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 Christy Birmingham, prolific blogger, author and poet. I’m not sure how or where I first met Christy but I do know that we have been regular visitors of each other’s blogs since the beginning of 2015, not long before the launch of her book of poetry Versions of the Self.
I would have thought I read her book not long after that, but Amazon tells me I didn’t purchase it until 2017, so I guess Amazon knows? It also doesn’t display a review from me, though I thought I had added one. However, I do remember enjoying Christy’s insightful poetry and being touched by the exploration and depth of emotion portrayed in many of the pieces which delve into ways in which the self may change over time and in response to circumstances.
On her blog When Women Inspire, Christy shares information on a wide range of helpful topics especially those aimed at helping women live healthier, happier and more fulfilling lives. No topic is too big or too small for Christy. She covers anything which she expects women, however young or old, will find interesting or beneficial. But her blog isn’t just for women. Numerous men regularly read and comment too. If you don’t already follow Christy’s blog, please pop over and say hello.
Before we begin the interview, I invite Christy to tell you a little of herself:
Christy Birmingham is a blogger, author, and poet who lives in Victoria, BC, Canada. She uses her writing to show others that they too can get through difficult times as she has, personally with anxiety and depression, as well as professionally with starting her own business. Find her blogging at When Women Inspire, at the gym, reading, or out with her family and friends.
Let’s talk school. First, could you tell us where you attended school?
All of my schooling has been on Canada’s west coast. Specifically, I went to schools in Victoria, British Columbia until after high school graduation, when I then did a mix of college and university in Victoria and Vancouver, BC.
Did you attend a government, private or independent school?
I’m a public-school kid!
What is the highest level of education you achieved?
I am proud to have a BA in Criminology and Psychology from Simon Fraser University.
What is your earliest memory of school?
I recall my elementary school teacher telling us she had published a book. I was wowed by it and never forgot that inspiration!
What memories do you have of learning to read?
I was taken out of class regularly to see a speech therapist for problems I was having with pronunciation. It made me self-conscious reading aloud and talking in general.
What memories do you have of learning to write?
Learning cursive was so much fun! Learning how to spell out my full name and create different styles of writing for it provided hours of delight for me. I’ve always loved language.
What do you remember about math classes?
Not liking them very much, unfortunately. It often took me a while to catch onto concepts, and once math homework was done, I wanted to read books or write short stories.
What was your favourite subject?
English, by far. Poetry and short stories were ways for me to describe what was going through my head. Releasing thoughts onto the page brought my mind calmness and then seeing the positive feedback from teachers for what I wrote in English class was amazing to me. I’ve never forgotten the encouragement of certain teachers for my writing in elementary and high school.
What did you like least about school?
Trying to find where I fit in. Books brought me happiness, as did the writing. Thankfully I found friends throughout my years of school who supported me in my artistic projects. Once I realized that it was about the quality of friendships rather than the number of friends I had, I was happy.
How do you think schools could be improved?
By listening to students, no matter their age. Hear what students want to see change about your school and determine if it’s feasible. Also, make libraries a priority as they are where students go to do research and can encourage a love of literacy.
Lastly, engage with the local community rather than being independent of it as a school. By schools partnering with the communities they’re nestled within, students can enjoy a fuller educational experience. Also, schools can get ideas and support from the general community that can take the institutions further than they might otherwise go.
Thank you for sharing your reminiscences of school and thoughts about schools in general, Christy. It’s been wonderful to have you here. I’m not surprised you enjoyed expressing yourself in writing from a young age.
Find out more about Christy Birmingham
on her website When Women Inspire
Connect with her on social media
Purchase your own copy of Christy’s books of poetry:
If you missed previous reminiscences, check them out here:
Look for future interviews in this series to be posted on Sunday evenings AEST.
with more to follow.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your comments. Please share your thoughts.