I was first aware of my new school to be Adrien-Jeandin, when we first moved to Chapelly. I mean it was hard to miss because the school stood right there right in front of my balcony, blocking the view of the magnificent mountain hiding behind that monotone building. Also, since we moved to Chapelly, we rarely played in the school’s playground because before it was renovated, the playground looked so desolated and did not attract children at all.
From the outside, the school is made of bricks and really looked more like a prison than a school. The only good part about the school was the slide. The slide resembled an endless tube going from the first floor to the ground floor. To enter the slide, you have to enter the mouth of a giant clown. The design of the colourful clown gave this desolated school and playground some much needed life. Somehow, I wasn’t the only one who felt the school needed a major revamp. Therefore, before the new school year, during the last weeks of summer, major works started. I couldn’t wait for the results like everyone else. At last, the playground looked like a playground with swings, wooden animals, and painting on the ground. There was even a paddling pool which was open only during summer holidays.
Despite the major and lovely revamping of the playground, the stoic building still looked like a prison and almost out of place with the new décor. The setting of my new school will also set the tone of my whole year as I felt so trapped with no escape for a whole year. Prior to starting school at Adrien-Jeandin, I met a few future classmates in parks or in the playground. Of course, the friends I made in Marcelly were way better by a mile and irreplaceable.
I missed Marcelly and my friends that I was forced to depart from. I also missed my teacher who allowed us to express ourselves and undoubtedly allowed us to do what we wanted sometimes, well often to be honest. I saw that teacher as a father figure because of his moustache, which I know doesn’t make sense to many people. I missed the gatherings we had when my father was around. It occurred to me that since the brutal departure of my dad, my mum didn’t see many people as much. Despite the void my dad left by leaving us, his legacy was what we enjoyed as a family. He was the one who introduced my mum to Tintin, Asterix. Musically, he introduced us to Whitney Houston, Cesaria Evora as we enjoyed listening to them so much. But the one legacy he has left us was introducing us to Walt Disney films that we watched every new release. Surprisingly, in 1993, there was no new Walt Disney release during the legendary Disney Renaissance.
I must say, the signs of what was to come was the writing on the wall. Then, my instincts came back to haunt me. I became pessimistic and dreading the new academic year. I wasn’t a top student and it daunted me that I would struggle. Also, I was trouble and I knew I would get myself into trouble. Regardless whether I was ready or not, I had to prepare for it in a matter of days as the new academic year was fast approaching like a train.
The D-day has arrived. I was nervous and could hear my heartbeat so loud like a drum. On a very important day, we lost track of time and were late. The one thing we have learned the hard way, was the Swiss do not mess with time. Already that was bad of us to arrive late, it didn’t help that as I was reluctantly walking to my new school, I felt like I was going to get judged and serve a sentence.
First stop, my sister met her new teacher. My sister’s teacher welcomed her with a warm smile. That was so promising for her already and I was green with envy without even yet meeting my new teacher. My sister so far always had lovely and friendly teachers unlike me.
Now, it was my turn to meet my new teacher. The anxiety devoured my whole body and my heart was beating faster which didn’t help. Approaching my new class, which surprisingly was next to my sister’s class was daunting. Then I saw him, my new teacher. Standing tall and strong, he was blocking the door with his arms crossed. He looked more like a prison guard than a teacher. I already felt I was in deep trouble despite not having done a single thing. Behind his glasses, he threw stares at us like daggers. If looks can kill, me and my mum wouldn’t be spared as his stare had no mercy.
Suddenly, my instincts became a prediction of what was coming.