Lucky Conversation

It is early morning, one day in Spring 1969. I am ten years old and it is a big day in our family. I am going, with my parents, to the school where I recently sat the entrance exam. In a couple of hours, I will have an interview with the headmistress. I am ready nice and early and, with nothing better to do, I waltz into my parents’ bedroom, where Daddy is putting on his tie, and strike up this random conversation. Sue: “Guess what, Joanna came top in Biography!” (Joanna was my friend, who had moved to senior school a year ago, where they studied all sorts of strange subjects, which were unknown to me!) Daddy: “Biography? Are you sure? Don’t you mean Biology?” Sue: (Having thought about this for a nanosecond), “Oh yeah, it must be that. Biology.” And with that, I am off. Daddy: “Hold on a second, young lady! Come back here, I want to explain something to you.“ Reluctantly, I return to the bedroom, knowing that I am about to be subjected to one of Dad’s lectures. This was the man, after all, who, never one to pass up an ‘educational opportunity’, tried to explain Calculus to me when I was off school with tonsillitis! I stand there, with rather less than good grace, while Dad tells me what biology is, what biography is and, for good measure, what an autobiography is. I’m half listening, at best. Fast forward two hours or so. I’m sitting in the headmistress’s study, we are having a lovely chat about this and that, when she looks me in the eye and says, “Now then, Susan, can you tell me what an autobiography is?” Fortunately for me, the half of me that had been listening to Dad COULD tell her! The whole family is convinced that this was what clinched it for me and got me into that school. We later found out that this was the headmistress’s pet question, as she liked to get candidates to read from Churchill’s autobiography. By the time my sister was in that same chair, four years later, she was well briefed and ready for her! By my reckoning, all of the following had to align, in sequence, and all, apart from the first two, seem unlikely in their own right. 1. Joanna comes top in biology. 2. She tells me. 3. I tell Dad and, crucially, get it wrong. Just wrong enough to spark one of his lectures. 4. This conversation takes place on the day of my interview. 5. I am asked for the precise nugget of information which l had learned that very morning. Thank you Dad! ❤️
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Date submitted:Thu, 24 May 2018 07:55:43 +0000Coincidence ID:10039