The First (and only) ‘Best Planner Signer’… 1997

It was the final year with Mrs Sutton as the teacher for form 9S.

We had been with her since 5S (so four years).  And as each year went by we gradually molded into one of the better class groups in the school.

Next we would be in Year 10 and so we would be getting a teacher that specialised in the ‘older’ children.

What started as the ‘most ignorant class’ she had ever had the misfortune of teaching, proved to be a sad day.

As an adult now – I really hate the education system, in reflection I felt like it  did nothing to helping the aspirations of the next generation, in many ways it felt like a state required baby sitting service.

But credit to Mrs Sutton she took a very nervous, neurotic, shy child and turned him into a not so nervous, but still shy child.  It doesn’t seem much but it was enough to get me through to the next level and for that I am eternally grateful.

However one error on her part was from the last form class.  She gave each child some unique ‘novelty’ award certificate.

They ranged from esteem boosting ‘Most likely to be a professional sports person’ which went to the sporty kid.

To joke awards such as ‘Romance of the year’ for a relatively nice, normal girl who had got into a relationship with the school bad-boy, arsehole (Authors note: it should really have clicked then that girls/young women don’t like nice boys).

It was fun listening to all the awards and as she worked her way down to my surname I had been daydreaming what certificate I would get.

“Best planner signer…” she announced and as I walked up to the front of the class to some very unenthusiastic applause I couldn’t help but think “Is that the only thing you could think about me?”

PD3 SPREAD 11-12

Planner signing BTW was a system used by my school, where a signature was required from a parent every week to see record  of any homework, detention and other things

I went home and my mum saw my certificate – because my award was so average and boring, the fun nature of the awards ceremony had been lost on her and she told me to keep it safe as it would look good on my CV if I applied to go to college.

I could not get over how uninteresting my award was.  Was I really that dull?

I was pretty average at school – average grades, average sportsman, average looks, average popularity, average behaviour.  But there had to be something more interesting to say about me?

As an adult if I got a similiar sort of award I would probably do something to be more interesting, but as I was a kid I didn’t learn anything from the experience and went home and played video games.

It was only about six years later when I was stuck in an average dead end job that I realised the importance of having extra curricular interests and the importance of self-improvement.

I also think that little incidents like this have built up in me, making me competitive, wanting to strive for the best, or even worse… for perfection.

Now I am grown up, I still find things like this bother me.  And that is why I will never be average again.

Until next time

James

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2 thoughts on “The First (and only) ‘Best Planner Signer’… 1997

    1. Thanks for the comment. It seemed a bizarre thing to remember, I’d like to think if novelty awards were being given out again I would get something a little more interesting… 🙂

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