Monday, 6 February 2012

The Monastery


We didn't go on many trips at all in the high school I went to (Y7-11). At all. Once we went to the cemetery of the local church. And again. We went to some lame science museum in Liverpool. Lame know, Liverpool. And apart from that, I genuinely can't think of other trips we had. Oh, once we went to the theatre to see some BS WW2 play? Or something? Ah, who cares.

But in Y11, close to the time before we all ran away for exams and "study period"-ness, the handful of us RE (or RS) students had two trips, fairly close to each other. Now when I say "handful", you have to know that there were only 32 of us in total in the entire year group. So those of us taking RE, fewer than 10 if I can remember - not an entirely extravagant subject.

I can't remember which came first but we went to a Christian monastery as well as a Buddhist monastery. What was fun and strange about both trips is how not only did our usual RE teacher accompany us (he taught me RE for 5 straight years and history for 3!), but the other RE teacher (an Oxbridge grad music teacher from what I can remember) also supervised us few kids - and drove the damn mini-bus! Fun indeed. That was a long sentence. Not the "fun indeed" bit...

The trip to the Buddhist monastery was LAME. We basically took our shoes off to sit around in a circle in a prayer room and asked a Buddhist why he was supporting the slaughter of animals by buying meat from the supermarket despite his own belief - which he stated earlier - that nothing should be killed etc. Yep. Fun.

I remember the trips to and from this place. Somewhere in/near Todmorden. I had about 10 songs on my phone and was half-listening to them in the mini-bus. You know the songs you listen to from this age up until your early 20s, the ones that will probably stay with you for the rest of your life? And your kids will say "Oh, come on!" when you crank out a "classic" of yours in the car? Crikey, the music my uncle listens to...just says it all. Bands like Sherwood and Melee and others you probably haven't heard of. And this one song by...I think they're called New Atlantic, "Late Night Television". Straange.

The Christian monastery place... What I have remembered from it literally a second ago was how the Christian monk/priest (I can't remember which) was super-old and how one guy in the class was trying to hold his laugh whilst we were given a tour of the place. The monk was always closing his eyes as if he was remembering something whenever he was talking. I guess it did look strange.

But the strangest thing of all was the last thing we did when we were there: have lunch. Because it was a Friday. And this place had a rule for their Friday meals. On one of those long, extended dining tables (where someone sits at both ends and there are people sitting opposite each other on the sides), we were sitting there in our blazers and ties, along with our teachers but also the maaany monks and priests and nuns who lived there. And we ate lunch. In silence. We had to gesture to the person next to us if we were asking for water. Strange. Don't think I've quite had lunch like that. Sat with familiar and unfamiliar faces, together at the table yet alone in our thoughts.

I wonder if any of us have had another experience like that. But I haven't kept in touch with any of the RE class. Or the teachers from that school. Or any other students from my year group there.

Hmm, strange.

Sweet dreams.



itscomplicated said...

We went on quite a few trips, especially RE ones. But the BEST was in year 6 when we went to Quarry Bank Mill and spent the day as workhouse children coming for an apprenticeship. We had constumes, the whole thing was like a live action play that we were a part of. They gave us porridge for lunch and some people were sick. Strangest trip was year 2 when we went to a factory and had a go at building our own chimneys. I think. That may have been a dream...oddest trip since school: last term we went to a cemetary. It was cold and drizzling. The woman told us to be careful to walk on the paths otherwise we might fall in the graves. Unfortunately that was not a dream

Purple Pyro said...

Ahh, the kind of songs you'll have to explain away... *Does not think of Taylor Swift* :P

Never quite had an experience like that, where the silence is strange at first, but suddenly peaceful. Makes me want to try it. Must have felt strange indeed, especially with school people who (since I knew a few of them) had a tendency to be pratts, lol.

You should tell more stories like this, Emadness :)

Rosie said...

"Sat with familiar and unfamiliar faces, together at the table yet alone in our thoughts." < That was lovely.

I don't think I've ever had an experience quite like that, but in fourth year (I think that's like your year...9?) me and some people from my RE class went on a pilgrimage to Bosnia Herzegovina and one night in the house we sat in a big wide circle and talked about what we'd seen while we were there and how it made us think about our lives and EVERYONE, boys, girls, teachers, the priest, all of us were crying the whole time, and I don't even know why. We were pretty high up in the mountains, so perhaps the altitude had something to do with it... But whatever, it was one of those kind of quietly profound moments you remember for a long time.

I really enjoyed this post, it sounded like a movie I can't quite place my finger on... Hmm. But yes, SHARE MORE STORIES PLEASE!

Emad said...

That sounds like a REAL trip! Bloody hell lol. And having porridge too, sounds insane for a school to go the whole way with a trip.
And how the hell was that NOT a dream!? Whoaw!

I think I hated Taylor Swift at first because, yes, everyone else liked her music lol.
And ja, I think you knew one or two that were there...!
YOU tell more stories!

Thanks =) But there was no other way to explain it, it was a strange experience however you look at it.
Wow, that sounds strange too - probably crying because it was all so overwhelming? Sounds completely unusual for teachers to be so open, but then again, with younger pupils. But you still remember it! Just wow to it all.
I shall try and write a bad story about it all! =D You should do one on yours! Challenge accepted?! =P

Thanks, glad you take the time to read my blog whenever I post =) (Apart from you Hummus, it is expected you do this etc =P)
And fiiiine, I'll post more of my poignant writing etc =P

Rosie said...

Challenge TOTALLY accepted!

Aunty Em said...

Hello Emad! Great blog. Your nephew will want you to retell these stories over and over, once hes past the dribbling and 'da da da da' stage. Nah! I had some pretty cool school trips. York was probably the best though, it was like stepping into/out of a time machine, pretty amazing when you are so high. Hang on...

Humaira!!! You are on holiday! stop commenting! I dont think they know where you are commenting from! I hope you are having an amazing time! X

So yeh Emad, sorry, loved the story.

Emad said...

Haha, ja, shall tell him especially before he goes on any trips himself =P
What was your York trip about? And in which year did you have it?
Oh I know where she is, and I am jealous of this lol.
Thanks so reading for reading Aunty Em, means so much =) Hope you're well!