I think if a psychologist asked me to choose a word which goes with school, I would say “Bullying”.
And I think almost everyone I’ve spoken to about school, especially high-school would say the same thing, I think I’ve only ever spoken to one person who said that their high-school life was ok, it’s a shame that is remarkable.
Teachers in primary school used to warn about television numbing the mind, while reading was obviously better, but this was often nonsense. I found that a lot of the shows I watched broadened my mind quite a lot. “Why is it so?”, “The curiosity show”, “Towards and Beyond 2000”, “In the wild with Harry Butler” to name just a few.
And I feel that personally, if left to my own devices, I would have had much the same education, short of a few practical lessons, as I would have if I had gone to school.
And in some ways I feel I have learnt more since leaving school, than I did while I was there.
And the bullying was something I didn’t need.
I have thought about a question from time to time, What would I choose if I must have…
Seven years of school or six months of cancer treatments (Which I have had), and I’m really not sure which I’d rather go through.
The pain runs very deep for both, but one is over quickly.
The last year of school for me was year 10 at Footscray High School, a year I was repeating, not surprisingly because I simply didn’t care anymore, I’d get up, go to school, fear for my life from 9am till 3:10pm and then go home to where it was safe.
I never did homework, as soon as I was home, that was it.
Mum didn’t push me, it wasn’t as though she didn’t care, she did, quite a lot, but knew that school and I were like oil and water.
Then one day I’d had enough, I faked an argument with my Dad who was taking me to school in his truck, and I told him I’d rather walk to school… well I walked home instead and laid on the roof of the garage until the day was over.
The funny thing was that Mum and Dad were called to school by the co-ordinator, She wanted to tell my parents that I really wasn’t doing very well and I wouldn’t get a high enough grade to finish the year and go onto the next.
Except when they called for me over the P.A. Well… I wasn’t there, was I?
The next day I had a chat with the co-ordinator, she wasn’t upset with me, She knew that I’d given up, She knew that I was now completely ignoring the maths teacher and reading novels instead, she wanted me to go out into the world and give it all I had.
Up till that time, I’d considered her harsh and formidable, but in actual fact, she was a genuinely caring person.
I remember that last walk across the playing field, that hop over the fence, and that final journey home, school and I were now, forever separated, and I could finally begin to grow.