In September, I started grade one at Alexandra School. I had a big crush on my teacher, Miss Thompson, and I worked hard to be first in her class, but I was always beat out by a skinny little blonde girl called Phyllis. She was always first.
I really admired Phyllis and to get her attention, I would shove her down and wash her face with snow. Definitely not the right approach!
Coming to school one day, I got into a fight with some boys who were throwing stones. Now, it was well known that fighting was not tolerated and that anyone who did got the strap.
Miss Thompson caught me hitting one of the boys and told me I was to stay and see her after school, so I spent the afternoon knowing what was coming.
After the class left, she came back into the classroom with the strap and set it on her desk and told me to wait in the cloakroom.
After what seemed to be an eternity, she came out, stood at the end of the hall. She stood at the end of the room, the dreaded strap hanging from her hand.
“Come here, Lyn,” she said, as she motioned me to come to her. I had never had the strap before and as I approached slowly and hesitantly, I felt a strange and frightening feeling. She quietly, calmly and sternly lectured me on the wrongness of anger and fighting.
Then, “Hold out your hand.” I was determined not to cry but I can tell you it hurt. However, there was also a strange sense of excitement and, while I did not understand it at the time, a pleasurable feeling.