Some of you may remember that I trained to be a teacher (of small to medium sized children). Rather thankfully I've managed to block out much of the trauma from those days. My poor memory does have it's positive sides.However, I've just done a job in a primary school, and all those memories came flooding back.
To be honest I think it was the smell that did it. Smell is strongly tied to memory, which is why certain smells can transport you back in time, say to helping your mum bake a cake, or to painting a shed with your father.
In this case it was the smell of the floor polish coupled with the scent of the powder paints in the air that flung me back to my days of trying to control 33 mini disaster machines (or as they are known to the general public..children).
I'm sure that new parents must have the same experience when they first visit their child's school.
The job itself was quite an easy one, one of the teachers was having a panic attack, which is fair enough really – I know that if I were still trying to teach, I'd be in a constant state of panic attack.
I have never been so happy to have changed careers.

15 thoughts on “Scent”

  1. This must be a yorkshire thing – but all the primary schools I've ever been in usually smell of a combination of wee or vomit. Maybe my area has a higher level of incontinence in children!

  2. You're right about smells, they take you straight back to things you'd not remembered for ages.Both my parents taught, I'd never do it.

  3. I wasn't a mini disaster machine when I was in primary school, on the contrary I was a GOOOOOD boy, afterall I had a crush on my teacher!

  4. Is there anything Mr. Tom hasnt done?I knew that you had been a Nurse but not a Teacher, by my counting you must have spent more years in education than most Doctors!

  5. And glad I never had any of the little rug rats.Don't mind the occasional pediatric surgical patient, they will be asleep soon. It's the parents that drive me batty.

  6. haha! one thing I had to do as a student nurse was 'follow' a patient from admission to discharge – it was a toddler having a club foot corrected. I'd explained my project to the parents, and they were happy. When I told them that I'd be going to theatre with their son, they said to me (a 2nd yr student) “you will make sure he's okay, won't you?” Like I was more capable of that than the surgeon. Bless them…

  7. I used to teach a class of 38 toddlers in a kindergarten in Taipei. The Chinese teachers were supposed to stay in the room to help me handle the situation; in fact, they thought 'English hour' was the perfect time to take a nap or go out for a spot of shopping.The bad dreams haven't stopped yet, but aren't as frequent.

  8. I actually like children as long as I don't have to work/talk/deal with them and as long as they are not mine.But what I actually wanted to say: it's also music that is strongly tied to memory especially if you hear the same music/cd for a period of time. A few days ago I listened to a CD and with every beat, every note all the memories and more than that, the whole athmosphere came back to my mind – scary.

  9. I like children too….but I couldn't eat a whole one!I've just had a great evening catching up with your blog Tom. You deserved your Medgadget award – great site!

  10. I left teaching and eventually became a bus driver. Now the only time i get any where near children is on the school run. People on the bus ask me how I stand the children but I point out it is only for 20 mins a day, not all day every day, thank God.

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