As part of National Novel Writing Month, (#NaNoWriMo) I've set myself the goal of writing a 50,000 word novel (1700 words a day), consisting of short stories about my memories of primary school. Just so that you know, all names of people have been changed unless they are publically known. Each story is based on my own memory, so may not be an exact representation of events, especially since I am writing this over 40 years after things happened! But I hope you will enjoy each story all the same, and that perhaps it will spark your own memories of life at primary school.
Another time, my class teacher Mrs D had us all making cubes, from pieces of paper with tabs, that we had to cut out, and then glue together. Except I didn't understand what was going on at all, and I always seemed to be delayed reaction, two steps behind everyone else, like I was only ever given half the instructions.
The problem was, I liked to see the bigger picture first, but school was always about following instructions, following individual steps, and never knowing the final destination. Everything seemed back to front to me.
I drew and redrew the lines on my paper, with my ruler and pencil over and over again, each time the teacher telling me it was wrong and to have another go. Until eventually Zahara made her cube and held it up to show the teacher, who remarked how wonderful it was, and instructed us all to look at her perfect cube.
So I took the initiative and I asked Zahara how she made it, and she explained it to me in such a way that making a cube was easy. I so wished that Zahara could just be our teacher instead of Mrs D. Zahara was kinder than all the teachers put together, and she explained everything in a way that we all just understood. Why didn't the teacher just say that she wanted us to make boxes, and then explain that we had to draw the lines, put the tabs on for sticking, and that the sides had to all touch for the cube to fit together.
By this point I had come to realise that school was simply something to tolerate, and to just keep my head down and try not to draw attention to myself, it wasn't something I enjoyed and I didn't feel like I learnt anything. I didn't really feel the fun and excitement of learning until I was a grown up, and then I realised that I did enjoy maths after all, even though I thought I was rubbish at it. Only the rich kids seemed to be allowed to be good at maths, not the council estate ones.