Category Archives: Education

Only girl in the school?

Yesterday, being the first Saturday in July, was Founders Day at the Grammar School that I went to in Rochester. Shows my age, I left there 44 years ago, though my last Founders Day there would be 1982, the last summer before I moved to Somerset, and I’ve never been back! In truth, but for the fact that I was involved as a scorer, and player for the ‘Old Boys’ cricket team, I probably wouldnt have gone back after 1974, anyway. In fact, the last time I would have done the ‘tour’ of the school on Founders Day would have been 1972, as I was involved with the traditional cricket game in the 2 years after that.

Thing is, said Grammar School was boys only, hence the title of the blog. Title came to me, mainly because of some TV show a few years back (whose name I’ve forgotten), where the punchline item was the ‘Only gay in the village’ for one of the sections of the show. So, is the question right, am I the only girl who has ever gone to that school?

The answer is possibly yes, but at the same time, sheer numbers (120 or so new entries each year) say that over all those decades, there must be more trans, or intersex girls who went there? It was funny, because I was only across the road from where I should have been. Yes, the girls grammar school was literally across the road from us! Yes, strictly I’m intersex, not trans, as I’m the proud owner of an undeveloped womb!

No, I dont suppose now, that I will ever go back. No real desire, and besides, after nearly 50 years, the school would have changed beyond recognition, I’m sure. So probably best to stay away, regardless, as all those cricketers I knew would be retired from the sport, or dead by now.

But yes, wouldnt it be fun, if someone looked back on the list of past pupils now, and by some fate of history, saw a female name on that list! Oh the fun, and go back, and someone asked me if I had a relative at the school, and said no, I was a pupil here, as a woman. Hmm?

Right, video time. I wanted to use Girls School, by Wings, which was actually a double A side, with a far more famous record, Mull of Kintyre. Yes, one is remembered, one isnt. But no, nothing, no video, no live performance, so… I tried a You Tube search, and it came up with this. Not my type of music, but it works, with a one word change!

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Is there something I should know?

I must admit, when I reached my late fifties, I thought it was safe to assume that my exam taking career was over. Like most schoolchildren, I have sat more than a few exams in my time, and its fair to say, with mixed results. A long time ago (over 40 years ago, for the youngsters here), I took a series of O Level exams, and came away with 6 successes, and 3 failures. A reasonable set of results, you might say, and I guess you’d be right. I wasnt surprised to fail Latin, or Science, as I was not great at either. Geography, I failed twice, but most remarkably, they were the only 2 geography exams I ever failed to pass! Yes, that annoyed me, though in truth, it didnt matter, because I knew I wasnt going to University, due to being in a single parent family. Yes, it was out to work at 16 I went! Funnily enough, because of the increase in the retirement age, I will only miss on working for 50 years by about 7 months! Not that I will have worked for 50 years, quite, but the vast majority of it, yes. Well, all of that is body permitting at present, of course. At the moment, who knows?

But seemingly no, its not the end of my exam taking career, it starts up again tomorrow. Yes, the apprenticeship at work sees me facing my first exam tomorrow, and though I suspect all will be fine, I cant say I’m looking forward to it. Not that I might add, that beyond pride, I’m going to let me worry about the result, regardless. I guess thats the big difference to 40 years ago? Lets face it, as mentioned before, even if the old, creaking body lasts that long, I have just over 6 years to go to retirement. So in terms of improving myself, to boost my career chances, well…? So why am I letting it get to me? As I said, pride. I know, I’m not defending a perfect record, or anything like that, but all the same…

Actually, strictly, in one sense, I am defending a perfect record, I’m 0 for 0. How, you ask? As a woman, of course! I know, strictly, if I could trace the board, and trace the certificate, I could get the name changed, and everything, and then they would be as a woman, but unless I really need to? Not even sure if the Board I took them with would still exist anyway?

So yes, if you want to think of me, about 3.30 pm UK time, tomorrow afternoon, feel free to do so, because thats when it starts! I know, it will hopefully be fine, and if it isnt, its not the end of the world, but its the principle of it, thats all. And yes, thats why I’m not looking forward to it.

Oh, and to add to the delight, the 2 following Wednesday’s, 2 more exams, eek! Ah well, fingers crossed…

Video time. A witty retort about me, and sitting my exams, I guess?

Dont want to be teachers pet!

I must admit that before last year, at 58, I was sort of assuming that my studying days were over. Not that I minded, in truth, as though my brain is still reasonably functional (or at least I like to think it is), the desire to study, to improve myself was pretty much gone. Even allowing for the fact that retirement is now 8 years away for me (when I started working, it would be 9 more months!), I’m definitely looking for the quiet life en route to retirement, even if 1 or 2 at work have hinted that I should consider promotion in the future, but anyway…I might, OK? And if anyone wants to convince me, by interesting methods, then fine, I’d definitely go along with that! 😀

Yes, my last time at school, college, or the like, for studying purposes, was 1976! Yes, I really am that old! I did an accounts course, at a college, from my first job, which I started in 1974, and that was it. Until now…

The Civil Service department I work for, are keen on their staff taking apprenticeship courses, relating to our work. Before you say anything, I fully approve of that idea, but…for those freshly out of, or still in their youth, its a great idea. They have a long working life ahead of them, and anything they can do to improve themselves for their future work career, brilliant! But when you’re 59, looking gently in the distance to a quiet route to retirement, doing an apprenticeship, well…?

Lets be honest, when it comes to things Mathematical, I’m an old fogey! I grew up on yards, feet, and inches, not meters, centimeters, and the like! So yes, when it comes to comparing diagrams that have 1 measurement in centimeters, another in millimeters, plus meters as well…yes, honey, I’m lost, to quote a Dooleys song. No, thats not the video, btw. 😛

And yes, I can get by in basic English, the other part of my course at present, but after 43 years, expecting me to know the difference between using colons, and semi colons, and other stuff like that, no chance! As to story publishing, its why I have a wonderful friend edit my stories for publication, because I’ve forgotten about most of those rules over the years. Also, as most buyers of eBooks are in North America, he adapts my spelling to suit that market, for when I forget!

So yes, its safe to say that after 43 years, I no longer want to be a studious ‘teachers pet’, but guess I will have to do my best, all the same? But enjoy it, no chance! Yes, I working, in between calls yesterday on my studying, and I was more mentally exhausted at the end of it, than a string of non stop calls! Which is what I will probably get tomorrow, as we will be very short handed at work, due to Eid being celebrated.

Talking of which, may I wish Eid Mubarak to any of my readers who will be celebrating tomorrow, or even some today, depending on location.

Video time. I might not want to be Teachers Pet, but Doris Day did, back in 1958. Its funny seeing the screen shots, as of course most Gable films I’ve seen were made about 20 years earlier, or more! Interesting fact, Gable worked on Jean Harlow’s last film, and also worked on Monroe’s last movie, nearly 25 years later. Another connection between the 2 platinum blondes!