Tue Jan XXVI
Visited my new school MOUNT ALBERT GRAMMER. Its an old building. Saw Mr Douglas, the Ex-Dean. He told us about the school. Seems a nice place! Went swimming. Went with Mum to get some more uniform. Got stung!
I love the fact that I couldn’t even spell ‘Grammar’ correctly. Such schools had been phased out in England before I began secondary education so the whole idea of a grammar school was alien to me.
Mr Douglas had a teaching role which I cannot now remember (the linked article says that he was a language teacher). He may have been one of a few English born staff at the school, although he had clearly been living in NZ for quite some time if he was.
I was obviously in denial about the uniform. The grey shirt was fine (though I notice from my old school photo that I was the only one in the class to wear a short sleeved version), but the navy blue shorts and choice of either black knee length socks (with black shoes) or bare feet in sandals was completely anathema to a 14 year old from the UK. I hadn’t worn shorts to school for about five years by that point and I was mortified at the need to do so now. On the other hand, to fit in I had to wear what everyone else was wearing. As a result, I spent six months looking like a badly dressed giraffe.