Thursday 5 February 1987

…I will be 11 in three hours’ time.
At the moment I have got a terrible earache which is probably an early present.
All the teachers were away on courses today so we had temporary teachers
to put up with.
We got stuck with a French teacher called Mrs Procter.
We spent the whole day doing things connected with French.
Bonjours here, je m’apelles there, and WHAT?s were everywhere.
No-one understood anything except fermez la bouche [sic] which meant
SHUT UP YOUR FACE.
We had to make our own passports in French, say our names in French,
learn the French names for rooms of a house, parts of the body and
the numbers from one to 50.
We were also given different names – French names – to call each other
during the day, but nobody did.
Mine sounded like “guville” or something, but it made everyone go around
calling me Gormy for the rest of the day.
At the end of the day we got certificates for completing all the tasks, but
because I had forgotten my name I didn’t get one and everyone laughed…

Hmm. It seems that every time my diary makes a generalised reference to the rest of my class, it’s always to paint them as some kind of spiteful mob. They weren’t, but I had no reason to write about them when they acted any other way. Most of the time they were just unexceptional people. Only when they behaved exceptionally badly, and with particular malice towards me, did they get a mention.

I’d like to think they didn’t really know what they were doing. But I’d also like to think they did know what they were doing, and just how much it could hurt.

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