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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Elementary School (07/19/04)

TITLE: My Early Days at School
By Marcell Billinghurst


It seemed like only yesterday, when I first began attending School. I felt so proud wearing my new uniform and going to school with my school books. I remember walking up the red brick steps to get to my class room. I can picture myself playing on the swings and monkey bars under the trees, near my first class room. My first school case was made by my father, out of wood. I used to sit on it waiting for the school bus. The other kids used to laugh at me. I was so happy to get a real school bag like the others, the following year.

I well remember School assemblies, and singing “How Great Thou Art.” Tuck shops and toffee apples, and little bottles of milk delivered to School for the students. I remember getting into trouble in Grade One, because both myself and another girl kept trying to be last in line as we waited to go into class. We were both made to stand outside class when the others went in. I really began to love reading in Grade Two. At the end of the year, I received a book prize for being a good girl in class, from my favorite lady teacher.

There was only one year at school I did not enjoy. I had a teacher who delighted in picking on me. I was sick a lot that year and got behind in my school work. Labeled a day dreamer, there was nothing I could do to satisfy her. I clearly remember being rapped over the knuckles for talking in class, when in reality it was the girl sitting behind me who was talking to the girl next to me. I remember being very upset at the injustice of being punished for something I had not done. Nothing I could say would convince her I was telling the truth. At the end of the year her report of my work was unfavorable. My parents were very angry and wrote a letter to the school expressing their displeasure.

I was never good at mathematics or sport, but I loved to read and enjoyed doing English, English Comprehension and writing compositions. I was encouraged to use my imagination when writing stories. A good friend of my mother, helped me indulge my love of reading. Each Saturday morning, I would call into her home on my way home from Brownies. She would give me a drink of Milo and a biscuit and allow me to go through her large library and borrow books to read. I would take them back the following week and borrow some more. If mum or dad wanted to find me, I would often be on my bed reading a book.

As a child I did not lead a particularly exciting life. I was never one of the popular students, but quiet and reserved with a few good friends. Living three miles from town without a car we were fairly isolated. However we made our own amusements. While ever I had books to read I was happy. With my love of the English language and reading, surprisingly writing stories as an adult is not something I have felt led to pursue. Although I have loved poetry since I was a child, it was not until 1992, as an adult, that I first began to write poetry in earnest. I have gradually expanded my writing abilities over the years.

As an adult, I have had success with my writing published in various publications and now over the Internet. I believe this success goes back to those early days at school when I first began to love the English language.

My old school still stands. It has changed a lot from those early days and now includes more modern class rooms. My younger brother now has his youngest children enrolled there as students. Another generation of students to carry on the tradition of learning.

I am thankful for my early grounding in education. I pay tribute to my first school Amaroo and give thanks to the dedicated teachers who taught me to love reading and writing.

By Marcell Billinghurst

Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight07/26/04
It's interesting the things that chart our course in life. Nice entry
Deborah Anderson07/26/04
It sounds to me dear sister, that what was meant for evil (that teacher rapping your poor little knuckles), God has turned for the good. Praise God, that you ran to Writing and English verses drugs or alcohol like happens to some. Thank you so much for sharing your story. God bless you in Jesus Name.
John Hunt07/27/04
Very nice article. Well done!
L.M. Lee07/28/04
yes, to be thankful for teachers who invested in our lives the skills we now use!
Angela Moore07/28/04
Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
Karen Treharne07/29/04
Thank you for sharing your experiences in elementary school, Marcell. It still saddens me to hear about harsh teachers who seem unwilling to listen to and believe their students or at least pursue the possibility that they are telling the truth. I know as a parent myself, there were times when I was sure I knew who the culprit was in our household whenever the boys had a disagreement...and I wasn't always right! I'm afraid in those early years of being a mom, I didn't have the discerment I needed and also didn't always turn to God for wisdom. Luckily for me, God was in control and seemed to take over and smooth out my mistakes for the boy's sakes. I look back in shame and shutter to think how many times I reacted without considering all the facts and turning to God for the answers and direction, FIRST! But, as in your case, it sounds like God took care of you, too. Getting you past the discouragement of that one teacher and gifting you with the ability to educate others through your writing while giving testimony for God. God bless you as you continue in His will.