Part Three: Clapping Champ Essay

1473 words - 6 pages

She was the principal. Her voice blared through the gymnasium like an amateur trumpeter attempting The Last Post during an Anzac service. But her audience was much less solemn. Her words were steady, although undignified and muffled beyond the entire school’s movement and shock as they turned their heads around and gasped at my arrival. The teachers at the door ushered me to sit down, but there were only Year 12’s sitting on chairs at the back of the assembly. I would need to crawl over the bodies of Year 11’s and 12’s to reach where the Year 10’s were sitting. I found a spare seat next a dark haired boy. As I walked over to the seat, it seemed as if every pair of eyes in the building were on me. I wondered if they always did that to people who walked in during in the middle of formal assemblies. When I put my bag down next to the chair, most of the school had forced their attention back to the principal, whose name I was told but forgotten.I turned my head and noticed a girl walking in through the same back doors that I came in through. The only person that seemed to notice her entrance was me. She accidentally tripped over herself and made a loud thump as she met the ground. Still no one but me witnessed the incident. I turned my head back to the speaker, the principal, who was concluding her speech.“I’m very proud to be here at Bundarra, and I feel that this year will be particularly promising. I’m hoping that all students are looking forward to it, because it’s you people that are going to make it happen.” She smiled, and everyone took it as if she were finished and began applauding. She was not finished with her speech yet, but the volume of the clapping and cheering was much louder than her amplified voice, so she gave up trying, grinned and left the microphone. Students continued to cheer, as if her speech was so full of inspiration and wonder. I hadn’t been listening, nor had I been there for a majority of it, so I wasn’t sure if they were being genuine or sarcastic. I was leaning towards sarcasm. They continued, and I suspected they did this in order to delay the end of the assembly, and waste time instead of going to class. I ceased from applauding, because it seemed silly to clap for such a long time. And the clapping went on.And on.The teachers didn’t stop the students from making such noise, but instead sat and smiled. The principal looked at her watch thoughtfully. The boy sitting next to me saw my slightly confused face and attempted to explain.“You……. knew…..” his words were smothered with the noise.“I can’t hear you!” I yelled over it.“I said ‘You must be new here,’ I’m Byron,” he smiled at me.“Yeah, and I’m guessing you’re not. I’m Tarryn. What’s going on with the clapping and stuff anyway?” The applause was growing louder.“Our school does this every...

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