RHS Atrocities; Feeble Forearms – Toby C

This one is just outright ludicrous. In what world does it make sense for a pupil to carry all their books and folders and iPads and pencil cases under one arm? It doesn’t make sense! I joined in year 9 and I remember the glares I would get because I held my books firmly between two hands below my waist. Apparently this sort of behaviour is equivalent to anarchy, or at least that’s the impression I got!

The RHS way to hold books

 I quickly learned to suffer in silence as I shoved all my folders and books under one arm and hobbled the vast distances of the RHS school site. To start I would drop pencil cases here and calculators there. The amount of RHS traffic jams I have caused when a multitude of people are held back as I fumble around the corridor floor picking up a useless mathematical instrument that slipped out of my inadequately stacked pile of equipment! I tell you, the trauma that has been caused by this is irreversible. To this day the thought of a protractor slowly slipping out of my grasp and clattering to the floor still keeps me awake at night.

Four years later and it has only gotten worse. I thought A levels would help; dropping half your subjects means less books to carry right? WRONG! The folders just got bigger, the books meatier, and you are expected to make it to your next lesson without splurging your chemistry prep all over the corridor.

What makes it even worse is the expectation to smile at people as you walk past them. SMILE? I am in agony as I feel my forearm slowly detach from my elbow and you want me to smile? All my concentration is on trying not to cause an earthquake in case my biology textbook clatters to the floor and you think I am able to give you that silly eyebrow raise that indicates I remember having a fleeting conversation with you three years ago? Talk about high standards!

Okay, okay, so let’s say you manage a feint attempt of a smile at your year 8 tutor, and you raise your eyebrows at that nice guy you bumped into in the health centre that one time. Its all going great on your advance to fourth period until you feel the top book shift a little, fear rises within you as you know what’s coming, your calculator lurches out in front of you and you try and grab it with your free hand. You miss. Your centre of gravity is now lost. The floor approaches you with alarming speed and smacks you in the face before you know what has happened. Books everywhere. Year 7s laughing at you. All because of RHS and its stupid one-handed book carrying rule!

The thing is I am finally getting better at mitigating the situation above. It has taken time and effort, but I am now in a situation where I can comfortably carry a couple of folders at a time. But this came with a new, unforeseen enemy. My dominant forearm is now exceptionally strong. This is not a good thing. Or at least it would be if my other arm was also strong. But its not. I have one big, beautiful arm to cope with the stress of A level books, but my other arm could barely fight its way out of a wet paper bag. It may just be my mind playing tricks on me, but I swear I lean a little to the left due to the uneven weight of each arm! This is an atrocity I could certainly go without!!!!

So, join me, my eager readers, and start the revolution. If you want to avoid embarrassment, keep smiling, and have two evenly sized arms, then I urge you to carry your books with a firm grip with both hands.


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