My beginning as a legally recognized individual occurred on August 25, 1987 in Perth, Western Australia. Life began in the suburban area of Ballajura where it was play time every minute of the day. The open areas of the bold green grass comprised with the warm blazing sun fulfilled and created the perfect environment for enjoying the events of daily cricket matches and grazing the backyard with my toy lawn-mower. Many things were accomplishable in one of those days, without possibly even thinking of a factor to worry about. But this innocent lifestyle was to soon come to an end.
The excitement of cricket bats and being surrounded by respectable adults were to be replaced by cold, hard pencils and a sea of immature teasing peers. My parents happy laughs and sentences with words including ‘yes’ were exchanged for demanding taunts of ‘Quick get ready for school’ and the repetitive dawning question of ‘What did you learn today?’. Becoming a prisoner in the life of a student would cause a dramatic change in my life forever…
It was 6:00 when my parent’s alarm clock went off emitting the loud shocking moan and a bright red display, shattering my routine of late sleep-ins. As I turned, the gap between the curtains provided immense light, forcing me out of my warm and comfortable environment and into icy cold and crisp air. The long, strenuous, ever-lasting drive from the familiar boundary of my home seemed to have an infinite time limit. I had never experienced such anxiousness. The cold, stiff atmosphere was in complete contrast to the warm sweat of stress dripping down and drying at the base of my nose.
Year one was the beginning of a development in my life that would never allow me to look back.
“How was school today Simon?” questioned my mother.
“Not good”, “Too Long” I replied as I stamped my school shoes in anger. The red haired teacher that was appointed to blabber to my peers and I was a fiery drill sergeant, screaming orders from the front and eagerly awaiting the chance to spread propaganda about the importance and requirement of an education.
As the dull school terms drew closer and closer to an exciting escape, adjusting my life back to the pre schooling environment I had created for myself seemed like an impossible objective. I had become a convict of the education system, another being in the dark cells known as a classroom, forever to be tortured inside the house of terror. The pedantic pedagogue’s would own my life for years to come.
The strict years of entrapment I experienced suddenly developed into harder, continuous strains of my existence. At school we were assigned and sorted by the time of your stay at the school, in grades from one to six. The kids in grade six were the veterans of the block. They defined your safety, popularity and social status in school.
By now in grade three, I had struggled through to survive half of my sentence at the school. My peers and I were then assigned to a tall, terrorising, robot-like instructor who introduced additional stressful tasks of shoe box projects and recounts of our escapes to home on the weekend. These times forced beckoning for breaks in the increase of organised torture we were assigned, called ‘Homework’. The demanding lifestyle in this period of time was not limited by only teachers, other entrants at the school were always impending to provide verbal and physical expressions to discourage and harm.
The passing of two more years brought me to my final couple of semesters in my sentence at the primary school. Year six brought new hope, a sense of determination to finish and succeed was created; to battle my dampened spirit and reneged approach caused by my past years. As a child attending year six, I was offered new options and attitudes, firstly a reward to attend a lower security camp held in Albany was proposed as well as the freedom to leave the houses of labour to visit the toilet facilities. My six year reside at the penitentiary imposed an extended semi – permamnent frown on my once innocent face. By the end of year six the sad, dawning, artificial fright that was dedicated to me was vanishing. I cleared my dirty, relieved forehead and reflected upon my stay at the institute. My experiences at the school provided me with a sense of accomplishment.
The stay that I experienced at Illawarra Primary School provided me with many attributes. The fun and importance would never be forgotten. As I regained consciousness from the break of brain stimulation caused by the Christmas holidays I realised the next step in overcoming the period of prison life as a student, was enrolling in secondary schooling.