Another Brick

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Footsteps, yarns and little fibs
The Imaginarium -
Tribute: Roger Waters - Pink Floyd

Submitted: June 07, 2017

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Submitted: June 07, 2017



In his imagination, Roger erected brick walls around himself as protection against repression of his fifties schooling. Even then he understood the importance of education, more so nowadays, but back then the strict rote learning and corporal punishment means that his days at Cambridgeshire School for Boys don’t hold fond memories! When he came upon this brick wall, memories welled in him. He sat down in that secure place, rested his back against the bricks and allowed the sun’s rays percolate through his body making him drowsy,

His drowsiness took him back to those grey school days, the image of that Scottish schoolmaster, cane always ready, limp black gown and mortar board atop his head. Yelling, as was his habit at his pupils. The pounding of Roger and his peers to become anonymous, cloned. He saw an image his self, walking to school alone beneath the brick viaduct, coalsmoke and steam billowing from the train passing above! The schoolmaster making a fool of his poetry before a laughing class!

We don’t need no education (like that)!’ The words formed in his mind.

His musings kept him in the class. After swatting him, the master continued the rote lesson, ‘An acre is the area of a rectangle … bla, bla!’ Typical of the severe, post war teaching schoolmasters, the cane-welder was somehow pleased with his role as disciplinarian! Roger had a vague vision of anonymous schoolkids on some conveyor belt, education’s metaphor.

‘We don’t need no thought control.’

His head nodded to an imaginary beat. Kids not permitted to think for themselves, filing along the conveyor or traveling upon it, sitting in their grey school desks, institutionalised with the schoolmaster raising his voice, threatening with his cane, as they file past.

‘No dark sarcasm in the classroom.’

The system greying any individuality or illumination, with the conveyor transporting students into some mish-mash of similarity, mixing, so all came out the same. Cloning.

‘Hey! Teachers! Leave the kids alone.’ 

Roger’s reverie was stark, he understood that his childhood learning based on rote learning, corporal punishment and reducing all to the same level would someday lead to rebellion and perhaps anarchy!

‘All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.’

His mind cleared, it was time to go, David, Syd, Richard and Nick would be wondering where he was, why he was late. As he hurried to meet up them, he determined to protest about a repressive system of education and how it treated students.

‘All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.’

The protest video may not have changed anything, yet it played a part in an evolving education system that changed gradually through the decades. It stands as a reminder. Schools generally became happier places. Similar walls have been erected to be torn down for re-erection. There remains the pressure of achievement and standards for student and teachers alike. No longer are teachers cane-welding purveyors of authority, that role has shifted to inspectors, bureaucrats and bean-counters who wield the metaphorical cane, align outcomes to financial inputs, set goals realistic or not, often tending to unsettle school life.

‘They are all just another brick in the wall.’


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