Southerly by David Haywood

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Southerly: Primary School for Beginners

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  • Dinah Dunavan,

    Pity they couldn't invent an alternative to frying all their food.

    Ah, deep fried pizza! My enduring memory of Edinburgh.

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Ah, deep fried pizza! My enduring memory of Edinburgh.

    That's nothing. A restaurant in Cowgate served me what I swear could only be described as fried soup.

    Don't get me wrong, though, I hold Edinburgh dearly in my heart and surrounding circulatory system.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Heh!
    My mother and self were dared to try a fried Mars Bar whilst in Dunedin of the North. We bought it. We took it back to our room and unwrapped the thing.
    The batter was deep golden, carcinogen-rich. There were little globules of pure fat scintillating on its surface. We looked at each other, silently rewrapped it, and interred it in the rubbish bin. We happily paid the dare-forfeit...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    At the end of term that bastard teacher took the magnifying glass from his drawer, placed it on his desk, took out a hammer and asked the rest of the class "shall I give this back to Barnes or should I smash it?"

    the adorable mascotte, a barrell of TNT with tiny legs and arms

    They were burning a pile of rags on the middle of our concrete pitch, it was really quite a raging fire, but he reckoned we could play around it.

    Wow, this whole thread reads like one of Roald Dahl's stories. Fantastic stuff!

    Unfortunately for me, I think I had a pretty pleasant, unremarkable childhood in Beachlands Primary. I can't seem to remember anything as macabre as the above

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Bah looxury!

    Mrs Pinochet in 1st year used to tie recalcitrant kids to the ceiling fan and put it on spin. After she did this to Fatty Boothroyd and the ceiling fell down, they punished us kids by setting fire to the rubble of the classroom with us still in it.

    The fifth years used to bury the younger kids up to their necks on the rugby pitch and then lop their heads off with a machine not unlike the one in Caligula (1999 remake).

    Plus, when Tonks Minor sung off-key in assembly, Mr Torquemada had him burnt at the stake in front of the whole school.

    You kids had it easy!

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4421 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Thomas,

    Bah looxury!

    Well, I guess that was inevitable... :)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 315 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Unfortunately for me, I think I had a pretty pleasant,

    Same here for primary, and intermediate, Only thing I recall of secondary was Miss Cooper, (French teacher) putting me in classroom cupboard when I would suggest that gin wasn't the teachers aide. Fortunately pour mwaa, cupboard was full of French literature so was able to teach myself enough to pass school cert French. A Latin teacher I know recalls her reputation for a tipple, so I know it wasn't my imagination. Thought she had class though :-) Also, deputy head would enjoy constant badgering, with purpose of ruining every day there.__ We don't need no stinkin' badgers!__

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6010 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Oh, quelle dommage! Still, all these horror stories fit in very neatly with my strongly held belief that one learns very little of any value at primary school. I always hope that everything I teach my little ones - you know the sort of thing, subversion in every form, high spiritedness - pisses off all the grumpy primary teachers majorly. Crowd control 101 still seems to be popular in teacher training institutions these days.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    I always hope that everything I teach my little ones - you know the sort of thing, subversion in every form, high spiritedness - pisses off all the grumpy primary teachers majorly. Crowd control 101 still seems to be popular in teacher training institutions these days.

    Jackie, I was wondering if this is a general revolt against all primary school teachers by the likes of you, or are your kids spreading the word? And David Haywood's little Bob seems to be doing well with the ol' thought transferring:-)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6010 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Still, all these horror stories fit in very neatly with my strongly held belief that one learns very little of any value at primary school.

    My son for one is having a marvellous time of it. Ditto for kindy, I couldn't have more respect for the teachers he's had.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7351 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Snowdon,

    In the 50s and 60s primary schools were bursting at the seams. I have class photos of 50 plus kids in the standards. One year my class was in the school hall.The school buses were packed to the hilt too, and seemed to break down regularly. Fortunately we were still allowed to play Bulrush (the no holds barred version) while we waited for one to come back empty. But at least we didn't suffer the humiliation of the Catholic kids - a nun picked them up in a horse and trap. It seemed medieval, even then. And the martyred Christs hanging on their classroom walls (when we sneaked over to spy on them) made the strap seem a positively modern educational tool.

    What I treasure about the memories of school is their intensity. What makes you remember looking at beetles under the macrocarpas? Beating up Huia Robinson? Mr Findlay singing the Ying tong song? Good or bad, they're burnt into our circuits.

    Since Mar 2008 • 96 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    "what makes you remember"

    fresh wee open brains

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I should have specified, giovanni - most kids love primary school these days, and thrive, absolutely. I'm thinking, however, about a couple of schools of my acquaintance where the teachers seem not to have moved on from the draconian standards of yesteryear.

    Jackie, I was wondering if this is a general revolt against all primary school teachers by the likes of you, or are your kids spreading the word?

    Alas no, Sofie. Mind you, if we had any grumpy bum neighbours like that kindy, then they would have complained yesterday. It was a very, very loud day. There was a lot of little boys crying for their mums, and a lot of other boys yelling at the top of their lungs. Methinks the highspiritedness training is going a little too well!

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    My mother and self were dared to try a fried Mars Bar whilst in Dunedin of the North.... We looked at each other, silently rewrapped it, and interred it in the rubbish bin.

    You missed out! I've had them a couple of times at the Drake and they are much, much better than they look. I mean, I'm sure they've taken several years off my life, but they were *worth it*.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3628 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    One year my class was in the school hall.The school buses were packed to the hilt too, and seemed to break down regularly. Fortunately we were still allowed to play Bulrush (the no holds barred version) while we waited for one to come back empty.

    It's pretty damn obvious what was going on here. Kill off a few of the weaker ones to slim down the numbers.
    It's no coincidence, I'm sure, that bulrush was banned when the birth rate began to fall. They also started putting padding in playgrounds, and ripping out jungle gyms.

    It's all going to the pack. Left footers and grief counsellors everywhere.

    The encouraging sign though is the recent news about the rising birth rate. The return of bulrush can't be far off. School milk, in all its green tepid horror, must also be due for a comeback.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 802 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    David said: "I always think the best thing about school is that fact that it's in the past" ....

    I used to think that too, I'd put it behind me long in the past ... until recently I was faced with the possibility of my son going to the high school I was mercilessly bullied at in forms 3-5 ... in my own little 30-years on PTSD moment I found myself waking at night, and just shaking at the mere thought of walking into that school .... fortunately we found somewhere better but it dredged up something I thought was long in my past

    I have to say that I've thought more about my schooling in the past couple of years as my son has been struggling his way through with several things, than in the decade before when it was a distant memory.

    We went to an open night for his upcoming intermediate school, and going around the elective classes - metalwork,art, home economics or whatever it is called now - brought back such memories of my intermediate school. Such strong connections run very deep.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    fresh wee open brains

    My brain put a comma in the middle of that sentence, yuk.

    Giovanni, well, the Italians can claim those biscuits with flies in them.

    I recall, from when I were about knee high to a grasshopper, a question to the class in a history lesson.
    "who was Garibaldi" my hand shot up
    "He invented a kind of biscuit Miss"
    there were sniggers around the classroom.
    "No he was an Italian political leader in the mid nineteenth century"
    "Ah, well" I retorted "I knew he had something to do with currant affairs"
    Chortles all round.
    I have to say that my later years at school were better than my earlier ones. I had a science teacher who got me interested in science, a maths teacher who raised my interest in maths and a French teacher who fomented my interest in women. ;-)

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4671 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    "Ah, well" I retorted "I knew he had something to do with currant affairs"
    Chortles all round.

    And the memories come back - this reminds me of the funniest thing I ever said (as a student?).

    "Blind People?"

    Hilarious. One guy in the class, like 20 minutes after I said it, repeated it and just cracked up laughing.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    "Blind People?"

    Were they coming to measure up the windows?

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4671 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    No. It was a discussion of advertising in English. The teacher was talking about how about sometimes invent words to advertise their products. He had a particular product in mind, but couldn't remember the neologism that went along with it.

    "You know ... what are they called ... those funny things on white sticks?"

    Chupa chups, apparently.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 2996 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Chupa chups, apparently.

    Now see what you've done. I won't be able to look at blind people without laughing now. Well at least they won't see me. ;-)

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4671 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    First day of Primary School might make a good story suject in the Public Address Cafe...

    Jus' sayin'

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 547 posts Report Reply

  • Kerry Weston,

    *Howithe Marching Girl Ruined the Fancy dress Ball*

    She was all of about nine, resplendent in her marching girl outfit for the fancy dress ball - the highlight of our primary school year. We waltzed and gay-gordoned and hoki-tokied the night away, feasted on fizzy and cake , before the highlight of the night - the magician show. Doves, silk scarves and fluffy bunnies fluffed and flew out of sleeves and hats. We were entranced.

    Then he brought out the guillotine. The blade sliced a cabbage in two with a satisfying thunk. Everyone roared with glee. Some fool got up and put his head in the hole. As the crowd erupted in thrill and terror around her, the Marching Girl knew the world had gone mad. Just the other day, she'd read about Marie Antoinette losing her head and how the people cheered. She'd even drawn a line across the poor Queen's neck on her picture.

    The magician called "Quiet please" and the lights dimmed around the Marching Girl, until all she could see were the mad, bright eyes and wide, open mouths of witches, ghosts and ghouls. No-one was going to save the fool with his head in the guillotine. She stumbled to her feet, her jelly stick legs uncertain, and shouted "Stop! You're all laughing and...(sob)...he's going to cut his head off!"

    "Shut up! You're ruining it, sookie. Sit down!" The Marching Girl turned and ran, stumbling & stomping over feet and hands till she reached the door. Outside, the night sky was blooming with stars, like always.

    Manawatu • Since Jan 2008 • 494 posts Report Reply

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