Year 8, or my second year of high school, was certainly an interesting time to be alive. It was the time of ones life where the laws of popularity and status seemed to govern your every move. I was one kid who never stood for this and stayed my authentic self, for I hated the very idea of impressing a popular clique. I may have been socially isolated, but you’ll soon learn how I navigated this and continued to do so until everyone had matured in later years.
My English teacher was Ms. Tucker, a young woman who appeared very nice and cool, but was certainly the strict teacher. If you got in trouble, she used her skills as an English teacher to rip every single part of you until you had no foot to stand on.
I remember one occasion I missed my oral presentation because I was sick at home with glandular fever. She gave me a fail mark because school policy at the time deemed it an appropriate punishment for missing an assignment. My mother was far from impressed, and emailed my teacher to ensure I still had a chance to do it. Thanks to Mum’s stance, Ms. Tucker let me do it and I passed with flying colours – 90%.
Maths was taught by Mr. Atwell, whom had been a teacher of my father’s a couple of decades back. He remarked how quieter I was compared to my father, but of all the maths teachers, I enjoyed his teaching the most. He had a unique teaching style to say the least, but it still taught even the most unconfident maths students algebra.
Humanities was taught by Mr Linsell, whom had taken over from our original teacher Ms. Saliba. Once again, I excelled in my golden subject and impressed all with my knowledge in a subject a vast majority of my year level saw as a pointless one.
My science teacher was Ms. Hill, whom was from England. She had a reputation for the law and order style classroom she ran, and I guarantee you at least 1 kid was sent out of the classroom every week. I got along well with her and even had a bit of rugby banter going on with her, about the rivalry between England and New Zealand on the rugby pitch. The best part was when the Kiwis picked up their third World Cup on English soil that year! I did feel sorry for her, as the kids gave her a bit of a hard time, especially with that London accent of hers.
Music was taught by Ms. Roberts, but it was a class that made me realise my future wasn’t being in the sviraci. Drama was taught by Mr. Hewitt, and I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone as passionate about the performing arts since. Myself and my mates at the time Zac Gibbs, Trent Hines and Reuben Hyatt created a short play about World War Two where I played the United Kingdom, Reuben was the USA, Zac was Germany and Trent was Italy. It was a funny comedy where we got to show off our acting skills – which were C Grade at Best!
I again finished top of the class in Italian, under Ms. Salvatore. I had my two technology classes again, under Mr. Kneeshaw and Ms. Blease. Just like Year 7, I found a way to continue to bludge woodwork and also burn caramel in cooking class. I would’ve taken these technology classes more seriously, but 13 year old me didn’t see them as that serious.
Art was taught by Ms. Stabologlou, whom was the definition of scary. There were two things you didn’t dare to forget around her: your pencil case full of artists supplies which she indeed gave you a detention if you were missing a pair of scissors, and God forbid you forgot how to pronounce her surname.
PE and Health were again under Ms. Potter. I significantly remember the condoms on the banana sexual education lesson and I also remember the dance unit of sport, where myself and the boys again had to bring out our Performing arts skills. We made an awkward dance routine to a Ukrainian pop song that had the whole class laughing at us, but we still passed!!
Year 8 was the beginning of having to turn your shoulder around to watch every move and every set of eyes staring at you, waiting for you to do something embarrassing that everyone could talk about. I knew that I was a big talking point, for my social awkwardness and my hilarious attempt to recreate Ukraine’s Eurovision entry in PE that year, but it never bothered my stride. Tougher times would come, but it would be my handling of these times that would have peers of mine going from laughing at me, to eventually respecting everything I stood for.