I requested a blog topic off of John before he disappears offline for a week or so: Schooling.
So here it goes and it’ll probably be fairly complicated.
I had my first day of school at Kangaroo Ground Primary school, I was four I think. I have photos somewhere (might have to dig them up). I had the whole two plats with ribbons thing happening. Blue checked uniform and a good old (possibly legionares *cringe*) hat.
Memories that stick out from that year: the frog pond and collecting s… (argh, can’t remember the word – eggs and tadpoles) . Shops with plastic money and selling empty food containers. I started reading.
We did the Wizard of Oz as a school musical. I was a munchkin and an emerald city person. I had no idea what was going on but it was all very exciting. The Grade six girls were SO grown up and the girl who played the good witch had this amazing dress.
End of prep, start of grade 1 was in Papua New Guniea. With the Matzke’s (who later came to the Solomons) at the POC school. I was bug and insect mad. I kept a giant moth in soft drink bottle. Had great interest in disecting a snake, which had eggs in it. I had a fight with Martha Matzke about sniffy (which was the blanket thing I carried with me everywhere). I apparently used the, “Well, my mum’s a doctor and she says I can have it at school so there!”. Not every 5 year old takes on a teacher 😛
I can also quite distinctly recall a trip to Village school. Crossing a log bridge – being afraid too. And another school trip passing along this gully thing that was green, so green. It’s weird I can sort of still visualise it.
Grade One would have mostly been spent at the school in Ukarumpa. My bug facination continued and as a class we watched a coocoon transform into a butterfly. That seriously is the extent of my memory for that point in time… end of Grade One there must have been a bit of homeschooling when we moved to the Solomons.
Oh, some schooling with Miss Claire. We made a papermache humpty dumpty.
Grade Two. I think I was back at KG. Trips to the Library to borrow lots of novels. Babysitter Club books until Mum read some and banned me. Elise MacNamara, Linda Batcock. Some girl who claimed her mum was a witch. Shae. A party that had a clown. Monkey bars. Horse games – pretending to be them, I think it went on for months and was a school wide thing.
Going to someones house on the wrong day (on the bus) to see her horse and freaking Mum out because I just disappeared. I did tell Laura, she forgot. It turned out to be a horrible afternoon – the friend got zapped by an electric fence. I didn’t get to ride the horse. She spent the afternoon crying.
We did Oliver Twist as a school musical. I was an orphan, but I had some extra part I think. I really liked drama back then. :
A short stint at Corinda school in Brisbane while Mum was sick… (sorry I get all mixed up). I lost lost my first tooth. I spent an entire afternoon with some friend (a guy, my only friend the whole time I was there) trying to find it. I remember stringent rules on wearing hats and pretty much hating it the entire time. I knew everything, I didn’t know anyone, the school was huge.
Grade Three onwards must have been homeschooling in the Solomons. So school with Mum and my sisters. Distance Education at first, until Mum disagreed with some of their content. So she started using bits and pieces of various ciriculum. A lot of Sonlight stuff. We had normal days and then Fridays devoted alternatively (I think) to History or Science (all of us together). Really comprehensive. Dad would sometimes do experiments with us we had chemistry sets, made switchboards with lightglobes, a machine/gears set thing that we made robots from. History involved everything from making models of medieval towns, to historical fiction, to writing stories about the time.
Mum made us keep journals (some of which I still have and will dig some stuff out of one day as it’s quite amusing). We had dictation/grammar books which I detested but managed to learn various famous quotes from. (No, I can’t remember them off the top of my head right now).
There were the read aloud books during our breaks. Seriously lived for them. Mum would pick a novel (we’d all choose from a selection she picked) and then we’d get a chapter or two every lunchtime… always begged for more. This is where my love of reading really took off. We’d sit down on the cushions eating beef/chicken/navy crackers and get lost in whatever world. Books were chosen to be applicable to what we were studying together. Ie. Medieval Times, Roman/Greek History, Biblical History… Sea Themes, Deserts (I think L and I might have missed that one)…
Main house for this point in time… well houses: St Nic, Daams, our house in Auki and some of it in the ERC (Educational Resource Centre)
By Grade Six we were still doing more of the same (I think it all evolved from Grade 3 upwards, it got really quite facinating), why do you think I love learning so much? There was the addition of Saxon Maths, which is an American style way of teaching that far suprasses any maths ciriculum used in Australia. Repitition of concepts and problems, and introduction of new things at the same time. Not a topic by topic that they use over here. I didn’t like it much at the time, but really missed it once we got back.
Year 7-8 we were doing this in the Daams house (which we now owned).
Year 8 was repeated as we came back to Australia for a short Furlough (break) that got extended due to a coup in the Solomons. That was at Northside Christian College. Where I met my good friend Peta Marsh (we still half catch up). A very big transition year. A very complicated year in terms of individuals. Eva, who threw a chair and had a screaming match with our Egyptian maths teacher. Italian after having learnt French (via a computer program) for a year. Hayley who caused all number of problems with Laura as a tag along, blatant lier, attention getter, I managed to be frankly rude enough to keep out of her clutches.
I heard a brilliant sermon by one of the girls in my year. Got too many principals awards (don’t worry, they gave them out liberally). I was majorly annoyed all year by a guy called Sheldon who just irritated me from day one, can’t say I really tried with him. Met Nicole (yr.7’er). Had all the social/aussie cultural things to get used to. IT class was easy, I liked it I was always done way before other people.
I had a FANTASTIC English teacher, Mrs. Fishwick who encouraged my writing. She was also my media teacher. I first learnt Photoshop, played a big part in editing the school year book, we had evenings late at school where we got Pizza and she was kind enough to drive me home – had some interesting chats around all kinds of things. HA, the one I remember most clearly is one we had about me hating wearing skirts and being girly (she said that would change – she was right).
I got into Hockey and soccer a bit – just during school hours. Had an extremely good time in art. Hated drama but liked organising some drama assignment thing we had to do.
Wandered round with a video camera and interviewed teachers for part of a media thing that I never saw the outcome of. Had one of the Paul Colman Trio guys as my substitute teacher….
Year Nine was back in the Solomons. Mum could no longer cope with the maths/science for our level – the teaching split (for ages) was getting too big. So Laura and I went back to Distance Education (DECV). It was great fun, had a mass of electives and it was pretty much all done on the computer. I got to do photography, outdoor ed, etc… I won $200 in designing some website thing. Communicated with teachers via email. I dont’ think I learnt much the entire year – particularly where maths and english were concerned but it was very enjoyable. School half the day (forgot to mention that before) and had the afternoons off – too hot.
Year Ten we moved back to Australia. A very difficult transition in some respects but an excellent school. MECS, far better than Northside. I knew Jasmine (through my cousin) so weren’t entirely lost. Soon made friends with Rachel and Holly although that progressed and I branched out a bit and found Nat, Jacqui, Ana, Jess D, Jess V etc… Many World Views classes and a passionate hatred of the Library (or was that the Librarian?)
I picked up a VET subject – Interactive Multimedia. Lilydale High for that, which was fairly terrifying – public school from a coddled homeschooled/private school girl. The class was predominantly male. Mr. Jaffe was a pretty good teacher. I had an interesting friendship with Kelly (one of the three of us girls) she shunned me one week when she found I was a Christian. I ended up really liking my Wednesdays as it was a major bludge in playing on computers all afternoon.
Oldie, managed to get me re-enthused about maths (I hated it in yr.9) and I didn’t do too badly. To be honest, Im good at maths, I just really find it tedious as I like to shortcut and you DON’T DO THAT. I nearly failed my physics exam – due to… yeh okay I wont list my excuses. I got an E+.
Year Eleven. More of the same. I chose Physics simply to prove to myself I could, and averaged a B all year, which made me pretty happy. Back to Lilydale for VET. The other girl left. Kelly and I became fairly good friends. Had to semi avoid compliments from an intersted male (that class, can’t remember his name). Spent every single lunctime at MECS playing cards with the girls. Sam started hanging out with us a bit more. Difficult year in terms of work – I put a lot into it, when I probably didn’t need to. Maths became boring again.
Had first yr.12 exam (for VET course) – ended up being my top score. It was all computer based and I guessed far too much of it to deserve doing so well.
Year Twelve. Brilliant year. Heaps of fun. I topped English – it kept me sane. Dropped Physics and chose Biology, which was facinating. Chemistry challenging, interesting, difficult, wonderful – and I got brave enough to start pushing Roger around (Chem teacher who everyone is pretty much scared of as he’s so direct in his questions) a class of 4. Methods I dreaded, but Mr. Brown was pretty cool. We had parties in class as much as we could. Spent the entire year exploring the gospel of John with Mr. Youl – going on city excursions with all kinds of hilarity and closeness for our class of 4. Muck up day we were Construction Workers got wet, slimy etc… Extremely good year.
And that. Is a condensed version of my schooling history. Homeschooling included many moves, group times during conferences with the other SITAG kids, times where we had itinerant teachers like Miss Claire and Miss Kristy. Looking back, it’s rather cool – all the things I’ve done, and had fostered in me.