Saturday, July 01, 2006

One of my more unusual teachers

40 years ago I was in my first year at Footscray Technical College, which was the blue collar equivalent of High School. The only languages taught were English and Filth and the curriculum focussed on turning us into tradesmen.

Not a bad school as it happened; I learned a lot about the practical side of the world and natural curiousity taught me the 'softer' side of things.

We Form 1 students in our first year at Tech were all about 11 or 12 years old and, as I've hinted (and downright said) in previous posts, more than somewhat fascinated by the grand mystery of the opposite sex.

Indeed, I remember during my first week at that school, during the time when the new school year is lumbering into gear and no one from students to teachers is quite sure what to do, our Form 1 class was combined with a Form 3 class in a large classroom under the supervision of a new teacher. An exercise in having to do something with us to fill an hour.

New teacher tried to pal up by not pulling the discipline thing and tried to get conversation going by intimating that we could talk about anything on our minds.

One of the 3rd Formers piped up. 'Let's talk about girls!'. Giggles from we 1st Formers. But I have to hand it to the new teacher. He handled it well.

'Ok', he said, 'what about girls?' And no one had a word to say!

Thus it was our delight to have Miss F as our art teacher.

Yes, even in a trade oriented school we had 'art' classes. Not at all what I'd call art these days but it must have struck someone as useful to have a bunch of spotty herberts alternate between sloshing clay around and disfiguring perfectly innocent pieces of art paper with hideous 'paintings'.

The thing about Miss F, who I imagine might have been 22 or 23 years old, that delighted us was that she wore neither underwear nor a bra. For 1966 that was quite daring. Ah, but you're asking, how did we know she wore no underwear?

Well, she made no effort to hide the fact; to the contrary she seemed determined to show off what she had and we desired. Or maybe she got a kick out of knowing she had thirty 11 year olds all standing to attention!

*shrug* I wasn't alone in enthusiastically boasting that I had seen 'it'.

The name Miss F isn't a subtle dig; her name really did start with F but as she might still be alive I choose not to be more specific about her name.

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