20 October, 2010

Onwards and upwards...

My school (St. Bartholomew's, in Newbury. The BEST school in West Berkshire, at least), got given a government grant two years ago, for a new, purpose-built school just for us. This, for almost any other school (with the exception of possibly Douai (?) Abbey and St. Gabriel's) would be unquestionably a momentous occasion. I mean, It is a privilege to have been chosen to get this grant, and therefore an opportunity for a better school- but I don't like it. The new school, I mean. I know, I know, the process has not been stopped purely for my piece of mind, but there you go; life just is not fair. But anyway, I digress (should I rename this entire blog and theme my posts around something similar to this idea? Pah! I laugh, I joke. This is why I have no friends...). The new school, as it's rapidly becoming known now- it isn't St. Bart's (check out me and my colloquialisms), it's ''The New School''- looks, set among probably one of the only nice parts of Newbury, horribly out of place. Oh yes, of course it's very grand, but it's a horrendous glass and chrome structure with two massive white circus-tent domes for the inside ''hub space''. For goodness' sake, it's a learning environment, not NASA. The other, probably more crucial reason I harbour for disliking this monstrosity is that I have been going to this bizarre, contradictory school for over two years now. In that two years, I have met some stupid, idiotic people that blind me with their sheer ignorance. I have also met the brightest, kindest, funniest friends and one totally amazing boyfriend, none of whom I want to give up anytime soon. Obviously, just having a new school doesn't change any of these relationships, but I feel as if we're leaving a big part of whatever started it behind. If we're going to step forwards into the welcoming, probably silicone arms of ''The New School'' (if I don't say it with such heavy irony, I find that I may cry.) then what is to become of the much-loved Luker and Wormestall sites? At this point, I feel I should elaborate- Luker and Wormestall were originally separate school, the latter being erected earlier. Henry Wormestall, the headmaster of the boys' school, and Miss Luker (first name unknown...at least, by me anyway.) finally died (not at the same time; although that would be rather cool, in a sort of latter day Romeo-and-Juliet fashion, both hearts throbbing with unrequited and forbidden love. But then, hey, I'm a romantic.), and both schools (Newbury School for Boys and Newbury Girl's Grammar School) merged in 1979. Both buildings have seen tons of history over the years, and despite it only being forty years since the merger that made Newburian history (which, admittedly is not hard. I spoke ill of the town the other day, they're planning a martyred ceremony in which they plan to strap me to a post, much like Joan of Arc. No, just kidding- they're only taking away my library privileges. PHEW. I swear, it's going to make headlines for months), both sites now feel like they've been there forever. They feel so lived in, so utterly homely. It's so easy to slip into a routine, and the school does seem daunting at first, but what with it's resplendent staircase, enormous glass windows with rose-stained patterns and old, old tiles on the walls, you feel like you're inside a communal museum...albeit one of education...eeeeuuuurgh, as my brother would say. By moving into the new school, we loose all of this precious history, and all of the memories that accompany the school. With the new school, generations of memories are going to be wiped out in one fell swoop by the cold, merciless wrecking ball. This is a matter I didn't even know I felt so strongly about until the subject was broached. But I do; I'm actually an incredibly sentimental person...well, I like to think so...well, I don't really think so but hey. I don't abide by the saying ''out with the old, in with the new'' because we can't progress without the knowledge we have collected over the years. It's just a shame really. And tomorrow is my last ever day in the Luker site, which I do find rather sad. I'll post some pictures of it by and by, in all it's classic Newbury glory.

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