When I was at primary school I was the little girl who was sat (permanently) in the naughty chair, which was situated next to the teacher’s desk and the other naughty chair. That chair was occupied (permanently) by the naughtiest boy. My school reports were boringly similar. Must try harder. Must stop talking. Must concentrate. Must..must..must…
At 13 my mum, probably out of desperation (she had already threatened to leave me on a church step if I didn’t buck up my ideas!), took me along to a lovely all girls private school. I had to pass an exam. I sat it, failed miserably, and was called into the head teachers office. She proceeded to ask me lots of questions, most of which are lost in the echelons of my mind. One stands out on account of my reply. She asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I instantly said a brain surgeon! How she didn’t roll on the floor with laughter and my mum sink to the floor in embarrassment I shall never know. (Remember, I had just done abysmally in the exam). They both showed remarkable restraint.
Miss Hilton, affectionately known within the walls of the school as ‘Hitler’, took somewhat of a shine to me and offered me a place at her school, albeit a year below my age. Maybe she saw something that day, never seen by anyone before; something that told her intuitively that her school might just be what I needed. Whatever the case I remain forever grateful.
I will always remember my first day at her school. I breathed deeply, air filling my lungs along with the utter feeling of belonging. This was home. I felt it with every inch of my being. I never looked back. I was passionate about my school, my friends and my teachers. I threw myself into everything the school had to offer. And I never once was called to sit on the naughty chair!
My school reports were nothing short of miraculous given the contrasting ones at my primary school. By the time I was in the 6th form I was one of eight prefects. Not bad for the girl who had sat in the naughty chair for the first 6 years of her school life. Academically, whilst not quite (or even remotely nearly!) brain surgeon material, I surpassed my family’s expectations and my own. I suspect not Miss Hilton’s however. She always seemed to have full confidence in me.
My brain has always had hyperactive tendencies. In my first school it was seen as something negative, in my second it was seen as something to be harnessed and utilised. I learnt that in order for it, and therefore me, to flourish I needed to keep it busy. Occasionally I’d like an off switch, usually when I can’t get to sleep at night. You see, as a youngster I used to wonder why people bothered with sleep at all. Life was too exciting to miss for a few hours of sleep. I simply couldn’t wait for the next day. And so it is now. Unfortunately as I age my body groans for lack of sleep. My mind however seems to know no bounds.
In order for me and therefore my family to thrive I know that I need to keep busy, otherwise I inevitably get into mischief. I am asked all the time how I manage to do so much with the children. Now you all know. It is a requirement of being me. A survival technique, if you like, to keep me from getting into trouble! And I love it all.
What happens though, when a hyperactive burns out?