FeaturesI think the world might be ending…

I think the world might be ending…

First, a tiny earthquake that nobody notices, and then a half-arsed eclipse that was blocked by a cloudy sky. If the world is indeed ending, it’s deciding to do it in a traditionally British, pessimistic way. Jeepers. It’s only when an earthquake’s recovery comes down to reassuring people who didn’t feel it that they ‘didn’t really miss much’, that’s when you know you have it easy.

I hate the term ‘first world problems’, but I think if there ever was a valid reason for using it, this would be an example. In the third world, or ‘developing world’ as you’re now meant to call it (because that will help), the thought process isn’t ‘oh bother, I missed the earthquake’, it’s usually something more along the lines of ‘Oh s**t, I wish my life wasn’t torn apart by this bloody earthquake’. Jersey’s a great place, it’s cool that the earthquakes we have are a bit friendly.

I’m a little upset about the eclipse though… you couldn’t see anything! All that hype for nothing. They may as well have said ‘something’s happening in space today, but don’t bother wasting your energy looking up because you won’t see anything anyway’. Anyway, I spent my childhood being told not to look at the sun, and now they’re saying it again even though I’m an adult and I can do what I want! ‘Something really cool is happening with the sun today, but don’t look at it, unless you’ve got an old cereal box with little holes cut into it.’ I wonder what they thought of eclipses back in old times? Probably something to do with God, I imagine. God was usually pulling some sort of stunt back then – messing around with space and whatnot.

Anyway, it seems like it’s been a pretty busy month for natural phenomena… nothing wrong with that, pretty cool to be reminded how insignificant we are every now and then.

So now I think it’s only fitting to look at the ‘nurture’ side of things for a bit – especially since I heard the news that Jersey GCSE students are outperforming England. Well done kids, that’s bleedin’ awesome – you’re doing Jersey proud!

Tell you what though, seeing as the States is saying ‘there’s no extra cash for a student loan scheme’, doesn’t it all seem like a bit of a waste of time? Shouldn’t you be nurtured and encouraged – instead of just put on the backburner because the island hasn’t made it a priority to take advantage of the exceptional quality of results its young population is delivering?

Now I understand that money doesn’t magically appear (most of the time), but I just feel like the whole ‘no cash’ comment is a little too dismissive… surely the future of the island is in the hands of the next generations, so why not do everything we possibly can to nurture our beanlings as best we can? I don’t know how many kids miss out on university because middle-earning families can’t afford to send then, but I’ll bet it’s pretty uninspiring.

This is my idea: Offer a student loan scheme for islanders with a much lower rate of interest if they’re paying it with money earned on the island. Would that work? I don’t see why not. The way I see it is that it would encourage teenagers to go abroad for university, then bring the skills they have learned back to the island. Maybe that sounds too simple to be doable, but it makes sense to me.

So when it comes to nature over nurture, I think the outstanding GCSE results trumps the fairly disappointing natural happenings. If nothing else, it shows how decent the island’s education service is. Nature beats nurture this time, and I think we’d do well to pay attention to that, or the next thing we know our bright sparks of the next generation will flicker out into a barely noticeable earthquake, or an eclipse that’s too cloudy to see.

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