As Michael Rosen is currently pointing out, ten and eleven year olds in the UK are currently entering into SATs revision. I say ‘entering into’… in fact, their whole educational life thus far has been in preparation for taking these tests. ‘Literacy’ has become about the analysis of short exerpts of other people’s writing and the learning of rules and syntax. And we wonder why people are scared of writing…
Here’s a poem I wrote almost exactly a year ago.
by Huckleberry Hax
He has homework about connectives. *Connectives*.
He has to lay them out in a table. Time connectives,
additional connectives. Causal connectives. And I
have to bite my tongue so that I don’t say, “What
the FUCK do they think they’re doing? Instead, I say to him,
“This is boring, right?” and he nods. And shrugs, says,
“Still, it’s got to be done.” I say, “When was the last time
you got to write a story?” “Write a story?” he asks.
“A story,” I repeat. Just to write one out.” “Well,
we never get to do that,” he replies, “not ever.” “Not
*ever*?” “Not ever,” he replies. “Sometimes we get to
write a plan for one. Or to describe a story character.”
I despair. I want to scream. And he finishes his table
and starts work on the non-fiction paragraph they’ve
prepared with spaces for connectives to be inserted.
Literature will one day die because of the strangulation
of that which can be efficiently measured. How’s that for
a connective, you bastards?
(c) Huckleberry Hax