Thursday, January 24, 2013

First Day of School

Little Jo starts school this year, at a good government primary school. While she is an outgoing child, she also very sensitive and I know there will be tears at some point. She won't be upset at being left at school, but something or someone will upset her.

I cast my mind back to my first school days. Secondary school was not great. I was a complete stranger at an alien school. None of my primary school mates went to the same school. I was lost in the hugeness of a school of around 900 students, as opposed to my primary school of 30 students. I did adjust of course, in time, and found my place. At least I had thought processes that could help me understand.

Not so a primary school. I think I was ok on the first day. Something happened on the second day, but I cannot recall what. I remember it was something to do with someone who I came across on the net a couple of years ago, who was suddenly my best friend because of our childhood connection. While I responded to her, I held off from being any sort of new friend. This was pre Face Book.

It was a stinking hot day and I arrived home from school very upset. My parents clearly picked up on my distress, and did what they thought they could and it was the perfect thing. Dad took me, well us as ABI Brother came too, for a swim. I can't remember if was our dam or if it was at Blue Rock Creek swimming hole, but after the stress of the day and the heat, it was just wonderful. I felt so refreshed and ready to face the next day at school.

Turn the clock foward 50 years and how would that translate for a new kid going to school for the first time? Not much more than providing a reassuring environment at home at the end of the school day, along with a nice snack and and their favourite cold drink.

Just occurred to me, Tony and Rae must have some newies for school too. Well they are experienced at it. Sister, in spite of being a teacher, will be very questioning of Little Jo's first day at school.  Little Jo is an absolute sponge for learning, so I think she will do ok and she has been socially primed by day care and kindergarten.

Yes, I am ranting on a bit but I had to laugh. Mother was the reporting witness. Little Jo got a good telling off by Sister for something she did. Bone Doctor and Mother were out in the car with Little Jo and Little Jo insisted they return home to see Sister as she needed to tell her mother something really important.

'Mummy, I need to tell you I love you'.

Do you remember your first day of school?

21 comments:

  1. I learned to read when my sister went to school a year before I did, so I couldn't wait to get there! School was almost idyllic in a small Pacific nation, with ~20 kids in 8 grades - I was usually the only one in my class, so when I'd finished my work, I'd grab a book from the library & read until the (probably overworked) teacher noticed! Bliss!!

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    1. Small Pacific nation Red? I have missed something along the way. You were born in the UK but stopped off along the way to Australia. How intriguing.

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  2. My first day of primary school in the country involved a mile walk on a dirt road without mother, but attached to a group of other older children. Main lessons involved teacher re-programming my left hand writing to right-hand writing.
    no it didn't screw me up forever .... ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    clever Jo for making the Teller-Off feel like dirt for having done it. She'll go far. x x

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    1. Ann, I assume your hahas are to stop anyone saying anything about you being perfectly sane.

      Little Jo was once disappointed that I took her pictures off the balcony door and plainly said so. Next visit, Andy, you can take my pictures down if you need to clean the glass.

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  3. I don't remember my first day at school but I remember the bottle of milk we all received at morning play. I loved milk and would often drink two bottles if there were any going spare.

    I also remember walking to school with my brother. There were big dog prints set in a section of footpath and we were convinced they were lion pawprints. Why there'd be lions roaming around Richmond we couldn't say but we looked out for one everyday.

    The other thing I remember is waiting for Nana one rainy day. My brother and I weren't allowed to cross Bridge Road alone, so every morning and afternoon Nana would walk to Bridge Road to see us safely across. This one day she was late because of torrential rain (she'd had to call a taxi) and we got scared and started crying. A kind Italian shopkeeper saw us waiting and came over with ice creams to cheer us up. He also suggested we wait in his shop (which was across Bridge Road) but we refused because we'd been told to wait for Nana in this exact spot. So he very kindly stayed with us until she arrived. I wonder if local shopkeepers would do the same thing today.

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    1. What a fabulous tale Wombat. I think some shopkeepers may do the same, but with a careful eye on the shop in case it got done over.

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  4. My first day at school was at Oakleigh, and they were still asphalting the playground. It smelt really bad, and we were told that the black stinking truck would kill us if we got too close. DO I need counselling? I waited in Drouin yesterday for along time because they were sheeting the main drag. It all came back to me.....

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    1. Bliss, I forget exactly how old you are, probably because you never said, but in 1961 I was attending Oakleigh kindergarten. Must ask Mother where it was. We lived in South Oakleigh.

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  5. Aunty tells me that when she started school, they were so poor they had to carry the horse because it had no shoes.

    Oh Ann, so many lefties who right with their right! We had one girl at school who'd been forced to change and could write the most beautiful script with either hand - or both at the same time with each hand writing something different.

    Would that have been a Catholic school, where left [in Latin, sinistre] was the side of the Devil?

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    1. FC, we were so poor we had to push Dad's car to school.

      Yeah, Ann would have been a mick. (you can only say such things when you know the person, and only then after establishing that they won't take offence and have a good sense of humour)

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  6. I don't remember my first day of school, but I remember my mum telling me that after a week I was bored and wanted to go to the next grade where the kids could already read, like I could.
    Of course I wasn't allowed to.

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  7. River, you are very literate, like most bloggers are. It does not surprise me that you could read before you went you to school. You haven't done it for a while, but it must be time for you to post a childhood reminisce.

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  8. I don't recall my first day but have vague memories of those early years. Unlike wombat above my memories of the milk are not favourable. It was left in the sun covered in crates until the morning break and was warm when we got to drink it. To this day I cannot drink plain milk unless it is very cold and I suspect those experiences are why I prefer flavoured (chocolate) to plain milk.

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    1. Victor, I with you about the milk. I too can only drink cold milk and I don't like milk with cream on it.

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  9. I don't remember my first day, but I do remember my first year. I quickly became close friends with the cleverest girls in the class, encouraged (I suspect) by my parents. It must have worked because after 6 months of Prep, we were put into Grade 1 for the rest of that school year.

    Being a year younger than everyone else throughout primary and high school was not academically difficult, but it was socially awkward. However my parents gave me a Gap Year in Europe before starting uni :) Great idea.

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    1. Hels, I was the same. I started school too young and right through school, everyone was older and more mature than I was. I think that did have an effect on me.

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  10. I have no recollection of my first day. I have been told I was bored with kindergarten and happy to go to primary school!

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    1. Fen, the kinder blocks were not challenging enough for you.

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  11. I love this post Andrew..two things are clear, that you are clearly a doting uncle and two that little Jo is a very lucky and special young lady.

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    1. Grace, Little Jo is a very fortunate and privileged child but she is quite unaware of that. She likes me, but she loves her Uncle R.

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