I was never academically gifted at school. They really were school daze to me as it was just one big blur, well, most of it was.
I’m not sure if it was just me, but the school I went to seemed to be run by people who had been raised by Atilla the Hun. Ok, he was long gone by then, but I do wonder if you traced their DNA back, you would find Atilla or Gengis Khan at the top of the tree. Yet some former pupils I have spoken to since say it was the best time of their lives! I always feel that’s a little sad as it means since they were about 16, they have not enjoyed their lives as much as then.
I’m A Pensioner Now
Looking back as a Pensioner, I think I was what they used to call a ‘Juvenile Delinquent.’ I was never in trouble, as in overstepping the line of the law, but there was certainly something lacking in the old grey matter that would appear as though I might be completely bonkers to the outsider. I was 13 or 14 and just decided one day that school wasn’t for me and off I went, spending time over the local park. That was so much better.
Because I was out of school and my parents were working, it meant I had first dibs when the Postman came. The letters from school, the school reports etc were all intercepted. I told you I was naughty and I honestly feel bad about the anguish I must have caused my parents. Yet with hand on heart, I did not know why I was bunking off school, except that it was better to be free than held captive in my head.
I was eventually caught when filling in a couple of blank spaces on my school report in my best ‘grown up’ handwriting. One space was Latin, although it was there, they never taught it at my school. I had filled it in with a comment of what a natural ability I had for the language and was a pure joy to teach. Obviously, when parents evening came, my Mother & Father wanted to see the Latin teacher, only to be told that there was no such person and certainly the school had no intention of teaching the subject.
They were disappointed to find that my form teacher, Mrs Freeman was unavailable and had been away from school for several months with a kidney problem. How then had she managed to sign the school report saying what a future I had? I was finally done for and this period of bunking off was well and truly over. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long and when the new term started, I was off on my mind adventures again.
The Real World
Trouble was, I got to 16 and they kicked me out, with me being completely stupid, I thought it was my freedom. However, not being able to cope with the sudden onset of the adult world, I found myself in some dreadful working scenarios which my 16-year-old mind couldn’t cope with. So I headed for the park! I did get lucky with the help from a local butcher who took me under his wings. When I finally grew old enough to comprehend what life was about, I took myself off to the Open University and had a happy ending to my education.
Some years later there was a school reunion to which I got invited. I didn’t really want to go, but curiosity got the better of me and I went. I was worried that no one would remember me, but, it turned out they did but I couldn’t remember half of them! One guy who shall remain nameless, asked me if I could read and write? Come on, what on earth did he think I was? Has he never read my blog? Cheeky so and so! Strangely, a few years ago, my school was bulldozed. I don’t know of any other school in Birmingham that has been demolished.
Grow Up? Never
I always said as a young teenager that they should have blown the school up and time has shown I was right. I wasn’t as daft as they thought I was. One thing’s for sure, I’ve certainly had a great time growing up. I haven’t quite got there yet, but I’m working on it!
P.S. I just reminded myself of the time when my Art teacher gave me an A+ on my school report. Of course, because I had given myself such a glowing Latin report, my parents thought I was at it again and had written the art report. No, it was true. Once bitten, twice shy as they say.
It was a sad affair: This is when they shut down my old school. I was sort of right when I said they should have closed it all those years ago. Perhaps I wasn’t as daft after all?