Stu's Stories as at 2022

59 | P a g e So . . . You don’t like school . . . Don’t like a teacher . . . School sucks! Well, let me tell you a story – about me. Yes, I was definitely something of a rebel! A “pig-headed b-------!” as one journeyman told me shortly after I was first apprenticed. My problems started in 4th class (about year 5 to you) when my music teacher told me to stop singing because I was “flat”! He was happy for me not to sing again in his class that year. However, when I went up to 5th class the next year I refused to sing saying: “If I was not good enough to sing in 4th class I wasn’t good enough for 5th class.” My punishment was to get 6 cuts of the cane every afternoon and the same question: “Are you going to sing tomorrow?” Answer: “No!” Corporal punishment was the norm in those days, although it had been changed so that only the headmaster of the school could carry it out. This punishment went on daily for two years until the end of 6th class when I went into 1st year of High School. In High School we had different teachers for every subject. My first music class looked like becoming a repeat of my Primary School years. However, the Headmaster looked at my record and said: “You are not going to sing, are you?” Answer: “No!” He didn’t cane me, just told the Music Master that I didn’t have too as it was not a necessary subject for my future (much to the Music Master’s chagrin). This tended to set the pattern for me. I was not going to be pushed around by teachers I did not like. Sound familiar? We moved from Tamworth to Goulburn (NSW) later that year only to find each year was divided into years A, B and C. As year 1A did two language courses – French and Latin – and I had only been doing French, I was placed in 1B where we did Technical Drawing instead of Latin. This was a subject in which I excelled. The French? Ah, mon ami . . . no! Anyway, I was only in 1B for the last term of the year and managed to pass all subjects without major problems (they didn’t worry about music, either). The next year, second year, I was in 2B. This is where my problems really started. First, let me explain a little of how schools worked in those years.