That time of year again (already!) when local papers are filled with prom pictures.Never had one at this writer’s old school. The whole idea was still in its infancy back then. Limousines and horse-drawn carriages hadn’t been thought of. If you wanted your picture in the local paper you had to do something more impressive than wear your older brother’s tuxedo while smuggling a bottle of alcopop into a banqueting suite. A shame, really. We’d have been happy with a couple of flashing lights in the school gymnasium, frankly. Wasn’t to be, though. Our headteacher was a mortar board kind of bloke. He refused all requests. “Americanised orgies of self-congratulation and excess,” was his verdict on the whole concept. “We agree, Sir,” said one lad, in a final desperate attempt to have him change his mind. “That’s why we want one.”
A quick question about Sheffield University being voted number one for student satisfaction, as reported in this paper. Does that mean the uni – as claimed by spokespeople there – has the best courses, facilities and accommodation in the country? Or could it simply mean students have lower expectations? That’s not a slight on the place itself. But in an age when these lazy satisfaction surveys are becoming increasingly common – schools, hospitals, even the police all send them out – isn’t it about time someone pointed out that, strictly speaking, questions based on perception tell us precisely nothing at all about standards?
respect for royalty
A reader gets in touch after this column referred to our monarch as Liz. “That’s Queen Elizabeth II to you, Sunbeam,” chastises Ron Clayton. “A little respect from the third estate, please. Or in The Star’s case, make that sink estate?”
Less is definitely not more
A Sheffield father has launched a new book, the Eat Less Food Diet. Sounds all right but not as good as the Seafood diet – see food, eat it.