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Thoughts From The Corner

September 2, 2012

"thoughts from the corner"

"private english tutor"

Once upon a time, many moons ago but still within living memory, a little boy sat in a classroom corner.

Not so long, pupils who were considered disruptive, or simply stupid because they couldn’t answer the teacher’s questions, were sent to ‘the corner’. Facing the corner, away from the class, the pupil would have a ‘Dunce’s Cap’ with a letter ‘D’ on it, put on his head.

Alone in the corner, mocked by teachers and peers alike, every minute seemed like an hour. The little boy had a lot of time to think because he spent many hours of his educational life there

That little boy grew up to become a lecturer and private English tutor.

The experience of being isolated and ridiculed as a little boy has never left him. Left alone in the corner for many hours, all he had were his ‘thoughts from the corner’.

Today, he uses that expression (‘thoughts from the corner’) to post some of the many thoughts, stories and events that have happened to him throughout his life, on this blog.

Each post is a small, self-contained anecdote leading to a conclusion of where his thoughts have led him during the writing of the piece. Some will be amusing, some will be sad. Hopefully, all will be thoughtful.

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38 Comments
  1. Sad but nice story! We didn’t have a corner but I remember the math teacher I had when I was in first grade. She used to write simple problems on the blackboard. We in turn would copy the problems into our notebooks and work on them while she walked around, a wooden ruler in one hand, both hands held at her back, watching us. If she noticed a student struggling with the work, or getting a wrong answer, she would ask that student to place both hands on the desk, closed with the knuckles pointed upwards, and bang…

    • Thank you so much for the nomination. It feels as if Santa slipped a time zone or two and arrived a little early. I have been blogging diligently for the past six months (50 something posts) so I guess I have been a good boy and Santa recognises that.
      Weather here in England is grey, windy and rain. Last week or so temperatures have been minus 1 to 5. Don’t understand what you mean by heat. . . May I suggest a Charleston/flapper number?

      • Ah I would kill to be up there in the colder weather during our heat waves!

        I’d love to do something Charleston! I’m going with my boyfriend so would like to do a double sort of outfit, and he’s pretty keen for that era so hmm.

        And indeed, Santa does recognize that

      • The Great Gatsby – Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. Sorted! Love to see a photo on your blog.

      • Just published a post mentioning your blog. Once again, many thanks for the award.

  2. Sad, but also an inspiring story.

    I guess I’m lucky that my schools never did the dunce cap or rulers. Instead, I had teachers who would send notes home to the parents or sneak up on a daydreaming student to scare him out of his chair. That second one might have been specifically designed for me though. Thinking about it, I’m not sure how I would have handled sitting in the corner with the dunce cap. I was always off in my own world, so the isolation wouldn’t have been very different than if I was at my own desk.

  3. I have great respect for teachers, but I feel they do not always know the power they hold over a child’s esteem. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Looking forward to reading your stories, I had a difficult attention span as a kid. I had none actually, so I was the so-called-hopeless one to teachers and parents (educationally).

  5. One of the most powerful blog introductions I’ve read. We hear about triumph over adversity all the time in fiction, but to actually know it exists in real life is truly encouraging :)

  6. I have a little boy who is just starting his school career, and this post made me a bit emotional. Also, and more to the point, you’re making me feel bad for using time outs as a punishment at our house. :(

    • Keep on with the time outs and then progress to dark cupboard under the stirs; works well with little boys. Later you may want to try dark, dank cellar – very good for teenage girls :-) Good luck with your son.

      • I certainly hope that your reply was intended to be interpreted as tongue in cheek. I know that the definition of a “time out” varies widely, but I don’t believe that a child sitting in a chair and being quiet for five minutes is akin to child abuse, whereas the scenarios that you describe are.

      • Tongue in cheek – Often said English humour does not travel well.

  7. That’s a sad story, I’m sorry to hear that you suffered, but glad that it’s had, ultimately, a positive outcome for you. If it’s any consolation at my school they had something called the ‘bimmer’ which they basically used to hit the kids with. I’m glad to say physical abuse is much easier to deal with than mental abuse though :-) .

  8. Inspiration and strength can often come from painful experiences. Thanks for sharing that story. :)

    Btw – you’ve been tagged: http://lunastarla.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/tag-youre-it/

    • Many thanks for the comment.

      Thank you also for ‘tagging’ me. I do not not have a great deal of time and I would rather miss this. Please don’t be offended I do appreciate you thinking about and including me. Thank you.

      • No worries. I know how time consuming it can be. Reading your blog is a way of getting to know you. :)

  9. O! it touched me.I guess the corner thing is not always for the stupids :)..Thanks for dropping by my blog. Happy writing! cheers!

  10. Absolutely true! I agree with u. :)

  11. Billie permalink

    Love your website! I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the “Liebster award”. You can read about it here:

    http://willeke73.wordpress.com/2013/05/03/liebster-award/

  12. Hey, I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award.

  13. Reminds me of my mother who told me daily that I would never amount to a thing. I proved her wrong, not to mention that she’s dead and I’m still here!

  14. Thank you for taking out to comment. I guess we wouldn’t be where we are today without the past. . .

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