Tag Archives: school

1578. Heather’s blueberry muffins

Heather Green wasn’t exactly disliked at school. She wasn’t much liked either. In fact, she was a bit of a nobody. If a teacher said to a student “Take Heather Green and go get the bag of basketballs” most students would say “Who’s Heather Green?”

She wasn’t horrible. Nor was she Ms Personality. It’s just that she wasn’t very self-confident. When the class messed around a bit she would sit there and smile but wouldn’t take part. It wasn’t that she was prudish or anything; she was just a bit scared to let herself go.

Anyway, everyone in the class, boys and girls, had one hour a week when they attended a cooking class. It was very exciting because the cooking teacher announced towards the end of the year that they were going to have a party. They could make whatever they wanted (at home) and bring it to school for the celebration. Well! If there was one thing Heather Green knew she could do was make blueberry muffins. She had made them dozens of times at home. They were moist! They were tasty! They were perfect! Heather went home and baked the most delightful batch of blueberry muffins the world had ever seen! She arranged them in a basket with a red and white chequered cloth. In fact she could have been mistaken for Little Red Riding Hood if she had been seen skipping through a forest; and if they were, in fact, the best blueberry muffins in the world that Little Red Riding Hood had in her basket.

Heather quietly left her basket of muffins on the common table. When it came time to eat, Heather’s muffins were horrible. They tasted yuck. It was the only time her blueberry muffins hadn’t turned out right.

Yuck Heather. What a loser. Who’s Heather?

1576. Stink bombs

 

As every boy knows (or should know), if you crush the seed of a wattle (some might call a wattle a mimosa or an acacia) and spit on it, it is a stink bomb. Money need not be spent on purchasing stink bombs from the local trick shop. Of course, there might be places in the world where wattle trees won’t grow, such as at the North Pole, so Santa’s elves may have to buy theirs. A spat-upon crushed wattle seed stinks like the most humongous fart. It is colossally funny. It is a marvellous trick to play, especially on girls. (This is in the days before it was decided that both sexes were the same).

Larry and Barnaby were seven-year olds. Larry’s older brother had told him about stink bombs. Larry and Barnaby got some wattle seeds. They crushed them and when they were in the classroom they spat on them, hid them, and waited. What a stink!

The teacher entered the room and everyone stood up. (This was in the old days when pupils stood up when someone important entered the room). The teacher didn’t blink an eye. Pooh! The smell!

“It’s a bit chilly in here,” said the teacher. “Shut the windows.” (This is in the days when classrooms windows could be opened and closed).

“I have to go and see Mrs Turner in Room Seven,” said the teacher. “While I am gone I want you to do Exercise Fourteen on Page Seven.” (This is in the days when pupils could briefly be left on their own to do some work).

The other boys ganged up on Larry and Barnaby. The two boys had to find and pick up the stink bombs and toss them out the window.

This was done. The teacher returned. No one, except for Bianca, had done Exercise Fourteen on Page Seven. Nothing was ever said. (This is in the days when teachers didn’t have to write long reports on every misdemeanour of every child and file it permanently on a computer).

Ah! Stink bombs need not be dealt with again, until next year’s new batch of boys.

1555. She couldn’t wait

(The closing sentence for this story was suggested by Cath of Cath’s World.

Winnie hated school. All day was spent sitting in a hot classroom listening to boring teachers drone on and on. She couldn’t wait to leave school for her life to finally start.

Winnie hated university. A student’s life was meant to be fun, but all she ever got was assignment after assignment. And boring lectures. She couldn’t wait to graduate for her life to finally start.

Winnie hated her job working as a receptionist for an airline company. People were so rude and demanding and full of themselves. She couldn’t wait to meet Mr Right for her life to finally start.

Winnie had a couple of kids before her husband, whom she now hated, asked for a divorce. She couldn’t wait for the divorce to come through for her life to finally start.

Winnie’s kids were expensive and tiresome. Soon, surely, they would leave home and start to be independent. She couldn’t wait for them to fly the nest for her life to finally start.

Winnie was now getting on in years. She worked as a receptionist for a hardware company. She couldn’t wait to retire for her life to finally start.

1506: Bernard’s disorganized wife

Bernard’s wife does nothing other than complain. She’s a stay-at-home mother, which is a luxury most of us can ill afford. She complains that there are not enough hours in a day. Not enough hours in the day for what? Lounging around watching the soaps while the kids are at school?

Being a well-paid consultant I asked her to write down what she does in a day, so improvements can be made and then she’ll have no reason to complain. Here is a typical Wednesday – or so she claims:

Get the kids ready for school – 1 hour
Tidy the house – 2 hours
Prepare meals- 1 hour
Get the groceries – 2 hours
Do necessary odd jobs, e.g. take the car to get fixed etc. – 2 hours
Mow the lawn and weed the garden – 1 hour
Do the laundry – 1 hour sometimes 2
Pick up the kids from school – 1 hour, sometimes less, sometimes more
Take the dog for a walk and feed the dog and cat – 30 minutes

The list for Wednesday went on and on, but I won’t bore you with more details.

Look, I said to her, just get yourself organized and stop the complaining. Do some of these jobs on another day of the week.

1493. Mrs Rasmussen

Mrs Andrew Rasmussen was known as Mrs Andrew Rasmussen or simply Mrs Rasmussen. Few used her first name. What a lovely person!

She had six children. She organised the annual school picnic, when all the parents came along with a picnic lunch on the sprawling country school grounds. She instituted the country women’s club for mutual support among the local mothers. She had a garden (both vegetables and flowers) to die for. She supported her husband in all he did at work, and even joyfully went along to the monthly factory bowls tournament, which she secretly disliked.

Of course her six children flourished. They all got reasonable jobs, got married, and had children of their own. And what a grandmother she was to all of them! They were her life!

Eventually she died; at the reasonable age of eighty-five. Eighty-five wonderful and full years! She stipulated that she was to be cremated and her ashes scattered amongst the… “Oh! Do what you like with the ashes, I won’t be minding!”

Years later, a great granddaughter was researching her ancestry. There was no headstone to go on. She searched through every local newspaper to glean snippets of insight. The only mention anywhere of her great grandmother was a reference in a newspaper on a local wedding:

Mrs Andrew Rasmussen wore an ensemble of green chiffon velvet trimmed with beige fur, and hat of the same shade.

Euphemia Broadhurst had vanished from the earth.

1478. Sex in the classroom

Ms Daphne McHathaway was a wonderful teacher. She had a class of ten-year olds. They loved her. Well, they did until…

Everyone was stunned to hear her say, “Class! Class! What do you know about sex?”

There was a stunned silence. Then brave Johnny Overall ventured to say, “Not much, Miss. Perhaps you can tell us about it.”

“I’m not sure I’d be allowed to,” said Ms McHathaway. “You had better ask your parents first.”

Not every child went home and asked their parents. Some were too scared to broach the subject. Others simply blurted it out at dinner time. “Can Ms McHathaway tell us about sex?”

There was outrage from some quarters. Opposition against Ms McHathaway went from the frying pan into the fire. It grew into a conflagration. In the end, the parents were called to a meeting at the school.

“You should not try to usurp the duty of parents,” expostulated Mr Freddie Turnbull.

“I don’t know what the problem is,” said Ms McHathaway. “All I wondered, with the separation of church and state, whether I was allowed to teach them about sects.”

1397. Class preparation

Robert Maguire was a fairly new and enthusiast high school teacher of Chemistry. In fact, he was about to begin his second year of teaching. During the long summer break he went several times to the school’s chemistry laboratory to prepare his classes for the coming year.

The last time he went, the plumber turned up.

“I’m here to check for dripping faucets,” said the plumber. “Thank goodness you’re here. Mr Gaynor, the Head of the Chemistry Department, gave me a key to the classroom but I was worried how I would get my van through the locked school gate.”

Robert Maguire was about to leave so he asked the plumber to make sure he locked the chemistry laboratory when he left, and to also firmly lock the school’s front gate.

“There have been a lot of burglaries in the area over the summer,” said Robert Maguire.

1381. Poor pawpaw

Wayne’s mother was a solo mother. She didn’t have much to go on. She put Wayne first of course. She always packed him as nice a lunch for school as possible, even though it usually wasn’t much.

On this particular day, all she had was one small pawpaw. Wayne took it to school.

During the lunch break he sat next to Lawrence. Lawrence’s parents were rather well off. For lunch he had some ham sandwiches, and an orange, and a big slice of chocolate cake. When he saw Wayne’s pawpaw he said that he had never tasted a pawpaw, and could he have it. So Wayne gave him his pawpaw.

Then Wayne asked if he could have a bit of Lawrence’s chocolate cake. Lawrence said no he couldn’t. So Wayne had nothing for lunch, and Lawrence had ham sandwiches, an orange, a big slice of chocolate cake, and a pawpaw.

The world is divided into haves and have nots; winners and losers. Guess who is the loser in this tale!

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.