This was originally written as a letter in a long-ish lunch break whilst working in a bakery around 2004 at this time of year. It has been edited to correct various errors and some of the content has been changed.
When writing a book, you have to consider three things: the beginning, the middle, and the end. What the rules are as to writing a letter, I do not know, I have written plenty of letters in the past, learning the various rules in school. which I still remember.
I want to write about school, as it seems to be on my mind right now. Maybe it’s because I am currently studying at University which is a bit like school, just more interesting and you are allowed to smoke. (If you do) I would like this letter to be the first of many, though I know it will not. It is just a passing fancy and a chance wind that brought us ‘together’ for the briefest of moments, and wherever you are now I couldn’t care less though a couple of times I have caught myself wondering so.
I freely admit I made mistakes, which you have pointed out. Actually, I prefer to see them as “lessons learnt.” I still don’t know very much – just a bit more than I did yesterday, which is still not very much, but is a step in the right direction. Without those ‘mistakes‘, I would not be the person I am today, nor would I probably be sitting here writing this letter.
Looking back with a mature eye and nothing in the way to obscure my vision, it is easier now to appreciate those things that happened that were not all my doing, rather they were the result of the meddlings and influence of other people and the environment in which I was raised. ( Though not as harsh as some may have experienced, it was not a walk in the park by any means.)
I have always been a stubborn so-and-so and stick my heels in deeper when pressured into doing something I do not want to do. (probably the autistic/ADHD side) Then I can become quite impossible. It is a blessing and a curse and I used to be an argumentative sometimes punchy person, who was often in trouble as much for fighting as for not doing school work.
How is best to raise a child? With shouting and cajoling, or with something more emphatic? Do you encourage and nurture their life’s ambition, or stifle it and then do everything within your power to prevent it happening? The Careers Officer certainly put on a good show of it. Never mind, I am not complaining, just writing. Whether it helps or not is irrelevant – it’s because I want to.
School, for me, was a good place to be. It’s just a simple matter of deciding which one to write on. Or, should it just be some of what went on? Certainly, the first place was more of an adventure. The second place was something awful which I did not fit into maybe it was the Paedophiles masquerading as monks or it was just the wrong environment altogether.
Back to the first place which when visiting it now, is actually a really nice place. It only has happy memories, though the truth is the place was strict, if not rather unpleasant. You see it was a place for special needs pupils ‘cept back in the day they beat the knowledge and the wickedness out, and other treatments that would all be labelled as abuse now included being put in isolation, this was a punishment meted out by staff for minor transgressions like fooling around, it was usually the furthest away classroom on the school grounds and not very nice.
Occasionally somebody would be banned from having all contact with other pupils and they would be warned of with repercussions and threats if that rule was broken. The Headmaster was a total shit of a man who wore 1950’s kipper ties and had a mouth like a squid, he was a fat bastard and everybody called him Billy as in Bunter.
It was not all that bad in the junior school — we got to fool around in the woods and play ‘war’ or something. We even got to go Bird World, which was a big place near the school, which was, needless to say, full of birds. We only ever really got to see the fishes. You see, there was Fish World, too, which was in the same complex. We never once got to see the birds. Well, we might have seen a couple of penguins, but never the vulture or the parrot.
My house master was drunk all the time (or so it seemed). He liked to swim in the nude, in the early morning, and was once caught by the school secretary. He had a thing for earwax and seemed to enjoy eating it. In short, he was minging. He also like to rap his pipe on the windowsill and, as a result, we all called him Pecker. Get it?
If you behaved or there was nothing else going down, you sometimes got to watch videos in his flat. Usually something educational. We soon found the whisky and helped him finish it. What used to go on the classroom overhead projector, I won’t say, but it was green. He used to lick his hankie and wipe it clean. And not just the once. We all decided he evidently liked bogies, so we ensured there were always plenty there for him.
Pecker died a few years ago now, he was a good teacher and only meant the best for us.