Biene’s High School in Velbert
Biene wrote this post.
Life was school, and school was life for me in those days. Everything revolved around school. Every morning, except on Sundays, school started strictly at 8:00 a:m. and the big portal with the stained glass motto “Not for School but for Life” was locked by the caretaker. If you were late, you had to ring a bell. The custodian would open for you and ceremoniously accompany you to the principal’s office on the school’s top floor. Frau Lindemann reigned like a queen at her huge shiny mahogany desk. She was a short, round lady with snow-white hair, bright blue eyes, and red cheeks. She looked kind, but that was deceiving. She was a strict disciplinarian. She would give you a severe reprimand the first time you were late. If you were late three times, you would be suspended. If you had three suspensions, you would be dismissed from school. We feared Frau Lindemann and would only enter her office with great trepidations.
Our classrooms looked austerely functional. There were giant blackboards on the front and side wall opposite the big windows. We would sit in neat rows of two side-by-side desks facing the central blackboard in front and the teacher’s workstation. The room was bare of pictures, displays, plants, or decorative items. There was nothing to distract us. However, we had the most exciting experiences in this dull physical environment. We would vicariously relive humanity’s quest for scientific knowledge and spiritual truths. Most of our teachers were passionate about expanding our minds. They tried to teach us skills to foster critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective oral and written communication.