History class at school was never my favourite class. I was more a hands on student, I wanted to learn by making, by creating and by building but thanks to a stupid curriculum that said all kids had to do certain subjects I was stuck in Maths, English and History.
I put up with Maths and English figuring that they were the types of subjects I needed to get jobs when leaving school but History was just downright boring most of the time. I’ll give you an example of just how boring it was.
I was in year eight and as a part of history that year there was a local element, we had to learn all about our local area, the important people, the important changes and the important events. Like most fourteen year olds I thought the history of my home town of Bakresfield was boring and something a kid didn’t need to know. However when it was announced that we were going on an excursion to the town’s clock tower I suddenly got interested, well I got interested in an hour or so away from school at least.
On the day of the excursion we firstly had to endure a walk through of the town’s court house which was on the ground floor of the clock tower building. I wont bore you with all the facts but it was something along the lines of ‘been around since 1756,’ ‘built by yadda yadda yadda,’ ‘fire something 1898,’ ‘rebuilt 1901.’ and a heap of other useless facts.
After the hugely educational trip through the court house our small class of eleven people, including our teacher Mrs Johnston, made their way through to the back room, originally the holding cells and booking rooms where the guilty were dragged after their case was over. It felt a bit weird walking through a room where burglars, thieves, shop lifters and probably murderers spent hours screaming and protesting their innocence, but I kind of liked it.
We were led into the stairwell and up the stairs. We passed the second level which was apparently only used as storage, then we passed the third level, an empty level added only to ensure the clock was the highest point of the whole town and onto the fourth level where the actual clock was installed.
The room felt strange but no worse than the holding cells, however when the ever paranoid Shane Michaels asked if the place was haunted the entire class broke out in laughter easing any feelings of strangeness. What followed for the next twenty minutes was another bunch of hugely important and interesting words, which I no longer remember, about the clock we were standing next to.
With the talk over it was time for us to go outside and walk around the four sides of the tower, apparently to prove to us that the clock tower was in fact the highest point of town. Following our tour guide we all crouched down and made our way through the small personal access door beside the north face clock dial and stepped out into the open air.
Standing on the balcony that covered all four sides of the tower we all hung onto the wrought iron railing and looked out over our town for several minutes. Some of us took in the scenery and some of us asked questions about the clock but I grabbed Shane by the collar with one hand, the waist of the pants with the other and threw him over the balcony.