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Friday, 23 November 2012

Losing Touch, the Comprehensive School Way

Hiya! Still waffling about my school days. Have a read, if you like. I don't really care to be honest; if you're seeing this I've already got the view statistic, so you've exhausted your usefulness to me. Mwahahahahaha.


Last week, I spoke of my induction trip to my future Comprehensive School, from my final year of Primary. I focused on the embarrassment of being locked in a confined space with a bunch of people with only me knowing that I had burglarised said enclosed space a few scant weeks earlier. There was another aspect to that trip though, that I never talked of. The sadness factor.

I started at Chapel Street Primary in the second year of Juniors (Year 4 to you modern types) after my mother left my father and blah blah blah; read about it here if you like; and when I did there was a lad in 4th year (Year 6, and that's the last time I'm doing the conversion for you) who was, to put it bluntly, fat. Does that seem unduly harsh? Well, that's because it is. It's true though, and though it brings me no pleasure to say it, we made much mockery of him.

The mockery was meant, however, in good humour. We liked him; in large part because he was pretty much the only one of the untouchable 4th years who would give us the time of day. Admittedly, the time of day he gave us was usually filled with us attacking him and attempting to wrestle him to the ground. Because he was large. Do you see? Of course you do.

I've often wondered, looking back on this big boned fellow who made such an impact on my life as a youngster but whose name I can no longer recall; let us call him Buckshot George, for 'tis a good name; whether it's more likely that he enjoyed our company, and the constant wrestling matches at every break and lunchtime, or that he just took it because he felt he had no choice and was crying on the inside. Who knows?

Of course it's also possible that he knew we weren't being deliberately malicious, and chose to accept our 'friendly' mockery because the people in his own year were not quite so well meaning in their treatment of him. I certainly think that had he had many friends his own age, he'd probably not have been so willing to spend all his time with us.

Anyway, regardless of whether he genuinely liked us or he hated the very bones of us, the fact was that when we came back for 3rd year and he was gone; whisked off to the dreaded Big School, we were gutted. Now what would we do with our breaktimes? So when the time came for us to go on this trip to aforementioned Big School, I got all excited. I would see Buckshot George. Yippee!

You know where this is going right? We got there, we did our tour, I served my sentence in the interrogation chamber/made some cupcakes in the Home Ec. labs, and when it came time for lunch in the big fancy cafeteria I saw him sitting at one of the tables and made sure to catch his eye as we went past and... he looked at me like I was, well, it wasn't distaste or disdain in his eyes, it was incomprehension and confusion. Basically, he didn't have a fucking clue who I was.

That, my friends, will rip your guts out.

Of course, we all know that that's what happens when you go from Primary to Secondary education. It's the line from Stand By Me, about (and I'm paraphrasing) your best friends become just faces in the halls. Sad but inevitable.

I don't know if you can tell, but I'm quite reluctant to move on to my secondary years on this blog. It's because I genuinely don't want to leave the Appleton Crescent/ Chapel Street Primary/ Brancepeth Boys years behind. They don't sound like much when I describe them on here, but they really were the best years of my life, and remembering them for these posts has brought many a smile to my face.

So in that vein, next week I'll tell you a tale of another friend of mine from Primary. 

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