Ah, school days…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s Victorian expletives which manage to suggest, but avoid the word God or Jesus are: By Ginger, By Jeremy, By Jiggery, and By Gemini!
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Hm, I wonder how much the teachers we had at school have shaped our personality and our outlook on life later on… Now, let’s see, what were my teachers like?
There was the mean-spirited round-faced sneering woodwork teacher who always had a chip on his shoulder – it was a wood chip of course. Nobody liked him; he unfortunately had the same name, both first name and surname, as an unpleasant right-wing US politician who was regularly in the news at the time. He used to frighten us with tales of World War II and bloody woodworking accidents involving high-speed machinery.
Our maths teacher was a very good maths teacher, but he definitely had a thing for smacking boys buttocks with a hardwood ruler, almost every day there was a boy bent over his desk, he seemed to treat it as a performance piece with the rest of us kids as his audience. Then there was the slow-moving whale-like technical drawing and geometry chap. All I can remember about him was that he always seemed to be yearning for a quieter life, and sharpened his pencils with an ancient and worn down, but very sharp one-inch chisel which he kept on his desk.
The English teacher: what a bastard!… No no, he really was, he was arrogant and awful. It was rumoured that he used to be in the Royal Marines Commandos; he once had the geography/history teacher in a headlock for ten minutes after a minor disagreement in the staff room. He once stated to us that teachers were not allowed to influence our political views, and then went on to tell us which party was the obvious one to vote for when we were old enough. He was a really bad English teacher too. I can still feel his ghost hovering behind me as I sit here trying to form decent and reasonably punctuated sentences…
Oh, that headlock geography/history teacher – I recall that he was keen on wearing check shirts and brown trousers and was also an ‘military’ sort of chap. For some reason we did the ‘Romans an Britain’ in history, and ‘Drilling for Oil’ in geography, repeatedly three terms in a row – perhaps they were his favourites? ‘Anticline’ and ‘syncline’ are very nice words to remember…
Art was taught by the tired technical drawing whale-man for a while, but he was eventually replaced by a ‘proper’ art teacher who was young and dapper, but didn’t seem to like us very much. When on a school trip to Paris that he’d organised, he slipped out of the hotel in the night and ran off, abandoning the kids and the other teacher, never to be seen again.
Metalwork: The metalwork teacher wasn’t very good at teaching, but being rather clumsy and accident prone he was always amusing. He once left a very large glass bottle of some kind of acid on the floor under the workshop sink, which of course one day got kicked over and smashed. The composition floor bubbled and frothed up to over a foot high and we all stood giggling on chairs and benches as the teacher poured buckets of water all over the place and tried to sweep the mess up with a broom. That was a great day!…
Before I finish this amble down memory lane, I perhaps should quickly include ‘Bungy’ the taciturn chemistry bloke who always had the expression of someone who had a bad smell under his nose – an occupational hazard I suppose; and the science chap, a wiry snooty bird, a scout leader, who always wore scout clothes with emblems and badges in school – he was a very good science teacher, but like all the others… he was weird…
So, dear reader, that is why I am the way that I am… probably… It’s a good excuse…

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in art, brain, Dulltown, expletives, history, humour, information, learning, people, school, story, surrealism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Ah, school days…

  1. julie harms says:

    Ah! but what great stories they make !

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