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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My memories: running through the school building

When I was in secondary three, my secondary school moved to a new building. When classes started in January, the campus was still not completed. There was still some bare patches of land awaiting landscaping, and the car park was half finished.

One of the things left unfinished was sealing off inaccessible areas. I know this because during a Scout camp in school, a few of us ventured out at night and discovered a whole new side to this building.

I think this was during the June school holidays. Boys being boys, we were restless about being cooped up in our designated area, when we had the whole school to ourselves. And so when it was around bed time, we went off on our own little adventure. This was before there were security guards in school, so we could run around as long as our teachers-in-charge didn't know what was going on.

It was a tame start, where we simply went from floor to floor to see where all of the different paths and corridors led to. Then, we somehow got into the auditorium. And we went backstage. When we weren't playing a fool around the curtains, we were climbing up and down the rigging.

While climbing through the false roof, we discovered a path to the performing arts centre! And so we had even more time having fun in both of these big halls. We went into the sound rooms, dressing rooms and other rooms. It's too bad that the arts centre's stage floor trapdoor was locked shut, otherwise I can barely imagine what we could have done down there!

The last place we went to that night was the clocktower. There was a staircase that led up to its base, so we walked up to see how far we could go. To our great delight, the door was unlocked! And so we went all the way up the tower, to where the clock's gears were. Of course, we didn't mess with the clock, but we had a great view of the neighbourhood.

That was a night to remember.

A year later, during another camp, I and a few others (not all from the same group) tried to retrace our paths and rediscover the school building. Alas, not only were the doors locked, but there were other barriers to prevent trespassing.

But I still have that night, when I was 15 years old, crawling and climbing through a new school building. That's a thrill that can never be taken from me.


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