About Me

You may be familiar with The Very Hungry Cirettapillar if you’re studying Captureyour 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 identityThe 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.

10 thoughts on “About Me

  1. You are a very talented writer Ciretta, I can hear your voice spilling out of my laptop as I read. Keep writing.

  2. I have dire news. Schools still use this as a source in A Level Mock Exams…
    I’m really surprised they didn’t ask your permission before slapping it into an exam paper. I must admit, it was pretty hard to compare to Peel’s autobiography… but I got an A, so all’s good.

  3. Thank you for writing your blog. We have been using this extract to practice our Paper 1 for the exam we have in a few weeks. I can’t wait for my A-Levels to be over so I can spend all my time looking up weird fun facts. Did you know that in 1386 a pig in France was executed by public hanging for the murder of a child?

    1. Thank YOU for reading (although not of your own free will) and for following the blog (which truly calls to question: does free will exist?) I haven’t posted anything new for a long time, and my “About Me” section is very different to the one you’ll have read in your exam paper, but it’s always nice to hear from students who appreciate those teenage ramblings. Wishing you all the best in your A-Levels (which are only important for a very insignificant amount of time) and future fact-finding. And in response to your fun fact… down with the pigs!

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