As the end of my awful time at Adrien-Jeandin was looming, I tried my best to make the most of it. I knew no one would miss me, especially the teacher. Frankly, I wouldn’t miss everyone myself. All I had was hurtful memories so far.
Our teacher’s mood started to change slightly, although he would still get angry occasionally. I am sure the fact my mum signed the papers for me to change schools perhaps made him happier? Who knows really. In a way, I felt guilty that things didn’t work out. My teacher and I didn’t mix simple just like oil and water. No one was fighting my corner for sure, even there was one boy who was as naughty as me, and apparently the teacher even slapped because he was just nonstop naughty, but yet somehow, he managed to stay on. I reckon because he was white, they simply let him stay. Well, I was obviously worse and being mixed raced didn’t help obviously.
Our teacher was planning our trip. One thing I realised, for the past few years, we would go on trips (ski trips included) always discovering Switzerland. Despite my awful experiences, Switzerland as always offered a great sightseeing, for tourists and for its residents. Switzerland, no matter the rough time I have experienced, offered escapes with the beautiful mountains. I certainly always savoured the view. Our teacher informed us we will go to Ovronnaz. Before our quick getaway, we all had work to do; we had to raise funds for the trip, so sell booklets (designed by ourselves) for the trips. We had to ensure all of our booklets were sold. What a great way to start our trip! Our art teacher would join us too apparently. What a relief as she was the only nice person in that school. Most importantly, the only teacher there who liked me.
As we were making our final preparation to go to Ovronnaz, our teacher requested us to all bring a board game and some books too. We would be travelling by train and it was a 2 hours’ journey. Before we even get the train, our teacher said he will ensure he will check we all brought what has been requested (he made a list of things we must take with us). I felt like we were going to a military camp. Also, we had to be at school; 8 am sharp!
I was so excited to go on the trip; I am sure we all were. As we arrived at school at 8 sharp, the teacher controlled we had everything, especially the board games and books. We first took a coach to go to the train station Cornavin. Once we were in the train, someone suggested we played a game of cards. Of course, we were all excited for the trip and couldn’t contain our excitement. I always get carried away per usual, I think that day I was even more excited because I foolishly thought since we are not inside the school, the teacher could not treat us harshly. I was wrong! He came over and shouted at us especially me. We spent the rest of the journey in silence. The silence was deafening especially in our carriage! I probably took my book to read or admired the view in the train. Once we arrived, I took the beautiful scenery in. I closed my eyes to just smell and taste this delicious view. Once my hungry eyes opened, I devoured the whole scenery in one go. I am sure everyone thought I was nuts; I just didn’t care.
The fact is, Ovronnaz, just like many areas of Switzerland, is simply beautiful. Switzerland is exactly what it says on the tin; gorgeous. Standing there and admiring the view brings me back so many memories, especially when I first came to live in Switzerland how the beautiful scenery was so mesmerizing.
As we made our way to the hotel, which included a swimming pool and a tennis court, I must admit, we were spoiled, our teacher quickly set up some rules. We had to bring our books and board games to him at once and go to our rooms for further instructions. Failure to obey or follow his instructions would result in a severe punishment. Before we went out, we were reminded once again of his extreme expectations and our room were inspected fully. The one thing about Swiss people, they are very organised, clean and punctual.
Overall, I must admit, we had a great time there. Towards the end however, we experienced few blips.
It all started one afternoon, we were all given a packed lunch of a sandwich, a fruit, some crisps and some juice. We all ate our packed lunch except for 2 unfortunate classmates who were about to face the full wrath of our teacher. He demanded to know who didn’t finish their packed lunch and worse, who had the audacity to throw it in the bin? No one came forward. Somehow, he uncovered the culprits and he forced them to finish their sandwich (that was in the bin a moment ago). They also faced the punishment of not using the swimming pool and some other fun activities. I was glad for once; I wasn’t the one punished. However, when we were looking forward to use the swimming pool, I forgot my swimsuit at the hotel. I remember the teacher grabbed my bag to check if I was telling the truth and checked it himself. I wasn’t allowed to stay in my room nor take a book. I was forced to watch my classmates enjoying the pool, water toys and water slides along with my other 2 classmates who were punished.
I wonder if our art teacher even knew how strict our teacher actually was. She was probably oblivious. One day, she would witness first-hand how strict our teacher actually was.
We were finally using the tennis court; I have been looking forward to that day. Our teacher informed us he would quickly come back as we were told to set up the nets. Once we finished that, we were waiting still for ages. Since the art teacher was looking at us moping around, she told us to use the tennis rackets and play in pairs. I knew it was a bad idea, but the art teacher encouraged us to just play whilst we were waiting instead of moping around. Slowly, we took the rackets and were about to start playing when suddenly our teacher was marching towards us. We shouted that no one gave us the authorization to use the rackets and especially his rackets and demanded for us to put them down. As he was berating us for not listening to him, we turned to our art teacher for some support or for her to back us up. Nothing. She probably was so shocked and paralyzed on the spot in the way our sergeant was speaking to us that she decided to not even breath a word. I was so disappointed as it was not our fault, but it is what it is. The tennis session was certainly ruined and we didn’t have fun in the end. For the rest of the stay, we did some hiking, some bike riding and as always I would get told off to the point I started ignoring my teacher a bit.
For the final evening, we were treated to a disco and as per usual, I would dance on my own. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast and it was time to return to Geneva. I would miss Ovronnaz, but at the same time, I just couldn’t wait to return home to my mum and away from this evil monster I have of a teacher.
It seems we didn’t learn our lesson first time around. We played another card game and once again, we all got carried away. The teacher, once again told me off more harshly this time. I take it he was feeling exhausted after the week-long trip we had or was fed up of me. I must say, I always push the wrong buttons with him. Out of nowhere, I started to cry as confusion and humiliation ate me alive. A few classmates comforted me. I was just tired of my teacher, tired of being always blamed for things, tired of his severity, tired of the injustice I always had to face with him and overall tired of this teacher. I must say, I bottled it all up for the whole year and I was finally letting it all out. A weight has been lifted in the process. The rest of the journey back, I was on my own while everyone else was either chatting, reading or even playing. I just didn’t bother and wanted to be left alone which wasn’t so hard as I only made one friend who gelled with people so well, better than I ever could. She was staying on at the school and I wasn’t.
I recognised Geneva, as we were getting closer. I was exhausted. The only relief I had was that this misery was soon over. For once, I think my teacher did the right thing in wanting me out of the school. Even the last 2 months seemed like an eternity and I knew there were more bumps on the road ahead.