It's Storytelling Sunday over at Sian's blog and she invites each of us to choose an object of item that's precious to us and share its story - you can head over there and read lots of wonderful contributions. My items today are free and readily available, beautiful, shiny and they won't last. But they evoke Autumn like nothing else and my little collection is now sitting on my kitchen table.
It’s conker season and the playground is heaving with them. Unfortunately, snowball rules apply: no throwing, picking up or even touching of conkers is permitted on school grounds. Punishment is swift and undiscriminating. Detention. So of course the day after this rule is proclaimed, I find one of my Year 7s squatting in the playground between lessons, shuffling and scuffling and grubbing around on the floor looking for prize conkers. I waited until he straightened up which put him face to face with me. Or it would have done if he were taller. And his face was a picture. He accompanied me to my office and I asked him if he was allowed to pick up conkers? No. And what happens to boys caught picking up conkers? Detention. So he knew the rules. Did he understand why I was so disappointed? Yes, because he had been breaking school rules and he had been collecting conkers when he should have been going straight to lessons. But he liked to collect conkers and like any small boy, he couldn’t bring himself to leave such riches strewn about the ground going to waste.
Tears were streaming silently down his face and I felt like a conker Nazi kicking a baby squirrel. In the end, I didn’t have the heart to give him a full Head of Year detention (1 hour after school, parents informed by formal letter) and I gave him a scant 20 minutes at lunchtime. Damn school policy. Conkers are lovely and autumnal and are irresistibly shiny and ripe for the taking and I’m surprised that more of my little lads haven’t succumbed. The seven pretty specimens nestled in my desk draw gathered hastily during a free period attest to the fact that none of us are immune to the allure :D
This story will form part of my Project Life experiment for October. It's interesting to see how the change in seasons affects what we do in school.
P.S. Don't tell anyone that I'm a soft touch.