Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The strangeness of School...Pt 2

Since I wrote the first part of this story, my brain has just been overloaded with snippets of memories from school. Trying to remember the names of some of those Scary 6th Formers, or minor flashbacks to getting in trouble for the silliest of things. So once again, I thought I'd delight you all(!!!) and write some more of them down!

One of the fastest things you have learn while at boarding school, is how to get on with people. When you live in a dorm with as many as 7 other people, who might also happen to be in the same form as you, you would be living with them pretty much 24 hours a day. That's why you need to learn to get on! Of course we all had petty arguments over who's stuff was in who's 'area', and who had borrowed who's pencil and not given it back. You had to have a certain about of tolerance in order to survive, but when you're 8, you can't spell the word tolerance, let alone know what it meant! However, on the whole most of us got on fairly well. There was the odd exception of course. I remember when I was about 10, there was a girl in the year above me (who I would love to catch up with now, to see what she's up to) who was very much a fiery red head...And wow, was she FIERY!!! Not only that, but she was huge! She was well over 5'5 and quite broad at the age of 12, which gave her a towering presence. I'm fairly sure she could meet eye to eye with some of the teachers! Tanya had a temper unlike anyone I knew. When she was in a good mood, she was lovely, and we got on really well, but then at times, something would flick, and she would become a Ginger Hulk! One afternoon for reasons that have left me now, Tanya was in one of her moods. In these situations, you had to really watch what you said, or where you went, in order to avoid serious injury! As she went redder and redder in the face with anger, we got paler and paler in fear. I don't think she would let us leave our dorm, and we weren't going to anything to stop her! My friend Louise, bless her heart, was only trying to help the situation by finding out the reason for Tanya's frightful mood, when before we all knew it, she had Louise pinned up against the wall screaming at her! We were all so stunned at what was going on that nobody could move. I think there was throwing of coathangers, and maybe even shoes in the whole Fracas that followed! It was one of the biggest fights I think I've been in even to this day! Looking back on it now, it was so much fun! We got to throw stuff without the supervision of adults! We all got into trouble of course, none of us worse than Tanya though. She was put into 'isolation', she had to eat alone, sleep in the Sick Bay alone, sit alone in lessons...We all felt a bit sorry for her, but when she got into her tempers we were all thankful of the isolation!
Another quite handy thing that you learn to do, is sleep through ANYTHING!!!! Again, it comes down to living in a dorm with many people in. When they're all chatting away, and you want to sleep, you have to learn to live with it, and block it out. It's a good talent to have (if I can call it a talent), because in later life, you can sleep through the annoying blackbirds that sing at 4am in the morning, or the jet planes that fly over your house at midnight!
A further strange regulation they enforced during all my time at St Christopher's School, was that you had to have your dressing gown over the end of your bed, and your slippers at the side, in case of an emergency in the night. At the time my dressing gown was quite a heavy duty toweling one, which weighed quite a lot. It felt a bit odd at first having this great weight on my feet, but after a while it became a comfort. When I went home for breaks, I would still put my dressing gown at the end of my bed, and even when I started at my next school, where we had actual pegs to hang them from, it would always be there where it belonged. In fact, even to this day, 5 years after finishing school, if I don't have some sort of weight at my feet, be in a quilt, or even just a folded towel, I find it very difficult to get to sleep. Yes, I know, I probably shouldn't be admitting this to the world, but hey...I am! Isn't it strange what silly traditions can install into our brains.....

Oh, once again, I could go on and on, but I think that's about enough of that. I hope I haven't bored you to sleep with this one! I think there will probably be more to come too, I just keep remember more and more occurrences, that, more than anything, I want to get down 'on paper'.

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