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  • Writer's pictureJohn Hemming-Clark

The way we were...

A school not a million miles from where I live wants to not only accept diversity but also celebrate it, in all its rather lurid forms it seems. Whilst pondering on my next course of action I cast my mind back to when I was at school which was a while ago. (I went to King's Rochester, a school with a strong historical tradition and a clear vision of education for the 21st century. That's what it says on its website anyway.) At King's I can only recall having two sex education classes, both run by the headmaster. When it came to the subject of "doing it" he showed us a few slide drawings projected onto a pull-down screen and then asked, "Any questions?" "Yes," said Lovell with his hand in the air. I often wonder what happened to Lovell, the meekest and mildest-mannered boy in the school. He's probably a brain surgeon or something similar now. Everyone looked Lovell's way; no one had ever seen him with his hand in the air before. Obviously something was bothering him. "Please sir, how long does it take?" Everyone turned to face the headmaster. It was a question that, for all our projected assuredness, none of us knew the answer to. "The answer is, Lovell," replied the headmaster, "The longer the better." "What, like golf?" came Lovell's supplementary. "Not quite that long, young man," was the headmaster's affirmation. And that's about all we needed to know.

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