Charli’s prompt August 20, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about school. The setting can be a school, involve students and teachers or can be about schooling in general. How has school influenced a place or a character? Respond by noon (PST) Tuesday, August 26 to be included in the compilation.
Such a broad topic brings forward so many thoughts, particularly of my own experiences of schooling. I started early in life attending the Church of England girls Grammar school from the age of three. I was far too young to start but they were desperate for a latin teacher and in order to secure my mother’s services offered me a place. My report cards from this time are hilarious.
Then we moved to another country town and my brother and I eventually attended the same school. Not a great outcome as we were very different scholastically and the teachers couldn’t help but point this out to me. The more they pointed it out the more I rebelled although I loved my primary school days.
High school in the city was different again. Huge numbers of students but although my brother was unknown there, my mother’s brilliant past was revered by my teachers and I rebelled even more. I would have left at the completion of the school certificate but my parents forced me to stay on. I couldn’t see the point. I knew I was going nursing and this grade was all that was required. Now, still at school, I am pleased my parents laid down the law.
It is so different in the country though. The country town where we had our shop had a primary school with two and a half teachers. Grades were mixed together. Kindy, 1st and 2nd together, 3rd and 4th whilst 5th and 6th class were grouped. Difficult for both the teachers and the students. At Curricabark there was also a school. It closed a couple of years ago. It was a one teacher school and all grades were mixed in together. When the Education Department closed it, because 1 pupil started high school, the number of students fell below the minimum required to keep the school operational. From that time the young children off the remote properties would have to travel up to two hours from their homes to get to school, often leaving in the dark and returning in the dark.
This was not unusual for the country though and as a result many students left as soon as possible with many sick days taken throughout the year. From locals our age we heard numerous tales of themselves, farm kids riding their horses to school and the pranks they used to get up to. We also heard of the poverty that existed in the countryside. For many they saw it as a waste of time as they knew they were going to work on the farm.
“Come on. We’ll be late.” Billy urged.
“I don’t wanna go.” said Harry.
“But it’s fun. Readin’, Ritin ‘n Rithmetic. Hurry up”
“I should be helping at home with the milking”
“You wanna do that for ever”
“Too right I wanna. What else would I do? Soon as I’m fourteen I’m out of here”
“Not me. My kids are gonna wear shoes.”
“Help me Harry. All these blasted forms. Never thought I’d need the three R’s. Blast this government. Blast this GST.”
“Lucrative business accountancy these days Bill. I’m sure glad I put my head down and studied hard.