Sunday, May 8, 2022

On the farm part 4

The hols were over and it was time for returning to school. I was again taking my A-levels, and for Agnes it was her first attempt, I had no doubt that she would ace them.
Aunt Martha laid down the rules, "Elizabeth I have promised your mother that you will have your A-Levels with honors. Therefore you will be under the same disciplinary regime as Agnes, a regime that worked wonders for her O-Levels..."
I had a feeling that I will have to pull my socks up, or my bum might pay dearly for my shortcomings.
"I will monitor your weekly report cards, for a C minus it will be one stroke with my cane, for a D its two, and three for an F."
I silently mused. Yikes! That's 5 or 6 strokes for my each of my previous report cards.
Back to our rooms Agnes was real nice, "Not to worry! I will help, we'll study together." It was very generous of her, but I wasn't too reassured.
Then it was Monday, after a short bike ride I discovered a small old fashioned classroom with a stove in the middle. It was like going back in time.

The English grammar Mistress explained that boys and girls have separate classes. "We don't need you to distract each others!"
We were only eight girls in class. A-levels aren't required to take over the family's farm.
Then she told us that we would have one dictation a week. There was a few sighs of despair. I felt as a if a fourth former.
She took the time, to slowly repeat each sentence. I did my best. She picked up our papers, and told us to work on the conjugations she had written on the blackboard while she corrected our dictations.
Agnes got a B+ and I got a C, phew, my bum was safe! For the conjugation I got another C, and for Agnes it was another B+.
For lunch we opened the lunchboxes Aunt Martha's maids had prepared for us, and we joined the boys from the next door A-level class. We weren't expecting to find Jeremiah and Bjorn, they are a year older, and already have their driver's licences and jobs.
Next was math with Mr Rattan. He gave us two exercises, one was algebra and the other trigonometry. He corrected each of those works that needed to on the blackboard, and explained what we did wrong. In Manchester with 30 boys and girls in the same class, exercises were explained once, and you had to swim or drown. He gave me a C minus.
On the way back home I already imagined bending over the dining room table with my knickers around my knees, and the maids watching the young lady from the city "being educated".
Aunt Martha noticed that I looked pale. She asked for our report cards. I pitifully gave her mine, and she of course noticed my C minus. 
She laughed! "I am not going to cane you for each of your poor grades. I will only consider your weekly average."
It was silly, but I was somewhat relieved
Tuesday was history in the morning and geography in the afternoon. It started with, "Anyone tell us what happened on November 5th, 1605."
My hand sprang up, and I jumped on my feet when I was called. "Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder plot."
I had to be stopped as I was going to recite the whole chapter. I got an A! Later I told Agnes that history is my fav. "And I am ok with geography."
We didn't have classes on Friday afternoons, and after lunch we had to present our weekly report card. Agnes kept her head down after having given Auntie her report card. I was surprised, could it be that she has a poor grade? Impossible, not Agnes!
Auntie warned her, "A borderline C in French, I have already warned you about such poor grade, and you are warned again. You best improve it .... or else!"
I had a C minus average in math. I knew that it meant a stroke of the cane, but Agnes had said that Auntie wouldn't bother with only one stroke. I also had three C, in Biology, Physics and Chemistry.
I kept my head down when I gave Auntie my report card. She hissed, "Four C, one of them minus. A stingy warning is required! Follow me."
She took me into the foyer, and ordered, "Take off your skirt and knickers, fold them up on the railing, and grab it!"
It was most embarrassing to be bare from the navel in the hallway, someone might come! I soon was no longer concerned by that as she vigorously walloped my bum with a leather paddle, by the time she was done my butt was on fire, and I was sniffling.
She took my skirt and knickers, and I had to remain exposed in the foyer for ten very long minutes. I prayed that no one would be visiting. It was already quite mortifying that the maids had again witnessed my punishment.
My prayers weren't heard! The doorbell chimed! One of the maids opened, and welcomed the mailman. I felt my cheeks glowing...
Elizabeth and Agnes
To be continued...

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