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Monday, June 2, 2014

Spare

What did you do during Spare?
Spare.
The best part of the school day.
The period when one catches  up on things.
Gossip.
Flirting.
Sleep.
Okay, I admit it, one could even catch up on school work.
If one was so inclined.
Pfff . . .
In Junior high, Spare was always supervised.
Nominally.
For the supervising teacher, it was also a time to catch up on things.
Reading.
Marking papers.
Sleep.
The class would steadily grow noisier and more unruly.
Until things reached a certain pitch.
The teacher would look up. “Okay class. Settle down!”
And the whole process would start over.
One time, the teacher had just lifted her head.
But before she could utter the fateful, silencing words, another teacher (obviously misled by the noise level), appeared in the doorway.
“Who’s babysitting you guys!” she demanded.
Loudly.
Then realized that her friend and fellow teacher was properly seated at the ‘supervisory’ post.
Oops.
As we got older, supervision became more and more . . . Slapdash? Haphazard? Cursory? Superficial?
I’m going to go with Non-existent.
We were required to police ourselves.
It wasn’t too bad.
By this point, there were several of my classmates who actually wanted to finish their homework.
Weird.
They would effectively shush us if we got too noisy.
Kill-joys.
But we had nothing on my Dad’s class.
Oh, they weren’t noisy.
Or unruly.
Just . . . creative.
Case in point:
A girl in Spare was reading the newspaper.
For those of you in the virtual world who are unfamiliar with the word ’newspaper’, it was a collection of news and advertising, published daily, and printed on very large sheets of paper.
Google it . . .
The girl was engrossed in an article in the top right-hand corner.
Her absorption left the entire bottom half of the paper unguarded.
Normally, not cause for concern.
But, remember – Dad was in the room.
As she read, he approached quietly.
And, squatting down beside her, lit the bottom left corner of her paper on fire.
Yes.
On fire.
So . . . creative, he definitely was.
Cautious?
Not so much.
The girl soon realized that something was amiss.
She glanced down.
Her paper was rapidly being consumed.
She blew on the flames a couple of times.
Dropped the paper and stomped them out.
Then levelled her best glare at the guilty party.
Because, let's face it, everyone knew who it was . . .
Spare.
The best part of the school day.
For so many reasons.

12 comments:

  1. It was the best part of the day..twice a week I had a spare while everyone else took gym...which was probably their idea of a spare (but not mine).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spare vs Gym. Yeah. I'd totally be with you!
      We didn't start getting spare until Grade nine. We felt so grown up. And irresponsible . . .

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. That period during the school day when you had no class scheduled. Our high school gave us the option of filling it with an elective. Pffff... A whole period to catch up on . . . work . . .

      Delete
  3. Yikes! That was an education of a different kind!

    If we were in certain academic streams, we weren't allowed to have spare periods. We filled them with Latin, which was surprisingly interesting but not as much fun as the kids having spares in the cafeteria sounded like they were having :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spare always sounded like a lot of fun. It certainly sounded like a lot of noise! :)
      Latin! My husby took Latin during his Master's work. He spouted Latin at every opportunity! Or maybe it was 'Latin'ese. :)

      Delete
  4. We never got to have spare either, unless it was detention after school :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm . . . detention. Never got that. Not that I'm admitting anyway...

      Delete
  5. We called them study hall and we would have one period every other semester. They were awesome. Diane is right I don't remember alot studying either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Study hall. Excellent! An even better misnomer! :)

      Delete
  6. The only spare we ever had was called lunch!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I loved the story of your brother's pet bull. Our bulls were generally quiet because they'd been hand reared as calves. The only time they were unpredictable was during the mating season.

    During a spare period at school, I always had my head in a book. There'd be an awful lot of noise going on around me and I just wouldn't hear it so engrossed in the book was I. Aaah, those were the days...

    ReplyDelete

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