In response to the prompt
Remember your first day at Secondary School?
Some of us know it as “High School”. If you’re one of my American or Australian cousins – you may have called it “Elementary” or “College” leaving the “High” bit out till you were 14.
It was also a long distance away. Life had been relatively easy at Salford’s St. Joseph’s Primary, If mum or dad weren’t there to see me at the gate – it was only a short walk home across the playing field. The new place where I was heading was up by the Gasometers on Liverpool St – miles away. On first glance – I wanted to be back at Joey’s doing the stuff i’d known…
When I got to the building, I remember seeing squares, lots of squares. The door to reception has a sign for new comers…it leads to the cafeteria, not the hall….the mass of newcomers begin to grow – I see some familiar faces, so I go through the door. My eyes see a maze of corridors and stairs. The fire alarm rings in a short blast and a torrent of bodies go by.
I can hear the rest of the school discussing the morning. Comments on classes, Upper School checking out the lambs to the slaughter. Mums and Dads proudly waving their children goodbye.
Three teachers arrive in the classroom, Along with the Headmaster and his deputy. A brief welcome and then we’re instructed to follow an older boy, who would give us information on where things are and tell us about timetables, homework and the like. As Our Group (later to be “Class”) head for the Craft Block, another group sails off to the Art Block
Some faces on the way give a lonely glance back towards their pals, Growing up starts here.
Each room seems to have a different subject – Technical Drawing in one room, a room for Metalworking in another and so on. Very different to primary : I’m going to be needing a map – I start to think. A Smell of cooking hits my nostrils. Its the Home Economics Classroom – would that be where we would be?
“Here’s the place” says the fifth former with a smile….