If you ask me, as students come home for Christmas, it may well be worth spelling out just what the score is, as I have done....
Dear Son, I am writing to inform you that you have been accepted at the London Home-School of Ross for Christmas term. This institution was founded 10 minutes ago when you turned up on the doorstep with all your washing and proceeded to dump it in the hall before eating the entire contents of the fridge. Although our applicant pool was small this year – only the one – our admissions procedure has been especially stringent and had you not passed the “flesh-and-blood test”, we would have almost certainly turned you down.
Anyway, son, now you are here, we would like to tell you about the various courses running over Christmas, which would be optional if only they weren't compulsory.
You will, for example, be taking Abnormal Psychology every morning, or for as long as it takes you to answer the following to our satisfaction: Here's a dirty plate, there's the dishwasher, why can I never connect the two? There will also be Economics, in which we will cover the big issues facing the world today, as well as the way you always make off with your mother's Oyster card, which makes financial sense for whom, exactly?
Politics, this term, will focus on whether it is really so terrible living under a dictatorship (No, your mother will argue) and Archaeology will involve field trips to your bed (we recommend protective clothing) where you will excavate pizza crusts, beer bottles, mouldy mugs, flakes of tobacco and yesterday's pants. For History, your essay title is: When did I last wear clean pants? For Media Studies, we are expecting great things from you, including being able to use the house computer without downloading the kind of crap that slows it all down and leads to endless pop-ups.
So, son, welcome to the London Home-School of Ross where we think you will find your accommodation comfortable, the faculty no more passive-aggressive than usual, and all your washing still in the hall, just where you left it.