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From anejo: School meme-ories.

I went to Reading Blue Coat School. It was pretty good.

1.Nickname in high school?

'Nez'. In the league table of nicknames, that's not very far up, is it? I can't remember how it started, but eventually almost all of my friends' names were similarly corrupted. So, Ollie became Oz, Eliot became Ez, and so on.

2. Sport you were into?

Before the sixth form, none. I loathed and detested games; Christmas term rugby was hell, and easter term football was only marginally better. Summer term cricket was tolerable, but (obviously) dull. I repressed cross-country running entirely Come the sixth form, however, we gained access to a much greater range of options - in my case, the ones that appealed were hockey (painful, yes, but less so than rugby) and, in the spring and summer, tennis. I actually like tennis. I'm not very good at it, but I like it. Plus, my school was single-sex for the first five years and then mixed in the sixth form; and given the choice, would you guess that the girls would go for cricket or tennis?

Exactly.

3. Had a circle of friends?

Very definitely. And there was very little flux in the group through the school. People joined, but nobody really left. To start with it was Nick, and Chris, and Leo, and me; then in the third year Ollie and Jim and Eliot joined, and that was pretty much that for the rest of the school. I'm still in regular touch with five of the six, so that's not bad going.

4. Best subject?

Erm. Going by exam results, somewhat tough to say. Probably a four-way tie between Biology, English, Geography and Music. Which, not uncoincidentally, were also my favourite subjects.

5. Worst subject?

PE, as any fule kno. Or if that doesn't count, CDT. I'm not actually a man at all. My worst GCSE result was in physics, but I can blame the teacher for not actually covering the syllabus.

6. A teacher you owe life lessons to?

Dr Crook! Ah, mad props to Dr C. He was one of my chemistry teachers, and delivered the most bizarrely rambling lessons about life, the universe and everything which nonetheless somehow ensured you knew everything you needed to know by the time exams rolled around. The other chemistry teacher I had was Mr Garioch (pronounced, somehow, 'gear-y'). He was caustic, sarcastic and generally very, very funny.

On the biology side, we had Dr D. Dr Dimmick had completely the opposite style of teaching to Dr C - very structured, very thorough, very orderly - but hey, it worked just as well. I would say she's the teacher who had the most influence on my degree choice.

7. A teacher you wanna kick in the ass?

Not really. The PE and CDT teachers were for the most part idiots, but thankfully I had only a minimal level of contact with them.

Describe in one word...

8. Year 7 (first year): Fine.

9. Year 9: (third year): Good.

10. Year 10-11 (fourth-fifth): Work.

11. Year 12-13 (lower and upper sixth): Upslope.

12. Your best friend was?

Hard to say. The circle was pretty tight. If you pressed me, I'd have to pick Ollie or Nick.

13. Your worst friend was?

I don't really think I have an answer to this question.

14. Cafeteria food sucked?

For most of my time at the school, we didn't have a cafeteria. Well, there was one, but it was only available to members of the boarding house. A couple of years before I left school, though, they opened it up to all pupils and yes, turned out that the food sucked. I pretty much stuck to peanut butter sandwiches, crisps and a couple of biscuits for most of my school career.

(The year before I left the school, a new headmaster arrived. The year after, he closed down the boarding school for good. There had only been about sixty boarders, to about six hundred day pupils, after all. But at the time they closed it, the head of the boarding house was Mr Garioch, and clearly the new headmaster didn't think much of him because they didn't tell him what was happening. Letters went out to all parents explaining that the boarding house was closing, and Mr Garioch found out about it because pupils asked him in class the next day. That's just not professional behaviour.)

15. Most hilarious school rule?

By my nature, I'm a rule-follower, so I never really paid that much attention to the details. The maximum hair-length for boys caused a great deal of frustration for some of my friends, though.

16. Wore uniforms?

Of course. Grey trousers, white shirts, navy blazer with the school crest on the breast pocket. The tie was navy with thin silver and gold stripes.

17. Any achievements?

What counts as an 'achievement'? I got the grades I needed to go to the university I wanted to go to; does that count? I was leader of the school orchestra. I was a prefect, although not one of the ones who could convince the lower school that they actually had authority. I made some good friends, and I generally liked my school. Isn't that enough?

18. Were you popular?

No, not really. That said, although I was certainly never in with the in-crowd, and in some lessons - particularly before we got streamed into sets - I had to keep my head down, I wasn't at the bottom of the tree, either. For the most part I was ok; my circle was quite insulating. I was bullied more by my brother than I ever was at school.

19. Best song that reminds you of high school?

Oh, god knows. We never had school parties, and I never got invited to the cool parties, and aside from anything else I didn't buy any music until I was about fifteen. Probably my defining school music memories are of what was played on the bus each day. We had a cool bus driver; he let us play our own tapes. So one term, we made a compilation. Everyone on the bus added a track. I was going through an Ocean Colour Scene phase at the time (so was everyone else! Don't judge), so I added 'Traveller's Tune'. The other tracks I remember were 'Golden Brown', 'Hey Jude', 'Hey Dude', and 'Mr Blue Sky' - in retrospect, something of a 'hey' theme, it seems. To this day, I can't help singing along to 'Hey Dude' (Smelltherose,thesweetsweetrosethatgrowsoncastlewallsinHEAVEN!); it's just a Pavlovian thing.

And I've just received a promotional text from a club somewhere telling me about a 'BACK 2 SKOOL' night, so this seems like an opportune moment to stop rambling.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Which, not uncoincidentally, were also my favourite subjects.

So you mean it was coincidence? Or not? Damn double negatives.

Interesting reading. Might have a go at it myself, although I suspect I've blocked much of what happened in the first three years of high school..
So you mean it was coincidence? Or not? Damn double negatives.

Er. Excellent question. What I meant was that their being my favourite subjects probably had something to do with their being my best subjects. Whether what I actually wrote conveys that meaning, however, is another matter. :)
First off, can I just say that I hate you for making me think about my time at secondary school, even in a tangential sense.

Secondly - the Pavlovian response to certain songs. Everyone who went to my school visibly turns into quivering wrecks whenever Queen's 'The Final Countdown' comes on. This was the song our headmaster played us at every assembly for five months or so in the run up to our GCSEs. They also had a 'countdown board' up, which had the number of days left until the first day of exams written on it. So yeah, you only need to say the words 'final countdown' to someone from my school to see us shudder with horror. And hearing the song itself? Brings me out in cold sweats and I get the strongest urge to revise GCSE Spanish verbs.
First off, can I just say that I hate you for making me think about my time at secondary school, even in a tangential sense.

Whoops. Sorry. :-/

Secondly - the Pavlovian response to certain songs. Everyone who went to my school visibly turns into quivering wrecks whenever Queen's 'The Final Countdown' comes on.

That sounds terrifying. I mean, it's a bad enough song under normal circumstances...
First off, can I just say that I hate you for making me think about my time at secondary school, even in a tangential sense.

Whoops. Sorry. :-/


No, actually, it was quite interesting to find out what your school days were like.
Everyone who went to my school visibly turns into quivering wrecks whenever Queen's 'The Final Countdown' comes on.

ITYM Europe.....

#de de der der, de de duh duh duh
#de de der der, de de duh duh duh duh......
#We're heading for venus...

Sorry - I'll stop now..... ;-)
ITYM Europe.....

Er, yes, sorry, that's the one. (Never wanted to go into the actual origins of the song in too much detail y'see...)

#de de der der, de de duh duh duh
#de de der der, de de duh duh duh duh......
#We're heading for venus...


For the love of all things holy! What are you trying to do to me? ;)

Pedant: The Final Countdown isn't by Queen, it's by Europe.

Your experience sounds dreadful, though..
Dreadful and yet I'm having to cover my mouth with my hand to smother giggles.
... That's just scary. I'm imagining everyone as twitching wrecks by the time exams come round.
Yes. Our head had the oddest notion of 'motivational tactics' I've ever come across...
Can I score a pedant point? That was Europe, not Queen.

I won't be disturbing you any more tonight, Mr Frodo Sir.
Hahahah - I really should read to the end of a thread before posting.

/me goes to shoot self behind woodshed.
I pretty much stuck to peanut butter sandwiches, crisps and a couple of biscuits for most of my school career.

This would explain your rapid adoption of my pancakes then! :-)
In summing up my school career, I was discussing with a friend that if I had to do it again, I wouldn't take it even 1% as seriously as I did the first time around. It's simultaneously the best and worst time of your life rolled in to one long, arduous slog. The idea of putting a child in to schooling is such a harrowing idea for me that it's almost put me off the idea of parenting full stop.
I'd do this meme, but the answers would be almost identical. Really. Change a couple of names and we're done. Mad chemistry teacher, crappy games lessons, small insular clique, no girls until sixth form, vestigial boarding house, hair-length rules, even the uniform (except for the silver stripe on the tie).

The best subjects are different, and I can't match your achievements. Oh, and obviously my song is different: 'Kill Your Television' by Ned's Atomic Dustbin, 'Sheriff Fatman' by Carter USM, 'Drink 'Til I Die' by Bad News or 'Particle Man' by They Might Be Giants all spring immediately to mind. I assume that's where the divergence begins, chaos theory style.