You may be familiar with The Very Hungry Cirettapillar if you’re studying your English Language A-Level (or if you had the pleasure of being a Facebook friend prior to my amicable breakup with social media in 2015).
Back when the OG banner was doing its thang, this ‘About Me’ page was filled with teenage ramblings and happened to be published in an Exedcel exam paper as a resource to answer a question on personal and social identity. The comparative text was an extract from the autobiography of John Peel who is considered to be a legendary BBC radio presenter (amongst other things) – which of course means that I am also granted legendary status by default. I still receive messages from students who have suffered through this exam paper, can’t believe I am alive (at the ripe old age of 26) and admittedly make up the majority of my sporadic view count nowadays.
Originally, the second paragraph of the above text read: “If someone asks me to tell them something interesting about myself, I usually just blurt out koala bears have a bifurcated penis.” With koala anatomy deemed too offensive for the sensitive minds of today’s youth, The English Subject Advisory Board released this statement in 2015:
We’ve made an amendment to the A level English Language Sample Assessment Materials booklet… It was our intention to replace the reference to koala bears in the original version of the text ‘The Very Hungry Cirettapillar’ to ensure fair access by design. We apologise for any offence that the use of the issue 1 SAMs booklet might have caused. Please use issue 2 of the SAMs booklet to produce practice materials for your students.
The koala bear fact was arguably irreplaceable. No one cares about moose.
There are positives and negatives to setting up a blog under your very unique Italian name at the age of 16. If I’m being optimistic, it’s great to look back on pieces of writing like this one and consider how things have changed (as a vegan who can no longer rely on salami for comfort) or not (in training to be a teacher with a never-ending to-do list and yet spending half-term dusting off my Xbox and saving the universe on Mass Effect).
Since this peak of my career, I have been inspired to write again every so often (in between working 6 days a week and commanding a spaceship) and biennially upload a blog post about politics or psychology. If you are waiting with baited breath for a 2020 update, all I can say is. . . a cow is more likely to kill you than a shark. You’re welcome.