school days reminiscences of Debby Gies

School Days, Reminiscences of Debby Gies (D.G. Kaye)

Welcome to the School Days, Reminiscences series in which my champion bloggers and authors share reminiscences of their school days. It’s my small way of thanking them for their support and of letting you know about their services and publications.

This week, I am pleased to introduce Debby Gies (D.G. Kaye), author and blogger extraordinaire. I can’t remember when or how I met Debby, but I do know that very early on I read and thoroughly enjoyed her travel memoir Have Bags, Will Travel. While Debby has done far more travel than I, there was much in her book with which I could identify. I remember laughing out loud in places, surprised to find there was someone else who shared similar obsessive behaviour.

Debby is a prolific writer, mainly of memoir. I have read others of her books and never been disappointed. Her style is open, from the heart, and conversational. You could be having a chat with a best friend over coffee, sharing love, life and laughter. In fact, those are things we both have in our blog taglines. How could we not be friends?

Since our first encounter, Debby has been a constant supporter of both my blogs, always dropping by to share some words of wisdom or encouragement — a true champion.

D.G. Kaye and books

But perhaps I should allow Debby to tell you a little of herself:

Debby Gies is a Canadian non-fiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. D.G. is born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart, and women’s issues hoping to empower others.

Why I write: I love to tell stories that have lessons in them and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest, hoping that others can relate and find that we always have a choice to move from a negative space to a positive. We need only the courage to take the leap.

Describe yourself in three words: Optimistic, funny, worry-wart. (Is that four words?)

Best advice: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Never do something to someone you wouldn’t want done unto yourself.

Welcome Debby.

Now let’s talk school. First of all, could you tell us where you attended school?

I’m born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I originally began grade 1 going to a parochial school. Before the school year ended, I was stamping my feet demanding I wanted to go to ‘real school’, lol, meaning public school. I got my wish and grade 2 was Kenton Drive Public School where I was thrilled to have Miss Jacobs for my teacher as she was very compassionate toward me. In middle of grade 4, we moved (again) and changed schools to Rockford Road Public School till grade 7 where I spent my 3 years at Fisherville Junior High. In grade 10 I went to high school at William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate – far out of my living district,  but considered higher academically than the one near my home. It was a half mile walk to the bus and 3 busses there and back a day throughout high school.  After high school I moved away from home and began working and taking night school classes for business and accounting where I received diplomas, which proved useful for many of the secretarial and admin jobs I had through the years. I also became a certified travel agent and then proceeded back to University of Toronto to study voice and theory in music.

Debbie Gies High School Photos

Did you attend a government, private or independent school?

They were all government schools.

What is the highest level of education you achieved?

High school diploma and the school of hard knocks.

What work or profession did you choose after school and was there anything in school that influenced this choice?

While in school I couldn’t make up my mind what I wanted to do. My initial goals were to become a journalist or a lawyer. I had the grades to do so but not the inspiration nor the encouragement to follow through. I worked in the clothing industry for a few years in my early twenties, started as a salesgirl, working my way up to managerial positions and buyer. The fashion bug hit me early. I then became an executive secretary for a general manager of the Carlton Inn Hotel – best job ever! And then I moved on to run an office for a construction company for a friend and later did the same work for an architectural firm. After ‘those days’ I went to ‘dealer’ school where I became a licensed blackjack and poker dealer and worked in the casino business until I met my husband. I also spent the better part of my twenties trying to catch a break in the music industry as a singer. Fun times in bands doing gigs. I recorded a demo tape, but eventually I gave up the dream.

What is your earliest memory of school?

My earliest memory of school was a kind teacher I had in kindergarten – Mrs. Wagner. She knew my emotional struggles and paid me extra attention. I came from a severely, ongoing, broken home situation and a few of these teachers I pointed out were like angels with radar.

What memories do you have of learning to read?

Honestly, I don’t have any memories of learning to read other than I loved reading. Nobody ever read to me at home and we didn’t have any books. I must have had some great teachers!

What memories do you have of learning to write?

I couldn’t wait how to learn to write. I do remember I began writing as soon as I learned how to write as a tool to release my thoughts and feelings. I wrote poems and love notes on scraps of paper and made cards. Some I gave to intended recipients – some I never showed a soul.

What do you remember about math classes?

I enjoyed math until high school and always had good grades, but I lost interest when we began learning physics and calculus. I much preferred English and French classes. Languages have always fascinated me.

What was your favourite subject?

It’s a toss up between history and geography. I loved to learn about other countries and cultures, even as a child. But I’ll have to go with geography, which I think stimulated my interest to travel.

What did you like best about school?

My teachers. I had developed several rapports with teachers in many grades. When I look back on those days, I know it had to do with the compassion and extra attention they gave me that I didn’t receive at home.

What did you like least about school?

I hated gym class. I was not an active child, more of a thinker than a doer. I didn’t like the ugly uniforms we wore that weren’t the least flattering, especially for girls carrying extra weight, and I didn’t enjoy sports. I was the proverbial girl chosen last when picking teams. Here’s the girl who always kept a high 80s average throughout high school until the year I actually failed gym, which cut into my good grade average. Seriously, who fails gym?

How do you think schools have changed since your school days?

Oh my, that’s a loaded question. Even though I never had children, I’m quite aware how much the system has changed. There have been many cutbacks in after school programs, classrooms have too many students in them, and I hear complaints from parents that their kids are inundated with homework nowadays. Not to mention, the whole computer era that wasn’t our world then. The saddest thing I think that’s happening is the decision to no longer teach cursive writing. How on earth can they not teach that anymore? It’s sad the art of letter writing is on its way out with time. It also makes me wonder if children will even learn how to sign their name where print doesn’t cut it.

What do you think schools (in general) do well?

I’m not too familiar with what’s happening nowadays in classrooms, but I do know from having a 7-year-old great niece and having picked her up from school a few times, the system for safety seems to be excellent before picking up children from school. I must sign in, and my niece (her mother) must call the school to alert them someone else will be picking up her child.

How do you think schools could be improved?

They could definitely use more government funding, more teachers, more after school programs, and more benefits for the children whose families can’t afford supplies and books for their kids, and for field trips.

thank you for your participation

Thank you for sharing your reminiscences of school and thoughts about education in general, Debby. It’s pleasing to know that you enjoyed school and that you had compassionate teachers who helped you blossom. It’s been wonderful to have you here. I learned so much I didn’t already know about you.

Find out more about Debby Gies (D.G. Kaye)

and connect with her on social media or any of her author and blog pages

www.dgkayewriter.com

www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (Of course there’s a story to this name!)

www.facebook.com/dgkaye

www.linkedin.com/in/DGKaye7

www.mewe.com/i/debbygies

www.instagram.com/dgkaye

www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7

Debby invites you to come join our Literary Diva’s Library Facebook group for writers and authors

And our #ABRSC –Authors/bloggers rainbow support club.

We are also on Mewe – https://mewe.com/join/theliterarydivashangout

 

 

BOOKLINKS:

Conflicted Hearts

 Conflicted Hearts

Meno-What

MenoWhat? A Memoir

Words We Carry

Words We Carry

Have Bags, Will Travel

Have Bags, Will Travel

P.S. I Forgive You

P.S. I Forgive You

Twenty Years After I do

Twenty Years: After “I Do”

Visit me at my Amazon Author Page

School Days, Reminiscences of Charli Mills Welcome to the School Days, Reminiscences series in which my champion bloggers and authors share reminiscences of their school days. It’s my small way of thanking them for their support and of letting you know about their services and publications. This week, I am pleased to introduce Debby Gies (D.G. Kaye), author and blogger extraordinaire. I can’t remember when or how I met Debby, but I do know that very early on I read and thoroughly enjoyed her travel memoir Have Bags, Will Travel. While Debby has done far more travel than I, there was much in her book with which I could identify. I remember laughing out loud in places, surprised to find there was someone else who shared similar obsessive behaviour. Debby is a prolific writer, mainly of memoir. I have read others of her books and never been disappointed. Her style is open, from the heart, and conversational. You could be having a chat with a best friend over coffee, sharing love, life and laughter. In fact, those are things we both have in our blog taglines. How could we not be friends? Since our first encounter, Debby has been a constant supporter of both my blogs, always dropping by to share some words of wisdom or encouragement — a true champion. But perhaps I should allow Debby to tell you a little of herself: Debby Gies is a Canadian non-fiction/memoir author who writes under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. D.G. is born, raised, and resides in Toronto, Canada. Kaye writes about her life experiences, matters of the heart, and women’s issues hoping to empower others. Why I write: I love to tell stories that have lessons in them and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences. I write raw and honest, hoping that others can relate and find that we always have a choice to move from a negative space to a positive. We need only the courage to take the leap. Describe yourself in three words: Optimistic, funny, worry-wart. (Is that four words?) Best advice: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Never do something to someone you wouldn’t want done unto yourself. Welcome Debby. Now let’s talk school. First of all, could you tell us where you attended school? I’m born and raised in Toronto, Canada. I originally began grade 1 going to a parochial school. Before the school year ended, I was stamping my feet demanding I wanted to go to ‘real school’, lol, meaning public school. I got my wish and grade 2 was Kenton Drive Public School where I was thrilled to have Miss Jacobs for my teacher as she was very compassionate toward me. In middle of grade 4, we moved (again) and changed schools to Rockford Road Public School till grade 7 where I spent my 3 years at Fisherville Junior High. In grade 10 I went to high school at William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate – far out of my living district, but considered higher academically than the one near my home. It was a half mile walk to the bus and 3 busses there and back a day throughout high school. After high school I moved away from home and began working and taking night school classes for business and accounting where I received diplomas, which proved useful for many of the secretarial and admin jobs I had through the years. I also became a certified travel agent and then proceeded back to University of Toronto to study voice and theory in music. Did you attend a government, private or independent school? They were all government schools. What is the highest level of education you achieved? High school diploma and the school of hard knocks. What work or profession did you choose after school and was there anything in school that influenced this choice? While in school I couldn’t make up my mind what I wanted to do. My initial goals were to become a journalist or a lawyer. I had the grades to do so but not the inspiration nor the encouragement to follow through. I worked in the clothing industry for a few years in my early twenties, started as a salesgirl, working my way up to managerial positions and buyer. The fashion bug hit me early. I then became an executive secretary for a general manager of the Carlton Inn Hotel – best job ever! And then I moved on to run an office for a construction company for a friend and later did the same work for an architectural firm. After ‘those days’ I went to ‘dealer’ school where I became a licensed blackjack and poker dealer and worked in the casino business until I met my husband. I also spent the better part of my twenties trying to catch a break in the music industry as a singer. Fun times in bands doing gigs. I recorded a demo tape, but eventually I gave up the dream. What is you earliest memory of school? My earliest memory of school was a kind teacher I had in kindergarten – Mrs. Wagner. She knew my emotional struggles and paid me extra attention. I came from a severely, ongoing, broken home situation and a few of these teachers I pointed out were like angels with radar. What memories do you have of learning to read? Honestly, I don’t have any memories of learning to read other than I loved reading. Nobody ever read to me at home and we didn’t have any books. I must have had some great teachers! What memories do you have of learning to write? I couldn’t wait how to learn to write. I do remember I began writing as soon as I learned how to write as a tool to release my thoughts and feelings. I wrote poems and love notes on scraps of paper and made cards. Some I gave to intended recipients – some I never showed a soul. What do you remember about math classes? I enjoyed math until high school and always had good grades, but I lost interest when we began learning physics and calculus. I much preferred English and French classes. Languages have always fascinated me. What was your favourite subject? It’s a toss up between history and geography. I loved to learn about other countries and cultures, even as a child. But I’ll have to go with geography, which I think stimulated my interest to travel. What did you like best about school? My teachers. I had developed several rapports with teachers in many grades. When I look back on those days, I know it had to do with the compassion and extra attention they gave me that I didn’t receive at home. What did you like least about school? I hated gym class. I was not an active child, more of a thinker than a doer. I didn’t like the ugly uniforms we wore that weren’t the least flattering, especially for girls carrying extra weight, and I didn’t enjoy sports. I was the proverbial girl chosen last when picking teams. Here’s the girl who always kept a high 80s average throughout high school until the year I actually failed gym, which cut into my good grade average. Seriously, who fails gym? How do you think schools have changed since your school days? Oh my, that’s a loaded question. Even though I never had children, I’m quite aware how much the system has changed. There have been many cutbacks in after school programs, classrooms have too many students in them, and I hear complaints from parents that their kids are inundated with homework nowadays. Not to mention, the whole computer era that wasn’t our world then. The saddest thing I think that’s happening is the decision to no longer teach cursive writing. How on earth can they not teach that anymore? It’s sad the art of letter writing is on its way out with time. It also makes me wonder if children will even learn how to sign their name where print doesn’t cut it. What do you think schools (in general) do well? I’m not too familiar with what’s happening nowadays in classrooms, but I do know from having a 7-year-old great niece and having picked her up from school a few times, the system for safety seems to be excellent before picking up children from school. I must sign in, and my niece (her mother) must call the school to alert them someone else will be picking up her child. How do you think schools could be improved? They could definitely use more government funding, more teachers, more after school programs, and more benefits for the children whose families can’t afford supplies and books for their kids, and for field trips. [thank you] Thank you for sharing your reminiscences of school and thoughts about education in general, Debby. It’s pleasing to know that you enjoyed school and that you had compassionate teachers who helped you blossom. It’s been wonderful to have you here. I learned so much I didn’t already know about you. Find out more about Debby Gies (D.G. Kaye) and connect with her on social media or any of her author and blog pages www.dgkayewriter.com www.goodreads.com/dgkaye www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7 www.twitter.com/@pokercubster (Of course there’s a story to this name!) www.facebook.com/dgkaye www.linkedin.com/in/DGKaye7 www.mewe.com/i/debbygies www.instagram.com/dgkaye www.pinterest.com/dgkaye7 Debby invites you to come join our Literary Diva’s Library Facebook group for writers and authors And our #ABRSC -Authors/bloggers rainbow support club. We are also on Mewe - https://mewe.com/join/theliterarydivashangout BOOKLINKS: [image] Conflicted Hearts [image] MenoWhat? A Memoir [image] Words We Carry [image] Have Bags, Will Travel [image] P.S. I Forgive You [image] Twenty Years: After “I Do” Visit me at my Amazon Author Page [books] If you missed previous reminiscences, check them out here: Charli Mills Sally Cronin Anne Goodwin Geoff Le Pard Hugh W. Roberts Look for future interviews in this series to be posted on Sunday evenings AEST. Coming soon: Pauline King Jules Paige D. Avery With more to follow. Note that, as next Sunday is Easter Sunday, I won’t be posting an interview. Pauline’s interview will be posted on 28 April. See you then. [thank you] Thank you for reading. I appreciate your comments. Please share your thoughts.

bio infographic of D.G. Kaye

If you missed previous reminiscences, check them out here:

Charli Mills

Sally Cronin

Anne Goodwin

Geoff Le Pard

Hugh W. Roberts

Look for future interviews in this series to be posted on Sunday evenings AEST.

Coming soon:

Pauline King

Jules Paige

D. Avery

With more to follow.

Note that, as next Sunday is Easter Sunday, I won’t be posting an interview. Pauline’s interview will be posted on 28 April. See you then.

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your comments. Please share your thoughts.

190 thoughts on “School Days, Reminiscences of Debby Gies (D.G. Kaye)

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  8. Liesbet @ Roaming About

    As always, I enjoyed finding out and reading more about Debby, especially a younger Debby! I liked cursive writing at school (we never learned to print letters in Belgium as I first saw in the US) and geography as well. And, gym class lowered my average grades, too. I was pretty good at ball sports, but running and gymnastics belonged in the failure category!

    Great timing with this interview. Debby, as you just attended a high school reunion! 🙂

    Thanks for this enlightening interview, Norah!

    Like

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Liesbet. I’m pleased you enjoyed the interview.
      I’m surprised you went straight to cursive writing, without printing. But it makes sense in some ways – why teach something you’ll have to ‘unlearn’ later.
      I think sport is coming way down on the list of writers’ favourite school subjects. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  9. Pingback: School Days, Reminiscences of Pauline King | Norah Colvin

  10. Vashti Q

    This is a wonderful interview, Norah! I enjoyed learning a new side of Debby. This post brought back memories of my first-grade teacher, Mrs. Florinda who was so kind and my middle-grade art teacher that used to call me “cookie”. Ha, ha. ❤ xo

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  11. D. Wallace Peach

    Another great interview, Norah. I’m not surprised that Debby couldn’t wait to write. She was born to it. And I can relate to her memories of kind teachers. They are key, in my opinion, to success at school. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  12. Pingback: Author Interview with D.G. Kaye - Schooldays with Norah Colvin

  13. Jules

    I was surprised to find out that my grandson in third grade was learning cursive. But there is too much of dependence on electronics. Children need to learn how to estimate as well as think for themselves.

    Thanks Norah for this series. And DG continued success in all you do and all of your dreams.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jules. I agree with you on the importance of teaching children to think for themselves. The other night I was watching a quiz program on TV. The question was a multiple choice: In which direction does the sun set? Two young people (in their twenties) had no idea and didn’t see it as a problem. I was stunned! One of them was even training to be a primary school teacher. I foresee generations of ignorance. 😦
      I’m pleased you’re enjoying the series, Jules. I’m looking forward to your interview in a few weeks. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Jules

        I may be direction-ally challenged at times but I know the direction of the rise and set of the sun. While I have not done so yet I thought it might be interesting to learn Orienteering.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
  14. Susan Scott

    Much enjoyed this, thank you Debby & Norah! The interview reads in the style I ‘know’ Debby – light, conversational, friendly. I’ve got a few of her books on my TBR kindle which I look forward to reading. I belong to the club of not liking gym – we called it PE (Physical Education) –

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      I’m so pleased you enjoyed the interview, Susan. I like that you commented on Debby’s style and recognise it as light, conversational and friendly. That’s how I see it too – and honest. Her writing is always a pleasure to read.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  15. Donna W. Hill

    Debby, so nice to get to know you a little better. You may remember me from Sally’s blog. I didn’t know you had the music bug. I was a street performer in Philadelphia for 11+ years, but I rarely played with other musicians, except when making records or just for fun. So, you found your hubby in the casinos? That is cool

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. dgkaye

      Hi Donna! Of course I remember you, lol. You my friend, have a wonderfully colored past too. How cool would it have been to meet the people we know now and come to together with all of our creative talents? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
    2. Norah Post author

      I’m pleased you enjoyed Debby’s interview, Donna. Thanks for popping over from Sally’s blog. Being a street performer sounds fascinating. You’d have enough material to fill a book or two, I’m sure.

      Like

      Reply
      1. Donna W. Hill

        Hi Nora, nice to meet you. Yes, I suppose I do have stories from that experience – the two times I was robbed come to mind, as well as the many wonderful people I met. Thanks for posting Debby’s story.

        _____

        Liked by 2 people

        Reply
  16. Molly Stevens - Shallow Reflections

    What an interesting work history you have, Debby! And I was surprised to learn that you were into voice training and singing. What diverse interests you have – how could you not become a writer? I think there is too much emphasis on testing these days in schools, and not enough time for kids to explore their creativity. My older grandson is in first grade and he’s rushed through the school day with only 20 minutes to eat (we are constantly trying to get him to slow down when he eats, but he is being conditioned to inhale his food) and not enough recess time. As for cursive writing? I’m not sure how I feel about it since I don’t do much of myself these days. Probably it will be an optional ‘art’ class for future generations, like calligraphy was for us!

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. dgkaye

      Yes, here I am Molly – Jill of all trades, lol. A girl had to do what she had to do right? It gave me lots of life experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed everywhere I worked. And I wholeheartedly agree that all the academic testing in the world doesn’t display our creativity. As for cursive, I just don’t get a writer without a pen and paper for jotting, outlining, thinking on paper, etc. without cursive. Printing takes double the time. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
    2. Norah Post author

      Thanks for adding your interesting thoughts to the mix, Molly. I was saddened to read about your grandson in first grade having to inhale his food. What an injustice. What sort of eating disorders are we setting kids up for? Surely there is time for a little mindfulness or mindless chatter during eating time. Children need more recess rather than less. They’d learn more if their active brains were allowed time to process all they’d encountered. Like you, I don’t do a lot of cursive writing, but I’m pleased to have the ability when it comes to writing cards and brief letters.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Molly Stevens - Shallow Reflections

        The school even wanted the children to eat in their snow suits to save time since they were going outside after lunch. Thank goodness my daughter-in-law objected and that went by the wayside. Research is clear about children doing better with more activity and recess but the schools are meeting government regulations rather than following evidence based recommendations. Luckily my grandsons have parents who take them to school early and let them stay after to provide them more playground time. Not all kids are so fortunate.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        1. Norah Post author

          It’s a crazy world! Yay for wonderful parents and grandparents who understand what is best for their children and aren’t swayed by government rules and regulations which are designed to keep everyone in line.

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
    1. dgkaye

      Hi Brigid. I think there were many of us who felt inept in gym class back in the day. Lol, yes, I sing in the shower now – great acoustics with the shower walls LOL 😉 x

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  17. olganm

    It’s amazing how after having followed Debby’s blog for a while I hadn’t heard much of what she talks about here. Oh, I was dreadful at PE and I only ever scraped through (thanks to my good grades in everything else). And one time I even injured myself at the final PE exam, so I passed because of that. My knee has never been the same. A fascinating interview of a fascinating author and blogger. Thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. dgkaye

      Thanks so much for your lovely words Olga, and for sharing a bit of yourself too. The more I read about comments from writers who didn’t get on well with gym class, the more I’m convinced most creatives are thinkers more than physical doers, lol. 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Norah Post author

        I’m beginning to see that pattern emerge too, Debby. It’s interesting, but not really surprising, I guess. I thought it was just me. I love something Stephen Fry said. I can’t remember exactly, but something to the effect that his body was only a vehicle for his brain. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
    2. Norah Post author

      Thanks so much for popping over to read and comment, Olga. Funny how so many of us disliked PE. I smiled at the thought of your getting through the PE exam due to any injury, thinking it to be a neat trick. However, I am disappointed that the injury has had a lifelong effect – not such a neat trick after all. I hope it is not too debilitating.

      Like

      Reply
  18. Miriam Hurdle

    Great interview, Debby and Norah. Having good teachers make a difference beyond the academic. I’m glad the teachers paid extra attention to you, Debby. I can’t remember what grade I got for sports but I was not good at it either.
    I remember writing cursive writing as regular homework in grade school. I bought a calligraphic set and did my daughter’s wedding invitation envelopes in cursive writing and totally enjoyed it.
    When I first taught, cursive writing was taught at third and fourth grades. And we taught letter writing in second grade. Late on, it became optional to do cursive writing. Since I left the classroom in the last 10 years of education, I don’t know if they teach letter writing anymore. I should ask a friends who is a second grade teacher.

    I was thrilled to hear that you took voice lessons and music theory.

    Oh, I was curious why you uses poker as your Twitter account, now I understand.

    Thank you Norah for featuring Debby. I enjoyed reading it. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. dgkaye

      Thanks so much Miriam for chiming in to the conversation. I’m convinced the creatives weren’t especially sports oriented, lol. And I love how letter writing was taught as a course because that is human communications, still so important life for life communication skills 🙂 x

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
        1. dgkaye

          Many early boomers got left behind in the computer era. I can’t imagine not being taught cursive. How will writers of the future manage without a notepad and pen for jotting thoughts, outlines, etc.? The thought of having to type every single thing you do because you can’t write it very sad. Printing by hand takes twice the time. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

          Reply
          1. Norah Post author

            So true, Debby. We can’t type everything. There’s nothing more convenient than a piece of paper and pencil. I wonder how many songs, poems, novels or memoirs would never have been written if not for a scrap of paper, a serviette or a paper tablecloth somewhere. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            Reply
        2. Norah Post author

          There is something very special about receiving a handwritten letter by snail mail – even more special when you can read it. 🙂

          Like

          Reply
    2. Norah Post author

      What a lovely comment, Miriam. I’m pleased you enjoyed the interview with Debby as much as I did.
      So far as I am aware, cursive handwriting is still taught in Australian schools. It is part of the Australian Curriculum and is usually taught from about grade three up. But it is very different from the cursive I was taught at school and I think the methods quite different (and better). Ballpoint pens weren’t in use when I was at school (how old did I say I am? 🙂 ) and we used pens and ink for our handwriting practice, and in older years (maybe year seven) fountain pens. I was never a neat hand-writer. I’d begin with good intentions but the quality would slowly dissolve – or blotch more like. 🙂 I think ballpoint pens and gel tips and felt tips and all the wonderful things that are available these days are marvellous. As a teacher, I loved providing children with a wide variety of tools for writing. What fun it is to decorate one’s work. It was a no-no when I was at school.

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      1. Miriam Hurdle

        Yes, Norah, exactly. I used pens and ink also with the replaceable tips. I used fountain pens later on also. I guess when were about in the same era of school then. I still have a pretty good handwriting if I write slowly. 🙂

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          1. Miriam Hurdle

            Oh, Norah. I can’t read my husband’s writing. We used to jokingly called those Doctor’s writing. But now it’s not a joke any more. I remember hospitals had classes for the doctors to go and practice their handwriting!! 🙂

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              1. Miriam Hurdle

                Yes, on one occasion when my husband broke the ankle, went to the ER, the doctor ordered X-ray, the tech did only one. We knew the doctor ordered two, so eventually we went to the tech, he realized he couldn’t read the doctor’s writing.

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  19. petespringerauthor

    Excellent interview! As a former teacher, it broke my heart to read that no one read to you at home. I’m glad that many of your teachers were good role models for you. Now you are providing that love of reading and writing through your stories. Well done!

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Peter. It is heartbreaking to us teachers when we know of children (and there are so many) who are not read to at home. The importance of it to children’s development can’t be overestimated. Mind you, Debby has done extremely well despite the lack. She’s one determined and resourceful lady.

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  20. Book Club Mom

    Hi Norah and Debby, I’m glad I caught this post because I enjoy reading about other bloggers and their school experiences! I completely agree that taking cursive out of the curriculum is a mistake, but I don’t think schools will ever go back. I continue to write in cursive. My kids think it’s crazy, but forming the letters helps me think about what I’m writing and what I’m going to say. Computers are great, but students now miss an important step in thinking. Hope you’re both enjoying the weekend!

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    1. dgkaye

      Thanks so much for chiming in. You said it, computers absolutely take away an important step in thinking. And where would I be without cursive, as I write all my books in longhand for same reason just mentioned – I don’t feel creative typing on a computer. 🙂

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      1. Norah Post author

        I think it’s great to have the choice of media we find most creative using. Options are always good and there are many who similarly find cursive handwriting to be the way to get the flow in writing. Me – I like the keyboard. 🙂

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    2. Norah Post author

      Hi Barbara,
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting on Deb’s school days, particularly with regards to cursive writing. I must take a poll sometime, maybe once I’ve posted all the interviews (and there are still many more to go) on who composes using pen and paper and who uses the keyboard. It will be interesting to find out. It took me a long time to make the transition to keyboard, but now I’m mainly a keyboard girl. I use pen and paper to jot notes and reminders and lists but computer mainly to compose. It’s interesting. I guess it’s what we get used to, or train ourselves to do.

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      1. Book Club Mom

        That’s true – of course, I mostly use a keyboard, but I take notes when I read, in a composition book. And of course, I make lists – in cursive 😉 My mother used to make all her notes in shorthand, from her days as a legal secretary!

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        1. Norah Post author

          What a skill shorthand was. I didn’t learn it as I did the academic rather than commercial course at school. I wonder if it is still taught and used anywhere.

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          1. Book Club Mom

            Hi Norah, I’m not sure – it’s a lot different than just abbreviating words. There are strokes that represent several letters together. Impossible to read if you don’t know what you’re looking at. My mother used to make Christmas notes in shorthand – I could never figure them out – it was probably on purpose!

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  21. balroop2013

    I love those pictures Deb, you are looking like a chubby, fiery teenager…the look in the eyes is that of determination. Thank you for sharing your school memories, they make an interesting reading.

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  22. dgkaye

    Thank you soooooo much for inviting me over Norah, to share some of my long ago past, lol. I was humbled to be invited over by you and am quite enjoying all the interviews you’re conducting in this wonderful interview series. And yes, I think we absolutely have a lot in common!!! 🙂 ❤

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    1. Norah Post author

      It was my pleasure to host you, Debby. Your interview is a hit. Everyone is enjoying finding out so much about each other through this series. I wish I’d thought of it before. But it’s great to be enjoying it now! How fascinating it is to learn about everyone’s journey.

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  23. Darlene

    I too didn’t like gym and almost failed it. Thankfully the gym teacher was also my drama teacher and he liked me. I think he passed me just because of that. Those gym outfits were so awful! I enjoyed Debby’s school days remembrances. Here’s to great teachers everywhere!!

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    1. dgkaye

      Lol, thanks for admitting your own shortcomings with gym. I’m beginning to think it’s us creatives who were more focused on academics and learning than wanting to exploit our ineptness for gym class lol 🙂 x

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    2. Norah Post author

      Another cross against gym. I’m pleased your teacher liked you and gave you a pass anyway, Darlene. Your mention of gym outfits brought a vision of my own. What a nightmare. Brown – caramelish – bloomers (!) with a tunic over the top! How becoming. We all loved wearing them – not! But funny how we just did what we were told back then. We’d already learned not to question. 🙂

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  24. Hugh's Views and News

    Oh, I remember those days of being the last one to be picked for a sports team, Debby. I always congratulated myself when it happened because I hated playing any physical sport so much. All I wanted to do was be creative, although I failed my art exam bigtime. My teacher’s comments were that I drew and painted like a three-year-old!
    Glad to hear you had some great teachers. I also came from a broken home. It was terrific when some of my teachers realised what was going on when my parents split. The support they gave me in school went a long way to help me pass some of my exams.

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    1. Miriam Hurdle

      I’m glad you had teachers supporting you, Hugh. There are many kind people ready to help especially to kids from broken homes. When I was teaching, two fathers came to ask me to write reference letters for their custody case. Kids are torn apart in situation like this

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      1. Hugh's Views and News

        I was lucky that some of my teachers were caring, Miriam. Not all of them were but, when news broke that my parents had split, I knew some of them knew what I’d be going through. I didn’t know any other kids who came from a split home, so I thought I was the only one at the time.

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        1. Miriam Hurdle

          I understand well about the divorce situation,Hugh. I said to my daughter that in such a situation, kids are the ones who suffer the most. Mine was inevitable but I tried to be sensitive to my daughter until my ex tricked me and took her away for five years. My daughter and I are back together for the last 14 years.

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        2. Norah Post author

          Sadly, Hugh, there are far too many children now who know what a split home is like. I’m sorry you had to deal with it as a child. You are obviously made of tough stuff, though, and weathered the storms well.

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    2. Norah Post author

      I wonder, had we all been at the same school at the same time, who’d have been last picked for the team. I was usually the last too. With a whole row of ‘last choice’, who’d have been first?
      Actually, as a teacher, I never allowed the picking of teams in this way. It is no fun waiting and waiting to be picked until there’s nobody else but you, and even then, they’re looking about for somebody else. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. dgkaye

      Thanks so much Robbie. I moved a lot as a child, which included moving schools too. I suppose when that’s the lifecycle we sometimes think of it as normal. Only in later years we can look back in retrospect and shake our heads. 🙂

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  25. Jennie

    I loved reading Debby’s interview! Yes, cheers for those teachers who nurture early on. Your independence shines through, and school gave you some life skills, like geography and history. BTW, I thought I was the only human being to flunk gym. That was the high school year we had to learn how to play soccer and baseball. Ugh! Thank you, Debby and Norah!

    Liked by 4 people

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    1. dgkaye

      Lol, thanks so much Jennie. Now, whodathunk you and me sucked at gym, lol. I have no regrets being an academic student and lacking in sports skills. I wouldn’t have it any other way. ❤

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  26. thecontentedcrafter

    Another engrossing interview Norah. Nice to meet you Debbie. What a huge and enticing array of books to look through – so impressed and very intrigued! I confess to having seen ‘DJKaye’ from time to time as I flitter about (maybe here on your blog Norah) and had somehow thought it was a man – I don’t know how that erroneous thought got into my brain…. I must now nip off and do a bit of stalking on Amazon and see which of Debbie’s books I can first lay my hands on 🙂 . I also loved to see how ‘kind’ teachers made life a little easier for the child, something I understand well myself. Have a great week!

    Liked by 3 people

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    1. dgkaye

      Thank you so much for reading and joining in the conversation. No worries, it’s easy to see how a name with just initials could throw one off. And thank you for your interest in my books. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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    2. Norah Post author

      Well, I’m pleased you and Debby have now been formally introduced, Pauline. I wonder which of her books you will read first. As I said in the post, ‘Have Bags, Will Travel’ was the first for me. I thoroughly enjoyed it. But then I have enjoyed her other books too. 🙂
      Kindness to little children is something we both (all) appreciate, Pauline. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

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