Sunday, November 13, 2005

school days rant

School days are mercifully a long time ago. While most of my primary schooling is chocker with warm fuzzies, high school was not the happiest time of my life. I did well, I had a good social life, I navigated my way through it ok – it’s just not immortalised for me like it is for some others.

I have been looking for distractions cleaning up my study in preparations for visitors and come across some memorabilia from that time. There were 3 things I enjoyed most of all at secondary school.

1. Latin – yes almost as perverse as my love of tofu – but I willingly chose latin to study. I loved the culture and understanding the derivation of words. To this day I can amo, amas, amat with the best of them.
2. Debating – when asked what sport I did, debating was my answer. It was as close as you could get to a blood sport without getting your nice regulation white blouse dirty (very important thing for a virgo). I was a darn good rebutter.
3. Drama – I always loved acting (well til I studied it at uni and was directed by someone who unfortunately had a psychotic episode which began at the end of rehearsals and continued on through the show). Performing kept me just sane enough to make it through those years til I escaped to higher education.

So in the pile of school related stuff (and keep in mind dear reader, I may not be as young as I appear) is a photocopied program from a production of “Once on a Time”. I had top billing playing “Roger Scurvilegs” (it was a girls school but I didn’t mind a bit of cross dressing in order to get the lead). As I scanned through the names one I had never noticed before jumped out “stage crew and set construction:…Rebecca Gibney". Oh how we unwittingly cross paths with the yet to be rich and famous!

There was also a bundle of school reports. Here are a few snippets:

Physical Education (achievement = C, effort = C+) “AOF should try to concentrate during lesson-time, and be less scatty."

Physical Education (effort = C+) “AOF could put more effort into this subject”

Science (achievement = B-, effort = B+) “…but her written work is rather messy and not reflective of her classroom ability”

..but it all gets a bit sucky after that with words like “intelligent”. “enthusiastic”, “cheerful”. “conscientious”. Get me a bucket!

There was a bitch of a French teacher (also a nice one and one who I am sure was a lesbian who had the unfortunate habit of a nervous tick so you kept thinking she was winking at you). Her name was Madame Napier and she really was French. She was particularly cruel and never should have been allowed to interact with young impressionable minds.

A slightly mad history teacher, who instilled my love of the subject and directed the school plays. Years later she turned up to a party in a house I was living in and tried to crack on to my boyfriend (who had been a student of hers at a different school).

Strangely I cannot recall the names or faces of any of my PE teachers.

I missed a total of 45 out of 180 school days in one year due to glandular fever, yet still kicked arse in national exams at the end of it.

One of my happier memories of high school was the time, when we were 14, Cathy bought a cocktail of vodka gimlets in her drinking bottle and we sat down at the back of the oval and drank it at morning recess.

I left secondary school after 4 years and went straight to uni, skipping 7th form/year 12. I had outgrown the place and was ready to move on. It all got better after that.


Blogger flying kiwi said...

I loved Latin too - and also took it willingly. But I'd rather you hadn't reminded me of high school - although there's a future blog post idea I guess.

11:16 am  
Blogger Aleks - Anarcho-Syndicalist said...

Ahh, school. I was both in the debating team and school band, so I was a bit (well a lot) of a nerd). However I've always been quite big, and after a fight where I broke two ribs of my opponent, I was only ever verbally bullied for ebing a nerd, not physically.

As for Latin, well, what can I say - I despise the language. Most of the languages derived from it (Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian) I think sound comical and to me the speakers sound dopey. I think this has a lot to do with the penchant for the speakers of these languages to adopt fascism - Italy, Spain, Portugal, Romania, pretty much every single Latin American country.

8:06 pm  
Blogger R H said...

Yes, I find those languages too musical, too poetic - all those poofy vowels on the end. No wonder opera is so stupid.
You wouldn't like opera then. Or Nessun dorme.
I like Nessun Dorme. But I don't admit it. -Not among the boys.

8:06 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

The bitch of a french teacher said to me "Are you good at maths and science" and I said "not especially", "Oh", cow face said "Usually the ones with no aptitude for languages are good at science".

8:29 am  
Blogger R H said...

RH had an aptitude for putting his hands up girl's dresses - but only in the interests of science.

8:40 am  

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