Mr Lindsey shuffled into the classroom a few minutes late after the lunchtime bell rang out. He had been at St Puberts for many years because my dad said that he had Mr Lindsay when he attended the school back during the 1990s. He was a slim man with poor posture so slouched in his chair when teaching the class. He rarely stood up, only to scribble something on the old blackboard if nobody understood what he was saying. He must have been partially deaf because he never could hear the chatter from the back rows in the classroom. St Puberts had many old teachers, mostly male, that had been in the school for many decades. My Dad always was surprised to see the same teachers that he had teaching him when he was a student.
Not only were the teacher’s old and stale but the classrooms were never updated. The place was as dull as an abandoned prison at night. We only had a whiteboard in one of the classrooms because the old blackboard had fallen off the wall due to a small earth tremor we experienced a few years ago. Blackboards are not made any more, so the school bought the only option available, a whiteboard. We liked this particular classroom because it felt more up to date than the rest of the school. The walls in the classrooms and corridors were a faded blue colour that had many black scuff marks where children purposefully ran their black sole shoes along the bottom to see how much rubber they could take off. In summer it was too hot to concentrate because the sash windows were either broken or sealed shut with paint or bubble gum. There was a ceiling fan in the room but most of the time they only operated on the lower setting making a wishing noise similar to a dog panting after a long run. Nobody ever wanted to sit under it because we all were afraid it was going to fall down. We all feel sorry for the kid who comes late to class because we didn’t have seating allocations and the seat directly underneath the fan was commonly called the “you’ll be sorry seat”.
St Puberts school seems to be largely forgotten about by the education department because no new funding ever came its way to modernize the facilities. Instead, it was a run down, ugly and hideous building that we couldn’t wait to get away from every day we attended school. There were rumours we were relocating to the east side of the town where a large parcel of land was earmarked for a new state of the art modern high school. It seemed hard to believe that we would ever see this happen but maybe my children, when I eventually have them, would attend the new and improved St Puberts school for the mentally challenged.
Third time lucky I say for my family. Dad and I had the old run-down version and my future offspring would, hopefully, be a part of something much better than what we both had. I’m not holding my hopes high for this to happen anytime soon. Out with the old and in with the new is what my grandfather used to say. St Puberts pupils prefer new and modern too old and glum.