When I was in Year 9

Hey Rose,

Hmm, you asked me to write about what life was like when I was in Year 9 – the truth is I don’t remember much about specific years in high school – apart from Year 7 and 12 which were big for obvious reasons – the rest of it kind of floats together in my memory like a giant unappetising stew.

But as you were preparing for gymnastics this morning one memory did occur – and I Suethink it was around about Year 9. We had a very gungho PE teacher – is there any other kind? And we too were doing gymnastics. I remember we were doing a kind of round robin thing where you moved around the gym having a go on different apparatus – getting over one of those wooden Trojan horse kind of things, climbing ropes to the ceiling and down again, holding yourself up and inching along parallel bars etc. Anyway, there was one station – where said militant PE teacher was supervising – I honestly can’t remember her name – but let’s call her Miss HardAss. At that station, you took a good run up, jumped off a board, bounced on a mini-tramp, somersaulted (somehow) in the air and then landed (standing – are you kidding me?) on one of those allegedly well-padded gym mats. You know where this is going, right?gym

So I was feeling a bit antsy but in my determination to do a great job, I tried to somersault like they do in the Olympics – you know how the gymnasts curl up in a little ball and then unwind at the last minute, landing with their feet together and their arms raised triumphantly? Like this ->

Yeah, well something went wrong. In my eagerness to curl into a ball, I kneed myself in the eye, practically concussing myself and landed in some sort of inelegant heap on the floor. Miss HardAss was neither impressed nor sympathetic. Somewhat reluctantly, she sent me off to the sick bay – as if I was putting on the instant searing headache!

Well, let me tell you Rose – the Goddess was on my side because the next day, I looked like this:  eye

It was with some pride that I still bore my war wound a week later when we had PE again. Miss HardAss had a hard time believing my injury was caused in her class the week before. Hmph, I say!

So here’s hoping you don’t come home looking like this.

Yours til Niagara Falls,

Mum x

PS. Just because…




About Heather Gallagher

Heather lives in Ocean Grove with her beautiful family and a dog called Pip. She has a passion for quirky stories. Her first book, Ferret on the Loose, was published in 2013 and was recently listed on the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge. The book was inspired by a girl and her ferret, who Heather interviewed while working as a freelance journalist for The Sunday Age. Her column, Yak Attack, ran in the Kids View section for more than a year and allowed Heather to profile people she thought would be of interest to kids. In 2014, she released her first picture book Happy Pants – Why is mummy so sad? This is NOT a story about ferret racing. Rather, it is a heartfelt story about a boy grappling with his Mum’s post-natal depression. Heather’s stories for children have appeared in black dog books Short & Scary anthology and Explore and Challenge magazines. Heather has experience in public speaking – both for children and adults. While, promoting Happy Pants she spoke to groups of counsellors, nurses, parents and at library events. She has presented writing workshops to primary-aged children. Last year, she was a presenter at the Sacred Edge festival and the Christian Writers’ Conference.
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