I've already written about the teacher who hit me on the head with a dictionary and chose my vocation for me.
Another one I recall is a Design & Technology teacher. I think he was Mr Drysdale, and he had a long nose, mud-green trousers on spindly legs, and an allergy to fourteen year old girls who didn't know how to draw a straight line, even with a ruler. He reluctantly took me into his class because I had been thrown out of something else, probably Art. I remember when I arrived at his door to tell him I'd been 'transferred'. He probably said something like, 'What? From Broadmoor? Frightening the others, were you?' Put it this way, he was as pleased to have me in his class as anyone is to get repeat attacks of scabies.
I spent a lot of time outside his classroom door and didn't learn a lot of DT. Correction: didn't learn any DT.
Dicky was the name of our music teacher. Well, he did have a second name, but I won't say it, and anyway, we didn't use it. My main memories of his classes are:
1. Being made to sing 'Speed Bonny Boat like a bird on the wing/over the sea to Skye' and hating it, so sitting on the back row of the class and making howling noises like a wild dog.
2. Listening to 'The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra' lesson after lesson and thinking, 'I have to find a way of getting out of here otherwise I'm going to leap from a high building.' (He was probably thinking simultaneously: if only that annoying kid would go and leap from a high building.)
3. Trying to get Dicky to say 'bugger'. He hesitated a lot, did Dicky, so his speech was littered with 'er, er, er, er'. We had this great idea (one is always most imaginative when going through puberty) that if we could 'catch' him just before he said 'er' and call out 'BUG', we would have essentially made him say 'bugger'. This gave us hours of amusement.
I spent a lot of time outside his classroom door and didn't learn a lot of music. Correction: didn't learn any music.
I still have my secondary school reports. My two favourite quotations from these are 'Frances' efforts are dangerously selective' (no change there, then) and what my Geography teacher wrote once: 'Attainment. Hopeless. Effort. Hopeless. Potential. Hopeless.' Now I'm a growed-up person and a teacher myself who teaches English Language at A level, I think of this as a brilliant example of parallelism, abstract noun-adjective pairings, and a creative use of minor sentences.' My foster parents at the time saw it another way.
I spent a lot of time outside his classroo ..... blah blah blahdiddyblah ......
I often think of Mr Drysdale, and Dicky, and Mr Hopeless as I stand in front of my classes at school. I don't think I need to explain why.
|Mr Drysdale had just heard the unfortunate news about who was coming to his class|