Like it says in the bible, if everything that Jesus did were to be written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written. My posts and each of our lives are the same, its the highlights that always stand out we remember the best.
After being told I was stupid my whole life, usually reinforced with a smack around the head, it was a surprise to discover, I had the ability to achieve doing higher levels of education. My top bible school marks, I had dismissed and attributed to my having studied the bible.
However, after completing correspondence courses to Sixth form level, I applied and was accepted at the Massey University Teacher’s College, to do their Bachelor of teaching degree.
I was the first in my family before me to do a degree, but my own daughter had beaten me to be first in all the family.
The last two older children had now, flown the nest and were living in our nearest city, Palmerston North. After enrolling the little grand-daughter in a Christian school, I prepared to join University life, quietly confident I would be able to cope.
During the week, we shared a room at the older girl’s house, saving on travel and expenses, as our budget was very tight. Weekends, we drove home to spend at our beach house.
My idea, that, when I joined a higher learning establishment, I would be hearing from and mixing with, the brightest and best brains in our country, took a serious hit on my first day, enrollment day. Pure,’pandemonium’ is the only description!
The tutors of the many subjects, were lined up in a row behind desks covered in piles of papers, across one wall of a large, but not large enough room, as queues stretched out into the hallway.
The hundreds of students were expected to stand for hours in each of these lines to register for their various courses, before finishing the day in a photo ID line.
The streaming lines creeping forward painfully slowly at each desk, where bits of essential paper and names on lists appeared to be regularly missing was an endurance test to beat them all. Adding to the stress, was the din of many voices trying to talk over each other at once or getting angry loud at the process and holdups.
The resulting shambles had me scratching my head at the architect of it it all.
The actual coursework was mostly, ‘chalk and talk’ with the students given very little opportunity for discussion. We were just required to take in what we were told verbally or on endless overhead projector screens, take notes, then regurgitate the appropriate answers, they wanted, at exam time.
Whenever one of us older students challenged anything being said we were quickly shut down, either by the tutor whose time and proscribed coursework didn’t allow for it, or the young students laying with heads on desks because of hang overs from last nights visit to the, ‘Fitz’. They just wanted class to hurry up and finish.
One tutor told me, University was ‘just a game’ and like any other game, if you learn how to play it, you win, which I did. The most rewarding and mentally stimulating of my three years at University was attending art classes. A subject I had never had an opportunity to explore before.
For all their highfalutin theories on education, that I heard, the reality in the classrooms we went to, was, that not much had changed since my days forty years prior.
After graduation most of us older students were unable to secure permanent jobs, principals clearly wanting to recruit younger more malleable new grads, so we were relegated to taking relieving positions.
Looking back over my life I see, God has always made a way for me and he did at this time. After working for the Salvation Army for a while, I was fortunate to be hired to supervise one of the government’s new homework centers.
This gave me an income until my retirement, while enjoying providing a welcoming place, hot chocolate and toast first, to help children get up to speed with their school work, plus some fun activities.
Nannygranny’s Olden Days Endings, are now my new posts, enjoy.