When I was in my final year of high school I wasn’t anything fabulous like Head Girl or a Prefect or voted on to the Student Council or even the Teacher’s Pet. But my prowess on the oval did earn me the title of ‘Athletics Champion’ and for that I was to be awarded a special trophy.
Trophies were handed out in special award ceremonies. I went to the award ceremony and watched as others crossed the stage and were presented with their trophies and waited for my name to be called but it never happened.
I didn’t say anything. I thought perhaps it was going to be announced in the following assembly, or maybe the next. But weeks went by and still nothing was said.
One day close to the end of the term I was in the quadrangle where the senior students congregated. The teachers’ staff rooms were above the quadrangle and the teachers used to like to lean on the railing and look down on us as we socialised below. One day at recess I heard from above, ‘Oy, Charlie!’ I looked up to see the Sports Master leaning over the railing and staring at me. He yelled, ‘Can you come and get your trophy? It’s cluttering up my desk.’
And I was kind of stunned.
He yelled, ‘I’ve had it on my desk for weeks. It’s gathering dust. Do you reckon you could get it this afternoon?’
That afternoon I went up to his office but he wasn’t there. I told the other teacher who shared the same office that the sport’s master had asked me to come and collect my trophy. He said, ‘Oh yeah, there it is. Just grab it and I’ll let him know you’ve been.’
And he didn’t get up or help me or even congratulate me. I had to reach across a dirty, messy and dusty desk and forage for my own trophy.
I took it home and stored it away in some back cupboard but I vowed and declared if any of my children ever won a trophy they would be congratulated and applauded and made a big fuss of and no matter how ugly or abhorrent their trophy, it would be displayed.
Have you ever been awarded a trophy?
Tomorrow is Alfie’s birthday. He’s very excited. We’re having a family dinner and I made him some mini ice cream cones. I bought the cones and filled them with store-bought ice cream using a melon baller dipped in hot water, then returned them to the freezer. Once hardened I covered them in dark chocolate melted in a double boiler over simmering water with a splash of vegetable oil, then dipped them in sprinkles.
To stand them up while in the freezer I upturned an egg carton and poked holes in it then pushed the cones through. They stood up rather well. Alfie was very pleased.