My youngest son, Sam, who is twelve, is finishing Primary School next week. Come September, it will be all-change at Secondary School. This week, his teacher asked the class to write an essay on his feelings about the whole Primary School Experience.
Here, largely untampered-with, is what he wrote.
The first day is always hard. At least that’s what my Mum said. Of course, that wasn’t true in my case. I seemed to be the only one who wasn’t crying.
As my Mum lead me into Junior Infants, Miss Nestor (who would later be known as Mrs Moore) put a sticker on my jumper that said ‘Elliot’. Luckily, it was changed before I met anyone so I’m still known as Sam in the class. My Mum brought me over to Mark, who she said was ‘John Dolan’s brother’. I had no idea who John Dolan was but me and Mark ended up friends anyway.
My Dad frequently gave me the wrong lunch, meaning I had to go down to my brother’s class and swap lunches with him. At the time, John – my brother – was in 4th or 5th class, and they were pretty-much giants in our eyes. Even though I got my lunch quickly, I always dreaded going back there.
I think it was the same year that the ‘Food Dudes’ started. In my opinion, this was the stupidest thing the school ever did. What happened was, every day we’d get little bags full of truly horrible fruit and vegetables and we were given a prize if we ate it. The fruit was all right, I guess. I mean, how can you make fruit taste bad? But the vegetables, Oh my God, the vegetables! I swear they were found in a toilet. And the prizes were not satisfying at all, they were just bobble heads that broke within five seconds and stickers. So, all in all, it was terrible and I truly hope that the younger classes will never have to experience it.
A year later or so Jim, the Caretaker, retired. We had a big leaving ceremony for him, which I thought was really nice. I’m fairly sure most other schools don’t care this much for their Caretaker.
Another year later, the St Patrick’s Day Band started their practice sessions. Of course, I wasn’t in it. I hate the sound of the tin whistle and I therefore don’t count it as an instrument. As me and the rest of the rejects sat in the class while the band practised, Mr Rocke said to us, “I’m really disappointed in you. You didn’t put in any effort at all.” This really, really ticked me off so, the next day, I came in, knew all the tunes, and got in the band. Take that, Mr Rocke! On the day of the parade, I’d forgotten all the tunes again so I just pretended to play. I have done this every time I have had to play that awful instrument. Sorry.
In the next year, Mr McHale retired. This was really sad because he was a great Principal and, in general, a really nice person to be around. I suppose it was for the best because now I can grow my hair as long as I want and nobody but my Mum complains.
This year, going into 6th Class was great! It’s such a good feeling being the biggest in the school, except for the teachers. So far, 6th is just the same as 5th except you get much more respect and feel much more mature. I really feel ready for Secondary School.
Over the eight years, a lot of classmates have come and gone. Przemek, Sean, Paulo and Daniel have come and stayed. I’d like to take the next few lines as a tribute to our fallen comrades. In memoriam of Olisa, Ibrahim, Mantis, Adam, Ben, Saw and, of course, Fred.
School, in general has been really awesome so thanks to everyone I met along the way. I’ll miss ol’ St Pats but I think I will enjoy Secondary School.