The Story of My Life so Far - Part 15 - High School (2)steemCreated with Sketch.

in #story4 years ago (edited)

This is the story of my life so far: 67 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France

The story starts here
Previous episode: Part 14

Lycée Honoré de Balzac

After grade 6 and 7 in Annexe de La Jonquière, in September 1961, I started grade 8 ("la quatrième") in Lycée Honoré de Balzac. My brothers Philippe (grade 10) and Bruno (grade 9) and my sister Monique (grade 6) were also students there in 1961. Of course, we were never saying "Lycée Honoré de Balzac" or even "Honoré de Balzac", it was always just Balzac.

source: Wikipedia

Like "La Jonquière", Balzac started as an annex to Lycée Jules Ferry and became independent in 1955. From 1955 to 1966, the principal was Madame Angèle Coquart.

Madame Coquart in her office

This was a huge establishment on an area of 5 hectares (more than 12 acres). In 1963-1964, when I was in grade 10, there were more than 3,000 students. But, I never felt lost in Balzac.

I don't remember the name of many teachers. Those that I remember are

  • Madame Hinard: French, Latin and ancient Greek
  • Mademoiselle Gastinel: also French, Latin and ancient Greek
  • Monsieur Dubriset: "travail manuel", equivalent of Tech. Ed. (Technology Education)

Although my favorite subject was math, I don't remember the names of any of my math teachers.
What I remember is that in grade 11 (la première), my math teacher asked me to compete in mathematics in the concours général. The concours général is the most prestigious competition between French students in grade 11 and 12. It took place in March for 6 hours without a break. I did not do well in grade 11. So I decided to not compete again in grade 12 if I was asked again.
In grade 12, I had the same math teacher, and she asked me again to compete in the concours général. I try to say no, but she told me that it would be good for the reputation of Balzac. So, I competed again, and as I expected, I did not do well.

I had the same teacher in English for the five years I was a student at Balzac. I did not like her, and I believe she did not like me. Consequently, I did not study well and I did not do my homework in English properly.
In grade 10, during a mid term exam in English, I cheated and I was caught. I was expelled for a week from the lycée. My parents thought that there was something wrong with me and sent me to a psychologist, who did not really understood why I was sent to her.

At the end of grade 12 (la terminale), like every French student in grade 12, I took the academic qualification known a the Baccalauréat. I passed it, but I was not brilliant, because there were many subject matters (history, geography, French, philosophy) where I was weak.

I had then decided that I wanted to become a Navy officer and to do that, starting in September 1966, I went for two years in another lycée in Paris for two years in classes préparatoires: the Lycée Saint Louis.

Continue to Part 16

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Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4
Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8
Part 9 - Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12
Part 13 - Part 14


@vcelier as always very interesting read - How have you been? I've been gone for days :D

you were expelled for cheating? [email protected]!
sounds like damn strict times back then

your favorite subject is Math? I suck at Math - it hates me hahaha
I used to pretend I'm sick during my sophomore years in high school when its Math time and like you I didn't do my homeworks properly but I was never sent to a shrink pretty strict back then I think. Well actually I thought I suck at Math till I learned trading - I guess more practice lessens the fear and that limiting belief that I suck at Math - money has played a big role in turning that around - proper accounting and money management made me love numbers and they love me back hahaha

still... my favorite subject is Biology and Science. Can you imagine I thought I sucked at Math in High School but I was awarded best in Physics and Chemistry when there was a lot of Math involved in both. I guess the thought that they're both Science made me love those classes I never skip them unlike when its Math time I pretend am sick and go to the school clinic during those 45 minutes of our daily Math classes :D

as always very interesting read

Thank you.

How have you been?

I am good thank you.

I've been gone for days :D

Yes, I noticed.

you were expelled for cheating? [email protected]!

Yes, I was.

@englishtchrivy You should consider writing your own story on steemit.

@vcelier - Glad to know you're fine!

I alreaady have been - but just the recent ones and a bit of the events here and there - some I added on some of my food posts and I can't remember where the rest are haha but thank you for the suggestion!

Wow that is awesome that you actually have a picture of a teacher from that long ago. I don't think I have any except for small yearbook photos.

Well Madame Coquart had been a teacher (French, Latin, ancient Greek and Russian), but at Balzac she was no longer teaching. She had enough work as the principal of a high school with 3,000 students.
I found her picture while researching the story of the lycée Honoré de Balzac. See the source under the picture.

Thank you for your comment.

@vcelier where's the next part? :D

It's coming. Probably tomorrow.

Impressive enough to UPvote and follow.
I think we all have had bad teachers who didn't care about us.