My daughter was 13 yesterday. This number is significant for her and many others.
For one thing, it’s a prime number and considered by many to be an unlucky one. We will have two Friday the 13ths this year, one in September and the next in December. So if you have friggatriskaidekaphobia then you’ll be in trouble, but apparently you can get treatment for it. Note: If you click the previous link you can see a photo of the ‘nurse’ with Richard Dawkins, who presumably is fine on such days.
Secondly, 13 is the official start of being a teenager. Of course many of us know that things actually start in the tweenlight zone.
I suppose my big question is what will happen to my daughter from now on?
Her cohort is starting Year 9 in September with the onset of a GCSE course apparently. Ofqual, the English examinations regulator, commented this week about early and multiple entry to GCSEs particularly in Mathematics and English, which it said some schools can do for tactical reasons rather than any benefit for students. I’m assuming that my daughter’s school is not one of those.
But life is not just about school at age 13. This is also the magic age when you can legally access most social media. Saying that, research has shown that as many as 40% of chlidren aged 9-12 in some countries access Facebook – this figure is probably higher now. What impact will it have on her life ? I certainly use it a lot as an adult for both work and pleasure, but don’t communicate nearly as much as she does already on her mobile phone.
Finally, while I don’t know a song about 13, but there was a great one about 19 in the eighties, with an underlying anti-war message, which you can watch here.