My "School Daze"
Yes it certainly was a "daze" to me, I can hardly remember my "school days, so what follows is somewhat "sketchy" I went to many schools, due to circumstances (my parents) who insisted on moving as often as they could, it was 13 at the last count). So after attending 2 Infants, 1 Junior and 3 Sec Modern schools (which also included another school temporarily as my first Sec, was being modernised,
I then found myself in the last one before leaving (in a coastal resort 5 miles from the main city).
Being a "newbie" and "English", I was immediately picked on, by the bullies.......
Basic teaching in the 1960s consisted of the following:
Maths, English, Science / Biology
(I had never heard of "Physics", then, it was Chemistry
History, Geography, PE/ Games
Woodwork / Metalwork (whatever happened to that poker I made)
R.I. (Christian Faith), Art/ Pottery
For the girls it was:
Needlework / HouseCraft / Hygiene
My teachers were:
Mr Draper: Music (no support)
Mr Jeffcott :Geography (learnt about the Steppes, Pampas, nothing in the UK)
Mr Bevan : P.E. (hard taskmaster)
Mr Dibble: History (never learnt anything of use)
Woodwork teacher (can't remember)
Metalwork teacher (can't remember)
Can't remember the Headmaster or his name, very rarely saw him.
No such thing as "Headteachers" then
I sat at a desk with an inkwell, why u might say, because you needed the ink for the pen with the nib, no such thing as biros in my day. Blackboards were used with white chalks,
no such thing as computers and we didnt know what a calculator was,
we had to use our brains
Clearly emphasis fell on the three "R"s, supported by peripheral subjects. I was expected to learn Welsh, instead all I did was to write down pages of the stuff from the blackboard . It never meant anything to me and still doesnt. In my previous English school I was taught French, which was interesting and would have been useful later on when we joined the E.C.
Discipline while not harsh, was frequently undeserved. Most teachers would administer a good whack across the back side for minor disruptions, not particularly painful, but worked effectively! More serious matters were dealt with by the headmaster who used a cane (I can't remember ever going to see him).
Detention was another form of discipline, and it was not uncommon to receive 1 hour detention after school for late submission of homework.
My P.E. teacher used what he called "the hot dap", a slap from Mr Bevan's dap hurt! (I have never liked the name "Bevan", I can't think why) It never occured to any of us if we had a choice to be hit with a dap ("a white gymshoe") we just accepted it blindly. Despite that I apparently showed promise as a gymnast and became good enough to be excused from some lessons so I could have spend more time training on my gymnastics, however when I left school, all that finished, as there was no follow up.
I was shown little or no respect, frequently abused, psychologically, mentally, made fun of, called names, ridiculed and that was by the teachers!!
I remember in an Art class, a student teacher was so impressed with a rabbit I'd drawn she asked if she could take it back with her to her college, never saw it again, wonder what happened to it, ah well.
Whenever we played rugby(as it was Welsh school) I was always at the opposite end of where the ball was! I couldnt see without my glasses, oh yeh, I forgot to mention I wore glasses (and "four eyes") and other expressions were the order of the day.
In the showers I was usually made fun of as I had not developed (puberty) as far as the other boys were concerned. As I was teased unmercifully by the boys, I tended to hang around with girls who had pet names for me, one of them was "Pussyfoot" didnt find out what it meant until many years later. I thought it was a friendly name at the time, "boy was I naive!". With the girls I learnt "jacks"( a game played by throwing a small rubber ball into the air and attempting to pick up many 6 pronged silver metal jacks before the ball came down) which I became good at, frequently winning more than the girls.
Dating wasn't a problem for me, as I never dated, though I once turned up dressed in a jacket and jeans (which people didn't wear in the 60s) at a girls house to ask her out, she was shocked, told me no, the next day she told the whole class about it (thanks Sheila), saw her years later, boy did she look sad, never mind Sheila.
I had some interest in drums and I went to the local school drummer and asked him for some advice "come back when you get a kit" was all he told me, thanks a lot! That didnt stop me and years later I became a proficient drummer, playing in other countries, touring with bands with residencies and studio work.
Careers advice consisted of a few visits to some factories, one of them was a milk bottling plant, in the local town, some ambition to look forward to then, huh! clink, clink!
In 1966, the time came to finally leave school, I had been there for 3 yrs and I can honestly say I didn't enjoy the experience!
School dinners are not worth mentioning, never liked em.
I had to walk to school and stay all day, no "bussing" in my area in the late 60s.
Some people liked to go off the school grounds to the local tuck shop.
I managed to pass two exams, Art & Craft and Technical Drawing and that was all.
I had to leave school a few days earlier than the others as my parents were leaving the area to move about 30 miles away, however instead of my leaving with them. I was sent to my grandmothers for a few weeks in the valleys, while the family (- me) settled into their new house, my father denied it yrs later, of course!. Both my mother and father have since died)
On the day I left, all the girls in my class lined up to kiss me, I dont know why to this day.
So ended my school "daze", the question I have to ask was "what was it all about, was that supposed to prepare me for a working adult life".
Needless to say it did'nt, as it took many years for to come to terms with what I went through and why. The implications were still with me, until i retired early.
I thought I would never have a career, or acomplish a good working record, I just seemed to go from one "dead end job" to another, with many periods of unemployment. Couldn't settle anywhere!
Is it any wonder!
I eventually trained as an Administrator (in my 40s) which I was very good at, now where's my "ole school", I'll show em!!
"Won't or doesnt concentrate".
Oh yeh: Well, I became a very proficient Admin and a proof reader as well as I.T.
After a break from biking in 1975, I started again, and passed my test in 2005, and a car in 2008. I took early retirement at 59, and now drive an MPV. I'm 69 an loving life, with a new mpv.
I suppose it was all worth it. Though I didnt think so at the time....
It was certainly an education for me!
(see "My chariots")