Starting high school is turbulent for anyone especially when you are starting a whole new school with new people from other local schools and new teachers. There are also bigger kids who are wandering around towering over everyone who is new. For myself there was an added bonus as I had gone through the transition of a name change. I was in primary school known as Bradley Watson through going to high school meant I was going through a whole new change that was not just puberty. Because of mum and dad getting married as it was their second marriage, my sister and I were going to get out names changed and with starting high school for myself it would be a whole new change that would be interesting. People who knew me as Bradley Watson all of a sudden in class found I was now Bradley Beadel. This was pretty cool and the year I think was around 1995 if I remember correctly unless I am wrong.
We had to go through the whole court process and all that to do the change even though mum had changed hers through marriage, for my sister and I it was a whole different process. The courts at one stage had lost my paperwork so I was Neville Nobody. When it was bought up I liked the idea of the change as I would go from the back of the line with W to the front of the line with B. I could actually skip to the front without pushing in or anything else. Also I would never be asked ‘Whats on’ Again. Later on I did just shorten my name from Bradley to just Brad as it sounded silly when I kept saying my full name. According to the dictionary, Brad is a nail with a very small head. That is really fitting. I think people were surprised when I was now called Beadel instead of Watson though very few people questioned that change at all that I can remember.
Year 7 was something of a learning curve too though I think I was more stiff than what I was back then especially when I basically camped outside the library for quite some time on breaks. I did eventually end up with the people who played handball, but I cant exactly remember when this happened. I was with all the coolish kids in my year for class. From memory it was 7-K-blue though I could be wrong, which was the name of the class not the year. The coolish kids were a little rowdy like those who would pull chairs out from under you when you sat down or throw liquid paper at fans in music. Lets say that stuff makes a mess when it splatters. The smart kids are called Techs, more in a derogatory sense. I did learn many new words and what things were about the body from other kids talking especially not what you could find in books. I do remember teasing the science teacher, because no one liked him though I think he left not long after. One teacher that got a ribbing from the class was a substitute, Mr Eggins though he specialised in maths. He had another community role as a priest for a local church in Cabarita. Years later for the year 10 formal I took his daughter to the formal though he would have remembered me as part of the disruptors in class even though I did the work and kept quiet.
I wasn’t really teased or bullied though I did get into one fight and that was only because I started it by throwing someones bag in a puddle and he then tried to do the same though it was more push and shove with everyone yelling ‘Fight, Fight’. I remember that day as I was the school runner as it was the job for one student from year 7 to spend the day delivering messages to other teachers. I got onto detention for at least a week and I didn’t fight anyone else again. Though I was good at being sneaky for other things that were around school, but I was the good kid. I hope I was seen like that. I was teased about being a kiwi though that is never unusual and everyone laughs when you tease yourself back. This was well before any diagnosis of Aspergers and being different was not something that popped into my head that much and was part of the crowd, but not really part of it. I acted confused and stupid around girls by making comments. One wanted to go out with me through a friend of a friend and I acted I had no idea what they were on about until I was told I was barred, which was another word for dumped and I responded by asking why I am in jail? Sports carnivals we never did anything and while hanging out with friends who did go to school that day we would play games like daring people to ask girls out for someone else or just doing nothing. I would go in some events like javelin or shot put for something to do.
That was the beginning of the school years and the biggest change was not only going to a whole new school, but also a whole brand spanking new name. I was in front for once and that was also pretty cool. The front of the line and roll calls meant I would always be at least one or two names at the front.