Lately I’ve had many recurring dreams about being in a secondary school science class, or being late for it, missing it, and such variations. This began making more sense to me after YouTube’s algorithm started sending me various space program and NASA-themed videos, reminding me that for many years in my childhood I was cheerfully obsessed with the thought of one day going into space. Realising that my best shot at this was a science-based career, I eagerly read up on the subject and actually looked forward to secondary school, and the chance to really get my teeth into it.
I remember my first science lesson in year 7 (Whitchurch High School, class of 1990) and the teacher’s name (a Mrs G. Smith). I stayed behind after the class to ask a question on a point of plant respiration I fancied some clarification on. I can’t recall exactly how I phrased it, but obviously not well, as she coldly informed me that I was “lazy”, taking me right back to my first primary school where I’d often been told the same (I’ll be fair, here: my second primary school – Radnor Road, Canton, Cardiff – was so much better and actually gave me a couple of years’ of self-esteem).At any rate, I never asked a question in that class again, nor applied myself to that subject I had once loved. From then on I based my studies solely on what people seemed to be telling me I was good at. As far as appealing options went, it didn’t work out, and it hasn’t worked out to this day.
Though curiously, one job I did once have the opportunity to train for was secondary school teacher, but I passed on it, mainly because if I was ever to find myself in the position of “person who shat all over a child’s dreams and hopes”, I’d have no further option but suicide.