Thank God It's Friday

12th July 1996 at 01:00
MONDAY: So it's the end of what feels like the shortest school year ever. At times I have resented the popular myth that the first year of A-levels is all play and no work, but my account of these last few days will do nothing to dispell it.

Sports day is cancelled due to torrential rain. In my diary I ritually mark the dreaded occasion with doom-laden thunderclouds, so when they burst on the event itself I'm surprised to find I'm disappointed. As house captain, I've been bullying younger girls into taking part, supressing pangs of guilt. I once succumbed to this pressure myself and ran the dreaded 800m, dreaded more in our school since the track slopes uphill. I sprinted all the way, set a new school record and spent the rest of the afternoon being sick.

I'm also dismayed by the last-minute cancellation since I'd made complicated arrangements with my driving instructor to be picked up from the sports ground. He may be losing patience as I constantly shift locations around Brighton, a rather less glamorous version of Challenge Anneka. I need to preserve a friendly relationship with him - we may be together for some time.

TUESDAY: Time to wrap up unfinished business. First, the Junior English Club (alias the Chocolate Club when conscripting), that I and some friends started in September in a blaze of enthusiasm from all involved. The main activity is a question and answer game on extracts from novels, which always provokes heated debate. Someone wants to know if Charles Dickens really wrote about David Copperfield. "Yes", I say. An uncertain pause. "But not the magician". Huge disappointment all round. But our club members are loath to give up, crowd round us and bar the door, tearfully refusing to accept that we cannot run it next year because we have to concentrate on our A-levels.

WEDNESDAY: Finally reap the rewards of an attempt to run a business under the Young Enterprise scheme, claiming expenses and sharing profits. Impoverished from buying strawberries for house tennis players, sweets for the Chocolate Club farewell party, I need to recoup a fortune in photocopying costs if I am to go on holiday this summer. Despite furious marketing, an alarming number of our products still languish in the sixth form centre. It's probably too late to carry out an insurance scam and torch the stock, so a lot of people will be receiving complementary calendars, six months out of date.

THURSDAY: Last on the house agenda are the Birthday Sports, truly spectacular this year to celebrate the school's 120th anniversary, with 750 students to organise into wheelbarrow racing teams and hundreds of helium balloons to inflate. They clash with my work experience, which I'll have to rearrange. Hope no-one questions me too closely on why I am "unavailable" - I would hate to admit that I prefer making paper kippers for the wiggling kipper race, threading jam doughnuts on to a string, and collecting newspapers to mummify an eleven-year-old. The crucial matter of what we'll wear in the staff and sixth form fancy dress race still hasn't been settled. Time to practice one of the key Young Enterprise skills - "delegation".

FRIDAY: "Leavers day" for the year above us who've done it all by now - filled in their UCAS forms, sorted out their futures and sat their A-levels. I recall overhearing a stomach-churning conversation between two members of the upper sixth along the lines of: "I've written two essays every night this week, have you?" Kipper-making, calendar-selling, and running uphill have never looked so appealing.

Caty Soutar is taking A-levels at Brighton and Hove High School, East Sussex.

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