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03 October 2012 @ 11:18 pm
School memories  
I suppose I should start talking about how I actually got into a place like Stockport School in the first flaming place. I'm writing in the aftermath of learning of the death of Sue Reckless.. Hearing of the death of an old teacher is depressing.  You feel desperately sorry for her and he family, and I believe I've discussed this in other places, Facebook and elsewhere.  Then you have to deal with all the selfish stuff that you feel vaguely ashamed of having, as It Isn't All About You by any means.  Thinking about your own vulnerability, your own mortality, memories of a car smash I was in at the end of August but was able to walk away from (it could have been so different). 

And thinking: September 3rd 1973.  My first day in the hellhole.  It would have been Labor Day in the USA.  Within a month the Yom Kippur war was about to start, and being young and male, we'd be watching it on TV every night. (My memory is of TV commentators gloating about the damage the Israelis were inflicting with British-made tanks, which were walloping everything the Yanks and the Russians  had to offer. A triumph for British weapons. Oh, and for the Israelis we'd flogged them to.)

But somewhere in the middle of that, I arrived at Stockport School. The one thing I am sure of is that after Assembly and formal welcome of the new first year intake, we had a boring boring boring hour spent in orientation, copying our timetable from some sort of master copy. As I recall a new and stern looking youngish woman teacher, a Miss Edwards, was supervising us while we did this. Then  a brief few words were spoken about what was expected of us,  delivered by a short fat elderly man who looked like the walking talking caricature of a child molester.  Although all men over thirty would have been elderly to us, and this was a more innocent era where nobody knew the specifics about child molesting. Mr Taylor just looked like the sort of dodgy-looking geezer our mothers warned us to steer clear of and not allow to get us alone, although our mothers, if asked, would never say WHY.  You just looked at Mr Taylor and something about him did not fill you with confidence.   And we were just cynical enough to look at each other when Mr Taylor  confidently asserted that he was good at dealing with the problems and issues of young boys." In fact, I am good at dealing with young boys of eleven and twelve!"          Yeah, right. If he was he would have had no need to say so - it sounded as if he was reminding himself.

And our first formal lesson, later in the morning, was French. With Miss Edwards.

So it is very possible that my first lesson at Stockport School coincided with the first lesson delivered by Susan Reckless as a teacher at Stockport School.  This is a coincidence that has been playing on me for some time this week. She'd have been around twenty-two, I'd have been around eleven.  So if we were there at the beginning, I'd quite like... no, wrong words, I feel a sort of duty....  to be there at her funeral on Friday. If I was in her very first lesson at the start of a thirty-eight year career in teaching, this rounds it off, this offers closure,   whatever that means. It balances the scales. I was there at the start of her career. I should be there to mark her passing out of life.  She threw me out of her classroom once for bad behaviour. I would have walked out completely but my bag and stuff  was still in there and I didn't trust the other guys. I was hoping an opportunity would come up to ask her, much later, if she remembered the grey, drab, miserable, Wednesday afternoon that just dragged and offered nothing, a Wednesday afternoon that had to be endured until four o'clock, a Wednesday where I got suckered into a spat with a tit called Vic Brown and she saw it and chucked me out for bad behaviour.  I wondered if she remembered. But there's no chance to ask now.  Unless Derek Acorah isn't a fraud, of course. 

TO BE CONTINUED                                                     
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