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Topic: Elementary School (07/19/04)
TITLE: My Early Days at School
By Marcell Billinghurst
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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