Marking Time – The Futility of Marching.
This morning’s peace was shattered not in the usual way with screeching brakes or honking horns, but with the shouts of Lef, Lef, Lef, Rye, Lef. Indeed, I realised how soon yet another academic year has passed us by when the girls in the school opposite begin their marching practice for the Inter-Schools Athletic meet which is held some time in January ( I think) . Now is the time to start preparing and they prepare in right earnest!
I’ve always hated Marching and questioned its utility in the schoolchildren context. It seems such a pointless exercise. In fact for several years I used to think that the girls were not only bad marchers but dumb as well as they said left and put their right foot forward. That was till I realised that since light travels faster than sound , what seemed like wrong was actually right and that I was the one who was dumb!
But, I still find marching the most useless activity for school children. I mean whoever hears of conquering armies marching these days – they trundle in in huge , intimidating trucks, or they are air dropped with parachutes or sent in covertly by sea.
All that Marching seems to have instilled in me is a deep, dread of the tyrannical house captain who screamed louder than a sergeant major when any of us was not in line. Similarly, as a grown woman, I was terrorised by my daughter’s first House Captain – a thin little anorexic girl who chilled every mother’s heart with her scornful glare should a child come late for Marching Practice.In retrospect I wonder how I could be scared of her, but believe you me, I truly was.