Listening to the young folk I know, they were talking on Sunday night about how many days they had left of school, they seemed surprised and excited to realise it could be measured in single figures. There was wistfulness, uncertainty and concealed excitement in the air - most will be off to university, others haven't secured a place yet (but probably will) while others still have no idea what they'll end up doing.
We all know Scottish independence day wouldn't be for a couple of years - there would be two more years of school leavers before Scotland became properly independent (or as independent as most countries can ever be, ) but the parallel is there. These young folk can't stay at school for ever so have no choice but to move on and for the most part, they're doing so with optimism - there is a little trepidation but then should there not be? They are clever & self-assured - confident they'll handle what ever appears on the horizon, would that the rest of the country reflected that attitude.
I couldn't wait to get away from school, I hated it. I well remember that period of time between leaving high school and starting further education - I had my unconditional offer from Jewel & Esk Valley College (or Drool & Veg as it was also known.) Even then I was under no illusions - it wasn't a difficult place to get into. But the thing is - and I'm glad I noticed because normally this sort of thing passes me by...
I was well aware those weeks between finishing school and starting college were unique - I still remember leaving the school buildings at North Berwick for the last time and realising; I had no worries. I was going to college and didn't really know how it worked but since thousands of other people seemed to manage, I reckoned I'd muddle through.
I was trying to get this across to those young people. I've known them for a long time so you'd think I'd be able to communicate this simple idea, but they just looked at me in that patiently disdainful way young folk do when someone they perceive as being quite old says something they view as being quite dim.
Anyway, I hope they enjoy this window, it is a skylight through which one can see true sky. When the holidays are over and Uni or the workplace beckons, the smog of life starts to build up - few are immune.
(Although it is my sincerest hope, these young folk are among them.)
In the meantime, all that stands between them and a worry-free summer (well, for those with unconditional offers anyway) are some exams.
A refreshing aspect of spending time among the youth of today is the constant threat of being mugged - I'm joking. Its constantly being brought back to earth with a bump, although I would say, being asked if you wrote your exam answers with chalk on bits slate is now officially unoriginal.*
Here for your study is an updated list of things to say to people who are older than you.
You're so old if I told you to act your age; you'd died.You're so old your national insurance number is 1.You're so old; when you were in school, history class was called current affairs.You're so old your memory is in black and white.
You're so old you have a picture of Moses in your yearbook.You're so old your birth certificate says expired on it.You're so old you knew Burger King while he was still a prince.You're so old you were a waiter at the Last Supper.You're so old you took your driving test on a dinosaur. You're so old your birth certificate is in Roman numerals.You're so old you drove a chariot to high school.
You're so old you owe Fred Flintstone a fiver.You're so old you walked into an antique store and they kept you.You're so old you used to baby-sit Yoda.
* All my past exam papers can be found here.