Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)
TITLE: Stuck on Aisle 15
By Melanie Kerr
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OK, so I’ve got a job at the supermarket. I sit at the checkout skimming barcodes over the little red light and counting the bleeps. It’s not rocket science. The till does the complicated sums and all I need to do is count out the change.
It’s a job. It pays a wage. My rent is paid and I have a cupboard full of tins and packets. There’s milk in the fridge.
Whose business is it but mine if I use some of my left over money to enrol in an evening class? It’s certainly not his business!
Let’s just rewind a bit here and get you up to scratch. I’m assuming from the blank look on your face that you did not read the newspaper article. Granted it wasn’t on the front page and there was no clever alliterating headline, or a fuzzy photograph of some little known intoxicated celebrity falling out of a taxi at three in the morning.
According to Prince Charles some us shouldn’t reach for the stars because we are obviously not capable of getting there. Some of us are not academic at all really and schools shouldn’t tell us that “we can if we think we can”. Some of us perhaps are led to think we can, when deep down, we really can’t and we should stop trying. We are just being set up to fail. He thinks that we should just accept our limitations and embrace our lot in life.
Where does that leave me?
I never thought about life after school. I thought things would just come together for me at exam time, rather like the planets lining up or something. I was more interested in Garry Hynett’s physique. But I’m not stupid – at least that’s what the teachers’ implied in the reports they wrote about me.
It’s just that I have woken up. I don’t want to live the rest of my life packing bags in Aisle 15. I could learn to type. I could apply for an office job.
But here’s the thing. Prince Charles has been to Eton. He has a degree. He is probably quite a clever person. So what if he is right? Say I give up my job at the supermarket. It is a job after all and there’s always someone else waiting in the wings. What if I really am stupid? Maybe I can’t learn how to type. And even if I could, there could be others applying for the same jobs. Could I beat the opposition?
Because Prince Charles thinks I can’t – does that mean I can’t?
And just because I think I can – does that mean that I can?
Is it worth the risk?
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