I am forever in debt to a teacher who I neither enjoyed the presence of, nor her class.
However, many years ago, she gave me an opportunity to strengthen my imagination, which has created unforgettable memories later in life.
In early primary school, I found that paying attention in class – especially mathematics – became arduous when I had no interest in what occurred in the room.
I started daydreaming – not as a pass-time activity, but as a way to survive monotonous classes. My mathematics teacher tried tremendously hard to gain my attention. She attempted everything humanly possible – sitting me at the front, cold calling me in class, and sitting me away from friends.
To no avail.
Her biggest mistake was placing me near a window in sight of the various people commuting to work in the early morning. This enabled me to imagine the elaborate lives of strangers as undercover agents in broad daylight, or maybe even police officers circling the premises before making their big bust. That was the first real inspiration for my imagination – strangers going about their day-to-day lives.
Later in my primary school journey, I started adapting the plots of various authors I was reading when completing writing assessments. My teachers were none the wiser.
In most instances, I would implement an element from a memorable storyline and adapt it to fit the prompt presented; e.g. ‘The Power of Friendship’, or ‘Where does the tunnel lead to?’
They were broad topics I could put my own spin on. I enjoyed figuring out how I could tweak plots that I didn’t find interesting from popular books while plucking out elements from other stories that I liked to create some sort of hybrid.
As I grew older, I steered away from plagiarizing popular authors and focused more on adapting the stories that I came up with during class time.
My friends – unbeknownst to them – became the protagonists in the “live-action adaptions”. When the teachers left their posts at break times, we would stage epic battles of valiant fighting, utilizing sticks as swords and deflated balls as shields. I let my imagination run wild during break times. I think that’s what I miss the most from my primary school experience.
Last year in June, my history class held a trip to Tasmania – a memorable trip for all the wrong reasons. The worst of it was an unfortunate hike to a beautiful waterfall. It happened to be that we were in complete darkness for hours as we hiked whilst harassed by the rain. Not ideal in the slightest. Even the most athletic kids in the class complained about their aching legs.
To try and put my mind at ease – away from thinking about not making it back to Melbourne in one piece – I took enjoyment out of tormenting my friends with bad jokes and stories that I came up with on the spot. None of them were any good, but it did motivate my friends to climb faster (probably to drone me out).
My love for storytelling has always been present throughout my life.
I hope that in the future, I can continue to nurture my love for stories.