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  • - It is currently exam result season in the UK.

  • A time of high emotions.

  • Maybe you got the results you were expecting.

  • Maybe you did far better than you were expecting.

  • Or maybe you only made it through to one exam

  • before paralyzing your arms, being rushed into hospital,

  • and told by a consultant that you really

  • couldn't continue with your exams

  • because it would probably kill you.

  • Relatable content, huh?

  • Subscribe if you haven't already.

  • There are lots of amazing stories on YouTube

  • about people studying really hard

  • and achieving amazing grades.

  • I recently made friends with some absolutely

  • lovely StudyTubers, Eve, Jack, Ruby, and Jade

  • who do a podcast together called The Wooden Spoon.

  • And who are delightful human beings.

  • What I'm not seeing is a lot of content about

  • what happens when things go really wrong

  • and how you can actually recover from that.

  • I mean, not everyone has a smooth journey in education

  • or even in life and it's important

  • that those of us who didn't complete every year

  • like we were supposed to or took a very winding path

  • to where we wanted to be or even just

  • dropped out and went off to do something else

  • know that we're not alone.

  • So I sat down with my wife Claudia

  • who had an academic journey that looked like this.

  • (light music)

  • Compared to mine which took like this (airplane rumbling).

  • To have a conversation about how we find

  • the happy places that we're in today.

  • I really want you to share your stories

  • in the comments as well and if you're feeling like,

  • oh, no, no one else has ever been in my position before,

  • I can guarantee you that someone else

  • will probably be able to relate.

  • Don't be shy and if you see someone who needs

  • some kind words, please go share a little love at them.

  • Remember, you are not alone and having a wonky education

  • is not the end of the world.

  • You will find your way.

  • So, on with the conversation.

  • Hi, wife. - Hi, wife.

  • - So I decided that we should have a little chat

  • about exam results because we have

  • incredibly different life histories

  • when it comes to school and results.

  • Because how many schools did you go to?

  • - Two.

  • - How many schools did I go to?

  • - Seven. - Yeah.

  • I apologize, also, for my voice.

  • I am very ill but.

  • So, I think it's really important to talk about

  • because a lot of the stuff around exam season

  • and people getting results and it's all like,

  • wow, amazing, how exciting!

  • You know, the kids, they always take pictures of

  • on exam results date and they do the jump

  • because everyone has to have a jump photo

  • for some reason. - Oh, I see, yeah.

  • Like, woo-hoo, free! - I bet you were

  • in a jump photo. - No, I was not.

  • - I bet someone would have wanted

  • to put you in a jump photo.

  • - Probably, seeing that I was

  • probably one of the only ethnic of the--

  • (Jessica laughs) Whites in the school.

  • I was often in the school catalog

  • for that little bit of representation.

  • - Just bring you out.

  • Oh, it's Christmas. - Yeah.

  • - Wait, make her Mary.

  • - No, I think I did feature-- - We're diverse.

  • - I think I actually featured on the front cover.

  • - Sure, Surrey's a diverse place.

  • They want you to know it.

  • - Yeah.

  • Talking of which, that is one of the reason

  • why my sister and I got sent to a nice, little

  • private primary school.

  • Yeah, we were like, why did you send us

  • to a private primary school?

  • Like what is the point of spending money

  • on primary education, you know?

  • Especially when you don't have that much money.

  • Dad was like, "Oh, look, well, Dad was bullied

  • "when he was little." - Yeah.

  • - And he just thought, he grew up in Dover

  • and anyone who was not white was picked on

  • 'cause it was quite racist in his day.

  • - This story needs to point out

  • that your dad is the white parent though.

  • - Yeah, my dad is white, yeah.

  • He was bullied for being a boff,

  • I guess. - Aw.

  • - I mean, maybe he wasn't bullied,

  • but he always, I don't know, I just assume he was.

  • (both laughing)

  • He said that was the main reason

  • he sent me and my sister to a primary school

  • because he thought the class sizes are smaller,

  • the teachers are less likely to

  • pick on the kids in that sense

  • and also the other kids would then less likely pick on.

  • - So, then, would you say you had a pretty smooth

  • educational history?

  • Like you went to primary school,

  • you just changed to a secondary school.

  • - Yeah.

  • - They taught you stuff.

  • - Yeah, I did the-- - You passed some tests.

  • - Yeah, so-- - Do you even remember?

  • What were your exam results?

  • - For what? - GCSEs, what did you get?

  • - Well, let's start earlier.

  • For, what are they called?

  • - [Both] SATs.

  • - Quick explainer for those of you who aren't British,

  • we go to primary school from the age of five to 11

  • and secondary school from 11 to 18.

  • We take SATs at the end of primary school,

  • that's 11 years old, and at the end of the first

  • three years of secondary school.

  • So that's 14 years old.

  • There are then two years of working towards

  • our GCSE exams from 14 to 16

  • where you'll do between five to 10 subjects

  • followed by two years of A level exams,

  • that's 16 to 18, where you generally narrow down

  • to three or four subjects.

  • - For SATs, I think I got, what is it,

  • like, five, five, six or something?

  • Is that even a thing? - You got to do six?

  • You got to the six paper? - Yeah.

  • - They didn't have that in my school.

  • - I think it was like five, five, six.

  • I think six was in science

  • and the five and five were in math and English.

  • Is that how it worked, I can't remember.

  • This is a long time ago. - Science, what?

  • - I swear we did the science-- - This was a while ago.

  • - I might be making this up.

  • I was only 10 or 11 years old.

  • Yeah, so I might not have got a five in maths

  • 'cause that maths was pretty bad.

  • - Your maths is terrible.

  • - My maths has got worse with age.

  • I actually was gonna do maths a F,

  • a S level, can you remember AS levels?

  • - Yeah, but also--

  • - Yeah, I was doing maths and statistics

  • and I started to do that, God knows why,

  • and there was only three other girls

  • because, again, I went to a very good

  • secondary private school

  • where there weren't many people in the school.

  • Anyway, there were only three other girls

  • doing this class. - Yeah.

  • - And the teacher was like, I've kinda diverted,

  • I've gone on a bit of a tangent here.

  • And they were like, "Okay, so to warm you up

  • "after the school holidays, we're gonna do some GCSE level,"

  • what are they called?

  • Equal? - Equations.

  • - Yeah, equations (laughs).

  • There's a name for them, though.

  • That type that you find out what the,

  • you have to prove what the answer is.

  • Some apparently very simple GCSE level equations

  • and, anyway, I realized at the end of this class that

  • I needed to not be in this class