by Sihle Jack
Have you ever wondered what other people’s experience of high school was like? I know I have, everyone from strict lecturers, the cool kids at the Day Kaif, dining hall staff to ordinary people like you and me. What I have also wondered is how school must have been like for foreign students. I could not imagine it to be very different from the South African schooling system but I had to find out for myself. I spoke to Sarah Knight, a third year student about her experience of school.
Q: Tell me about your first experience of reading a book.
A: That was when I was a little kid. I love reading but back at the time, it was hard, interesting and fun all at the same time. I actually loved reading when I was little.
Q: If you could go back to school, what grade would you go back to and why?
A: Form 4 (grade 11 in South Africa) because we were the seniors in the school. We weren’t the high seniors but we at least retained some respect from all of the younger scholars in school. Also, I was 16 (she says with a smile). Overall, it was my best year in school because it was my most active year, it was a cool year in general and the work wasn’t too bad.
Q: Who was your favourite teacher and why?
A: It was my art teacher. I really loved art and plus he was simply the coolest. He was fun and would let us mess around. We literally wouldn’t stop talking in his class. I remember the one time where he taped this one girl’s mouth because she just talked too much.
Q: What do you think about home schooling versus ‘normal’ schooling?
A: I was home schooled from grade 1-7 and went on to a normal high school, so I’ve experienced both. I just think that both have their pros and cons. Home schooling gives you a one-on-one setting but very little if any social interaction. Normal school on the hand has plenty of social interaction and allows for competitiveness. I also think that normal school teaches respect. I honestly can’t choose one over the other, I think that both are okay.
Q: Who did you look up while in school?
A: I looked up to my swimming captain. She also later became head girl and was an all-rounder. She worked really hard and was motivated, that’s why I looked up to her. She didn’t come from a privileged background but she always did her best, extra at school and enjoyed doing everything that she did. She was just awesome.
Q: Tell me about your experience in the principal’s office
A: I went twice. The first time was terrifying because my headmaster was shorter than me. I had gotten in the middle of a fight between friends and we were all called to the principal’s office to sort it out. The second time that I went to the principal’s office was for a better reason. I was called in to give permission about one of my paintings being put up in the school.
Q: What was your least favourite subject in school and why?
A: I had two: maths and science. I was more of an artsy kid and plus my teachers for the subjects couldn’t explain all too well. They were also strict and didn’t offer extra help which didn’t help matters.