The 1972 Diary (III)

I wrote my school year exam results on one of the “notes” pages. I presume these were for the year ending in the summer of 1972.

The first thing is the subject, the second my ranking in the class, the third my score on (presumably) whatever test we were given (I can’t remember how the scores or percentages were calculated)

• English Literature • 12 • 47%
• English Language • 12 • 55%
• Maths 1, 2, Comm • 11 • 50%
• French • 21 • 34½%
• History • 18 • 37%
• Geography • 13 • 49%
• Physics • 1 • 54%
• Chemistry • 30 • 26%
• Biology • 11 • 39%
• Religious Education • 24 • 37%
• Art • 14 • 50%
• Technical Drawing • 4 • 40%
• Woodwork • 5 • 59%

It’s weird, but I had totally forgotten that we did R.E. (Religious Education) at school. These days I really despise that kind of indoctrination of schoolchildren, feeling it is entirely up to parents if they desire their kids to learn about all that god fearing mumbo jumbo. The fact that everybody took R.E. back then – completely regardless it would seem of their faith or upbringing – says a lot about how cultural diversity has changed teaching practises during the ensuing three decades.

I’ll guess there were around 30 to 35 pupils in my class, a pretty much equal mix of boys & girls. (Funnily enough I can STILL remember – and recite – the surnames of all the boys. I always found the list – which was read out loud alphabetically during every morning registration – somewhat poetic in construction… so maybe that’s why it has stayed with me?). The same class wandered from room to room taking the different lessons. I can’t remember fraternisation being encouraged with other classes in the same year, but it’s peculiar that it’s with people from those other classes where many of my later ‘lifetime’ friendships grew.

The only thing I can recall with any level of clarity about what appears to be my worst subject – Chemistry – was our teacher, “Boris”. It was not his real name of course, but I can remember we all silently sang the refrain from The Who’s “Boris the Spider” a lot during his lessons … doubtless whilst some of us also snorted the unlit gas coming out of the bunsen burners bolted to our desks. Aaaah, my first high.

I’ve recently discovered during one of my trips back to “blighty” (the U.K.) that the now-retired “Boris” lives just three doors away from my Dad. As comedian Steven Wright once said “It’s a small world, but I wouldn’t want to have to paint it”


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