Though you can probably remember your first (quite teary) first day of primary school, the rest of it seems like a blur of ties and finger on lips.
We tend to look back on our days in “big school” fondly, there’s a lot that we forget about.
All the little things that made going to an Irish primary school so unique.
Almost everyone will recognise at least one of these things:
1. Being in awe of the teachers speaking Irish to one another
You tried your best to understand them, but you could never follow them.
2. Feeling like you were hearing gossip when there was an intercom announcement
You felt like you were being let in on a state secret.
3. Welcoming a passing teacher like they were a guest
You just wanted them to stay and talk to your teacher for ages.
4. Having to line up to go anywhere
Literally anywhere. Out to the yard, to go to assembly, come back into the classroom.
You could not move if you weren’t in a linear fashion.
5. Fingers on lips
Putting your finger on your lip was key. To anything.
Once you put your finger on the lip, you were sorted.
6. The pure joy of getting to ring the bell
Five minutes out of the classroom and the sense of responsibility?
7. The stress of wearing anything other than your uniform
Be it non-uniform day, Halloween or dress up day.
We could not handle it.
The cure to all.
9. The innovation for the nativity costumes
Tea-towels on our heads. Genius.
10. Teachers saying “téigh a chodladh”
When all they really wanted was a break for themselves.
11. Muzzy Mór
— Féile na Gealaí (@FeilenaGealai) March 7, 2017
12. The iconic school books
Tara and Ben, Busy at Maths, all of the Fonn Irish books.
And of course…
The book, the songs. Everything.
14. Weekly spelling tests
You would recite the word in your head over and over again, only to forget it at the last second.
15. The Sex Ed video
Terribly uninformative and incredibly awkward.
16. The Drumcondra tests
Those mysterious tests that came around once in a while that you never, ever got your results for.
17. The ecstasy when a teacher would wheel the TV into the room
Only to realise you’re getting The Talk.
18. Going all out for the 6th Class disco
Getting a date, ignoring each other all night and, if you’re lucky, a bit of slow dancing.
19. Forming a new club with your friends every day
The membership was strict AF and you had to earn your way in.
20. The school “library”
Which was literally a shelf of books.
21. Having a tap in the classroom
22. Panicking about who you would sit beside on the school tour
Especially if your group of friends was an odd number.
23. Minding the younger students
And feeling like God as you walk them down to the church in the village.
Oh, the creations you could make back in the day.
25. Cheering when you hear your teacher is out
26. The nature table
Complete with random twigs you found on the way to school and all.
27. The utter silence when the principal walked in
You felt guilty even if you were actually doing your work.
28. And saying ‘slán leat agus go raibh maith agat’ in a dead person’s voice when they left the room
As you breathed with relief that you survived the encounter.
29. That one person who never shared his colours
So many prayers, for every different occasion.
31. Wearing casual clothes and bringing in sweets for the end of year party
It was like Christmas in your classroom.
32. Full on brawls in the playground over Pokemon cards
Friendships were broken and wounds were sustained.
33. Arguing with friends in other schools over the use of Yard V Playground
Spoiler: playground is the right term.
34. Bringing in a “treat” every Friday
And making sure your treat was waaay better than everyone elses.
35. Ham sandwiches
Some lucky feckers got Nutella sandwiches, but you got stuck with ham.
36. Calling it “big school” when you first started primary school
You thought you were a real adult.
37. The colourful plastic toys
Specifically the bears and paper clips.
38. Making “art” on Fridays
You can make everything with your hands dipped in paint.
39. Getting an ice pack no matter the injury
The first aid kit was literally an ice pack.
Wrapped in a cloth.
40. The floor
The itchy carpet and lino that was perfect for sliding on.
“Math Hall” carpet has been replaced in classrooms at Paul H. Pewitt High School. Looking great! pic.twitter.com/GoIgv0lvGo
— Pewitt CISD (@Pewitt_CISD) June 13, 2017
41. Strutting around after winning at Sports Day
42. Accusing people of cheating when you didn’t win at Sports Day
How else could you lose?!
43. The ridiculous rules
Like having “indoor” and “outdoor” shoes.
44. Only being allowed on the grass during Spring
It was too mucky any other time.
45. Learning life skills
46. The pure disgust at having to spend break inside when it was raining
But sometimes you got to play games, so silver linings and all that.
47. When one kid got sick, so did everyone else
48. The huge roll books the teachers used
You could only imagine the secrets it held.
49. The comedian in the class who would say something else instead of “anseo”
“Cillian?” “Maybe, Miss!”
50. Learning how to write joined writing
51. Graduating to a fountain pen
But you’d spend your time using those magic correcter pens.
52. Praying you wouldn’t get that one teacher next year
But yet, you always did.
53. Destroying your school shirt on the last day of school
You needed everyone to sign it.
54. Having to invite everyone to your birthday party
But it meant more presents, so you never really complained.
55. The mortifying moment you called your teacher “mam” by accident
You never live it down.
56. Going to aboslute town on the school fair
Second hand puzzle game with three pieces missing? Yes please!
57. Practising dance routines at lunch
Mini Britney Spears, so you were.
58. Using these bad boys to protect your precious snacks
And no, I won’t share.
Remember the days you made all the kids jealous with your pringle case?? pic.twitter.com/441AD0uOYJ
— Jodie Gibson (@missgibsonx) October 31, 2014
59. The joy when your teacher brought you back presents from their holidays
60. And finally, sharpening your pencils at the bin and having a small council meeting with your mates
The most urgent matters were discussed here.
Those were the days.