|(C) David Tubb|
I used to type up my timetables and print them off to fold into my pocket; I'd memorise them within a few weeks anyway, but it was nice to keep them pocketed. That is why they are all frayed, and the Year 10 one (far right) is torn in half. The top left one is from my first year and contains bothersome teachers such as IH (Mr Hamilton), who looked like Jasper Carrott, but had none of the humour. Centre, though, is Year 11, probably my favourite. English last thing on a Friday with Phil and AT (Mrs Tarrant) was great fun.
This is actually my Primary School watch, not the one I wore to secondary school, but that is because I gave that one to my friend Josh on the last day - I knew we might not see each other again. The watches have a disc, instead of a second hand, that rotates a picture around the face. Josh's watch has a jet on it - I used to get told not to wear it during P.E. and Mr Oliver would take it and call, "Mr Smith! Come look at this little plane going round!" They liked it too.
WHO DOUGLAS ADAMS IS
I had this idea, with Sam, to ask the teachers if they knew who Douglas Adams was. I suppose it was our way of ascertaining some intelligence, though I suspect part of the reason we got on badly was due to that strange immediate dismissal so common when a student asks something. Good teachers, like Mr Mannion (ICT), actually listen which I suspect is part of the reason he knew Douglas Adams. Or am I being too hopeful in suggesting, if the others thought about it, they would know?
MRS S.KIRWAN WOULD LIKE TO SEE YOU
This was probably the slip I scanned and edited blank to print off. I gave one to Phil, who filled it out so badly he thought it wouldn't work, but the supply teacher let him go and Phil had to say, "Uh, well, no it was only a joke..." Anyway, it is a little odd to get called out of lesson "Now Please", so I was a little too quiet when receiving the "first Deputy Head Teacher Award I am giving out, because I hear you've been very good helping your teachers with their computers. haven't you? Well done." I did not know what to say.
My Tutor was an ICT teacher so, in the morning, I would always make and print these off for free. I tried to record a play but the people I cast never turned up, oddly, because they seemed so keen. Still, I had Phil and Sam and a few others. The best, though, was the 10 minute speech we had to do for English - I went on for 30 minutes and filled the classroom to twice its capacity with invited guests. The teacher was so impressed that she told her family all about it and gave me an, apparently unheard of, full marks.
Andy Vincent left at the end of year 8. He was a friendly face in the classes, even if we did not talk much outside of them. I remember laughing with him, or tying him to a chair with red string in D.T. He never seemed to mind; I am sure he played up his annoyance, actually finding it funny. We both had the same Parker Pen but his ink was black and mine blue, so I would swap them in class when he wasn't looking. This isn't that pen, but he loved his pens, and I asked for something to remember him by.
LUNCH WITH MR FLAVIN
I am not entirely sure why, but Headmaster Mr Flavin had lunch with people in pairs. So I was with Andrew; both of us are rather shy, really, so we sat there quietly not really touching the sandwiches (I think cheese, then tuna) and tiny Battenburg Cake. He said we were too polite, and that he learnt everything he knew from "Reader's Digest". The event sticks in my mind because it rained afterwards and classes had started, so the empty grounds made it seem like Andrew and I were the only people left in the world.
I am rather good at finding money on the floor. At school I would find these minor coins with a gash down them. It took me a while (5 minutes) to work out what had happened - they had been mangled by the mower. The coins remind me of the school field where I used to love playing games with Sam, Alec and anyone else too. We used to have so much fun - I can't keep that field, but I can keep the coin to remind me. (The picture shows the same coin from both sides.)
I had the most Tutors out of anyone. Ending with Mrs Wakefield, I had Grumpy Mrs Preston who left, then Mr Criddle, who was nice, but told me not to "illustrate" my planner - he left. Then Mrs Dixon who left twice: once because she was part time, and again because she decided to move to Ridgeway School. She was kind to me, and could see the potential in me, but I still disliked her French classes because she would pick on me and I never knew what to say. Still, she also said many a kind word about me.
FOR JACK VETTRIANO
I was so lucky to get put into the "Lower" English class (despite having the highest grades) because there I had Mr Cammish. He was always so fun and kind, and occasionally rather grumpy, but he showed us all so much without actually doing much "teaching". He preferred old-style, but they paid him a lot of money to leave so they could replace him with an interactive whiteboard to make the school seem "modern". A shame. This is a poem he wrote, and I keep it to remind me of the positive impact he had on me, my learning, and my writing.
David Tubb is a writer with an interest in cryptography, psychology and magic.