Sunday 19 January 2020

High School - or Grammar School Really

Good news – my foot has fully recovered and I am now able to resume my walks. All it needed was a little rest and a bit of ice.

It’s Sunday so let’s answer some more silly questions from Sunday Stealing.

Let’s dive in.

Your high school graduation class of: 1981

1. Did you marry your high school sweetheart?

I went to a Grammar School for boys so, sadly, I didn’t have a “high school” sweetheart. I did have a girlfriend about that time but, no, I didn’t marry her.

2. Type of car?

I didn’t learn to drive until I was 23 so I didn’t have a car at school. Besides, they cost money to run and I had better things to spend my cash on.

3. What kind of job?

I worked in a newsagent at the time, doing odd jobs for the owner of the shop like serving customers, stock taking, sorting out newspapers for delivery, delivering the newspapers, collecting payments for the delivered newspapers and other menial tasks. The owner actually tried to persuade me to give up school and work for him full time. As you can guess, I didn’t take him up on his generous offer.

4. Where did you live?

I lived in Walsall, a town about ten miles north of Birmingham.

5. Were you popular in school?

Not really. Most of my mates were from outside school because I wasn’t really keen on the overall feel of the school. I had friends at school but I didn’t hang around with the so-called “popular” kids – they were arses.

6. Were you in choir/band?

I was in the school orchestra and brass band. I played a trombone.

7. Ever get suspended? 

No – but I had a lot of detentions for being an arrogant little git.

8. If you could would you go back? 

Absolutely not. I would probably return to the school to have a wander around the buildings but going back would be a bloody nightmare.

9. Still talk to the person that you went to prom with?

We didn’t have proms, although this American tradition has started happening in the UK now.

10. Did you skip School ?

Actually, I don’t think I did. Although I hated school I recognised its importance and I embraced the academic requirements with reluctant enthusiasm.

11. Go to all the football games?

I didn’t go to any of them. My school was seen as a place for academic excellence and we had to pass an exam to be admitted to it. Consequently, the sports that we played were different from other local schools, so for example, instead of playing football (that’s soccer for Americans), we played Rugby Union and cricket.

12. Favourite subjects?

I enjoyed a lot of subjects actually because, although I was a bit of a rebel, I was actually quite good at most of them. I loved Maths, Physics and Chemistry and I quite enjoyed French and German too.

13. Do you still have your yearbook?

We didn’t have a yearbook. What I did have was something we called “The Green Book” which appeared once a year and contained lots of information about the school, including a list of names of the teachers and their subjects, the kids and what classes they were in and various other bits of totally useless information. I kept the very last one I had.

14. Did you follow the "original" career path?

I think I did – sort of. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was in sixth form and preparing for university and decided that really I should do something that involved my best subject – maths. So I opted to be a computer programmer because I thought there was a future in it. I was correct and I am still working in the industry today. If I could go back, I would have chosen something else though.

15. Do you still have your class ring?

We never had a class ring. I don’t know what such a thing is.

16. Favourite teacher? 

My favourite teacher was a maths teacher who taught me throughout my school life. He even used to call me by my nickname (which was Snowy). A very pleasant man.

17. What was your style?

We all had to wear the same uniform. It was quite strict and if you failed to adhere to it, you were in big trouble.

We wore a dark grey blazer with the school badge on the pocket, with a white shirt and a horrific red, white and green tie. A grey jumper was optional (depending on the weather). We also had grey trousers and black shoes. First and second year students had to wear a terrible green, red and yellow cap when walking to and from school. Why? I have no idea and it used to get me in a lot of trouble because I refused to wear the bloody thing.

In the sixth form the dress code was relaxed ever so slightly. Instead of the horrific tie of the first five years, we wore a green tie with the school badge at the bottom. I still have my sixth form tie. We could also wear different coloured shirts as long as they were light in colour.

So basically I looked terrible and had no style whatsoever.

18. Favourite Shoes?

We just had black shoes as I said earlier. Boring black shoes.

19. Favourite thing to eat for lunch?

We had the option of eating the pig swill they served for lunch but we were also allowed to bring sandwiches too. I chose the latter because my mum always made brilliant ones.

20. Favourite band?

I listened to a lot of music during my time at school. I would say it was probably Rainbow, Nazareth, Rush, UFO, Black Sabbath or Whitesnake.

21. High School Hair?

My chemistry teacher called me “the boy with the chrysanthemum head” in front of the whole class when I was 16. Can you imagine the uproar and the humiliation I had to endure after that?

Regular readers will know that I hate my hair and between the ages of 16 and 18 it was probably the worst it has ever been. My hair is very thick and it was long. Here is a photo of me when I was about 12 – and it grew and grew after that into a bushy mess – a bit like a chrysanthemum.

The Boy with the Chrysanthemum Head

Spot the difference

22. How old when you graduated?

I was one of the oldest kids in the year so I was 18 years old, which meant that I could celebrate in the pub.


Lori said...

Stop it. I like your hair, it is very pretty! I don't think anyone wants to go back to high school. Loved your answers! Have a great day!

Elephant's Child said...

I so agree with you about the popular kids being arses. I haven't kept up with anyone from school but I do sometimes wonder whether they grew out of their arsedom.
No class rings, yearbooks or proms here either (for which I am grateful).

Pandora Behr said...

I love that school photo of you. That teacher should have been shot, geez, flower head - oh well, at least you have hair. I think Australian school and British school had more similarities back in the day.

River said...

1981? My fourth child was born in 1981. School was a long dead memory by then. For me anyway, I had two kids in primary school by then and one in kindergarten.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Lori,

It's funny. A lot of women say they like my hair. I'm not really sure why.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi EC,

There were one or two popular kids who weren't arses but the majority were. I am vaguely in touch with just one guy from all those years ago. The thing is I now live too far away from Walsall to be bothered to look them up.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Pand,

The teacher is question had plenty of hair too. I think he was trying to get me to have a hair cut in his own weird way. It didn't work.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

Wow. I had to wait until 1993 for my first born.

I was all done by 1996. Two kids is enough for me.




annie said...

You were a very handsome young man in that photo. The teacher needed a good swift kick for that remark.