Can schoolchildren catch up on their education over the summer? Would parents surrender them to their teachers over the holidays, to make up for the great deficit in their understanding of grammatical terms that none of the rest of us understand anyway? It seems rather unlikely, but just for the record, I would die first. All children need urgent hothousing, but not in anything you could measure with a SAT.

Their first module, very immersive like one of those residential driving courses, would be in The Point of Other People. We did a good job, I think, both for ourselves and the younger generation, in making out that you could replicate intimacy remotely. The problem is, they took it at face value and we were just blowing it out of our butts. Now I sit fantasising about what it will be like when the kids can have their friends round, and they’re baffled. They just spent three hours with their friends on Discord with a side order of Minecraft, and cannot see any point at at all in real life. I might as well have said it would be fun to wash our sheets in a stream.

There would be a crash course in unexpectedness – how a thing doesn’t have to be that interesting to be of interest, so long as you didn’t know about it in advance – and one on Art for Art’s Sake, except instead of art, leaving the house. I would spend a day, easy, on close textual readings of all those 1980s films where people have to do nonsense things – spend a million dollars a day, swap lives with a random, exist as a kid – for absolutely no reason (you see, children, sometimes the point is simply that one thing happened and set in train a bunch of other things, which also happened; it really isn’t any deeper than that).

Just in the act of writing it down, I am losing confidence in my persuasiveness. A lot of this will have to be show, not tell.

Zoe Williams is a Guardian columnist



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