|1970s food groups|
|The Clangers https://www.flickr.com/photos/chough/6292287054/|
Last week I was catching up with a school friend. We were reflecting on how these childhood influences have affected us. After a successful career and with two children growing up, she's just taken three science A levels. Impressive. And particularly because our friendship was forged in the bottom O level maths stream. We were both so bad at maths that when I scraped through my exam my parents were delirious. We were also banished from the lab where our peers were studying chemistry and physics. Aged 13 science became a strange land.
So how on earth did my friend manage to pull off this amazing academic coup? Simple she told me. We were taught badly. This time she benefited from a supportive group of mature students battling to beat their childhood hang-ups. She experienced modern teaching methods - and she blossomed. Now she's pursuing a new career.
But school did have a big upside. We were taught to believe we should go out into the world and build careers. That nothing should stop us (apart presumably from good science qualifications). And I took that idea and ran with it.
And just as I don't think the 1970s were the perfect past everyone wants us to believe, I don't believe the future is bleak for our children either. For one thing, the Clangers have been brought back after 45 years by the wonderful Michael Palin. For those of you who remember the adventures of tiny clanger and the soup dragon - you'll love this.
We were encouraged to build careers but had so few options to choose from. Medicine was out due to my appalling science record and that left lawyer, journalist or teacher. Or PR as I later discovered.
But all that has changed. The concept of today's youngsters as a 'lost generation' is a myth. They will be able to build their own careers in a way that would have been unthinkable for us. The most valuable growth jobs tomorrow are jobs most of us haven't heard of yet. And if they want to feel superior, they can even raid the You Tube archives for 70s television clips. And send a prayer to the inventors of the internet.