Every once in awhile I want to tell an anecdote from my childhood. But because I went to a Steiner school, it often becomes more about explaining that we did certain things. Things that in the context of that school are common as being picked for sports teams at lunch, Learning to knit a stuffed sheep in class one, The four gnome characters that stood for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division (learning math in the first few years was all about stories). Making music bags out of hessian in class three, starting your instrument the same year. That’s also the year we start the Old Testament stories. But for some reason we never got up to Jesus, it was all Judaism. And then the next year was the Greeks, then Hinduism the year after. The Romans, and Latin. (Maybe back in the day Steiner assumed we would all be Christian church-going folk and it was inevitable? Nope. Never learned a single Jesus bible story). 

I’m long past realising it’s weird. I already dealt with feeling defensive when kids from normal schools asked questions or called us names.  It’s more the realisation that half the time I can’t explain why we did any of the things we did. Except I know there’s surely some esoteric christian-adjacent anthroposophy reason that will irritate me when I go look it up. 

We didn’t learn to read till class two/age 8. Not something I think is too much of a problem in itself, since I have a lot of opinions about the needless pressure and homework primary school kids face at an insanely young age. But the reasoning behind it kind of pisses me off. Which is that kid’s souls are not in their body enough yet, or some such crap. Sorry, can’t learn to read. Not in my body yet. Also my mum got in trouble because I was reading ‘early’ and reading too much and they instructed her to take my books away or discourage me. From reading. (I find it hard to believe I was the only one who could already read when we were ‘learning’.)

I went there from Kindergarten till the end of secondary school. That’s 14 years.  I can spot a certain unhinged New-Age expression on a person’s face from a mile away. And I am famously impatient when people spout any ‘why don’t you just meditate?’ or Louise L Hay shit my way. Obviously I retained some of it, like an instinctive love of Greek Mythology. I own Tarot cards.  I am, tellingly, obsessed with why people join cults, or why they believe in anything religious. 

I didn’t grow up going to a church, but I’m fairly certain there’s an amount of worshipfullness that comes with going along with Steiner philosophy. And saying I think it’s not based on anything real is probably something that would really upset my teachers. Probably like saying I don’t believe in God. I don’t, mostly. But I imagine for them not believing in Steiner is worse.

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