Narrative Summary of an Adolescent’s Recollections of School
Below is the narrative summary of a 16 year old adolescent’s recollections of school. For reasons of confidentiality, some of the details have been changed.
My first memory is running down the road with my mother when I was four or five years old. There was me, and my mum and dad. My dad was running backwards ahead of us. Another memory is from when I was at nursery. I remembers falling off the climbing frame and hitting my head. I can still remember the shock and my mum coming to pick him up and taking me to the doctor. I now live with my mum and younger brother. My parents split up well before I went to primary primary school.
I think that my time at Greenside primary school were the best years of my life. I had proper friends and I did not get into any trouble and the teachers were great. At primary school I was well behaved and I was allowed to be creative (which was not the case at secondary school). For me primary school was like a fence on which I could grow whereas at secondary school they want you to be a conformist. After primary school I transferred to Johnston Secondary School. I found the difference between primary and secondary to be immense. At secondary school you are left to fend for yourself. At the same time I liked and enjoyed the additional freedom and I now think that I liked the freedom but found it difficult to cope with the responsibility.
In year 7 and to some extent in year 8 I found the work relatively easy and it was quite relaxed. Then in year 9 the amount of work increased dramatically and I did see the point of all this increased effort so I reacted against it. At the time I also hang out with my friend a lot and I was all gassed up. I was popular and did acted the Big I Am which got me into a lot of trouble.
I now see things differently. I do understands how important it is to work hard at school. At the time, however, [ early adolescence ] I was enjoying my freedom and having fun. I wanted to be free and learning came into it as well. What I was not ready for was having to learn in a certain way because it is important for the rest of your life. When you are 11 it does not occur to you that you may have a hard life because you do not work hard. Although I may not have listened at the time if somebody had told me this, I also thinks that I did not get enough support and that if someone had taken the time to sit down with me I may have changed. However, at secondary school they don’t take the time to help you. They want you to be just so. I also think it was difficult because I wanted to be a man. I would not do the work and question things and I got into trouble, a lot, for arguing. I wanted to speak out and oppose a lot of things.
I was permanently excluded in June 2012 when I was in year 9 for having a fight with another boy. The incident was not that big but I realise that it came on top of a whole lot of stuff that had been going on before. At the time I did not expect to be permanently excluded even though I had been warned a few times before that this could happen. When I look back on it I used to feel annoyed and now I don’t care. What’s done is done and it cannot be undone.