Posts Tagged ‘cough’

Oxford interview

Gabe

Gabe had two weeks notice that he was called for interview. He practiced at home and at school. L drove him and C – a girl in his year also applying to study history – to Oxford on Tuesday. He stayed until Friday evening, having had two interviews of about 35 minutes in total.

Gabe was in the throes of a heavy cold, which probably soured his mood. He was at his most dependent, texting regularly to ask what to do about all manner of day-to-day decisions he had to take. He stayed in his college room, shying away from meeting other candidates or students. He felt the first interview went well, with the second, which was a grilling about his chosen topic (causes of US Civil War), more demanding.

Shortly after 1pm on Friday, the list was posted of students who had interviews at other colleges, or who needed to stay in case required for further interview. His name wasn’t included. The next we will hear will be in mid-January. “The longest month,” he said, although having not enjoyed his stay, he felt that the blow of a rejection will be softened.

Robin

The cold that inconvenienced Gabe probably came from Robin. It surfaced the week after the half-term break, keeping him off school for a couple of days, and has remained in the form of a barking cough for four weeks.

Eliza

Eliza’s coaching and party-running activities at gymnastics have seen her invited to two ‘grown-up’ Christmas parties. The first was at an Indian restaurant. Eliza didn’t want the embarrassment of ordering English food, but neither did she want anything spicy. Tandoori chicken was the solution.

The great cough

    Gabe

Gabe started coughing on Saturday. It’s Wednesday and he’s barely stopped. During the day it’s continuous, but settles down at night. By Monday, with no let up I took him to the doctor’s surgery. Gabe was concerned it was psychological (recognising that when he feels sick it often is) so relieved to hear he had a chest infection. I kept him off school, which meant he missed the French spelling bee contest in which he represented his class and hall. Unusually, he put some visible effort into preparing for it.

    Robin

L was away for a long weekend at her parents. Robin turned up next to me in bed around 6am on Saturday. “I don’t want you to feel lonely,” he explained.

    Eliza

Eliza was facing a weekend of football, more football and rugby. Gabe’s cough ruled out one of those events. A timely invite to go shopping with a friend, her friend’s mother and grandmother excused her another. She had lunch with her friend and was wearing make-up when I picked her up. She had a book bought for her by the grandmother. It featured a 13 year old dating a 17 year old boy. This is new territory. Eliza said she enjoyed it.