Wednesday, September 7, 2011

10-year Reunion: Founder’s Day at School

Entrance to Clarendon High School

It was a chilly Friday morning when I arrived at Clarendon High School with 3 friends. On the way into the school, we met Mrs Carol Forward my Std 3 Bible Education teacher. I remember Mrs Forward sitting on a chair while we sat cross-legged on the floor engrossed in the Bible stories she told us. I loved Mrs Forward and she gave the best hugs ever.

We were taken to a white marquee on the field where the assembly would take place and were shown where we would be seated. On our way there, we walked through one of the two quads and walking out of the staff room was Virginia, one of the maintenence workers. We hugged and it was so heartwarming to know that she actually remembered me! I also met the legendary Biology teacher, Mr Currin who to my surprise, greeted me with, Makhan. Sheetal Makhan!

Hearing Mr Nel and Miss Rose speak behind the podium brought back so many Founders Day memories of sitting on the hard wooden floor in the hall, being asked to Please stand and Please be seated. Singing the hymns again opened a flood gate of memories. I was always proud to be known as a Clarendonian and the I felt the same pride wash over me on that day.

After assembly, the guests congregated in the school hall where we drank tea, had snacks and mingled. Reaching for a snack across the table, I heard someone say my name, Sheetal. It was Mr Deutschmann, my Travel and Tourism teacher.

I adored Mr Deutschmann and this is why:

During my high school career, I was involved with almost every club and society and in my matric year I was a bit overwhelmed with all I had to do. There was a particular project that I was working on for Travel and Tourism about the Wonders of the World. I finished my assignment way beyond time, but hadnt printed it yet. I guess my famous line of Technology Hates Me started from way back then because something happened that was out of my control and I lost my entire project. When I told Mr D about it, he sat me down at my desk and drew a pyramid for me. He explained about lifes priorities. First, is my health if I dont have my health, I have nothing else...I cant look after my family and wont be productive in anything I do.

Mr D
Its something Ive taken with me in my life from that moment Mr D spoke to me in class.

When I met Mr D at Founders Day, I reminded him about that all important life-lesson he taught me. He didnt have a recollection of it, but I guess thats the impact teachers have on their students without knowing it.

After tea in the school hall, we walked around the school and visted some of our old classrooms. How did we fit into those little wooden desks?!

I felt so excited and happy on the way home. I felt rejuvenated after seeing old friends and teachers again.

With Virginia
With Mr Currin (Biology) and Mrs Felton (English & Matric) 

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