Confession I – The Great Lie of Secondary School

I don’t know why I’m writing about this. I’ve been feeling very nostalgic these days. Maybe it’s cos I’ve been home for so long… the longest since my little accident back in ’94. And transitioning from one part of my life to another… You know. I’ve been remembering secondary school a lot.

It didn’t start out so good. You know, I had been fed one of the ‘Great Lies’. I’ll let you know the others when I’m ready, and more importantly, when I remember.

Secondary School would be FUN from beginning to end.

Come on, any of you that have older siblings who’d hit boarding school would have probably have told you the same thing. And if you didn’t, you probably got the disillusionment from films, deceptive novels like “Mallory Towers” or “St Claire’s”. Or, maybe you were like me, who got the crap from BOTH places. Boarding house would be great, fun-filled events, with loads of friends, and strict but loving house-mothers… I know, what was I thinking, right?

I made my parents put me in the boarding house of Atlantic Hall, even though then, the school was not up to two minutes’ drive from my house. I hated it, obviously. I was in JS1, along with just 9 other JS1’s, and I turned out to be the 2nd or 3rd most harassed. Not because I was rude or anything, but I think just cos I just got so ‘harassable’. The first 1 or 2 terms changed me seriously. I started school, talkative and extroverted, and ended up faintly quiet and wary around strangers.

I have to ask, why did seniors think they had to be so mean? Forgetting myself for a minute, did these pointlessly cold, rude people not think that their actions may affect the psychological make-up of the very young, very impressionable people they harassed??? I’ve met people, grown-ups, who said that some seniors were so unkind to them, they’ll never forget them. I mean, it’s all well and good to discipline erring juniors, but to use them for your entertainment just because they made the mistake of being born a few years after you is, well, stupid. Here’s a tiny example:

Junior wants to get broom from a neighbouring room for a duty.

Senior: What do you want?

Junior: Please I wanted to borrow your broom.

Senior: (Snickering) So? Now what do you want?

Awkward silence as junior tries to figure out what that means.

Junior: (Not so sure now) I wanted to borrow your broom.

Senior: I ask you again, what do you want?

Silence. This repeats another 2 times to laughter. The senior, finally bored, says:
Senior: You said you wanted to borrow the broom, now what do you want?

Junior: (finally getting it) I want to borrow your broom?

Was that necessary? Seriously? What that senior accomplished, along with a totally ridiculous grammar lesson, is make that junior the object of mockery.
I was so irritated by the seniors I met, that I couldn’t become that way. Yet, amazingly, other juniors took this as a lesson to follow, and as soon as JS3, they were turning to b****es themselves. Fascinating, it’s a weird “evil psycho-b****” cycle.

I changed schools in js2. Thank God. Corona had way fewer spoilt people, thus nicer. I acquired friends then, but I realized that I had an issue with guys. Or actually, they had an issue with me. As Ejiro put it, I intimidated them. I won’t say that. I’d just say that most guys, following the natural order of life, were less mature than we were. This is not derogatory. It’s just true. I was the second youngest person in my class, and you’d never have guessed. Some of them had a problem with the fact that I spoke like an intelligent being. I’d always been very particular about my grammar, thanks to lots of reading and cable TV. It was so bad in primary school that, not only was my speech quite good for a 6 year old, I had an accent.

I didn’t have the accent in Sec School, but I guess I made some boys feel stupid one time too often. I won’t call names, but he knows himself, he sometimes got violently angry with me for just opening my mouth. He didn’t get over it till SS3. Another guy wanted to literally pummel me for telling him to grow up, after he mocked me for going for biology on time. I kept a calm face, but I was almost shaking. That guy really was going to kick my ass. But I know how to quit when I’m ahead, and while they held him back, I kept quiet. But come SS3 we were quite good sparring partners.

I had a lot of embarrassing moments too. But one I remember well, was how during the School Christmas bash, some idiot stopped the music to announce that my mother was waiting for me outside. The whole school literally went, “Ooooh”. I didn’t feel so bad till people started feeling sorry for me. That idiot lives down my street. I hated him for so long…

Man. I’ll talk about friends and grades in the next one.


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