In the lower sixth I became a slacker. I devoted a great deal of time to the exciting distractions that the threshold of adulthood brings. I’d never really had such freedom before – and I capitalised on it. This, you will agree, was pretty normal for a 17 year old. However, there was one subject I was particularly enjoying at this point and that was A-Level psychology. Milgram’s classic study of obedience gripped me; even now I remember learning the meaning of terms like ‘diffusion of responsibility’ and ‘extrapolation’.
Nevertheless, my interest and work-rate were unevenly matched. At the start of the year I had written some promising pieces, but gradually laziness took over. It all came to a head on the day my teacher handed me back a marked project. It had been awarded (if that’s the right word for it) a U. I promptly ripped it…
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