And so we mark the end of the formal timetable with a graduation ceremony for the seniors. Three weeks to the first paper of the finals and they're on study leave: finally off on their own to prepare themselves at their own time, at their own pace.
The period of day-long consultations has also begun, the kids booking personal time with us; along with the practice mock exams (yes, for the first time we're introducing mock exams in the plural!) and focused skills clinics (another first!).
In yet another first, I lost a kid to a voluntary "U-turn", i.e., backing out of this year's finals in hopes of obtaining a better result in next year's. This one was a confidence issue and, through no urging from anyone, decided unilaterally to stick around for one more year. I might lose a couple more, now that this one has set the precedent.
There's probably something wrong with society when only meeting extraordinary expectations qualifies as meeting normal expectations.
In other news, I am now the proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy Note 3. The unexpected purchase was the result of the S-III suddenly and inexplicably developing power management problems. Just today, something was draining power at a very high rate, causing the battery to overheat. I exchanged batteries and the same thing happened. Both batteries flat in just a couple of hours. Then they refused to charge, though this problem may be an unrelated one. The charging cable (and I tested with three separate ones) did not sit in the port tightly enough to keep charging for long. The warranty has just expired so there'll probably be a bunch of extra charges if it goes for repair, so... new phone time.