Apologies for lateness, but John's been sent home from school and so I haven't been able to post until now. This led me to thinking about being off of school as a child.
I wasn't a sickly child in the slightest. If I was off of school it was for a reason, and so the teachers knew that something was wrong. One of my earliest memories of being off school was about age 6 or 7, when a bully in my sister's year decided it would be funny to smash my head against a drain cover. It's one of the only times in my life I have ever been knocked out, and I got taken to the terrifying Mrs. Robbins' (the head) office where they even made a bed for me to lie on whilst my mother came to collect me. Can you imagine the law suits that would follow today if this happened now?
In Junior school, I seem to remember being off for the usual "squits," or one time going to North Wales for the weekend and not being able to return in time, so I was excused by my father. IN my last year I had made the mistake whilst on a weekend trip to our caravan in Andover of playing in the site's swimming pool all day Saturday, and by the Monday morning I looked like a human pizza, with cheesy special sauce emanating from the large pustules on my shoulders.
It was probably in the second year of secondary school that I decided I didn't like school any more. It didn't help that on Monday mornings for the first two hours I'd have my worst teacher, who I hated and she hated me. My mum would come in every Monday morning, and I'd play the "My tummy hurts" card again and again. I genuinely developed cystitis ("Does your pee burn?" - "I dunno, I haven't put a match to it.") around the same time, and had problems with my kidneys, so I also played this card, absolutely flaunting it to death. Another way to get off of school was conjunctivitis. I could make my eyes water at will, so on account of it being contagious, my teacher would repeatedly send me home. I had also found that my artistic skills were now coming to the fore as I could fake my own letters from my mother, and bunk off. My second year in school wasn't particularly productive.
Probably the last time I was genuinely ill in school would have been my last week of the third year. I'd turned up as normal on the Monday morning, but felt like crap. By 11 I'd been sent home again, with suspected tonsillitis. I spent the next week dying, and most of the summer holiday suffering as well. Upon return to school in September, I found that I didn't need a note to excuse me from school. This meant I wasn't there for the last week of term for the next two years.
The ability to fake illness was no longer needed in my eyes, and now at college my attendance was truly dreadful. Be it going to the pub instead of 'quantitive methods' was far more favourable, and having a job meant that I could also sacrifice the lesser needed subjects (in my eyes) for earning real cash money.
Now I'm self employed, I have to think twice about being ill. And phoning up the boss to feign sickness really is pointless, because the boss always knows when I'm lying.
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