Sarah the creator of the blogging site Sarah Elizabeth Moore has a writing challenge called “The August Write Away”. I have been struggling to keep up with word and picture prompts this week because it has such a busy week for me, but it was easy to write in response to this one:
My favourite subject…hmm…
…well, it all depended on the teacher. And that changed from year to year at high school. I think I am going to review my teachers during my first year of high school when I was eleven year old.
I had a lovely kind geography teacher for a while, which meant geography was one of my favourite subjects when I first started high school and found everything harsh. But the following year we had an obnoxious geography teacher, so my fondness for geography evapourated. My art teacher completely destroyed any glimmer of hope I would one day exhibit my productions in a national gallery.
My history teacher was fine, I just found the syllabus that year (English history) was not as interesting as history books I had read at home (I had read about the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians and the incredible story of the Jews which fascinated me).
In our science lessons we were able to play with bunson burners – I accidentally set fire to my school blazer, which didn’t go down well with my parents.
My first year English teacher was terrifying. He used to call you a “pudding” if your answer to his question was wrong, and if you had the misfortune to give several wrong answers, he would call you to the front of the classroom and make you do press-ups with a dictionary on your head. He obviously did not like my stories about sunshine and rainbows and fluffy bunny rabbits. He also gave me low marks right up until the first character analysis I was assigned to write. He loved my twenty two pages about Ruth Balacki (from The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier). He gave me an A* and wrote on the bottom of my essay, that at last I had written something that had not sent him to sleep.
My first year maths teacher was loopy! Seriously, loopy! She just let us wade out way through the text book on our own and she sat there snoozing until we took a completed page to her desk so she could mark it. She was as gentle a soul as you can imagine and just let the class do as they please and try to work out the maths text book for ourselves. I had an advantage (it turned out that I was a maths genius, although I had no idea until high school). I would race through the questions and my best friend would copy my answers. Then she and I would have fun.
Now, my best friend was the brains of the outfit, when it come to spontaneous fun…I just carried out her ideas and gave her a sort of confidence that a side-kick should do. So her idea…and together we performed it…was to sing “New York New York” and dance to it across the back of the classroom. We sang it with rulers in between out teeth, and we would do high-kicks and twirls. I can still see the two of us now:
“Start Spreading The News,
I’m leaving today…”
Poor dear maths teacher would be nodding off to sleep and we would be re-enacting scenes from famous musicals.
Which reminds me…did I tell you about the time we did the can-can on our French teacher’s desk? You didn’t see me as bit of a renegade did you?
That was all part of my rebellious teenage stage…none of the above behaviour would I ever condone. I remember telling a gorgeous young man I was having dinner with once what my best friend and I used to get up to at school. He looked horrified as I was telling him. With a dismayed tone to his voice, he told me his mother was a teacher and was shocked we had behaved so poorly at school. I quite agree with him!
I guess my favourite subject was cooking class (well, it was called Home Economics) – I learnt to make vegetable samosas, chocolate truffles and a Victoria sandwich cake. That was probably one of the most useful classes of high school.