As far as favourite childhood memories go, I have quite a number, but my SS1 First Term results-day is definitely number one.
As the son of a very brilliant man who usually topped his class in his days (I remember him telling me how depressed he was when he placed second), and a close friend of the most intelligent guy in the class in our time, I had my inferiority complex battles. My Mum would often seize my PlayStation console, because gaming was my life then and Dad would tell me interesting tales of his time in school to inspire me to be like him – to be as bookish as he was. He’d practise the tenses in English and French with me (I wish I had listened to him then) but I only wanted to return to my League mode on Winning Eleven. I also had lesson teachers in school, so when my mates were imitating Ronaldinho’s recent skills on the pitch after school, I was buried in some scientific crap I wasn’t interested in. We were about 40 in total and my position at the end of term was usually between 16th – 28th. I was okay with this. Heck, me and some of my guys would compete. There was a time one came 19th while I placed 21st so the goal was to beat him the next term, and that was what I did. I beat him; I finished 19th while he came in 21st place.
We transitioned from JS3 to SS1 and till today, I still don’t know what happened to me. I can’t put a finger on what I did exactly that got my test scores up. The switch to long sleeves, perhaps. Anyway, results-day came. There was always a shift in mood from the point of the collection of sealed results to unsealing the results. Some of us ensured we had partied hard enough before knowing our fate. If it was good, we’d hang around and have more fun. If it was bad, we’d find somewhere to sit down to have a moment of intense reflection on our lives. I collected mine and unsealed it. 5th. There must’ve been some mistake somewhere, I thought I had to cross-check like twice to be sure it was mine. At last, I had made my parents proud! At last my position was a single digit! Although four people had finished better than me, to share that space with friends that I looked up to was truly surreal. I listened and sang along to R.Kelly’s World’s Greatest for weeks. I was on top of the world!!