I CANNOT remember my first day of Year 6. But I remember my class mates. I remember my teacher. I remember I was still banned from attending school all day. It was like a suspension – but for only half the day. It was a punishment carried over from the following year.
My teacher’s name was Mrs Saunders. I didn’t know her too much, because early in the year she was diagnosed with cancer and had to take time off. The other students knew her better than I did. She was a woman in her sixties who I respected more than all others. There was a no-nonsense granny vibe about her, from the dyed brown hair, the wrinkles, the stoop in her back, the fashion of clothes like she was dressed as a 1950s house wife.
My best friend had gone to high school which meant I had to socialise with the students my age more. There were two groups among the boys, what I would soon label “the loners” and “the cool kids”. I was in the first group and you didn’t need to be friends with the others to be part of it. The two new boys in class quickly became part of the “cool kids”, Adam becoming the cool bully who everyone hated but sucked up to.