I think everyone, at some point in their childhood years, hated school. Perhaps not all the time, but sometimes. I can’t imagine anyone in their youth, actually enjoying going to school. Unless, of course, you were one of those social butterflies, whose only purpose of being at school, was to be in all the clubs, and committees, and generally, making yourself known to every single student in school.
When I think back on all those years in elementary and high school, now it all seems to be a blur. I was one of those lucky kids, who, from grade 8 on, I went to a different school each year. For those living in and around the London, Ontario area, these names may ring a bell.
Lorne Avenue Public School; Biddulph Township Elementary School; Medway High School; London South Collegiate Institute; A.B. Lucas Secondary School; and Sir Adam Beck Secondary School.
A couple of years ago, I was fortunate enough to be able to visit these schools. Not actually to go inside, but to see the buildings where I once walked the hallways. I must admit, a couple of them I was a bit surprised at seeing!
Lorne Avenue Public School
This is the school I spent most of my early childhood attending. I went here for kindergarten, and grades 1-7. One of the more memorable things I do remember, is that between grades 1 and 2 (I believe), the ‘old’ school was demolished, and the new school was built. I don’t really have a lot of memories, good or bad, of this school in general. A couple though – I do remember lighting a fire in the boys change room! Whatever the circumstances, I can’t remember. In grade 5 or 6, I do remember breaking a picture. My parents had to come to see the teacher. I was apparently given a few different options: a) pay to have it repaired; b) take it home; and c) I really don’t remember. All I do remember is, I ended up taking it home, no glass. It was a picture of a mallard duck or something. I had that picture for a good many years after that.
Biddulph Township Elementary School
Shortly after grade 7, my parents had us move all the way to Granton, Ontario. During the summer months, we sort of got ourselves integrated into this hamlet. It was a very small village at that time (365 people, HEE HAW). It all seemed like an adventure at the time, and going for rides on our bicycles and within minutes being in farmland, was interesting at the time. School began, and for grade 8, I and my two brothers went to this school. Imagine my surprise 2 years ago, upon visiting this school, to find that it was no longer in operation. I guess there’s just not enough farm kids to keep the 15 or so classes running. Oh well. Truth be told, I never really liked this school anyway.
Medway High School
During our second year in Granton, I was fortunate (??) enough to attend Medway High School. The thing I hated most about going to this school, was the bus ride. Once the bus wiggled its way through farmland territory, all the way from Granton to Arva, it was a thrill to finally get off that rickety old school bus. Again, not many recollections of my time at this school, other than the band marathon one weekend. That was fun. Living at school for a whole weekend!
A.B. Lucas Secondary School
When we moved back to civilization, the first high school I attended was A.B. Lucas Secondary School. At first, it was a bit daunting. A huge school by the standards I had been used to for the previous couple of years. Students were very difficult to get to know. One of the subjects I took as an elective, was French. My teacher, Mr. Sparks, was really a very nice guy. He was a little elderly, but in all respects, I didn’t quite feel that he was as old as he may have appeared. Nonetheless, it was a pleasure to be in his class, I learned a lot, and leaving that school after one year, forgot all about him and the school until 2010’s visit! I did run for student council, won the position, but had to decline the position, because my family was moving – again!
London South Collegiate Institute
After one year, and another move to another home, I ended up attending this school. It was a smaller school, but the school spirit was incredible. The students were welcoming, the teachers were friendly, and this is probably the school I remember most. After the previous year, I decided to get involved with whatever I could at this school. I was on the football team, but not as a player – more of linesperson. But I still got to see all the games. I was of course, in the band. My teacher saw some talent in my trombone playing, and started to introduce me to other instruments in the band – oboe, blue, baritone, and tuba. However, my main instrument was still the trombone. I also got together with a few of the students and we started the school newspaper – The Southern Comfort! We sold it once a month for a nickel a copy! The money raised, barely covered the cost of supplies, but we all had a blast running this school paper. It was nice to see that students were still attending this school upon my visit there in 2010. It is an older school, and I hope that it stays open for many more years to come.
Sir Adam Beck Secondary School
This was my grade 12 school. I had heard, somehow, that the former high school was being closed as a school, and turned into the London Board of Education offices. This was another one of those older schools, where the school spirit was great. It was a fun school to attend, and yet, the memories are almost non-existent. I do remember being one of the lucky few who, in biology class, got to dissect a shark, rather than the frogs that everyone else got to dissect.
When I think back, it’s probably a good thing that I don’t remember a whole lot about my elementary and high school years. About the only subjects I excelled in were French, Music, and Math. Surprising, English was not one of my more favoured subjects. History was the worst! All those dates, and names, and places… how could any teenager be expected to remember all that! Now though, history is more of a hobby.
School days, school days
Dear old Golden Rule days
‘Reading and ‘riting and ‘rithmetic
Taught to the tune of the hick’ry stick
You were my queen in calico
I was your bashful, barefoot beau
And you wrote on my slate, “I Love You So”
When we were a couple o’ kids
That’s it, that’s all… for now!