Inspired By You (#6)

Nelly suggested: Write a short essay entitled My First Day At School.

My First Day At School.

 I can’t remember the first day. I vaguely remember insisting that I would have to sit beside Kris, best friend from nursery school, but that’s about it. However, this essay will attempt to chart some early school-related memories, with the aim of enabling the reader to gain a deeper insight into the Psyche Of Hails. (I can still do essay language!!)

Two of my earliest memories actually go back to pre-school, when I was at Ballykeel Nursery School. I recall being really mean one day to a little girl called Lisa, who smelt bad and probably didn’t have a very good life. Obviously, when you’re 3 years old, you’re only really focusing on the former of these two issues. It was our gang-style dislike of Lisa that prompted us to shut her out of the Wendy House one day, plotting about how to keep her away from us. I distinctly remember suggesting that someone hit her with the toy frying pan. If it’s any consolation, I don’t think we did it. And, ironically, the potential bully in that not-so-pretty picture became the Consistently Bullied throughout much of school life. That’s probably why I still feel guilty when I remember Lisa.

Another nursery school memory – clear as if it happened yesterday – is of a little line of easels with small children concentrating intently on their paintings of “people”. “Paint a person,” Mrs. Wilkinson had instructed. Everyone was putting together a Mr. Man kind of character: round body, hands, feet, eyes, nose and a big smile. Mine was no different, except that I had just worked out that faces also had details like eyelashes and teeth. Feeling very pleased with myself, I awaited the teacher’s praise. She came to Laura, who was putting the finishing touches to her Person at the easel beside me.

Very good, Laura!” she gushed, “How clever you are! Everyone, look at Laura’s painting – she’s drawn a proper person, with a body, a head, legs and arms… well done, Laura! That’s very, very clever of you.” Laura quietly continued painting, a small halo glimmering over her super-intelligent head. Mrs. Wilkinson glanced at my painting. “Very nice, Hayley,” she said calmly, moving on.

Crushed. Crushed. I wanted to tear the painting down, crumple it up, and throw it at Laura, but I couldn’t because I was only about 3′ tall and couldn’t reach the top of the easel. From that point on, Laura seemed to exist to better me. I painted a superior Mr. Man, she painted a superior Proper Man. I got made a prefect in Sixth Form, she got made Head Girl. I’m sure if I marry Mark Owen, she’ll marry a descendent of a Beatle.

In conclusion (forgot this was an essay as opposed to a mournful rant), this essay has illustrated that many of the key issues in the Psyche Of Hails were actually present as far back as nursery school.

Give me an A, or I’ll sulk. Or hit you with a frying pan.

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