I'm Ready for my Close Up

I find it fantastic that I'm in this frame of mind. Now that I have started writing these autobiographical snipits I just can't stop, feel like I've opened up a metaphorical tube of Pringles. Now everyday I see something that inspires me to write another episode of my childhood. It's kind of therapeutic, like getting things off my chest. Because of my job I see things that remind me of my childhood everyday. This is because I work in a school and, although children do things slightly different now to ten years ago, I see things that they do that me and my friends used to do.

Today is school photograph day, the day when everyone comes to school looking their best for the camera. You see it in everyone. The children all comes dressed in uniform because their parents want them to look smart for the photo's that they will eventually send to their grandparents for Christmas. The teachers and staff are also all looking their absolute best because they know that their picture will eventually go up and the staff board for al to see.

Something's have changed from when I was in school. Back then, which I will stress was only ten years ago. We used to get a free comb to brush out hair, I used to collect them, we got a different colour every year. The organisation of the event was always really hectic. Some children had their pictures taken alone and others had their siblings and cousins in with them. Then there was the class photo, which was like a huge task in itself. As I was duly reminded today, as I was talking to the school photographer, back ten years ago they used to take pictures using a roll of film. These days they have digital photographs; this means that they get to preview the picture to decide whether or not they want to keep it; so if a child blinks they can retake. Back ten years ago if a child blinked in their school photo, it was tough. So back to my original point, imagine how hard it must have been ten years ago to take a class photo with thirty-odd eyes looking at the camera at the same time, any one of them could blink at any moment

I don't really remember many of my school photos from when I was really young. The school photo I had done when I was in year six was definitely the most memorable. Our head teacher had reminded us in assembly not to forget our permission slips for our school photographs to be taken the following Friday. It would always be the same thing; every year there would be a helpless admin assistant running around the school from class to class before and after school trying to catch parents to sign photograph permission slips. After reminding us to bring them he then went to tell us that there was a special surprise on photograph day and we wouldn't want to miss it. Even in year six, at the age of 10, when you head mast says there is going to be surprise you definitely want to know what it is and you don't want to miss out. I think the admin assistant must have been bored that week because just about everybody in the school had their permission slip in on time.

When Friday came everyone in the school was overly eager to find out what the surprise was. There were all sorts of rumours flying around about what the surprise could be. The most popular rumour was that we were going to get our picture taken with a celebrity guest. Everyone was sat patiently in the class room waiting for the bell to ring twice. If ever there was a special occasion in school the bell would always ring twice. Suddenly we heard it. The whole class lined up in a hurry. We stayed quiet, we knew that if we lined up in a rabble that the teacher would only have to sit back down and do it again, and we didn't want to waste any time. The teacher told us that we were going to be going, not to the hall like we normally do, but out onto the field. This just made us even more curious. As we all stood out on the field on that warm spring day we waited in anticipation. As the head teacher addressed us all he told us that we hall had to wait patiently, our mystery guest was going to be there soon. There was a loud whirring noise coming from over head. We all knew the sound but we didn't know what was coming next.

This next bit I think I'll exaggerate for dramatic effect, even though it was the most exciting thing in the world back then we may need to liven this bit up.

Suddenly the wind began to pick up to tremendous speeds, the grass and the trees rustled frantically. Everyone's hair was blowing and becoming messy (good thing we all had free combs). To our amazement, we saw a helicopter fly into sight and land in the middle of our school field. The idea was that we were all going to have our picture taken in front of the helicopter, individually and as a class. Afterwards our head teacher organised the whole school to stand together to spell out the letters of our school on the field. The photographer went up in the helicopter and took a picture of it and we all got a copy when out photos came back to us (I was in the 'W').

We all thought this was fantastic. It was something new; everybody hates the same old routines that make daily life. We all need something that shakes things up a little, makes life more interesting. We all knew the routine for school photos, but the promise of something more and the excitement and anticipation, well, it made our week. As for the surprise, I don't think any of us could have seen it coming.