Turkeyphant (turkeyphant) wrote,

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i crossed the valleys the dust of midlands to search for the third key to open the gates

During the second to last week of term, Theodore, Martin, Charles and I spent much of our time racing Fun Bikes (which had been brought in specially for a one week only) round the Green Court. "Fun Bikes" are either old Victorian rusty things that weigh a ton and are faintly reminiscent of Penny Farthings or these weirdly cool contraptions that are basically unicycles with stabilisers. The leaning-a-little-but-not-too-much method of steering is extremely unreliable and a good sense of balance is needed to navigate the bumps and drains at high speed, but we managed to pull off several laps without any deadly collisions. Unfortunately, I was banned at some point for trying to do some jumps and other crazy tricks and shit when I thought the teacherdude wasn't looking. He was so far from buying my excuse about dodgy brakes.


Another time, I tried to make a film about a day in my life at King's. I wanted it to be an alternative to the incredibly cheesy, highly-polished professional video the school puts out on CDs for prospective parents. Sure the cathedral and nice buildings within the precincts look pretty, but this thing eclipses all normal boundaries of pretentiousness. I would shove it up on the intarweb for you to see for yourself, but I have about one meg of webspace, not the tenth of a fucking gig of high-bandwidth server I'd need for this thing. It is hilarious though - anodyne cheery music running throughout, interviews with pupils raving about how everyone happily loves each other and Charlemagne rowing into a tree. There are kids saying, "I thought it was going to be really posh and scary, but actually it's the best thing that's ever happened to me!" and you can barely even see some bloke poking them in the back with an electric stick. Damn, this thing makes me cringe so much. It's so so very far from the awful, life-breaking truth. Señor Bruna beams as he proclaims that King's is like a family for him and that "for me, every day is like a holiday, and that's the truth!" Seriously man, this school will wear down all but the most strong individuals, I swear. It will strip away every ounce of freedom and resilience left in you and force you to autorape your own soul for wealth and power. Don't even get me started on the social circles and cliques. Barefaced lies come every second: "we encourage them to develop as themselves". Hmmm, try telling that to all the people who self-harm, the dozens of outcasts and the kid who tried to top himself last term...

So anyway, I was videoing my typical day to try and show what it was really like, what life there is all about. I wanted to try and dispel a few rumours and give a more representative picture of the King's School. However, quite predictably, I failed and gave up. I don't know people nearly well enough to wander around recording, and I felt too intimidated everywhere I went to film the bits that matter. Other than the fact it was a shit idea to start with, I'm also a crap filmmaker. In the end, I lost due to the combined effect of several different flavours of embarrassment.


One day, long after the examinations had ended, we went to some physics talks at the University of Kent, just down the road. About ten of us were invited in total, including me and Theodore as well as some other guys we know. Not only did we get to miss lessons, but it was also quite a lot of fun. Dr. Ripley (if I recall correctly) was accompanying us and turned out to be almost as ignorant about his subject as Vince was back at RGS. Still, despite my preconceptions, it turned out he worked on the JPEG compression algorithm back when he was at his shitty polytechnic. Which, despite the Joint Photographic Experts Group format being assworthy, is fairly cool.

During one of the talks, this guy handed out small four inch circles of pressed silicon round the auditorium and, later on, some huge ones with ten-inch diameters. The large ones all seemed to end up in Theodore's lap after everyone had grown bored with handing them round. At the end, the talking bloke had to be reminded to ask for them to be collected in because Theo was still playing with the discs. He told us to pass them to the end the row where they would be collected by teachers and that it was lucky he remembered for it turned out that the large discs were actually worth a lot of money. No sooner had these words escaped his lips when an almighty crash resonated around the lecture theatre. Whilst pissing about, Theo had managed to shatter both the discs simultaneously. Millions of tiny shards lay at his feet and partially embedded in his palms. The whole room erupted into uncontrollable laughter due to the perfect timing of his error. Sitting next to him, I had been reduced to tears.

Included under the other points I wish to mention is a mad woman on speed who wildly gesticulated for half an hour and spoke at a ludicrous rate throughout that time and our playing of the Homoeroticism Game whilst wandering around the campus. I found passing buses especially useful in shrouding my screams from Dr. Ripley. There was a guy who asked for more government funding for all those interested in computer programming and then, we went off to be given a talk by some silver-haired godly dude who knew everything. He gave an ace talk and, at erratic points during the lecture, went off on semi-random tangents to increasingly complex branches of physics. This made me happy, as Henry Lo was easily confounded. However, when he asked for questions at the end, computer programmer went and asked him whether he'd considered that suspending a torus-shaped hyperspacial universe within a suspension of five-dimensional space-time would allow for a superposition between existence and non-existence. Everyone in the theatre blinked and the godly lecturer went on to have a lengthy argument with the code junkie.


Somehow, after the exams were all over, they had the cheek to make us do some work in physics. We had a week to prepare a five minute PowerPoint *eurgh* presentation on one of several set topics. I was put with a bunch of dunces, so chose the best topic (neutrino oscillations) and went off to do it myself one night. I figured it would probably be less trouble to actually get it done than to pick a fight with Miss Astin and Dr. Allday. It actually turned out to be quite good fun as my research spawned a new e2 write-up that provided me with a bucket of XP and, not only that, I had to give it to the awesome dude who gave us the godly talk at the university who presented me a book as a prize for being so ace.

However, best of all was Martin's talk. Before we were to give the presentations, the .ppts had to be put on a shared folder on the network so we could bring them up on a laptop in the lab and show them on the huge projector thingy. And, of course, they were too incompetent to realise how to limit permissions to this folder, meaning everyone had full write access. After my giving Ping the idea but then chickening out couple of times, Charlemagne's presentation was edited in a hilarious manner. I actually plucked up the courage and decided I would try and bastardise it too and take the consequences but, by then, I'd left it too late. Luckily though, old goodie-goodie Ping had made the necessary alterations. I felt sorry for Casey who had to partner Charles, but everyone had to admit it was hilarious. On every other slide he'd click to bring up a bullet-point, start reading the sentence, stop halfway through and smile, then carry on as though nothing had happened after missing out a word or two. You see, randomly dotted around his text was the word "gay" (oh isn't prep school fun?) Regardless, trust me that, at the time, it was uproarious to watch him stand in front of two classes and try to wriggle around a slide that said The new GAY accelerator at CERN will enable researchers to test for a completely new type of particle called the GAY particle. It is thought to interact only through the GAY force. Haha, Charles was left feeling horribly awkward and, naturally, Miss Astin suspected it was my doing anyway.
Tags: kent, king's, pwned, school
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