Wednesday, September 3, 1980

Wednesday September 3rd

My first full day of school and my first in the sixth form. I arrived in school slightly late – everybody was crowded into the Common Room answering Ingham’s roll call. There must’ve been over fifty people there.

First thing we had an assembly downstairs in the dining hall, and I got a big shock when Barkston, amid all his usual “welcome back” crap suddenly announced that I had received a “commendation” from W. H. Smith’s for an essay I had entered through school in a “Children’s Literary Competition.” The essay I entered was a short-story – “Day Tripper,” about a drug addict – and I had completely forgotten about it. All I got was a corny, cheap looking certificate and the privilege (!) of going out to the front to shake Big B’s hand. I suppose Arthur C. Clarke had to start somewhere.

After this I had no lessons until second lunch and English Lit. I passed my time on by reading V. S. Naipaul’s “A House for Mr. Biswas” and talking to Laxton, Chris Steedman and Abbott etc., or just sitting there while Robin Quinn and people drifted in and out to Maths, Chemistry or Physics. Depending upon which I do (Maths or Biology) I’m missing out on lessons until my timetable is sorted out.

At the appointed hour all the ‘A’ level English Literature people trooped down to B10 for our first lesson of the year with Mrs Slicer. Hoy and Beaumont seem to have it in with her, they kept on cracking cynical witticisms and making sarcastic, nasty comments about, or with, her.

We had to begin reading “Julius Caesar” which I don’t suppose I shall enjoy. When this lesson ended at about 1.30 p.m., we went to P18 for more English with Ms Hirst (as she likes to be known), who set us some reading for tonight (Chapters 1 and 2 of “Persuasion” by Jane Austen – the book seems to consist of nothing at all and she takes all of Chapter 1 and 2 just setting the scene).

In the evening I did a lot of the work set, which gave me a good sense of achievement for once. I know that once I complete homework I feel really fulfilled and proud almost; it is just finding the initial drive. I also watched “Morecambe and Wise” and a League Cup special on Beeb One. My tips to go down to Division Two this season are Sunderland, Manchester City and Stoke City.

Tomorrow I’m hoping to get something done over my timetable.

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