tisdag 14 mars 2017

Schooldays - new frontiers

So my days in the small, close by school was over.
The neighbourhood started to change, as I wrote in another post here, there was a murder and the police was being seen more often.
My school for the next six years was a huge one, covering an entire block. It was not far but still a walk for ten minutes or so.  There was a heatingplant nearby, one night we heard an enormous bang. There had been an explosion, rocketing one of the walls right into the sky.
Close up there was also a brewery and the smell of it was always present.
The exploding Heating Plant, wall still present.

So I started in the new school, I was ten years and very frightened. There was this passage leading in to the schoolyards, part of it was a bit covered and there they stood, waiting to harrass and tease. For every morning my anxiety grew heavier. Words, stones, ice, snow, walking behind making comments. We got divided in to different classes, the school was so big, it was also a collegeschool for teachers so we often had senior students to take odd lessons. There was this large room where you would sit with headphones on to study language and the wall was made of glass, we couldn't see in but they could see out, the students.  I remember one poor teachers student that had a catastrophically bad knowledge of the subject she was to teach in.  We were sturdy city kids, some of who were used to bad language and manners.

By Christmas holidays I had enough and pleaded to be free of that terror of a school. I had seen armed guards watching the glassdoors between the schoolbuildings. Every day I got new bruises both on the outside and the inside.
I have written about the family in the countryside many miles away from my hometown, where I spent two summers and one semester. My mother got in contact with the school up there and come january I took the train with my things and started a whole new life.
The school was far off, the family had a farm in the countryside so every morning, after doing once chores in the barn, we would catch the bus and ride some 20 kilometers to school.
It was a nice school, some 400 students,  mixed classes, no teasing or bad language, homecooked meals and a running schedule for laying the tables at lunchtime. 6 months of peace, friends, homework and good grades.  I was then prepared to take on school in my home town again, but a new one, where I knew nobody. It was actually the best thing about it.

The new school, 5th grade, was in another part of town, 1,2 kilometers walk from home.
Passing the buthchers and an amazing Zoo store, where they sold great parrots and real, live monkeys!  I stopped by both of those stores every day .  The butchers because we were always short of money and hardly ever went in there, and the Zoo store because, well, you understand!!
The school was situated close to one of the old Water towers, the school in itself was rather old, a four story high brick building with two houses and a barack where my classroom was.
Once a week some classes were held in the old building and we would climb these high, dark staircases.  In the basement of the second house , children with different disorders had their quarters.  It was also the place where the restroom was, there was a stereo and a pooltable and some sofas. So they said, I never dared go down there!!!  But the sound of the stereo reached the schoolyard, so one day I heard  " Killer Queen" and my Elvis days was over.  Those were also the years when Abba entered our lives, in spring 1974 we had Waterloo!!!

My class was really nice, teachers where just and good, and life, apart for some incidents that involved the reasons for me never again wearing mittens or any kind of beenie. Oh, I always left home with them on, but put them in my schoolbag as soon as I was out of sight. I had lost a few and told my mother I had dropped them. The truth was that they were flushed down the toilet or thrown in dustbins, but I never told her that. During these years I also got my glasses....

My great love those years was Johan. He had dark, curly hair, brown eyes and the nicest manners and starlight smile. All of a sudden I heard myself saying I liked 10CC, I overheard him talking about them you see. He was always nice to me, defended me if needed.
Those were good years, the last day before summer holidays 1977, we gathered in the schoolyard for the last time.  A ceremony in church was still valid. Johan had grown a moustache! We felt almost grown up. Almost. 

Trouble had begun to reach the school, drugs were handled in the schoolyard openly, the buildings were decaying. These days there are no children in the buildings anymore. 
Now I was heading for a school even further away. Me and my friend Eva , a girl I spent a lot of time with those years, looked forward to it.  Well, for the boys mostly.
She lived in a dark apartment with her parents. She had older sibblings, but they had moved out. Every year she went skiing up north and said she would perform in the restaurant, singing.
She had a black cat, a clock that struck like Big Ben and a passion for Bjorn Skifs, you know, Hooked on a feeling!  The somewhat odd friendship we had , with a tendency to become bad girls, staying at her house playing music and eating instead of attending class, faded eventually after the first semester of 7th grade. I never met her parents as far as I remember and she never met my mother.  Still, I think of her sometimes and hope she found a good life.  We were now teenagers and life got more complicated.   But that is another story.
One of many Water storage towers in my home town, beautiful, don't you think??

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