Oh wow I am ridiculously behind. I don’t even have an excuse as Zara has finally started napping for more than half an hour at a time. I think I have 7 weeks to catch up on…
Looking back at all the themes there are some that stand out more than others so the majority of this most will be about education (week 25).
In order to stick to the challenge I will very quickly say that my favourite physical trait is probably my height…or my skin. I can’t choose. A book I have learnt from is Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. It totally took my fear away from labour.
Education. I loved school and 6th form and university…for the most part. I’ve never really left the education system seeing as I am a teacher now. This means that never in my life have I had been able to enjoy the long summer holiday. Definitely something to be thankful for!
Here are 5 favourite memories of secondary school that I am very thankful for.
1. Music. We had THE best Music teacher. She inspired me, looked after me and went above and beyond for me. I was part of every extra curricular club and every show. I was a Music prefect and basically spent all my time in the Music department. I will never forget the joy of being part of a vibrant Music department and I guess that is what has inspired me to do what I do now!
2. The Variety Show. Every Christmas there was a variety show. You had to audition and we always managed to get in with something (although they never wanted the slightly strange drama pieces we used to make up). I distinctly remember buying matching shiny blue tops made of stretchy material although cannot remember what we were doing in that particular show.
3. The French Exchange. In year 9 I went on a French exchange. I got on so well with my partner Julia and her family that we stayed in touch for years. Our sisters even became friends and joined in with the exchanges!
4. My friends. We were definitely not the coolest bunch (sorry if that comes as a shock to any old school friends reading this) but we had a lot of fun. We didn’t really care what people thought of us, we stuck together and we did our own thing.
5. Getting my GCSE results. I remember going in to get the envelope and telling my mum I wouldn’t give anything away on my face when I walked back to her. I was so happy that I ran across the ‘holy grass’ (any All Saints alumni will know what that is) with a huge smile on my face.
Here are 5 slightly alternative memories…
1.PE. Despite really enjoying fitness now I avoided PE like the plague whilst at school. I found team sports terrifying. I did actually have a genuine problem with my hand which meant that some activities were ruled out but somehow I managed to convince my PE teachers that I couldn’t possibly take part in any PE with such a painful hand. Half of our friendship group seemed to also have ailments that meant they couldn’t do PE so we were somehow allowed to do fitness videos in a spare classroom with no supervision. What fun we had!
2. The handbell incident. My friends and I formulated the handbell team! It really was the geekiest thing in the world but we had so much fun. We would always perform in the school music concerts and I will never forget the time two of the bells were round the wrong way. We started to play the Eastenders theme song…a classic for any school concert and the tune was all wrong because the bells were muddled up. There is a video somewhere!
3. The food hygiene certificate debacle. A group of us studied for our food hygiene certificate. Somehow our teacher got the mock and the real paper muddled up and gave us the real paper as a mock. We then went through the answers for this. When we did the real test it was the same paper as the mock. We all got pretty good marks on that!
4. The Taize sneeze. Our school was a Church of England school and each year we had a Taize service involving lots of chants. Of course, my friends and I were heavily involved with the music. For some reason we were all sitting under the grand piano…I think it was a bit crowded and that was the only space to sit. I can’t remember who it was but someone…perhaps my dear friend Emily…suddenly did the most enormous sneeze in a really quiet moment. Everyone was looking around unsure of where it had come from.
5. Tidying the Music department. A group of us would stay behind after school and help to tidy and organise the department in return for pizza. We loved it!
I could go on. I have so many silly memories. I know that I am so fortunate to have been to great schools and to have got into university. I am so thankful for the teachers who cared about me, inspired me and encouraged me. I’m thankful for the lessons and the trips, the clubs and the achievements but more than that, I’m thankful for friendships, fallings out and arguments, for getting into trouble for talking, for narrowly missing out on detention (I didn’t have a single one), for not wanting to sing in assembly and for getting parts and not getting parts in school shows. I truly believe that school shapes us and educates us in ways that go way beyond exams and lessons.