Words and Pictures - school lunches

Who threw out their milk? Not me, second row, second from left.

There's a new game at Pip's with a theme each week to write or post a picture about.  I've been loving reading all the players tales about this week's theme of School Lunches.  Here's mine:

I don't remember too much about my school lunches. I was a two Sao biscuits sandwiched together with butter and vegemite kinda gal.  Wrapped in greaseproof paper.  No mess, no mush. Quickly and easily gobbled up on the go so as not to take up too much playtime. 

My strongest memory, well nightmare more like it, is actually a recces thing.  I started school in 1973, a time when some well meaning bureaucrat thought all children should have a big drink of sun warmed milk for morning tea.  I went to a tiny catholic school in a South Australian country town with only two class rooms. Single desks in neat rows all facing the blackboard at which stood the scary Sister Rose.  Who must have been at least 100 years old.   She wielded a wooden ruler and would smack you without hesitation for the slightest misdemeanor.   

After a pleasant morning of reciting our times tables, we'd march out to the bitumen and pick up our warm milk served in a cardboard pyramid.  Kinda like a Sunnyboy without the orange flavoured fun.  Sister Rose would briskly snip off the corner and you had to suck the milk through the soggy cardboard.  Oh boy, makes me cringe to think about it.

But if that wasn't bad enough, one day Sister Rose found two full triangles of milk sitting upright at the bottom of the bin.  "Right" she said glaring at Kathleen O'Reilly and me, "you will do!"  And she grabbed us by the scruff of the neck and hauled us over to the bin.  "Drink it!" she demanded.  Let me tell you right now Sister Rose was pretty scary to a five year old,  actually she'd scare me now if I saw her on the street, and not only for the fact that she'd be 140 years old.  Our meek protests of innocence fell on deaf ears, "I don't care, drink it!" was her response.  So Kathleen and I picked up those now close to putrid,  full pyramids of milk out of the bin and sculled them down. Gagging all the way. 

Thankfully, the Room Temperature Milk For Schoolchildren program was phased out not long after.  I managed to survive it with some shred of dignity intact.  And it's no surprise I can't remember too much about school lunches,  I've blocked it all out,  save the comforting nostalgia of a Sao biscuit. 
 

12 comments:

  1. OMG - this is one of my most vivid school memories!!!!!! QLD sun - school milk and loads of vomit on my part. Still to this day I can only drink milk in my coffee. Back then parental influence was considered interference and spurred my year one teacher to greater heights of encouragement regarding my milk drinking. Thank goodness it got phased out in year 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. Thank you for your LOVELY comment on my blog. SO great to find your wonderful blog too.

    I loved your story! My poor big sister was also a victim of the free milk (in country victoria). As happened with Ingsthings, she can no longer drink plain milk!

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  3. Gawd, I *just* remember the milk at recess thing, we had it in Canberra too. To this day I never voluntarily drink milk but if I ever have a sip I'm surprised at how nice it is!

    Great story.

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  4. scary indeed!

    you just made me remember our orange juice containers in grade school! i totally forgot about their pyramid shape. oh wow! thank you!

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  5. I am for ever grateful that my Mum and some of her friends came to our school each morning just before recess, and tipped all the milk from those little bottles into a large saucepan. As the milk warmed they added milo. All the tiddly winks then lined up with our mugs. I still love sao's and vegemite.

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  6. Oh YUK! School MILK! Vile! And in pyramids like some sort of crazy Egyptian milky ritual. GROSS! And a Nun Wielding A Ruler! NOOOOOO! You poor thing. But look how great you turned out! Note to self : start smacking kid with ruler from now on.

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  7. Fabulous story Michelle, it made me wind the clock back to 1964 & Clare Primary School. I used to 'encourage' my sister to drink mine - I had some juicy info. on her that I threatened to tell Mum about if she didn't co-operate!
    Millie ^_^

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  8. I must have just missed out but my husband remembers it well. He has recently found out he is lactose intolerant and now understands all those stomach pains he had in school!

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  9. My sister had a similar experience with apple juice in kindergarten. Her refusal kept the whole class in from recess, on Halloween no less.

    To this day she has never touched a glass of apple juice and I dare say, never will.

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  10. My sister had a similar experience with apple juice in kindergarten. Her refusal kept the whole class in from recess, on Halloween no less.

    To this day she has never touched a glass of apple juice and I dare say, never will.

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  11. My sister had a similar experience with apple juice in kindergarten. Her refusal kept the whole class in from recess, on Halloween no less.

    To this day she has never touched a glass of apple juice and I dare say, never will.

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  12. My my what a story. I was almost gagging as it got closer to drinking that awful milk. yuck

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