Nigel was on prep duty in the Boarding House. He was checking what
the boys were looking at on their computers in the study.
John Boothroyd-Smythe was typing away furiously.
Sorry, Mr Milford-Haven, I’ve got to get this finished for tomorrow.
We’ve been set a film review for English. It forms part of the Writing
to Review and Comment component of the syllabus.
Well, you should have started it earlier. It’s nearly cocoa time. Just
save and print it out.
He looked over the boy’s shoulder and wasn’t sure how to react.
His charge had integrated a picture from Wikipaedia. Nigel hoped
that it was in the public domain.
He scanned the boy’s comments. They seemed pretty factual and
declarative. He supposed that as a reviewer, he should have been
showcasing more evaluation skills to reach the higher tier, but it was
Please can you check it over, sir, for punctuation and all that?
And this was what the boy had written:
THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND
Idi Amin was known to invent and adopt fanciful imperial titles for
himself, such as ‘His Excellency President for Life’, VC, DSO, MC Lord of
All The Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea; Conqueror of The
(Hmm… I bet he plagiarised that from somewhere…)
In the film, Amin admires Scotland’s resilience and resistance to those
south of the border. He saw himself as avenging the Scots by defeating
He has a Scottish doctor and exchanges his own military shirt for the
physician’s Scotland shirt.
(Maybe he could have used a synonym here as the vocabulary was
Amin tells his practitioner (good word!) that he wants to modernise his
country’s health care system and explains that his cracking down on the
opposition is vital if lasting peace is to be brought to his country.
(Should the boy have inserted the adjective ‘perceived‘ in front of the
phrase ‘cracking down?‘ One has to be so careful as a writer.
It’s a bit declarative, but it will have to do. Maybe your class teacher will help
you to develop your evaluation skills a bit further. Anyway, that’s enough
for now. Bed!
He wished they would all settle down as he wanted to watch the results
of the Referendum. Being half-Cornish, it would be interesting to see how
Nationalists fared. But he didn’t think he would be persuaded to join
a separatist movement.
Oh no! It suddenly dawned on him what the boy might be insinuating.
Was he imagining it, or…?
Actually, he would let the English teacher deal with it. There was no denying
it: the kid was clever, if devious and able to cover his back, whatever he did.