When I was 12, I attended a strict all girls school. I did reasonably ok in school. I was not those top of the class kids, just average, not a prefect or anything, just average, but that was ok. I wasn’t a straight As kid. I got Bs and Cs but that was ok. I didn’t receive any pressure from anyone. Mum was no longer around. Dad was too busy working to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads to nag me about my studies so I didn’t receive any pressure.

I joined the school Choir because I wanted to, because I loved singing. There was no pressure for me to join this or that. I wanted to learn the piano but we couldn’t afford it so dad said how about learning the organ instead which is cheaper. I said ok and he bought me an organ through hire purchase spread out over 12 years. There was no pressure to learn music. I learned because I wanted to. Thanks to Dad I now can continue my music lessons years later.

I cycled to music classes on my own. It was quite far from my house. I had to go through several traffic lights and roundabouts to get there. My sister taught me how to cycle at the back lane of our house. She pushed me all the way down the back lane, back and forth she pushed me till I got my balance. There was no one to watch over us fearfully.

After reading about  yet another case of a child who commits suicides because of poor grades, I can’t help but feel that when I was 12, I lived in a much better world, a carefree world with little pressure and a safe world where children were safe to be on their own without the need to be in the watchful eyes of their parents or a guardian 24 hours a day. Sigh….

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