostly student, but some related to national type [real world]) politics experience.

There's a quote that power corrupt. In reality I'll say just the politics environment itself corrupts, nevermind power. Most people goes into politics (national, local, student, whatever) with the best of intention, however the environment changes people. After a while, a lot of these people "forget" why they were there in the first place. One get so used to the ways of politics, the game itself that one forget it should be a mean to the end at best, and not an end in itself.

beans said...

Lol- I didn't realise how long it had become! :o

I hear you and I agree. There's no place for a person with 'good intentions' in that place. You have to be ruthless if you want to influence people and be known. I am speaking generally, but it's the fact that I saw them all playing the game that I fell out with politics. I have met some politicians who I believe weren't playing the game, but I can only count them on one hand! Yes, I've had about 3 years student politics experience and I hate it now as well. I'll probably just 'admire' it from a distant.

That book definitely gives a good overview of things in England. It follows the lives of I think four different people, each from different 'backgrounds'. They all have the same motivation- to one day be the prime minister.

ms@mu said...

you need to stopwaffling and cut to the chase in quicker. Your blogs are sooooo long that fatigue steps in and i have to skim read. you could have cut that by 60% and still got the same points thru - and with greater emphasis - cos it wud have been shorter

beans said...

Lol, well the choice to read is yours. You can choose not to read my posts. :) Skim reading is a skill, I suppose.

I think on this occasion, I wasn't trying to put a point across, but rather eject everything out of my head!