We gathered at the front of the school building, green railings, it looked so much more formal than my infant school. I had only visited this school once on my induction. I was terrified. I stuck to my mother's side, gripping her hand tightly, my Winnie the Pooh lunchbox in the other hand. I held back the tears as my mother let my hand go, and I followed my friend Lucy through the school gates, she had an older brother who had lent her his school jumper, we commented on how it looked more like a dress than a jumper.
Mine was also a bit on the large side, my mother insisted I would grow into it, I never did.We awkwardly walked onto the large playground, footballs flew, skipping ropes spun as the older children jumped over them. I felt lost, it was almost as if I didn't know where to look, in case I looked at the wrong person, a bully for example. The bell rung, we never used to have bells at my old school, this was a new experience, it made me feel big. I was definitely part of a big school now.
I felt as if I had to rush off to tell my friends what was happening like it was a new piece of gossip but they were all experiencing it as well so there was no need.Children ran and grabbed their belongings, they all knew exactly which classroom to go to, we had been told many times before today but I had forgotten. Lucy obviously knew the way. I followed her in. The classroom walls were plastered in bright alphabet displays, most probably done by the older classes, A B C, all colours and patterns.
I loved this room right from the start. Children rushed to sit with their best friends, they had it all planned, I however wasn't so sure, I decided to sit next to my friend Lizzie, we weren't best best friends like Lucy and I, just best friends.Our new teacher Mr Perry bounced into focus, I say bounced because he always walked with a bounce. Right through my school years he was always known as the teacher with the bounce.
He also played the accordion and whenever the teacher with the guitar was absent, he filled in to accompany our hymns at assembly. He would always start by playing a small introduction: "Don't sing" he would say, shortly followed by a dodgy accordion introduction."Now sing" "All things bright and beau..
. " "No, no, no, you're out of time! This process would often be repeated a few times until he was satisfied. Mr Perry was a short man with beady eyes that looked even smaller with his awful brown NHS type glasses, they were as good as sunk into his face, whenever he removed them, there would be two crater shaped things on either side of his nose. His hair was spread across the sides of his head like carpet samples, smooth and firm yet springy. I remember his face perfectly; his cheeks were a bright red, almost like crusts on his face, just waiting to be picked off.He was the teacher who always devoted himself to after school clubs, of course at the time we had no idea why we had to wear vile lycra leotards.
.. However now that I'm older and I've come into a more adult world, I hope that my suspicions of My Perry's real motives are wrong. At the age of 9 we had already been put into sets for maths.
I was in the top set along with a few of my friends and our teacher was Mr Berry. Mr Berry was also a friend of my parents so I always made sure I was on my best behaviour in his lessons, not that anyone ever stood out of line, he must have been the strictest teacher at that school.He would call everybody up individually and ask to see our exercise books, I remember always being terrified that he would tell me that my work wasn't good enough or that I was going to have to move down a set. It never did actually happen.
Mr Berry always seemed a little odd and was always the victim of our jokes whispered around in assembly "Look at Mr Berry, he's falling asleep again! " This was probably what Mr Berry was most famous for; also he had a knack of loosing his contacts when he took them out in lessons. Once he got us all on the floor looking for a contact lens.Mr Berry retired when I was about ten or so but as he was a family friend I continued to see him. He was always eager to hear about my progress in maths. Amongst the happiness of my early school days, there is also sadness.
During my time at primary school two teachers passed away, one of which was Mr Berry. They weren't most popular of teachers but there was definitely an atmosphere when they were no longer with us.Trainers and Dresses "Charlotte! Get your trainers on, were going for a walk today! " "What..
. Eh... Sorry? " I was still half asleep.
I said, put your trainers on, we're going for a walk! " This wasn't what I needed. I'd had yet another late night, which wasn't exactly uncommon being in the hands of my unreliable uncle, and now he announces we're off on a walk. Great. I arrived downstairs about half an hour later for breakfast, dressed in what I called my cool and casual clothes. To any other child they would seem posh or prissy but at the time my mother dictated what I wore. Seeing as she wasn't there, I thought I would take the opportunity to dress how I liked.
The shoes were the main issue with my uncle; they were the Rolls Royces of the shoe world. Most certainly not appropriate for going on a walk. "Don't be ridiculous, you can't wear those". The expression on his face said everything. "But I err.
.. Don't have any umm..
. Trainers... My mum doesn't like them..
. " "Well, we'll just have to go and buy you some won't we? " My face lit up. We drove to a large shoe shop not too far away but every minute seemed like an hour. I mean it may sound pathetic to have been so excited about getting a pair of trainers but this experience was new to me.I ran straight to the trainers, as if I knew exactly where they were.
All these years of "No dear, you can't have any trainers, they're ugly" had finally come to an end. I set my eyes upon a pair of Mickey Mouse flashing trainers... This was like heaven. This was better than finding Easter eggs 'hidden' in the garden.
Those were my future pair of trainers. Of course I knew immediately that the minute my mother set her eyes on my new pair of tacky, white, American looking trainers there would be a comment."Where did those come from dear? "Vincent bought them for me, aren't they nice mummy? " "No dear, they're not" and that was that, I was no longer able to wear my 'beautiful' first pair of trainers. I was deprived in that sense, my mother never agreed to buying me trainers until I was about 10 and it was compulsory to have a pair for a school trip.
I was also tortured through my childhood with dresses that I never liked. The only aspect of them that was enjoyable was the comfort. Blue and yellow check, black with flowers, plain red, any colour and pattern possible.I despised each and every one of them but whenever I complained, I was told I looked "adorable" or something equally as sickening.
I blame my torturous childhood dress sense for my lack of femininity now; I was deprived of the more 'masculine' things, trainers for example so it was clear I was going to crave them as soon as my mother became less strict about clothing. Conclusion You wouldn't believe just how hard it is to write an end conclusion without it sounding like Jerry Springer's final thoughts... but here goes anyway.
All in all I've had the best upbringing any parents can offer and I'm glad I have.I've never had to experience anything unpleasant at home, there's always been a routine of sorts (although sometimes we never eat until nine in the evening! ) and we've all stuck to it for fourteen and a bit years. Being an only child I've never experienced sibling rivalry, the closest I've had to that is arguments with my younger cousin, but I promised myself I wouldn't go into that. I wonder just how different I might have been if I had had any siblings, I mean would I act differently? Would I be more tolerant perhaps? Who knows?I hope that when I'm older my childhood memories remain locked away within me but I don't just want to remember that. At the moment I can't really remember anything before the age of five or so. I just hope that when I'm in my twenties I can remember things I did at the age I'm currently at, especially school.
I've never met anybody who enjoys every aspect of school, especially R. E. , however most of my memories are of school and probably still will be when I'm older. Anyway that's enough of my waffling, if there's anyone to thank for the way I am, it's my parents.
After all they made me who I am.