Reviews, thoughts, ramblings and so on…

Why primary school is better than college

I know, I know what you’re thinking. There’s no way primary school is better than college. I can drag my hungover arse in and out of college willy-nilly because nobody actually expects me to go, I’ve no morning classes this year and if I chose correctly I could also have no classes at all on a Friday. These are all true. However, primary school wasn’t all early mornings and uniforms. There were some pretty sweet parts of primary school that I think could easily be adapted to third level education to make college a better place for us all to be.

Primary school was a simpler time. A list of my biggest worries when I was in primary school included the following:

  • How long before I can change out of my uniform?
  • How much of my sandwich do I actually have to eat before I could get away with moving on to the crisps without getting in trouble?
  • Why can’t I get a cool wrestling pencil case like Random Friend X has?
  • What If I DON’T remember all 150 pokemon and what each one evolves in to!?
  • Must…get…more…pogz!
  • Who’s gonna be on in chasing this yard-time?

And a list of my biggest worries in college:

  • When’s that assignment due!?
  • We have WHAT mid-term this week?
  • It’s worth HOW much percent!?
  • Did they just say something about this being on the exam? Is this gonna be on the exam? Crap I should be listening…
  • What in God’s name am I going to do with my future after I finish in College!?
  • I have to have a career now!?
  • …Eugh, peer evaluation forms have to be filled out
  • Naggins are HOW MUCH!?

Naggins are HOW MUCH!?

But this isn’t even the point I’m making here. The point is where primary school is better than college, and where we, at the end of our educational careers, can learn from those at the very start (Outside, of course, of bringing back Pogz. My God they were epic).


You all know the situation. A lecturer has asked a question, no one has answered. It’s been more than ten seconds and now it’s beginning to get awkward. The lecturer stands there staring out in to the sea of faces. Some disinterested, some whispering to the person next to them “what did they ask!?”, others whispering “I don’t have a clue!”, some showing visible signs of the strain of the ever increasing awkwardness and most staring at the floor or their phone or anywhere that isn’t the lecturer’s face (The latter here is a defense mechanism in case the lecturer is one of those rare breeds who will actually ask people individually if no one answers soon). As the silence grows more deafening and the awks become major everyone secretly hopes someone, ANYONE, will answer. Everyone looks to the foreign kids (as they are are usually quite reliable in this kind of situation to transfer the awkwardness back on to the lecturer using a combination of incomprehensible accents, broken English and un-pronounceable names)Β but nothing from them this time. Β Finally, after what seems like aeons of time, the lecturer cracks and just answers themselves and moves on having lost the game of awkward moment chicken with the class. A collective sigh of relief is breathed.

Awkward lecturer

Memes...They just make image hunting SO much easier! πŸ™‚

But this could all be avoided? Remember Primary school?
A question wouldn’t be out of the teacher’s mouth before hands would shoot up all around the room, stretched as high as possible in the air, with the other arm either placed over the lips to show you were being silent or Β used as a support arm for the long-haul stretches where the teacher was being indecisive about who to pick to answer. People would literally be shouting “Sir, Sir, Sir, I know!” trying to get the teachers attention.

Now I’m not saying we should be doing this in lectures (even if it would look hilarious). But think back to why your hand was in the air, why you wanted to answer the question. It wasn’t due simply to an overwhelming desire to show off what you knew (unless you were one of THOSE kids…*evil eyes*). It wasn’t because your teacher was some kind of tyrant who would bate ya with a stick if you didn’t show enthusiasm in class (unless you had one of THOSE teachers). It wasn’t even because you had just eaten a load of sugar at lunch and were now struggling just to keep yourself in your chair (though this sometimes was the case). It was because of stars.

If you did well, you got a little reward. A sticker of a little golden star, or perhaps a smiley face, to show that you were feckin’ brilliant! And being honest, it was the fact that you now had a sticker to play with that kept you entertained not the brilliance you supposedly had. You didn’t give a flying sh*te at that age how brilliant you were….you just cared about the rewards you would get for at least appearing brilliant.Β And the rewards didn’t stop at stars. If you got consistent gold stars or smileys or whatever you had, then at the end of every week or month or something there was a possibility of an even greater reward…and this could be amazing. Prizes I encountered in my time were: choice of toys at play time, jellies, chocolate, biscuits, taking care of the class goldfish, no homework, getting the class giant teddy bear for a weekend and many more. I don’t care how old I’m supposed to be, if you give me jellies for answering questions I will answer those questions and sit in class with a big smug “I’ve got the jellies” head up on me. Delighted with life.


Answering questions...the safer alternative to getting in the van

So what I propose is this: In every lecture there is a chart with all our names on it (perhaps it could be done online….I mean this IS college like!). When you answer a question correctly or provide something constructive to the class you get a star, which is added to your online total of stars. Then, at the end of every week, the person on top of the class gets something they’d enjoy…like a naggin…or the shift. Be grand!
No more awkward silences and we all get a better educational experience for just the price of a naggin a week. Who says we need to bring back in fees!?


Remember Milk in Primary school?
You sign up for it at the start of the year and then once a day for the rest of the year someone would arrive to your classroom with a carton of refrigerated milk for you to enjoy while you were in school. Brilliant!
Now, albeit at the time I probably would have preferred it to be a red lemonade or Tanora or something (image below for those who have the misfortune of not being from Cork) but Β it’s the idea of being handed a drink every day that I like here.


Look at it....Om nom nom Tanora!

Imagine. You’re in a two hour lecture. It’s warm in there (like it is in ALL Ucc lecture rooms except the Geography building) and you’re starting to get thirsty. You’ve got one of those lecturers who refuses to take a break and wants to fill every minute of those hours with their voice. You’re on your last legs, not sure if you’ll survive the next twenty minutes. Note taking has reached an all time low, as has energy and sanity. Not only are you not learning but you’re staring to forget things you already knew….like your name.
Suddenly, the lecture room door swings open and in steps a man with a small basin filled with hope. He’s got your drinks. Refreshment sweeps through the room as the man with the basin doles out the ice cold bottles of whatever-ya-like (not unlike the guy who doles out the peanuts at American sports events, but you’ve already paid for the service). Everyone is now back on track. Ready to face the next hour of this class and take notes like a boss!

It could even be pints! Imagine a pint midway through one of your most boring lectures. Wouldn’t that just fix all your problems? You’d be more than delighted to be at your lecture then!



I may be single-handedly saving the Irish educational system here…

Games at yard time

Think of the amount of time you spend hanging around college. I know you’ve got things to do a lot of the time like assignments, readings and creeping but be honest…most of this time is spent on Facebook anyway.

Remember lunch time in Primary school? It was nothing but whatever game was popular at the time, like Pogz, chasing, Pokemon or whatever. Again, I’m not saying I expect to see college students playing chasing up and down campus (at least not while they’re sober) but at least something entertaining when we leave class instead of just sitting around people watching until our next lecture. I’d be up for a game of Pogz in college. Pogz society? Just putting it out there…


Beer Pogz!

Oh my God, BEER POGZ! (I reeallly liked Pogz!)

There’s loads of things you could actually do with your free time. There’s only so many times I can pretend to do work in the library. Free time from our education used to be fun. Now it’s just sitting around campus or in student housing watching home and away or sitting in the bar with a pint. We had shag all to keep us entertained during breaks in Primary school but we were creative enough to keep ourselves going the whole time even though we were stuck inside the walls of the school grounds. Now we can go wherever and do whatever we like, we don’t even have to be creative, and we can’t even think of one thing to do half the time. 8-year-old me was so much cooler.


63 Responses to “Why primary school is better than college”

  1. I was actually thinking this a few hours ago! O.0 and I didn’t even have milk or stickers in school!

  2. You should have ran for the SU, also stop reading my mind

  3. My college everyday. . . . I love art college =D

  4. Can we all just bring in our old childrens toys and sit in the amphiteatre playing with them

  5. Crayons. They make everything better. Imagine if you could do an exam with crayons? You could draw a pretty picture at the end as well and get effort marks!

  6. Have, have, have, have……NEED!

  7. Pints half way through a lecture, possibly the greatest thing you’ve ever suggested!!

  8. I’d study for MCQ’s if the lecturer promised to give a gold star to everyone who got a 1H!

  9. Milk in a wee carton and stars on my forehead. Not that I ever got the stars, to be fair. But the milk, nyeh. I haven’t drank milk since then I’d say. Right blast from the past!!! πŸ˜€

  10. Drink the beers during the lecture, flip our pogz into the empty beer glasses after the lecture! Pogz Soc FTW!

  11. Primary school days were so care free and simple!

    Couldn’t beat the carton of milk at lunch time- I’d actually forgotten about that!

  12. Lovely trip down memory lane. I loved star charts, such a good motivation method! Pints in lectures? Yes please πŸ™‚

  13. Lad. Daycent.

  14. One of main primary school worries was whether or not my alien was going to reproduce…
    Also remember actually wanting to go to the principals office to read my half page essay (imagine if college essays were only half a page) cos I’d get a chocolate bar of my choice!!!
    Those were the days!

  15. Milk at school..those were the days πŸ™‚

  16. Love the stars idea not sure about getting a shift though could get embarresing, dont tell Noel lol And pint during a boring lecture, where was for Current issues while fairhead was there

  17. Big trip down memory lane Mike. Brilliant stuff…I wish the simple things like waiting for the milk man to come or making sure my lunch was ate before yard time were all i had to stress about now. NOT the 7 days of lectures I have left and the fact that now “I have to have a career now!?”

  18. Great Blog as always… brought me dowm memory lane too!

  19. A Starbucks Venti coffee brought to me halfway through a double lecture sounds like a fantastic plan, make it happen Mike, we only have a couple weeks left!

    Greatest privilege of the year was when you were finally chosen to be a “Milk Girl” to bring up the cartons from the kitchen πŸ™‚

    Good ol’ Primary School – Life was so simple!

  20. I used to have a teacher in first year college who would throw out roses in class for each good answer. We all got A’s in our finals. Goes to show, we’re all still kids at heart! I think you’re on to something here Mike. πŸ™‚

    Keep it up- love reading your blog.

  21. Ha, this is hilarious! I remember the sigh of joy when the tv player would be wheeled into my classroom to watch a movie! I may go and root out my marbles now just for old times sake………

  22. My favourite thing about primary school was the tracksuits you were allowed wear on PE days! It got to a stage where it replaced the uniform for a couple of weeks in 5th class but a few notes home fixed that!

  23. Why am I in college again?

  24. Amazing!!

  25. Actually I’m pretty sure you’re still good at entertaining yourself nowadays. Usually its in the form of facebook though. At least you can find loads of old cartoons on youtube now.

  26. haha getting milk was a serious highlight… Although in summer when they sometimes forgot to leave it in the fridge and it was all warm and gross… not cool.

  27. I would love some stars for answering questions! It’s really a win win situation! I noticed you’re already embrassing the bring back milk also! Oh and I’m up for bringing back pogz! I had so many Alf pogz at one point!

  28. I had totally forgotten about the milk at lunch time!! You know my mum didn’t sign me up one year and I was genuinely upset,haha!!!!

  29. Excellent post! Part about the milk arriving to the door made me wonder, who the hell brought the milk and left it stacked so neatly outside the door? I remember asking a teacher one time and she told me it was either the principal or the borrowers! Strangely, I never asked for further clarification…

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