Tag Archives: school

1312. A rustic school

It was a sad day for the little country school. After two hundred and seventy-one years it was closing. It had always been a single teacher school, with the number of pupils ranging from twelve to twenty-seven. The twelve to twenty-seven pupils would in future be bused to and from another school three quarters of an hour away.

The children were all from local farming families. All former pupils seem to have lived good and profitable lives. All seemed to have got a good basis of education. Some, usually the oldest boy although these days perhaps the oldest girl instead, went into farming. Some former pupils had excelled beyond all expectations. One was a famous nuclear physicist. Another was a research scientist for the cure of tropical diseases.

It was a happy school, and it was the centre of the local community. If the pupils put on a concert, the whole district attended, even if they had no children at the school.

It was surprising that the school was closing. More and more couples with children were moving into the area; townspeople who had bought several acres for their lifestyle dream: two alpacas and a peacock. Or a guinea fowl with piglets. Anyway, one of these lifestylers to come into the area was Ms Claudette Armstrong. She was the one responsible for getting the school closed. She had written to the Minister of Education.

Mr Higgins, the sole teacher, had to be removed. “I distinctly heard him use the word “bugger” within hearing distance of a pupil,” wrote Ms Armstrong.

“Bugger me if I’ve never heard anything so stupid in my whole life. Not even when I went through university,” said Farmer Jack. “She should bugger off back to town from whence she came.”

“I’ll be buggered if I don’t agree with you, Jack,” chimed Mrs Nora Elworthy.

Their protests went for naught. Mr Higgins was removed. The school closed.

“Now we might see the local children get a proper education,” declared a triumphant Ms Armstrong. “For too long pupils in rural schools have been disadvantaged.”

1250. No promotion

Janine was furious. She had every right to be angry. For four years she had offered her services to the Principal of her school. At the Christmas Party. Out the back room. Admittedly after a few drinks, but still.

And when it came time during the year for the Principal to promote a junior teacher, Janine was overlooked. He went for another teacher – obviously in a shorter and tighter frock. Well! Come the next Christmas Party and she’ll teach the boss a thing or two.

Poem 49: Bike shed

(The poetic form selected for this week is the madrigal. There is some discussion as to whether Fa la la in a song has furtive insinuating overtones. Apparently the Christmas carol, “Deck the Halls”, had its words cleaned up early nineteenth century!)

Jack was all of seventeen
and Judy much the same.
They went behind the school’s bike shed.
Fa la la la la la la la la!

They kissed each other on the lips
and Judy said I love you.
They kissed again. Jack’s shirt was shed.
Fa la la la la la la la la!

Meanwhile Jane among the bikes
had Andy pledge his love;
that could be us behind the shed.
Fa la la la la la la la la!

A teacher chanced upon the pair,
Jane in Andy’s arms.
At once! At once! Forsake the shed!
Fa la la la la la la la la!

Jane and Andy got detention,
Jack went his merry way.
Judy stayed away from school

for months.
Fa la la la la la la la la!

1124. Something dear

Ann sat in class hidden away like a little snail in a garden of noisy cabbages. Everyone took part in the class discussions, but Ann was too shy. She rarely spoke, and when she did the teacher would always say, “Speak up.”

The class were given a writing assignment: Write about something dear to you.

Ann’s grandmother had just died. Ann had not told a soul at school, but she thought for her assignment she would write about her grandmother.

She did that.

“This” said the teacher “is full of sloppy sentiment. I didn’t believe a word of it. You should’ve written about something dear to you in real life and not pretended to be writing a mawkish load of nonsense for a cheap romance. I’m giving it a FAIL because the person you described comes across as a slushy mushy figure of idiocy.”

Ann smiled and continued to hate school.

(Footnote: I have the flu so will be lying low for the next couple of days. Of course, being male, I feel it so much worse).

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?