An open source sketchbook


Funtime is over.
Here’s a picture someone drew when the supply teacher we were assigned that day entered the classroom and announced “Funtime is over.”

Today, while doing a bit of sorting through old stuff, I stumbled across some pages from notebooks I’d kept during my time at secondary school. The notebooks are part of a series I contributed to with my friends. I think there are about 4 or 5 in total, I have one, my friends have the others. I guess this was my first open source project. Everyone in my small group of friends contributed to them, writing, and sometimes drawing what happened throughout the day.

A collaborative drawing

Most of the pictures annotate conversation threads, but on one page there is a collaborative abstract drawing. In some, we used different coloured pens to show the branches the picture takes.

the woman who shouts
We refer to another supply teacher as “the woman who shouts”.

The themes vary wildly from dinosaurs, to reasons we hate a particular subject, to various ways the faulty science equipment will kill us. There’s even a bunny suicide themed section on what form of suicide would be better than reading poetry in a double English lesson. (All very light-humoured, we weren’t that emo!)

Drawing of my friend with the lurgee
In this picture, I’m trying not to catch Lucy’s lurgee.

I went on to create my first website for my friends with a guestbook and visitor counter which was an extension of the sketchbooks, and as a result of the books getting confiscated a number of times. Unfortunately, the place I hosted my site (freewebs!) was eventually blocked by the Great Firewall of RM, which encouraged me to seek alternatives and build a real website using HTML with a forum and chatroom.

Not long after, I began making sites for other people and by the start of A-Levels, I’d quit my weekend job and was building sites whenever I wasn’t at school.

And to think it all started with some doodles in a sketchbook.