I’ve been awarded the first A-level in Twitter Studies. Grade A, naturally. It was a tough course: modules in Signing Up, Following Stephen Fry, Publishing Tedious Tweets About Your Life, Tweeting and Retweeting Just The More Interesting Things, and finally the most advanced module, Getting On Channel 4 News.
It’s a relatively new subject, I’d be surprised if you’d heard of it. The only accredited qualfications agency is Avaragado’s A-levels and Argentinian Aardvark Acupuncture Analysis and Associates, more commonly known as A7. It’s based somewhere between Edinburgh and Carlisle. Frankly I suspect most of its business currently comes from the aardvark acupuncture side, which is very big in South America – outpacing the much lamer Lima llama loom industry.
Like thousands of 18-year-olds across the nation, I waited in front of TV cameras and local newspaper reporters for the letter telling me my grades. But they just took pictures of screeching girls called Jocasta, as usual. I screeched alone, hugging myself and sending myself excited texts. I didn’t tweet myself; what do you think I am, some kind of nerd?
One whiskered-and-whiskeyed old hack belched me a question: did I think A-levels were getting easier? I threw the question back at him: did he think A-levels were easier? Yes, he said. Congratulations, I replied: have an A-level. 98% of students can’t be wrong. Apparently.
It’s no surprise I received an A in Twitter Studies: one in four entries gets an A. And grades are up for the 27th glorious year in a row! That proves students are getting more intelligent. Don’t listen to the doom-mongers and wishy-washy so-called “scientists” at Durham University’s Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring who have spent the last twenty years looking at this question and have so-called “data” to indicate that D-grade students of the late 80s would now get Bs, and probably As in Maths subjects. Don’t stop this so-called “evidence” from piling more and more students into universities.
Next year some clevers clogs will do especially well and get one of the new-fangled A* grades, and no doubt more students will get As overall. And in a few years I imagine there’ll be an A**, then an A***, and then everyone will receive an A for every exam and Her Majesty’s Media will be overjoyed at how successful our students are. Meanwhile the universities will cross out A*** and write A, cross out A** and write B, cross out A* and write C, and cross out A and write D, and we can start all over again.