Tues Feb II
First day of school! Took Karen to the MainDonalds and then walked with Evan and his friend Keegan to school. Went into Assembly. Sent to be put into classes. I’m in Mr Beechey’s class, 4Bc, with another new boy – MICHAEL GREGORY. A boy in my class from Liverpool – NATHAN GAUNT* – showed me about. We ate our lunches in the First Aid Room, where Nathan works in the break. He told me about what you could get in England that you couldn’t get here – like Walnut Whips! When the bell went we went back to our room – A8 I think! Then we were let out at about 1.50. I came home and went swimming. This evening I had a phone call from the cricket master at MAG. He wants me to go to a fielding practice tomorrow and, if I’m good enough, play in a match against the second XI on Saturday.
Trains = 28
(*time to confess that I mis-remembered Nathan’s name by the time that it came to write up my diary and had to go back and correct it the next day)
Why did Karen go to the Maindonald’s? I don’t know. I know that I was the only one who started school that day, with the other three beginning later in the week. Did they have a daughter for her to play with? I really can’t remember.
Evan Maindonald was a dark haired geeky kid, a bit like the main character in The Inbetweeners now that I come to think of it. He was into things such as chess and Dungeons & Dragons, or in other words the complete antithesis of me. Kegan – for that was how his name was spelled – was small and fair haired and seemed, at least, to have some of the same interests as me. Despite this, I was disappointed not to be placed in the same class as the two of them.
The classes were streamed on ability. Our year was taken by Mr Douglas to an outdoor seating area – it may have been a stand next to the main rugby pitch, but I was so disoriented that I didn’t really take in where it was and I never went there again – so that he could read out the lists of who was in which class.
I managed not to endear myself to him in two ways. The first was by not being able to make him understand the way that my school in Leamington had streamed us. Essentially, at MAGS they placed everyone in one form according to ability and that class would have five of the seven subjects together – English, Maths, Science, Social Studies and PE – and only break apart for two option subjects. By contrast, in Leamington you kept the same form – or ‘tutor group’ – throughout the school but were then streamed into another group for all of your science-based lessons and another for all of your art-based ones.
This all baffled Mr Douglas and he ended up deciding that I fitted into the form one below the top stream, which suited me even though I had been in the top stream at home. I then irritated him further by promptly forgetting which form that was. He patiently explained again that I would be in form 4Bc and my teacher would be Mr Beechey.
Meeting Nathan and the cricket phone call were definitely the high spots of the day, but I’ll return to both of those topics in the next few days.