Parent's evening at my 11 year old's school.
I'm sure parent's evening used to be a rather subdued affair. The parents dressed 'tidy' and the kids, if they HAD to come along, sort of hung around the foyer. This evening, it was like an X-Factor audition.
Kids everywhere, some on bikes doing wheelies in the car park. Parents, grandparents, step-parents and 'real' parents en mass. A stall selling tea, coffee, coke, chocolate and crisps. I hadn't taken my purse, but the EX had, and was fleeced out of two quid for an official 'programme'. The dress code seemed to be 'sports casual' so my effort to look 'tidy' was a waste of time. I didn't take my son along, but understand some people had no choice but to bring their 12 year old, and all the rest of their kids aged between 21 years and 2 weeks old.
Any attempt to co-ordinate the affair with time-tables, place names, subject divisions and so on went out of the window. The internet was 'broke' so the staff couldn't access the important lists drawn up to help parents (the tech guy had gone home, no doubt, so nobody available to suggest switching off and on again).
Massive queues for the important subjects, then bored and forlorn looking Music, D&T and Art teachers started to tout for business, smiling hopefully at everyone and asking if they can help. What a shame Music, Art and D&T aren't the important subjects eh? If that was the case schools may churn out creative, inspired and happy kids with a real future ahead of them.
History repeated itself, I endured the same spiel my parents sat and pulled all the right faces at 21 years ago. "Doesn't concentrate, could do better, talks and messes around too much..."
By the time the queue for the rather stressed and thirsty looking maths teacher had gone down, I was in another world. I simply cannot cope with loud, crowded spaces for long without drifting off into my imagination to escape. Initially I tried the 'I am listening, honest' look ( but I must have done a shit job of it). Snapped back to reality by Mr Maths... "I can see where he gets his daydreaming from, you're not listening are you?". Oh dear. I tried to explain the difficulty I have concentrating when there's such a lot going on. Guess what? Mr Maths wasn't listening.
Good luck with the next 4-6 years in school son, you really are going to need it.