Today I walked past this school, which looked so colorful and bright and inspiring and I thought wow, how colorful my imaginings might have been back in my hometown if the Spalding Gleed Girls School had had orange walls and a big crazy statue and goats waiting outside instead of parents.
How different would my life be now if I’d gone to a different school? Or even if I’d lived in a different place growing up? Would I be doing what I’m doing now?
I thought of all the kids who study here and how different their lives are and will be, but ultimately I thought about how a school is just a building, no matter where it is. The real place for learning is out the doors on the streets, in the eyes of the elderly and wise and hungry and ambitious and mean and jealous and daring and generous and amazing. It’s people and circumstance that mould and teach us.
I don’t remember a thing I learnt in my maths class but I remember the feeling of being forced to do something I hated, the smell of the newly printed text books, the outfits my teacher wore and the sound of her voice. I didn’t know at the time but that was just the way my brain worked. It took leaving that building to realise I wasn’t alone and that not everyone can work with numbers.
It took leaving that building to learn the importance of just being myself. We never leave school really. We’re at school until the day we die. We just have to hope the lessons make us better people.