Tag Archives: mathematics

September 3rd 1973

“Got ‘ome at 11 – went to School and found GOT ME O-LEVEL!!”

Got off boat, got on train, got off train, got in taxi, got out of taxi, got in train, got out of train, got in taxi and…. home!

Then to my school to evidently found that all my hard(ish) work in my recent examinations was not for naught. I indeed passed my mathematics o-level a year early!

I must have officially been a clever little smart-arse!

(Please note: Past tense)


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June 8th 1973

“MATHS O’LEVEL Multiple Choice Morning 9:00am – BLUDY HARD PAPER!! Ward not at work – great!”

Uh-oh… my sure fire cockiness was not evident today, was it?

Looks like there’s a strong possibility I may have botched my chance to be a world renowned mathematician?

That’s what underage drinking does to you kids… listen to your Uncle TRO and stay off the booze!

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June 6th 1973

“Arguverge. Went up Nigs for a while in evng. Done hardly any maths. Think I have got cold. Got card from Sue”

Now, did I have a ‘cold’ because of an imminent maths exam, or did I have a real honest-to-goodness cold?

I see I done hardly any revision, preferring to mess about round at Nig’s house – maybe to avoid an other argument session between Mum & Dad?

I suspect the card from Sue was to thank me for fondling her arse in a gentlemanly manner.

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June 4th 1973

“‘O’ LEVELS START. Revised in evng and fixed radio so that it is wired up to record player speaker. Sue’s sister sez she’s coming bak”

A-ha…. the answer to the curiosity surrounding my “saga of two weeks from now begin” comment can now be revealed.

I was referring to the start of my O-Levels, specifically my (being taken early) Mathematics exams.

In order to hunker down and *ahem* properly revise I apparently wired up that portable radio to Mum & Dad’s record player (long since ‘adopted’ by me I hasten to add) so as to hear the music output from Radio 1 or Radio Luxemborg with greater clarity and volume.

In better news it would appear Sue had not been offended in any manner by us ‘fondling her arse’ on her (apparently premature) leaving day at work. She was coming back for more, bless her!

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December 4th (II)

Told that I would take Maths O’Level

No, Maths O’Level is not the imaginary vocalist in an Irish rock band.

More correctly, an “O-Level” refers to one of the set of GCE (General Certificate of Education) exams we took at school in the 70’s.

We all did a set subjects through our (high) school education and at age 16 took exams in each of them. When we later applied for work we were supposed to list the subjects we passed, and the grades we attained with each of those passes. (Grades, as I recall, we marked from A to E as a ‘pass’ grade, with F meaning a failure)

As far as I can gather, the American equivalent of a GCE is like coming out at the end of High School with a diploma, albeit one split into different courses/subjects. (A series of mini diplomas?)

Like American diplomas and/or SAT’s the scores we got could also assist us when we applied for college or university places.

My diary entry referred to the fact that I was being permitted to take my Mathematics GCE O-Level a year or two earlier than other students, presumably as a result of the scores I was getting in class.

I will doubtless mention this again later on in my diaries, so I’ll save the stories of my success (or lack thereof) until the pertinent forthcoming dates.

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