Of Memories Of High School

 

High school memories

 

Vincere caritate Gokomere High school

Vincere caritate

 

It was the best of times,

it was the worst of times,

it was the age of wisdom,

it was the age of foolishness,

vincere caritate

Form ones you are farm animals, you have tails and my job is to cut those tails” those were the first words my agriculture teacher said as he introduced himself to the class. They are burned into my thoughts, I can still recall the chemical humid smell of the agriculture classroom; and the teacher was an imposing man, both in stature and presence.

He carried with him, in his right hand, a rubber whip, the way a king carries a scepter, and as he made his chilling introduction he punctuated every word, with a sickening thud, as the the whip connected with his left palm. He went around class asking students their names with a loud thwack as he brought down the whip on the front desk, almost as if in warning that if you answered wrongly the next blow would land on you.

I spent the next two years being deathly afraid of the agriculture lesson time and no I did not escape unscathed, nobody did. Sooner or later Armstrong tasted your flesh. The whip had a name, his name was Armstrong.

“Bend down touch your toes and…. Smile” he would declare as the whip whistled through the air to land on your bottom. I remember this lad crying out “My God” begging him to stop. And he replied;

I am not God, I am the devil____ touch your toes

I am fairly sure the school let him get away with terrorising us because he was single-handedly responsible for maintaining discipline through out the school. He was the headmaster’s chief whip no pun intended and any teacher having difficulty with students simply threatened to report to the agriculture teacher and the change was instant.

I loved English and literature class, maybe because I was really good at it, I always scored the highest, even got a prize or two.

prize giving

My essays were read out in class and pinned up on the notice board as an example of how you write an essay,  boy did my poor head almost burst. You can imagine what happens next, probably not so I’ll tell you, I free lanced my writing skills, no not anything as crude as cheating on assignments I was straight shooter. I “helped” people write love notes to woo their prospective “girlfriends” and in return they paid in snacks and other commodities valuable to boarding school students, and of course to never reveal my identity.

Who knows maybe back in high school, that boy who swept you off your feet who passed you sweet little notes during study breaks, who left notes in your textbooks and had letters posted and your name called out during dining time that you have mail, that could have been my words you were falling in love with. Ah yes getting letters was quite a big thing then, some people even wrote letters to themselves just to part of the letter receiving click. I wrote lots of letters and got lots of letters back I was king of that click.

Thinking about it I am surprised it only one person actually caught me out. My best friend had the hots for this girl and he asked me to work my magic, which I did. I was usually careful to try and tone it done and write the way said person would write even ask them to present a sample of the letters they wrote, so I could copy their writing style. The girl was a difficult conquest and I could see we were losing her  but I love a challenge, so I pulled out the big guns and wrote like I had never written before, I surprised even myself, and my friend was this close to getting the girl…..

Until out of the blue, the girl tricked me into a conversation which I inadvertently revealed my hand by making reference to something I should have no knowledge of.

I secretly hoped it was you all along and you have just proved it…..” She said as she hugged me.

My best friend walked in, looked at me like I had a shiny sword in hand and would stab him in the back, he walked out back wards….

What came after maybe a story for another day….

~B

Day 28 blog every day challenge

How was your high school memories like?

You can find snippets of my other adventures; playing with fire HERE and something about ghosts HERE

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Of A Particular Set Of Indiscriminate Skills

Genre: comedy

skills

I have long since acquired a particular set of skills, skills which include not being overly fussy about the food I, I will find food and I will eat it.
I do not mean to brag, I can eat anything and I have eaten what I have killed, many times, not that I am auditioning for to be on an episode of Survivor.

Very little surprises me, being a mission boarding school product…

<blockquote>where the head cook’s finger goes missing and a fingernail turns up in your meal, a lizard’s tail blending into hot vegetables like its got chameleon skills, and it’s still wriggling around even in death despite being cooked…..and footsteps in the night</blockquote>

When it comes down to starve or eat….  I pick not starving. I do not discriminate against anything edible based on calories rating or aesthetic appearance, unless it smells bad, there is always an exception.

I have a knack for finding exceptions to every rule, which is a really a fancy way of saying I do not follow rules, especially rules I do not like which are usually rules that do not make sense, what do you mean I before E except after C, see that is just weird. 
This also includes generalisations, I never include myself even in my own generalisations, I am not most people, I am unique, just like everyone else.

Apart from toughening up my digestive system and learning the fine arts of skipping ice cold showers and still appearing as if you bathed; (mostly in the winter season but again there were exceptions.)
I also acquired a set of skills that make me lethal to chickens. As a practical in Agriculture lessons we had to rear the school’s chickens and then dined on them on Thursday and Sundays meals but they had to be slaughtered first.

The first chicken was the hardest, you always remember your first kill, but it gets easier and you get faster more efficient and make a whole lot less of a bloody mess.
So I can kill and fancy dress a chicken in many different ways mind bending ways with or without a knife and jug of hot water in just under five minutes. The are many way to kill a chicken and I have applied several of those in real life situations.
I think that’s pretty impressive stuff but do not tell that to my niece who still wants to know what happened to her pet chicken “Huku”, we had Huku for dinner, not as a guest but stir fried with a generous serving of salad.

huku.jpg

Huku

Moral of that bit of the story is do not make pets of your dinner menu, never play with your food.

I watched this documentary about how they train child soldiers in some countries by making them look after a pet, killing and finally eating it (it was some intense stuff) I am not saying my mission school experience in anyway made me a soldier but if war against chickens ever breaks out, or if we had to hunt for our own food….. I would as they say in the movies when giving Executive Orders to Execute  terminate with extreme prejudice

Zombie.jpg

zombie chicken

Years later here I am thinking how I am all prepared for life, death and the chicken apocalypse (it’s kinda like the Zombie Apocalypse but with chickens trying to perk your eyes out)….. Yes I definitely have an indiscriminate set of skills, if any chicken is reading this, I will find you and I will eat you.

~B

#BlogBattle Entry themed Indiscriminate and yes I watched Liam Neeson’s movie Taken Countless times 🙂

P.S. if you ever need a chicken killed I am your guy

 

Of A Fiery Adventure

 

 

Fences are for keeping intruders out, but they also keep you inside, it took me a few years to realise that. The boarding school I went to had no fences only boundaries, and all boundaries can be transcended.

I guess the school being in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by a forest they figured there was nowhere to go, although students were strongly advised to stay within the school boundaries. The were no fences anywhere except the girls hostel which was fenced off with barbed razor wire, and the Sister in Charge kept rabid dogs which were rumoured to bite anything in a pair of trousers. The message was clear girls’ hostel was forbidden forest to all boys.

This also implied that everywhere else was fair game. Every weekend my friends and I would walk a little further into the surrounding woods to see how far we could go before we were called out, for going out of bounds. There was always three of us, my two friends who will remain nameless and myself. We explored every nook and cranny of the forest surrounding the school and so much more. We called these trips, expeditions, even drew tiny maps, so we could remember places of interest, like the leafy glade where you could rest all day and study or not if you so chose far from scrutiny of nosy folk, and the cave with rock art, which could easily be over a hundred years old. In hindsight perhaps we should have told someone about that cave it could have been a cultural heritage site.

If you walked far enough there was a section with no fence, where one, whom, if was so inclined could get in or out of the girls hostel but that is another story altogether.

I know a shortcut…” Those are the words that mark the beginning of an adventure or a very long journey. We decided to use our knowledge of the local terrain to see if we could find a shortcut to the nearest town which was some twenty kilometers away. If shortcuts were as good as they are purported to be they would not be called shortcuts, they would be the way.

We would have walked forever taking shortcut after shortcut into dead-end routes going round in circles, had it not been that one of my friends noticed a wall of smoke in the horizon. We were unconcerned at first, but the smoke steadily got closer and it seemed to be enveloping us, as hot breeze blew at us. That’s when we realised that we were smack dead in the middle of the path of a veld fire. We made a hasty retreat as the wind suddenly kicked up several knots like a air of bellows fanning the flames. Chasing us was tongues of fire as tall as a man standing on another man’s shoulders (which was was the length of the grass in some parts of the forest) I could feel the fierce heat baking me alive as my clothes got drenched in sweat, no, that was not sweat, that was my body crying.

Either we ran in circles or the fire encircled us and was slowly closing in for the kill because everywhere we turned there was flames to the front of us. The only way to make it out alive was to break through a wall of fire and hopefully head in the direction of the tarmac highway. It was now nearly impossible to tell directions because thick black smoke was caressing us intimately coiling around us like a boa constrictor making it hard to breathe or think. We broke a bunch of tree branches with plenty of green leaves and used them to beat a path through a section where the fire was not to dense. It felt like stepping through one of the circles of hell in Dante’s inferno, you did not pause to think, you kept moving forward, as you breathed in the acrid smoke and all you heard was the roar of a thousand tongues trying to lick you, and all you thought was this is it, the final curtain is a blanket of smoke. Surprisingly we made it through, whole, except for the soles of my shoes which had melted though I did not notice at the time.

When we finally got to the the highway the Priest-In-Charge of the school was there, leaning on the door of his pick-up truck , which was full of the other boys and they were all applauding. We just sheepishly walked to them, with our smoke blackened faces showing nothing but smiling white teeth as we tried to figure out if they were happy because we had been finally busted for going out of bounds.

It turns out, that day we single-handedly saved the school from burning. You see, as we were beating a path out of the flames we inadvertently doused the flames headed towards the school premises. We were hailed as heroes and that day supper was a special dinner held in our honour.

No one asked what exactly we had been doing out there and we did not tell. Everyone assumed that we had seen the smoke and set out to put out the fire and we let them believe it. The school needed its heroes and who were we to stop them, everybody loves a hero.

~The End

 

My first entry this year for the #blogbattle this is a memory from HERE

oh how I missed the internet ^_^

~B

 

Of Footsteps In The Dark

Genre: Mystery

the nightly visitor unseen but not unheard

I have never seen a ghost but I have heard one, in hindsight maybe it was not a ghost at all, but an invisible man, or it was all a dream a recurring dream shared by six random strangers brought together by fate.

The story sounds more mysterious when I begin like that, have I piqued your interest? The six strangers, they were not strangers nor random at all, but students. Students who resided in the same dormitory, J17. One might argue that on the first day of school, they were strangers to each other. They did not pick to be roommates, I picked them, five names from a list. To them, I might as well as have been fate but I was only their dorm prefect and their senior by a year.

A year before this, would have been my first day of secondary school at a mission boarding. I remember the boarding master welcoming us, telling us we were grown up, our parents no longer looking after us, although he would be our mums and dads.
All I heard was welcome to hell and I am your jailer.
The senior students did not help matters, terrorising us with stories of how the form one hostels were built on a graveyard, how if you went to the bathrooms, at midnight, you would find ghostly nuns playing basketball with the referee’s head, whilst he, the referee, just stood there. Whistle in hand and headless.

I did not sleep that first night, but I heard nothing I saw nothing.

The year passed in a blur, I watered lots of flowers, killed several chickens and attended classes. I explored a mountain behind the hostels, found a cave with old bones, they looked human, skull and all, could have been a monkey but I left them in peace, in case they were.

I got picked to be a dorm prefect, DP for short. A DP’s duty was to tell people when to wake up when to sleep and to ensure cleanliness of dorm and hostel area. The perks of being one, were you got to sleep at the hour you wanted, which was not 8.30pm and wake up when you wanted, not 4.30am as everyone else did. You didn’t do chores, only supervised them and always had the biggest piece of meat with your supper.

On the first day of my new reign I regaled my form one subjects with the crazy ghost I had heard, even made up a few of my own including the skeleton I found in the mountain cave at the back of the hostel.

I told everyone to go to bed switched off the lights and proceeded to fall promptly asleep in the comfy bed with springs that was the DP’s privilege, while the rest settled for the standard, hard, unyielding beds, that felt exactly like sleeping on the floor, except you could fall from them, you can’t fall off from the floor.

I am sure they had trouble sleeping or slept none at all, I slept like a baby, a dead baby until just after midnight when something woke me up. I have always been a light sleeper, the slightest of sounds wakes me up. Good luck trying to sneak up on me.

I was awake trying to figure out what had woken me up. Then I heard them.
Footsteps.
I thought it was the boarding master checking up on us, I peered into the dark to see if I could make him out, nothing. The light switch was just beside my bed I flicked it on, and then the was light. Still I saw nothing, maybe, I thought to myself, he was walking in the corridor outside. I got out of bed opened the door looked outside, nothing. Maybe it was a dream, I finally concluded as I switched off the lights and got back to bed. I was drifting to sleep when I heard them again.

Footsteps
Slow, rhythmic, purposeful progressing from the far end of the room to mine, whenever they reached a bed the footsteps stopped for a bit, you heard its occupant shift, to change position, as if they were being tucked into a new comfortable position and they would breathe heavily and deeply, then settle. The footsteps would resume.

eyes

When the footsteps were close to me, I sat bolt upright, turned on the lights and saw, nothing. I switched off the lights and lay huddled in my bed facing the wall. I prayed. Eventually, I must have fallen asleep because next thing my 4.30 alarm and it was time to wake up the others to go bath and start on morning chores routine.

I asked if anyone had heard anything strange in the night, only one heard nothing. The rest had heard footsteps, thought it was me since they had completely woken up when I turned on the lights and walked around. I told them I heard them too, that’s why I turned on the lights.

The following night, it happened again as before except this time I turned on the lights twice more than before and I saw, nothing. In the morning everyone confirmed the footsteps in the night. Except the one guy who had not heard them the first night, who was being pretty hysterical, for someone who heard nothing. He ran to the boarding master’s residence practically forming at mouth, screaming ghosts.

The boarding master was not amused being woken up by screams at 4 in the morning. “The are no such thing as ghosts” he said but he did offer to move us out of the dorm and squeeze us into one next to ablutions block.

I sought out the previous occupants of J17, the boarding master kept meticulous records so it was easy. The former DP told me about their similar encounters with the footsteps. The boarding master also made them a relocation offer, but one simply does not choose to willingly reside in a dorm next to communal ablutions block, unimaginable. So they opted to stay and move out only if they had to, they never had to.

We all also opted to stay in J17, all that is except the one guy who heard nothing.

Footsteps.
Slow, rhythmic, purposeful.
We heard them that night, the night after and all the nights we were residents of J17.
Ghosts, I have never seen one but I heard one.

~~The End

~B

This week’s entry for the #Blogbattle theme cave, a ghost story of sorts. I got so engrossed in telling myself telling you the story my word count went a little bit over.