Sunday, January 16

Moving up the School - Head Girl Caoilfhionn!

The Lowewood term got off to a mixed start for Caoilfhionn. There were three new girls, a new teacher (Major Payne) as well as Mr Brown (returned form his breakdown) which was all very exciting. But the absence of every schoolgirl's crush Miss Cavendish was noted, and for Caoilfhionn the absence of her best friend Jemima an even bigger blow. It all appeared to go rapidly down-hill when Caoilfhionn was pronounced Head Girl at assembly. Not because she wasn't pleased with the honour, but because she felt the responsibility fall heavily.

OK, so being Head Girl of Lowewood mightn't seem like much responsibility, but for a character formed on the basis of Chalet School, Malory Towers and St. Clare's, it actually was. She worried that she might not be her usual carefree mischief-making self. And she was even more worried Jemima would disown her! (Maybe it was a good thing that she was out sick after all). As she explained somewhat dramatically, the badge was akin to the Ring from Lord of the Rings: it burned her and it changed her.

The day had its usual mix of serious moments, reprimands, classroom jokes and school girl comradery. But Caoilfhionn was different. She walked a little taller, paid a lot more attention in class, got up to less mischief and even started chastising the other girls for any uniform violations. Of course when Jemima did eventually rock up she wasn't too pleased with this new Caoilfhionn, especially one who complained about her uniform and actually was pleased that she ended up in detention because of it!

But Caoilfhionn couldn't stop herself, she had to be helpful, she had to obey orders from the teachers and set the example for her fellow students by being on time and wearing her uniform perfectly. And she had to bear it when Felicity begged for the real Caoilfhionn to come back and when Jemima call her a suck up.

Still she was to find out that there are advantages to being Head Girl too. The teachers seemed to place a lot more trust in her. Like in art (her least favourite subject) she was requested to fetch three small plastic cups of water for the girls to share. Which she duly did, one at a time, from the kitchen downstairs, by-passing the bathroom next door in the process. It took most of the lesson to do so but she was not scolded for it!

In recognition of her efforts to be a good Head Girl. and no doubt making her even less popular with her school mates, she was awarded the Father Smith Cup, for being the most spirited girl. Whether this was on the basis of her exuding the most school spirit or in light of the several vodkas she sipped at her desk over the day is debatable, but she was delighted to win the Cup for Byron House. And even if Felicity was not impressed with Caoilfhionn's Head Girl-ness she and new Bryon girl Dulcie were at least pleased with the honour for Byron. (It also struck me later as highly appropriate that she did win it, as Ni Bradaigh actually means 'spirited'!)

Of course, Lowewood being a traditional school even Caoilfhionn didn't escape punishment. Her pink slipping at that hands of Major Payne for being drunk at Jemima's New Year party was particularly humiliating. Especially as he pointed out that her new found status in the school was not appropriate for such antics. It didn't help that he had pictures from the party taken from Facebook (she was very surprised any of the teachers even knew what Facebook is!). Her protests that she was only in her underwear because Jemima had the heating up too high for comfort and that she was only drinking from the champagne bottle was as Jemima had no glasses, landed her a punishment essay for not taking personal responsibility!

She also ended up in detention due to the wonderful prank that Jessica orchestrated, helium filled condoms in each girl's desk. In the first class, history with Major Payne, they floated ceremoniously to the ceiling to our delight! And even funnier was when they started to fall from the ceiling in Mr Brown's German class causing him to look up in horror. Even Caoilfhionn as her new responsible self, wasn't too  much of a prig to take part in such jokes. However, as is the Lowewood rule the Head Girl gets double! And Mr Edmunds did not hold back, painfully teaching her the consequences of such pranks, and reminding her with such honour comes more pain and responsibility!

All in all it was a fabulous day and I'm afraid that I can't even do it justice on here. Below is a little flavour of the goings-on that made the day so great!

-Mr Shaftbotham lamenting Jemima's absence in assembly, complaining the school song hadn't sufficiently aroused him without her there

- Playing a theme song for each teacher as they entered the classroom, Major Payne's was 'You're in the army now',  Mr Shaftbotham's was 'Another brick in the wall' and so on. Not only did the teachers not get that it was a recurring joke, it also took them ages to find where the music was from!

- New girl scouser Suzanne reading aloud in the thickest scouse accent resulting in some girls not being able to understanding her

- Jessica and Caoilfhionn almost scuffling to be the art model in the art class so they wouldn't have to draw and the fantastically bull shitting answers most girls gave to describe their drawings!

- Poor Catherine's disappointment at receiving -5 in art class for 'being too good at art' and her outrage on learning that it was Caoilfhionn who who had written it in her book, which went completely unnoticed by the teachers

- Acting out a satanic orgy in Reverend Jenkin's RE class, with Suzanne feeling up fellow new girl Harriet, Caoilfhionn dramatically whacking Sylvie with a ruler, and Jemima and Dulcie eerily waving candles, all chanting 'the internet is for porn' in slow drones

-Mr Edmunds wearing the garish smiley faces tie to dinner, that Caoilfhionn had gifted him for his birthday!

Thanks again to Jessica and Mr Shaftbotham for another excellent term at Lowewood.And to all the teachers who put such efforts into their classes. Caoilfhionn intends to spend the holidays trying to repair her friendship with Jemima!

ps one of my lovely readers pointed out to me that Aer Lingus has named its latest aircraft after my darling Caoilfhionn! Check it out here :)


Abel1234 said...

Lovely account of a lovely day. As I've just written in my own account, ready for tomorrow morning's slot on our blog, I actually found myself feeling really proud of Caoilfhionn during the day as she rose to the challenge of being Head Girl so very well.

And it's fun to read about the things you did that we masters didn't notice - such as the water-fetching! I love the fact that we all get such different experiences during the day, each with our own individual perspectives - as well as being such a close-knit group.

Eliane said...

If Caoilfhionn is ever head girl again, Jemima will be hiding behind the bikesheds, developing a smoking habit that she's never previously had, and waiting for the horror to be over ;-)

Scarlett De Winter said...

Felicity will be joining you Jemima!

Abel1234 said...

The girls' comments merely, to me, re-iterate what a good job Caoilfhionn did. Clearly they are unused to such firm leadership, and more of it must surely be called for...

BTW, is the Head Girl allowed to use cp? I think she should be permitted, nay compelled, to slipper junior pupils for comments like this.

Rev J

Rebecca said...

Giggles - a serious Caoilfhionn - that must have been a site to behold - am glad that you rose to the challenge and enjoyed!

Unknown said...

What amazes me is how cute she looks in the picture - compared to the rascal she actually was in school - WHEN SHE THOUGHT THE MASTERS WEREN'T WATCHING......

Payne R
Major (Retd)