Episode 36 of Street Dreams

Episode 35

Aleister hated going to school. He wasn’t like the other kids. He often chose strange clothing to wear and a from his teenage years onward, Aleister came to the conclusion that the world is not a nice place to inhabit. He came to the conclusion that most people were mean and nasty. They seemed to enjoy hurting people that were a little different and could think for themselves. Aleister had an artistic temperament. He was quiet, sensitive and possessed an incredible imagination. He struggled in math and science classes, but received decent marks in English and history class. Aleister would skip the classes that he didn’t like very frequently, but he didn‘t leave the school. He would go to the school library as this was kind of a safe haven for him. The library had small private reading rooms where a student could either sit in a standard chair next to a little desk or lean comfortably against the wall on one of the room’s oversized cushions. Aleister preferred the large soft cushions and especially liked a pillow that had a picture of the cartoon character, Garfield, decorated on it. Aleister usually had the room to himself as the other students in the school thought he was weird and didn’t want to get too close to him.

Aleistair was very careless about his personal hygiene and after several days without taking a shower or bothering to change his clothes, he started to reek of body order. Aleister preferred being left alone. He did not want any distractions from others. He needed his own private space, with the accompanying peace and quiet, in order to enter into his own internal world. Within Alister’s personal realm, he was the only person that was allowed in. There were exceptions, of course. These were the characters that he read about in his favourite books. He chose books in the genres of true crime and mystery, science fiction and horror novels. His favourite author was Stephen King. He’d read all of King’s work at least once and there were several books that he had read two or three times. The Stephen King titles that he loved the most were, the Dark Half, the Stand and Pet Sematery. If Aleister could escape notice from the library teacher and or the library tech, he would remain in his literary, fictional, safe haven for two hours and occasionally for half the day.

When the school alarm sounded to signal class change at the end of every period, Aleistair would grab a few oversized cushions and a blanket that was available to the students and hide behind them for at least five minutes. He learned that the school staff usually only checked the private rooms during the class changes.

After Aleister’s parents separated when he had just turned fourteen Aleister began to act out at school. The dissolution of his family unit caused Aleister great emotional distress. He went through the standard stages of grief, but his anger was what got him in trouble at school. His anger towards the world and its human occupants turned into a burning rage.

Prior to his parents splitting up, Aleister had not committed any acts of school vandalism. When Aleister could no longer restrain the angst churning inside him, he would engage in acts of vandalism at school. Aleister got a pleasurable adrenaline rush from acting out and after he finished creating havoc, a beautiful sense of calm would envelop him.

There were a variety of malicious stunts Aleister liked to enact, One of these was to grab a handful of paper towels in the boys washroom and plug the toilets to the point where they would overflow when anyone pushed down the handle. On one occasion, he took out a cigarette lighter and started a garbage bin on fire. Aleister took great pleasure when he saw the fire trucks arrive and watched all the teachers and students scramble to evacuate the building. Aleister chuckled to himself when it was -30°C and he could see all the people outside the school shivering and jumping around in a vain attempt to stay warm.

These malicious acts pleased Aleister to no end, to cause a disruption in the school that he hated, and best of all, he was in control and held all the power.


School Daze Grade Nine by Ken David Stewart

School Daze Grade 9 by Ken David Stewart 


From grade one to grade eight I attended Nordale School. I enjoyed grade eight except for one issue. I hated shops or as it is known now, industrial arts. I was not born for building things or fixing things. To this day there are still things that I cannot repair. I just found out that I have a condition called dyspraxia. Anyone who is unfortunate enough to have this condition will eventually find themselves totally frustrated when they need to assemble anything or do any repairs. 

When I attended shops class every Friday afternoon, I lived through a type of hell on earth. Every other boy in the class appeared to be able to put together a dado joint with ease. Everyone except for me that is. I struggled and struggled with the projects to which I was assigned in woodworking class. I couldn’t make a proper dado joint if my life depended upon it. My shops teacher, Mr. Larson, was of no help whatsoever. He had absolutely no sympathy for any student who had difficulties with their projects. This teacher didn’t think that it was his job to assist students who struggled with their assignments. The only way I passed this course was to have some of my fellow students finish my projects for me. Even still, I just passed wood working class by the skin of my teeth. 

My future with shops class didn’t appear any brighter for the upcoming year. My industrial arts teacher for grade nine metals would be Mr. Miller. He struck me as being even meaner and less helpful than Mr. Larson, if that was possible. The very thought of taking metals class with Mr. Miller made me sick to my stomach. 

Thank God, Miss Winters, our principal, came to my grade eight class to make an important announcement. Our principal told the class that there was a way to be exempt from taking metals class with Mr. Miller in grade nine. This was the offer. If a student could maintain an average of 85% or higher until the end of the school year they would have the opportunity to take Latin class at Queen Elizabeth School next fall. The only drawback was that Queen Elizabeth School was a long walk from where I lived. It would be at least a forty-five minute walk one way to school every day. This could be a real hardship in the winter months. 

For me, this was a small price to pay for avoiding another painful year of humiliation in shop’s class. Fortunately, I had very good grades in every class except industrial arts. 

I managed to get a few of my friends to agree to go with me to Queen Elizabeth school next year. 

My friends and I’d heard some rumours that there were some very tough kids who attended QE, the abbreviation for the school. We all decided that we would take the risk anyway. 

When we arrived a few QE the next September we were placed in room nineteen, otherwise known as the Latin room. We quickly learned that our class room was considered by the other kids to be the room for the sucky students. In other words, the kids that were good in school and actually listened to their teachers. images-14