Tag Archives: school

1110. Money for the Missions

Once a month, Sister Mary Hedwig organised her Year 4 class to do something to raise money for the Missions. It would be only a little thing. Each theme would last a week. For example there was Bring a Stuffed Toy Week and there was Wear Something with Spots On Week. If you took part you would pay as little as one cent although you were always welcome to give more. Sister had a little nest egg hidden away for those who couldn’t or didn’t pay. The money would go into the piggy bank sitting on Sister’s desk. One year the class made almost fifty dollars which they sent to Brigitte’s uncle who taught poor children in Rwanda.

For the Bring a Stuffed Toy Week Nigel brought along bits of a teddy bear torn to pieces by his dog. It’s really stuffed, said Nigel. Language Nigel, language, said Sister and charged him two cents instead of one. My father put me up to it, said Nigel.

One day Esme turned up to school wearing the most elaborate necklace. It must have been worth a pretty penny. It had real pearls (at least they looked like real pearls) with silver interconnecting bits. It’s my grandmother’s, said Esme. She said I could borrow it for the week provided I was careful.

But why are you wearing it to school? asked Sister Hedwig.

You said not to forget our theme for the missions: Necks Week.

I said next week, said Sister Mary Hedwig.

Esme went a delicate pink. Nigel thought it was hilarious.

1096. Danger of explosion

Herb had been sent home from school for swearing at a teacher. They’d phoned his father, and his father had said “What the … Where did he learn that from?” Herb started walking home. Then he noticed something he’d never seen before. There was a sign as he walked past the gas works:

NO SMOKING. DANGER OF EXPLOSION.

Herb lit a cigarette and threw it over the fence. He carried on walking. That should teach the town a lesson.

Nothing happened.

Herb went back. That’s when it happened.

1083. Pie in the sky

Simon hated school, and today was his last day at secondary school. Next week he would start his first job at the Industrial Park with an apprenticeship.

On the last day of school, the principal held an assembly. This was to call each leaving student individually to the stage in front of the whole school. He would shake their hand and wish them well. Simon was ready. He hated the principal.

Simon had a cream pie. He didn’t even try to hide it. It wasn’t a proper pie. It was simply whipped cream from a can sprayed into a silver foil dish.

The principal shook Simon’s hand. Simon turned to the audience and shouted, “This school sucks and you can all get stuffed.” He then pushed the cream pie into the principal’s face and left the stage (and the building).

Needless to say, Simon’s future at the school was no longer guaranteed!

That afternoon he got a letter from the workshop where he was to begin his apprenticeship: We seem to be missing a document. Would you mind supplying a written reference from your school?

787. Tigers for punishment

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It was a fairly sunny day. Bruce, retiree, thought he’d sit on his veranda and have lunch. No one had phoned. No visitors had called in. He was on his own, so why not make lunch special and sit on the veranda and enjoy the sunshine?

But who is this coming through the gate? Three young guys, gangly teenagers, probably from the local high school. But they weren’t dressed for school; they were wearing work clothes.

“Good afternoon, sir,” they said.

“Goodness! Is it afternoon already?” How Bruce hated being called Sir. It made him feel old. It made him feel overbearingly authoritative.

“We’ve been bad boys at school,” said one of the lads. “The principal’s sent us out to do an hour of community work. Have you got any jobs?”

“You can mow my lawns,” said Bruce. Their faces dropped. “Don’t worry. It’s a ride on.”

The three young guys had the time of their lives; out of the classroom, working in the sun, driving the lawn mower, wielding the weed-eater, rotary-hoeing the garden, water-blasting the mossy paths… They were there for three hours. They loved it.

“You’ve made our day, sir,” they said. “It’s better than school. Can we come back?”

Bruce had supplied them with cold drinks throughout the afternoon.

(And I might add, they ate all of my birthday cake too. Finished it off in no time.)

747. Clever Seraphina

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Dismayed is hardly the word. Seraphina’s parents were outraged. They had donated a brand new gymnasium to Seraphina’s school, and she’d never made it into the top athletics’ team. What was the school on about? Seraphina was one of their most talented athletes.

Nor was she placed in the class for accelerated learners. Didn’t the school realise how clever she was at mathematics? Not to mention her creative writing. And her art! Hadn’t they seen Seraphina’s parent’s refrigerator door with art works under the magnets? And she learnt the piano; classical of course. Come the annual assessments, and Seraphina did not do well. That’s what happens when teachers are incompetent. Her parents removed her from that school and placed her in another.

Seraphina’s parents donated a brand new gymnasium. She was not placed in the class for accelerated learners. Didn’t the school realise how clever she was at mathematics? Not to mention her creative writing. And her art! Hadn’t they seen Seraphina’s parent’s refrigerator door with art works under the magnets? And she learnt the piano; classical of course. Come the annual assessments, and Seraphina did not do well. That’s what happens when teachers are incompetent. Her parents removed her from that school and placed her in another.

Seraphina’s parents donated a brand new gymnasium…

628. Wallflower

© Bruce Goodman 30 June 2015

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Anyway, Doreen of Room 13 was hoping that Wayne would invite her to the school dance. As far as she knew, Wayne hadn’t invited anyone. And then suddenly James invited Doreen.

Doreen said she had to think about it (because she was still hoping Wayne would ask), so James waited. And when he got sick of waiting he invited Pauline to go to the school dance. And then Wayne asked Ailsa, and Ailsa said yes.

So then Doreen didn’t have anyone to go to the school dance with, so her father phoned up this guy he knew from Doreen’s school and offered him one hundred and fifty bucks if he took Doreen to the school dance. But he was not to tell Doreen. And the guy’s name was Noel. So Noel took Doreen to the school dance and got the money.

All that was ages ago. One thing had led to another, and then three months ago they’d been going out for five years, and Noel thought he’d tell Doreen about the one hundred and fifty bucks. Doreen packed up and left in a huff (more of a tantrum), and now she won’t speak to her father. Or to Noel.

Doreen was hoping this morning that Mike at work would ask her out. As far as she knows, Mike’s not attached. And then Mike went and asked Judy.

390. Hitler’s nanny

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The old school librarian was a charmer. Overdue books didn’t greatly matter. There was never a fine. “Just try and get it back tomorrow if you can.”

All students issued and returned their own books on the computers. There were no beeps at the doors that went ding-dong if someone tried to walk out with an unissued book. On rainy days, the library was packed with students reading, playing chess and cards, and studying. The annual library fair made thousands of dollars; organized by the librarian, but run by the students of course. At the fair, new books were bought and donated like they were going out of fashion.

One year the library lost thirteen books. The library ran on old-fashioned trust. It’s not good enough, said the school principal, and he sacked the irresponsible librarian.

A new librarian was appointed. She was outraged, horrified, disgusted. Of the thousand or so books out, eighty-seven were overdue. Hefty fines were imposed.

On rainy days, no one with wet shoes could enter the library. The book fair was a flop. Appointed and trained librarians alone were able to issue and return books. The librarians wore special badges. Book thief detector ding-dong things were installed at the door. The kids called the librarian “Hitler’s Nanny”.

A mere one hundred and forty-five books went missing in the first year. The principal was delighted. It was good to get some discipline back into the library. It didn’t matter that most kids had given up recreational reading. Who cares? Discipline. It looks good from outside. That’s what parents want.