Tag Archives: Education

My First Fag

Nope, this story is not about the first guy I got with. It is about the first cigarette I properly smoked.

Until the age of fourteen, I moved around an awful lot. While attending school in England, I was a trouble maker and terrible in school. Essentially, I was a cool kid. When I moved to Ireland, I underwent a personality transplant. My English accent alienated me from the other students. The fact I was well spoken and could hold a conversation with the teacher meant I was a nerd. I went with it. I was never overly happy, but it didn’t weigh down on me terribly. 

Popularity didn’t concern me until I was in secondary school. In third year, before my Junior Certificate, I decided I wouldn’t work as hard as I could. I wanted to stop doing well in work so that I would be on the same level as the no brainers with whom I shared a class. I didn’t pay attention or cooperate with teachers. The peak of my plan involved buying a packet of cigarettes. I bought a packet of Silk Cut and put them in my pocket, careful to remove at least one so it didn’t look brand new.

One day, while walking from school with another pupil from my class, he said he needed to buy cigarettes. I whipped out my packet and offered him one. He declined and didn’t comment any further. The following week, other students were talking of the scandal of me smoking. It was then I realised, if my plan were to come to fruition, I would need to actually smoke a cigarette in front of the ‘cool’ students. I would teach myself to smoke.

I had heard of some smokers “not smoking properly” since they didn’t inhale. I aimed to do this. One day, in a cubicle of the toilets, I lit up and took a few drags. At first it wasn’t too bad. I should learn to hold the smoke, I thought. I took a deep drag on the cigarette and inhaled a lungful of nicotine. I held it for as long as I could. Suddenly, my eyes started to dim and I felt dizzy. I gasped for air, avoiding a total black out. Noise of coughing and hard spluttering filled the cubicle. I had nearly suffocated myself.

That was the end of my hopes of coolness.


Hair Cut Gives Him the Cut

While lying in bed early this morning, the DJ of my favourite morning show debated a story that had broken recently. Apparently, a secondary-school student had been rewarded €3,500 by the Equality Tribunal for his treatment in a school he formerly attended. It was reported the student had been sent home because his hair style was non-compliant with school rules; ‘it was longer than collar length’. The school asked the student to cut his hair. The student refused. The radio show debated the harm in allowing school pupils to wear their hair as they pleased. The host asked where the harm lay in allowing students to express individuality. I was gradually awakening at this stage. After processing the information, I thought back to my school days. Guys in my school were often sent home for bleaching their hair. A school principal in the same town sent students home for having tight hair (any thing cut with a blade one or less). I discussed this matter with Boyfriend. We agreed it was pathetic.

Time passed and the news article was reported in further detail. The news report described the manner in which the school had asked the student to cut his hair. The vice-principal had told the student he was sporting “a girl’s hair style”. To make matters worse, all these trivial events took place while the student was studying for his Leaving Cert (his final exams). This incensed me. The school’s superior’s thought the trivialities of a student’s hair cut to outweigh the student’s performance in his exams. The school thought their fascist opinions on the art of coiffeur gave them the right to add emotional trauma to the already turbulent adolescent mind. Who do these people think they are? For the love of God, why are these people allowed contact with society? Why are these “teachers” allowed contact with our children? I wouldn’t permit individuals like these to train my fleas to perform tricks, never mind educate my children.