3 June 1982

Thur Jun III

Soccer Gs put me 0n Detention then let me off! Soccer practice. Beat U14s 3-1 with 1 from me. New keeper played well.

I love the way that I started this entry and then realised that something more significant than a mere soccer practice had taken place that day.

Why was I put in detention? Talking when I shouldn’t have been, as I recall. That was the thing about Mr Gibbs. Volatile and unpredictable as he was, he did have more trouble than any of my other teachers had when it came to keeping control of the classroom. I had many worse teachers than he as my school days wore on, but in New Zealand he was the one in whose classroom the lords of misrule would come out to play.

The curious thing is that, to my mind, all of this was in many ways to his credit. Pupils liked him. He didn’t attract the reverence that a sports teacher attracts, but he didn’t try to rule by fear as Mr D’Almeida had done and he didn’t try to be one of us, as many teachers mistakenly try and do. He was in his own way kindly, always interested in how I was finding life in New Zealand and always willing to make a joke at his own expense. For all of his rages, I can only remember him as a smiling figure and I remember that, towards the end of my time there, my respect for him increased greatly as a result of one simple conversation.

I had somehow learned that the Japanese (I think) language has no definite articles, and I was keen to impart this information to my foreign language teacher. He admitted that he already knew this and then reeled off a list of other languages – including Maori – which also lacked this facet. That very late point was the point at which I realised that I had a teacher who knew what he was talking about!

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About Richard

Just your less-than-average married father of one
This entry was posted in 1982 Diary, New Zealand, School, Teachers and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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