It was the end of the school year, and the exam results had come in. The young boy hadn't done too well. He knew it.
He wasn't particularly worried about the actual results. It was more the explaining to his teachers and parents he was nervous about.
"Maths. You got a C. That'll pass you, but you could have done better couldn't you?
"Life Skills. You got a D. Not so good."
"I know. I'm sorry". The boy was wondering at what point in his life any of those 'skills' he had been tested on would come into play. He wasn't even sure this was actually a legitimate subject.
"English Literature. That was better. B. Well done"
"I like reading"
"Art. D. What happened?"
"The teacher didn't like me"
"Well perhaps he would have liked you if he'd gotten to know you, or indeed seen any of your artwork. You'd have had to have turned up to his lessons for that to happen though, wouldn't you?"
"Yes Sir. Sorry Sir."
The rest of the results filtered in. History, English Language, French. Not so good all around. Maybe enough to get him into the university the boy had half-heartedly picked out. He'd chosen Philosophy as a direction there. Mainly because he liked arguing. His teacher stood up from behind the big wooden desk and walked out into the corridor, obviously unexcited about bringing the boys parents in and letting them know the poor academic performance of their offspring.
"If you'll take a seat" he said to them, gesturing to the two empty seats either side of the boy.
"It seems," he continued, "that your son hasn't quite performed as well in his examinations as we'd hoped from him. Have you talked about his plans after leaving this high school?"
Both parents shot a look that expressed both disappointment and total lack of surprise. The boy shrank down in his seat a little further.
"Well yes. He's very into his music, and he's met a gentleman in the music industry who is very keen to offer him help. He's met with us a few times, and we trust him. He wants him to take a gap year and move to England to pursue his music."
The teacher looked at the parents. Then at the boy. Then at the sheet of paper in his hands. He cleared his throat.
"Well. Let me put it this way. Your son is not a model student, he dislikes studying, has a short attention span, talks too much, and under performs during exams. He hasn't turned up for many of the classes he chose to take this year. "
The teacher paused, and a wry smile started to appear on his lips. He continued.
"However. Your son is also not a mathematician. Nor is he a painter. He certainly isn't a geologist, physicist or chemist. I can't much picture him as a great philosopher either. Your son is a musician. I've seen him play. The joy he has for it is obvious. I whole heartedly recommends he takes this gap year and makes the most of whatever opportunity he gets in the field and direction that makes him happy."
The boy couldn't believe his ears. What had he just gotten away with?! This was too good to be true.
It still is.