My elder son’s school re-opened today after a 10-day break for Christmas and New Year. It got me thinking of my own school days and here I’m with my thoughts on the first Monday of 2016.
I have always felt that school re-openings after the mid-summer break and the ones that happen at the end of each term evoke different responses. The mid-summer break is pretty long, two months, and there is an element of uncertainty when you go back to school after that because you are in a higher class – if you got promoted, that is 🙂 – and you really don’t know whether it will be the same set of teachers who taught you the year before. There are butterflies in your stomach, the spring in your step is less pronounced but there is that unmistakable buzz in your mind – the kind of buzz that only school friends can generate. It is a special feeling, there is no question about it. But you also really enjoy the big break because by the end of the academic year, you are exhausted, the culprit being the dreary lessons and the dreaded year-end examinations! That two month vacation is a boon and a time to recharge your young brains – something which every school kid deserves.
With the term-end breaks, things are different. You just take a break for 10 days and then you are back to the business that is school. I have experienced a different kind of excitement in those instances. You are raring to go back to school, because you just love school even if it means having to wake up really early in the morning after 10 days of eternal bliss. Staying at home had its perks, but missing your friends for 10 days is unthinkable.
There is your favorite bench to sit on – the one where you feel the most comfortable and cozy. The moment you change/rotate your bench, the unending wait for the next week starts – you want to occupy your bench! It is a little world of ours – our school bench. I think I had a great deal of OCD about my school bench!
Who can forget the teachers? There are your favorite teachers and the not-so-favorite ones. A new term means going back to school to hear what your favorite teacher has to say. There is nothing like that feeling. Teachers can hold you spellbound and in rapt attention with their lessons and I was lucky enough to have more than a few favorite teachers. There is also the cold stare from the not-so-favorite ones. It gives you a shiver down the spine because you don’t know for what they are staring at you like that. It actually brings a smile to your face now – they were just being teachers. That stare was probably their way of driving the fear of God into your minds.
Friends – you start with them from where you left off before the break. It would seem there was no vacation in the interim save for those memoirs you share of a picnic you went on or the game of cricket you played in your native village. That’s the best thing about meeting friends after a short break. With a longer break, you feel the need to find your feet before you can really mingle with your friends. The banter and the laughter continues unabated and it’s one of those special memories. I remember one of our school teachers asking us to think and write about ‘Why is it often at school that life-friends are made’. I did not think at the moment that such a thing was even possible but later on in life, I realized that life-friends has a far, deeper meaning. Today, we have a WhatsApp group of our classmates and schoolmates and we just barge in there and chatter as if we are still 14 or 15 year olds. That’s what life-friends are!
Ahem, then there are the girls. 10 days without seeing your crush does strange things to your mind. Girls were fun to watch and ogle – it resulted in a different kind of pleasure. Teenagers we were and I’m sure girls ogled at the boys too – so at the end of the day, it was even stevens! But I must admit I was not much of a ogler – though there were the odd instances. Even as it was, the thought of watching them added some extra spice to school day mornings.
Needless to say, I am missing those school days immensely. A special phase of your life – not to be forgotten and a lot to be devoured. I have a seemingly strange metaphor for school days and life. Life is the cake and school days is the icing on that cake 🙂