A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Mischief. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mischief. Show all posts

Saturday, 5 July 2014

So, What Did Your School Reports Say?

This is the one and only photo I have of me in a school uniform, it was
taken during my first term at school. I'm guessing that the rest of the mugshots are buried somewhere in my mum's loft and to be honest, this is probably for the best.

This post has been inspired by Suzanne over at 3 Children and It! Earlier this week she blogged about school reports after getting to re-read her own when they were gifted to her by her mother. As school report season is imminent, Suzanne suggested that we don't criticize the negative aspects of our kids' reports and concentrate instead on developing their skills and talents.

My comment on her blog was that my daughters were mostly angelic at school. I, on the other hand was not and I hoped that my daughters never got to read any of the comments made by my teachers.

I started school back in 1973 and absolutely loved it. I was terrified of being told off and did my very best to behave. Even at the tender age of 5 if the lesson interested me that was fine, if it didn't, I had a tendency to switch off and daydream. This sums up the rest of my school days quite nicely. After a couple of years at primary, my parents moved to another town and I went to a new school. I never felt as though I belonged and despite having lots of friends, I was unhappy.

After middle school, my parents realised that I was distracted and planned for me to go to a convent school. I had no intention whatsoever of going and did everything in my power to fail the entrance exam. I'll save that sorry tale for another day, but to cut a long story short, I ended up at  the local high school and that was exactly where I wanted to be.

If I could have studied English all day long I'd have been one very happy bunny. Alas, there's more to education than reading and polishing off essays and there were subjects that I detested with a passion. As a result, the following phrases appeared frequently in my school reports...

"Must try harder."
Talks too much."
"Easily distracted."
"Needs to participate more in class."
I always did my homework though, and my O-level results were much better than expected. In sixth form I soon realised that I'd picked the wrong subjects at A-level. Having dropped English, I ended up taking Maths, (Pure and Applied) Biology and Chemistry. I did, however, love the camaraderie of classmates, as getting into all sorts of mischief and partying hard was extremely high on our list of priorities. I have blogged previously about my escapades as a sixth former here

I know that kids land themselves in very deep water at school for far less nowadays, but can't help wondering if they'll ever develop the resilience of the older generation who were allowed to make mistakes, learn from them and move on.

I guess that leaves me with a couple of questions... what did your school reports say about you? And are your own kids better behaved at school than you were?

Thanks to Suzanne for the inspiration behind this post.

Until next time...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton
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Thursday, 6 February 2014

What's Wrong With Teen Rebellion?




In the 1980s when I was a student at a mixed comprehensive, it was generally accepted that pupils were going to get into mischief. I like to think that the teachers saw this as character building and chose to turn a blind eye. In sixth form, this was the type of activity that we enjoyed regularly...
  • During P.E. lessons we'd jog as far as the local shop, buy sweets and disappear to a friend’s house – naturally we'd reappear at the end of the lesson looking completely shattered.
  • We had an impressive collection of road signs in the common room. As the teachers never set foot in there, our collection stayed until the end of the year.
  • On a school trip to the science museum, the entire group stayed for approximately thirty minutes before escaping to see what we considered to be far more interesting sights of London instead.
  • A friend once left his bag in the common room and not wanting to leave it overnight – he let himself in through an unlatched window to retrieve it.
  • On Friday lunchtimes, we'd occasionally sneak off to the pub - sometimes we'd even spot the teachers in there.

Now that Health and Safety has gone completely bonkers, I can’t help thinking that our children are missing out on developing some valuable life skills. My daughters never once bunked off school and wouldn’t have dreamt of doing any of the above. Maybe that's why their behaviour was sometimes challenging at home? I like to think that they were taking the opportunity to rebel a little. Instead, my daughters were actively encouraged (by me) to be mischievous in ways that wouldn’t land them in trouble.

Sadly, they both worked out from an early age that schools were merely exam factories and the opportunity to think for themselves was actively discouraged. Olivia couldn’t wait for university and the chance for independent study. Before my daughters left home for uni, they were instructed to go, grab life by the horns and sample everything on offer (that's legal). I'm hopeful that this will prepare them for life in the real world after they leave.

My daughters may have worked far harder than I ever did at school, but I still managed to pursue a professional career for 26 years. I guess that our generation were the lucky ones as jobs at that time were plentiful. I remain optimistic that my daughters will find worthwhile careers after uni, I have to - it’s the only thing that makes eighteen thousand pounds of tuition fees for the two of them each year seem slightly more bearable.

My philosophy remains to this day that you’re a long time grown-up and should be allowed to make mistakes and live a little while learning how to become an adult. Are we raising a resilient generation that will be able to cope with whatever life flings in their direction? I have my doubts. And if you can’t have fun and rebel as a teenager, when will you find the time exactly? Are we raising children that will burn out much younger from the stresses of having to conform at such a young age?

For those of you who've never seen the film 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off,' this has to be the ultimate teen movie. To this day Ferris Bueller is my hero - OK so he may have taken teen mischief to a whole new level, but I'm guessing that he'd have gotten away with almost nothing in today's vigilant society. I like to think that if Ferris Bueller was for real, he'd have grown up, had a fabulous life and looked back on his childhood filled with admiration.

Copyright ©2014 Izzie Anderton
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Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Awkward Situations For Twin Teenagers



So, I'm sat at the dinner table and my sister is sat opposite with her hands over her ears.

She is temporarily ‘deaf,' whilst ignoring mum's words of wisdom. This time it's something about ironing...


Mum carries on talking even though she knows that my sister is ignoring her. Then the inevitable happens, mum moves on to the word that teenagers fear the most -  'responsibility.'

Now my sister removes her hands, but only to defend herself...

“Why do you always mention things at the worst possible time?”

“OK, here's the thing," said mum. "When is a good time to discuss anything?" I couldn’t help but notice that my sister had given up and placed her hands firmly back over her ears.

“When you go to Uni, you won't be able to ignore everything and that includes the ironing," mum adds.

“I can’t hear you,” says my sister.

I thought it was about time I inputted to the conversation...

“Students don’t leave the ironing, do you want to know why?”

Mum smiled that smile, that hints at sarcasm as I added, “It's because students don't iron anything.”

“Yeah, mum," added Sophia, "Ironing is not good training for Uni, but sitting and watching daytime TV is.”

I couldn’t fail to notice that Sophia still had her hands over her ears.

“That’s all very well, but in this house you have chores. You’re not at Uni yet. When are you going to do the ironing?”

“I can’t hear you.” My sister replied smartly, thinking that she had gotten away with it.

“That’s strange,” I replied, “because you could hear me.”


Sophia scrunched up her face and laughed.  

 

April Fool’s Day:


It was April Fool’s Day and to be honest, I didn't feel like fooling around. But my sister was consumed with the idea of switching classes. We’d always said that we’d do it, and she assured me there was never going to be a better time.

This is after all, the one day of the year where justification for mischief, however big or small is perfectly acceptable.

However, I couldn’t help but assume that her determination had something to do with the fact that a) she likes anything to do with sport (which is what I had scheduled on my timetable) and b) I would be given the raw end of the deal. The latter of course was for her to keep to herself, and for me to find out.

And so, we made plans. We switched bags and books and, as the bell sounded for class - were soon on our way.

I was completely alone. I was not well acquainted with anyone in my sister’s Geography class, especially the person she was forced to sit next to.

I am one of the first people in. It’s excruciating. My sister’s classmates stare at me. Then he walks in. He slams his bag onto the table. He acknowledges my presence. He knows. He sits down next to me.

“Wow. You’re not Sophia!” His comment sends shockwaves through the classroom. I am rewarded with a high five from one of the ‘coolest’ kids in the year. That makes me feel good.

The Geography teacher sits down at her desk and begins uploading her presentation onto the white board.

Although I am impossibly nervous and my hands feel clammier each time I look at the clock, this hour of torture is going surprisingly well. I have made it to the half-way mark.

“Miss,” my new friend calls out, “do you not think that picture on the presentation looks strange?”

The teacher stops mid-sentence, to look at the image on the screen. “It looks like it’s switched round, or something.”

Everyone, excluding me and the teacher, burst out laughing. Suddenly, I'm feeling rather hot and the teacher is looking completely bewildered.

“What is everyone laughing at?”

Next, my 'friend' gets up out of his seat, walks over to the board and points at the image. “Yeah, I’m sure it’s been switched.” He looks directly at me.

'If you know what’s good for you, you’ll look away now,' was all I could think. Everyone carries on laughing. As much as I felt satisfied that I had almost turned this lesson from Geography into Comedy, I was aware that the teacher was starting to become paranoid. 

“Seriously, what is wrong with everyone today?” At least she was smiling, which was something. “Is it my hair? Have I got something on my face?”

I could only pray that my new ‘friend’ wasn’t going to be the one to answer this question. Quarter of an hour later, the bell rang for lunch, and I walked, or rather ran, out of the room, feeling rather relieved.
 

Mission accomplished.

Sophia's morning (needless to say) was a lot less stressful than mine!


Calling all identical or non-identical twins! Have you ever traded places with your look-a-like? If so, how did it go?


How not to play around the swimming pool:


Table tennis

There were two tables adjacent to each other, surrounded by people lounging peacefully (for the time-being) on sun-beds. We grabbed our bats and began to play.

I mean, how hard can it be? If Forrest Gump can do it, so can we. As it turned out, we invented a whole new game.

In short, the winner was whoever managed to bounce the ball successfully on our table without hitting a sunbather or straying onto the other table!

 

Water polo

Clad in orange vests and waiting for fellow team members to join us, we were astounded when eight men jumped into the pool.

Five minutes into the game, Sophia caught the ball and was in line with the goal, poised to score! When the opposition realised she meant business - all five members of the opposing team tackled my sister.

Thirty seconds later, she emerged - after being half-drowned, but still clinging to the ball as though her life depended on it. I couldn’t watch. But I did cheer, my sister is stubborn and doesn't give anything up easily.

When I looked back, all was calm. The opposition had picked up Sophia and the ball and thrown them both into the goal!

I heard the goalie demanding, “Who threw her at me?!”  

 

So there you have it. Being a teenager isn't always what it seems. I guess we just make it up as we go along!
 






Copyright © 2013 Olivia Anderton

 
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