ds's A Level choices drama rumbles on... help!

(108 Posts)
lainiekazan Wed 04-Dec-13 10:04:03

The form has to be in on Friday and he can't decide.

He is definitely doing Eng Lit and History. Then he hasn't a clue. The runners are Music, Latin and Philosophy.

He is thinking of putting down all 5 but I think he'll have a nervous breakdown (or I will) if he starts off doing that many. He's worried that Music does not look good enough, he would find it difficult to achieve as highly in Latin as students at a public/private school, and that Philosophy would be one essay subject too many and, again, might not look that impressive.

Any opinions?

Beastofburden Wed 11-Dec-13 10:55:29

Perfect. Bum studies, Misery studies and Palaeontology of the teenage bedroom.

Sorted.

Lancelottie Wed 11-Dec-13 10:45:16

grin Palaeontoloy of the Teenage Bedroom... there's a thesis right there, antimatter.

antimatter Wed 11-Dec-13 10:35:00

I thought Lancelottie you meant their bedrooms grin

Lancelottie Wed 11-Dec-13 08:38:51

Beastie, could we add geology to that? Pondering on the mahoosive magma chamber under Yellowstone just ripening to blow our world to kingdom come, or the inexorable slide of continents into the ocean... that should cheer them up nicely.

lalsy Wed 11-Dec-13 08:14:00

Excellent stuff! What a useful thread this has been smile

Beastofburden Tue 10-Dec-13 20:21:56

I thought we could have a great syllabus for the morose and nihilistic teenager.

German- they can study Kafka, so they can see how a faceless bureaucratic machine can crush the spirit; Fontane to learn the utter futility of human love; and der Schimmelreiter by that bloke which has a long, relentless harassment into a death in a ditch of muddy water under an endless grey sky.

Philosophy - existentialist, of course, musing on the insolubility of all dilemmas and the futility of human intelligence.

History- a catalogue of error, corruption and suffering.

And perhaps Biology, to rub in how we are all 90% water and doomed to die.

I thought we could call it "Misery studies"

You're welcome smile

antimatter Tue 10-Dec-13 15:47:51

Lol lainiekazan at burtocks :D

lalsy Tue 10-Dec-13 15:44:49

Yep, that's exactly it - literary and cultural interpretations thereof!

I like the way this thread has reached such a satisfactory point of agreement smile - do hope that has been helpful OP....

lainiekazan Tue 10-Dec-13 14:43:11

On the sixth form open evening when ds and I were trailing round the departments, a very, er, enthusiastic male teacher of Classical Civilisation buttonholed him to show him the exciting syllabus. He was waving pictures of men's buttocks at ds whose face was vermillion. Ds said he was "No way doing bum studies for two years." grin

lalsy Tue 10-Dec-13 12:54:26

Oooh yes!

Who is going to suggest it to that nice Mr Gove?

ATailOfTwoKitties Tue 10-Dec-13 12:37:37

Possibly also History of Art, lalsy? Or Classical Civilization?

Beastofburden Tue 10-Dec-13 12:07:24

grin

lalsy Tue 10-Dec-13 12:05:06

Scope for a new league table perhaps?

Beastofburden Tue 10-Dec-13 11:49:17

Quite possibly, though have you read (a) Gide la Porte etroite, (b) Baudelaire les fleurs du mal and (c) anything by Sade?

The first two were on the GCSE and A level syllabus in my day. Sade wasn't, obviously... The only problem was we had bowdlerised versions of the Gide, so we never worked out what it was the main character felt so terribly guilty about having done....

lalsy Tue 10-Dec-13 10:52:07

I suspect Latin is the only A2 in which a detailed knowledge of the more, ahem, unusual sexual practices of the time, and their relationship with social status, is required smile.

Ehhn Tue 10-Dec-13 08:47:42

Philosophy a level not worth it. I'm in an RG dept and know that hist, Eng lit, Latin and music are all highly, highly expected/admired/desired. Not that philosophy isn't, but it is considered such a mature subject that demands incredibly deep critical thinking that it is best studied at undergraduate level.

circular Tue 10-Dec-13 08:44:59

antimatter agree, depends on school re standards.
DDs school best for music locally, but not top notch. Get the odd A, but mainly Bs, and familiar with CUKAS, so must be getting some going off to study music.
Her main instrument lessons not in school, but school still insist on at least one choir and one orchestra/ensemble for all A level music students.

Shes new to the school, but did expect music rehearsals to be managed better. Spent much of last week stressing about rehearsals clashing with a mock, only to find there is now a practical clashing with rehearsals too. All music department say is that the other subject teachers should know better, as it happens every year.

Beastofburden Tue 10-Dec-13 08:39:40

French has sex and illegal drugs <helpful>

ATailOfTwoKitties Tue 10-Dec-13 08:33:33

Yep, Lalsy: 'While the storm raged outside the cave, Dido and Aeneas raged within...'

I always suspected that it was just our undeniably pervy Latin teacher with his preference for anything involving the ravishing of nubile young maidens ('Learn the passages on the rape of the Sabines, the Rape of Lucrezia, and, oh, maybe the rape of Io, girls, and you'll be fine in the exam'), but maybe it was the syllabus?

antimatter Mon 09-Dec-13 22:32:02

my dd likes composition most; instrument learning is outside of school so is her main orchestra
6th form she is hoping for has had all A's in Music last year, 3 of those went to study Music

I think it all depends on the school how Music rehersals are managed (I guess valid q to ask during open evening)

circular Mon 09-Dec-13 21:26:08

A bit late to the thread, but just wanted to say dont underestimate the work involved in A level Music.
Composition especially difficult if not your thing, DD1s group pretty much been told very rare to get above a B in that section.
Also, lots of compulsory extra CA music stuff, even I'd having instrument tuition outside of school. Although DD loves this, gets pulled out of lessons for concert rehearsals, and easy to become unpopular with other subject teachers. Always seems to be an ongoing battle with be music department and all the others at Xmas and summer concert time.
Would be worse to juggle everything if doing essay writing subjects alongside music, because of he workload.

lalsy Mon 09-Dec-13 16:09:06

There is an awful lot of sex in Latin A level, an intriguing way to involve teenagers in the problem of translation smile

antimatter Mon 09-Dec-13 14:16:31

there's a lot to say to support ability to read in foreign language!
as for speaking language - listening to radio helps a lot , it would be good to get somewhere with spoken french and use it!
would he consider being male au pair in France?
or volunteering?
www.workaway.info/hostlist-FR.html

Beastofburden Mon 09-Dec-13 13:14:33

Totally agree about enriching soul but would put up mild defence of French as my soul was pretty damn enriched by the time I had finished my degree in modern languages, and it is a continuing pleasure to me that I can speak French and German, there is wonderful literature in both languages as well as in Latin.

marmitecat Mon 09-Dec-13 13:11:26

I'd go for music and latin as these will ultimately make him happier. The choice between enriching your soul with music, translating wonderful (if raunchy) works of literature and moping around trying to reason away all the joy in life (think of French teenagers where philosophy is compulsory) is stark. Universities will be sympathetic to the fact that a state school applicant may have had less latin than a public school kid. Latin every time - will look good on his cv later on too.

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