At this stage I had left warm and fuzzy world of men in tights and was onto a real and proper man teacher:
Now, he was a good teacher and, as your parents would say, ‘he got results’.
This was said in the kind of way you say something while staring off into the middle distance knowing that it was ‘his methods’ that were not being discussed.
Sort of the SS of teaching or the Guantanamo of education.
Luckily for me I started to develop a morally ambiguous approach to education so I was able to turn a blind eye to my fellow
inmates, school mates suffering and got down with the system. I sailed through 4th class with very few of the standard versions of water boarding that were the vogue for 9 and 10 year olds back then (twisting the nipple, the ear, the other loose body part; whacking the hand, having the football, chalk, duster, compass, anything to hand thrown at you and general hair pulling and thumping).
Can you imagine the kids these days living through that? It would be an understatement to say it but it’s probably best that we’ve done away with ‘that sort of thing’.
Apart from the fun of corporal punishment the rest of 1980 had two major distractions in it:
Running and scouting.
The scouting was only cub scouting but was the start of an 11 year affair between me and all things subversive. I started as a young 9 year old and ended when I was 20 and it was nothing more than a dating agency and a cheap fund for travelling around Europe.
The correct name for the scouts in Ireland back then was ‘the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland‘ which kind of gives you a hint about what sort of liberal agenda was espoused by ‘The Scouts’.
It did have it’s highlights. I still know how to tie a clove hitch and can build things out of sisal and wood.
I still see people who were in the scouts back in the ’70’s and ’80’s and as we pass on the street we secretly know that there was a crime committed and we were the unwitting criminals. A bit like the willing/unwilling foot soldiers in any radical organisation.
The other thing that was really starting to take off by 1980 was my running career.
Back in 1980 I was something I have never been before or since – the right power to weight ratio. 100m, 200m, long jump, high jump – I was a regular Daley Thompson (without the cool afro or the mexican porn star moustache).
I even won a bronze medal in the U-10’s All-Ireland 4x100m relay.
The running back then was was so easy you didn’t even need to try and it was as natural as breathing. It also had the benefit of allowing you to clean up at the school sports every year.
So that was 2010.
Thanks (to the 17 of you) for reading this thing.
I hope you have a great night and enjoy 2011 (only 31 days to my birthday!)