Learning is one of the greatest attributes of human nature.
Without it we wouldn't be the people we are today.
My mum was the perpetrator of her boys getting a good education. Personally she always pushed me very hard at school, in fact she pushed me into the top classes. Despite this I never really liked school, in this modern day in age school has changed, its a results world. Even at school level, the talented push out the less able, and the less able make the talented look even better. I think that its reflective in society today, people are getting left behind. However thats another story not for this place. I used to tell her my thoughts on the matter but they were rarely appreciated! I loved doing the work, I still do now, I just never liked school as a principle.
I remember going to the sixth form convention in December 2004, I wanted to do the subjects I excelled in, PE and maths but unfortunately I had to take another one, Mum wanted me to do accounting whereas if I had to make another choice it would be electronics. That one was left up for debate between us. I never once actually wanted to go to sixth form.
After that Christmas had passed and we found out the cancer was beating her, I had to continue going to school and try to keep up some kind of routine. I never took a day off, I was never allowed to under any circumstances, except near death and that then still had to be proven by a doctor! But that was Mum.
I remember her asking me if I wanted Dad to come up and talk to the teachers about our situation and what was going to happen but I always declined, I always thought I was stronger than that, plus I didn't want anybody being intrusive, I didn't want anybody who didn't already know to find out. Maybe it was embarrassment, it may seem fickle to say that but I was at that age. Little did I know that Dad had already been to school and spoke to my tutor and head of year. I felt pretty annoyed and let down when I found out, through friends that had seen him at school, I knew instantly what it would have been about because Dad would never be seen around the school premises otherwise.
Mum passed away 2 weeks before the start of my GCSE's. Before she died she promised me £50 for every A grade I achieved, with no revision and no effort put into mock exams because of the tension and thought change in my head, my predicted grades were mainly B's and C's along with the statement "has the potential to achieve more". In turn I had promised her that I would go back to school in September and continue with sixth form and education.
That summer in early August I think, my favourite album ever was leaked before its due release date. A number of tracks stood out but I confided in one track, this track was different to the rest, it was personal in a direct way and very coincidental. I spent a lot of time learning the words. It wont be everyones favourite genre of music, but it is mine. A few years after this track was released, the artists own mother, the one spoken about in the song, suddenly passed away.
A few weeks later in August results were out and I achieved A grades in 7 out of 10 subjects, I never cared once about what the results meant for my future, looking back I now know the results in education count for next to nothing, a career is won or lost in the people you know, not what you know and also how you can make yourself stand out from the rest. Nether the less the sense of achievement to me was massive, I made a lot of people proud and felt I had repaid Mum for all those nights she stayed up helping me with homework, for all the times she would sit with me doing spellings (look,cover,write,check) and for helping me to read Biff, Chip and Kipper.
After a period had passed I knew my career path was not school, I felt my skillset was different to most. I had always had a passion to become an electrician and luckily with a break courtesy of a family friend I got my chance. I was never satisfied with entry level positions and qualifications, thanks to being brought up the right way by Mum I continued to push myself to excel in what I do. After 7 years its taken me to the top of my trade working successfully for my first employer for 4 years, owning and running my own business and now being electrical foreman for the one of the largest housing associations in the South.
It wasn't the path mum wanted me to walk down but it was the one I wanted, I thank her because she built the foundations however sometimes in life you have to bite the bullet and follow your own dreams, not someone else's vision.
I hope she is proud of my choices.
This post is in memory of Susan Stopforth who peacefully passed away yesterday, way before her time to go.
A friend of my mother and mother to two of my best friends in this world. I remember Sue for giving me lifts everywhere when I was younger which helped my family in our time of need, thats the sort of person she was. She was always a smiling face whenever I called round and was a great family lady. She has done a fantastic job in bringing up her children to make them the gentle giants we all know and love.
My heart goes out to Pete, Laura, Nick and Mark
Timing is everything and this track just hit me at the right time and remains one of my favourite and one that i turn to. It does contain one reference of offensive language related to the origin of this kind of music, if you're easily offended please do not listen.