School days, reminiscences of Susan Scott

School Days, Reminiscences of Susan Scott

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 Susan Scott, author and blogger. Susan and I have been following each other’s blogs for quite some years now. Susan’s posts are often philosophical and intrigue me with new ideas to contemplate. She thinks deeply and writes about a range of subjects from as big as our place in the universe to the smaller like her garden in South Africa. Her outlook is always optimistic with a wish for peace in the world. I like the way she concludes her posts with the words, “May the force be with you” or similar that reflects her desire to find the good in every situation.

As I usually do, before we began the interview, I invited Susan to tell you a little of herself.

Born in Port Elizabeth, lived in various parts of the country and abroad. Married, two adult sons, one a musician, the other an animator. Author of two books, ‘In Praise of Lilith, Eve & the Serpent in the Garden of Eden & Other Stories‘ (a collection of psychological essays); and 2nd book co-authored with Dr. Susan E Schwartz Jungian analyst in Phoenix Arizona “Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry‘. We express our own thoughts on the process of aging in letters to each other.

BA Clin. Psych. Hons

At the moment I’m living between two worlds. We are relocating from Johannesburg to Plettenberg Bay on the south-west Cape. It’s a big move, packing up personal belongings so that a corporate rental can take over in a week’s time.

I enjoy walking and hiking, reading and writing.

My blog, which is intermittent, is usually of a psychological nature. I’m an ongoing student of my own inner world and of that around me – living between two worlds as I said earlier!

Garden of Eden Blog. https://www.gardenofedenblog.com

Books by Susan Scott

Welcome, Susan.

Let’s talk school. First, could you tell us where you attended school and if they were government, private or independent schools?

I attended a variety of schools in South Africa and Zimbabwe, some private some public (government schools). Some girls-only schools, a few co-ed – boys! – in high school. Which took my attention off the lessons to be learned. The fingers on both hands are insufficient for the number of schools I attended.

What is the highest level of education you achieved?

BA (HONS) Clinical Psychology, as a mature student, in my late 20’s and early 30’s. 

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

I was in banking for many years – different branches around the country here in South Africa, and a stint in London. For several years after that I worked for an American computer company that had set up a training course exclusively for black students pro bono to learn computer skills. My job was to guide the students for placement in the industry which meant meeting with the captains of industry to secure employment for them. Apartheid was entrenched in those days though businesses were keen to show otherwise. My job was to place the graduated student in a suitable environment.

What is your earliest memory of school?

It’s not a happy memory –  that of being around 8 years old at a school in Harare (Zimbabwe. Then it was Salisbury, Rhodesia). The girls circled around me and called me all sorts of unmentionable names on account of my very dark skin. It’s strange that this is the one that stands out and that I don’t recall from any earlier …

What memories do you have of learning to read?

It helps to have siblings who occasionally fill in the gaps. My older brother was visiting recently, and he said that I was a very early reader happily ensconced in e.g. Enid Blyton preferring nose in books instead of my nose outside playing. Which of course I did do, in the sun, hence an olive skin that darkened easily.

What memories do you have of learning to write?

If I dredge my memory bank, I recall teachers admonishing us to hold the pencil correctly. Write upright, hold the pencil straight between the thumb and forefinger, other end to point over your shoulder close to your neck. Thumb, forefinger and middle finger on the pencil. Cross the t’s dot the i’s. Write neatly.

What do you remember about math classes?

School days, reminiscences of Susan Scott

In a way I loved maths, the order and logic of it all. I could see the bigger picture, arriving at a correct conclusion, rather than the details as to how the answer was arrived. This was not especially pleasing to any maths teacher, nor my father who was a mathematical whizz. The times table was drilled into us until we could say them backwards as were theorems. To this day I calculate the cost of goods as I unload the shopping trolley and am pretty accurate most of the time!

What was your favourite subject?

School days, reminiscences of Susan Scott

My favourite subject was probably English and the set works including the poetry of the greats. Writing essays (in a very neat cursive handwriting) gave me a measure of pleasure for the opportunity of expression as I saw it.

What did you like best about school?

I came into a little bit more of my own in my last years of high school, a co-ed. I finally gave up my very bad stuttering around age 16 which made my life a lot easier as I could hold a conversation and be part of life instead of apart from it. And of course, boys! Bunking school became an art with a few of my subversive girlfriends. My mid-teen years were possibly those that formed me into a closet anarchist (in the best sense of the word).

What did you like least about school?

School days, reminiscences of Susan Scott

My earlier years in school were always difficult because of my stuttering. I felt I was deliberately picked out to answer a question in front of class or read from a passage, which was practically impossible for me to do. And if I didn’t answer, being put in a corner with my back to the class. Some say that their school years were among the happiest of their lives – perhaps because of my perception and experience I always find that response somewhat suspect. (Though my younger son loved high school and I know others of my sons’ peers who feel likewise. My husband loved his school years). I can’t say I hated school or the many schools I attended. The one I attended here in Johannesburg for 18 months were good. I made a lasting friend from then, even though for many years we lived in different parts of the world until her death two years ago.

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

Similar dynamics from my schooldays probably still reign in contemporary schools among classmates, those of e.g. bullying, scapegoating and meanness. There was no violence in my days among pupils such as we see or hear of today where pupils carry weapons to school and knock off a fellow pupil or teacher. We were ‘pupils’ at school; here in SA we are ‘learners’. Classes are usually larger in government schools, certainly for the majority and there are not enough classrooms. It is not uncommon to hear of 50 pupils sharing 3 or 4 to a desk. There is high teacher absentee-ism in many government schools and badly trained teachers to boot. Children seem to have more rights than their teachers or the stated school philosophy. Parents sadly leave it all up to the school to instil good behavior, not realizing that their role as parent and early educator is the most fundamental one.

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

There are many examples of government schools providing an excellent education for their pupils even those from extremely impoverished backgrounds. I guess it takes a stern yet caring approach from those in authority, from the headmaster down. Schools that do well encourage learning from the beginning, as do parents of course who can set a good example by early reading to their children.

There are many NGO’s who do their best to improve literacy in schools. Illiteracy, despite matriculating, is still very prevalent.

This next, Norah, is recent and interesting but I couldn’t find the URL for it. Please shorten as you see fit. (Norah’s note: I didn’t shorten it as I enjoyed it and hope you will too. I also found these links to further information here and here.)

Nal’ibali, the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign scooped a big international award for their hard work of encouraging good reading habits in South Africa.

 Aarhus, Denmark – Nal’ibali, the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign aimed at sparking children’s potential through reading and storytelling, has been awarded The Joy of Reading Prize by the Systematic Joy of Reading at Dook 1 in Aarhus, Denmark. The award was presented by the president of the International Library Association, IFLA, Glòria Pérez-Salmerón from Spain on Saturday, 1 June.

Twenty-eight projects from around the world were nominated, focussing on initiatives that disseminate the joy and ability to read, and thus engage in the fight against illiteracy. Jade Jacobsohn, Nal’ibali’s Managing Director, received the award on behalf of her dedicated team in South Africa.

“I would like to dedicate this award to the 17000 literacy activists in South Africa – we call them FUNda Leaders – everyday ordinary people who have signed up with Nal’ibali to create opportunities for children in their lives to fall in love with books.”

“I’d also like to dedicate this award to my fierce and fabulous team of fellow Nal’ibalians who are immersed on a daily basis in the hardships of social inequality and poverty, as they fight to give children the best chance they can get of rising out of it. The ability to read with understanding” lauded Jacobsohn.  

She concluded with the formidable words of Nelson Mandela, ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. The foundation of education is literacy.’ 

The international jury applauded Nal’ibali for its long-term impact and influence on local communities in South Africa and for parents in particular, who have become role models for their children’s reading habits. They complimented Nal’ibali’s framework that creates a nurturing environment, as well as generating the assortment of multilingual reading materials, so that children from all age groups, can learn to love reading in the many mother tongues spoken in South Africa. 

This international recognition award comes with a prize of $10 000 which will go towards stocking up Nal’ibali’s newly launched mobile libraries for Story Power in Motion, ensuring both children and adults have access to great stories in their home languages.

How do you think schools could be improved?

You’ll note that the last sentence ‘…says access to stories in their home languages’. This is a debate that rages on, and is relevant as we have 11 languages here in SA, including English and Afrikaans, of whom only about 8% have English & Afrikaans as home languages. Which means that when black children enter into school and are taught in English, they are already back footed. This apart from education still being for the most part barely up to scratch in spite of SA spending the most worldwide on education and yet having an abysmal record.

You ask how I think schools could be improved. Literacy begins long before schooling. Children could be encouraged to read firstly which allows for the imagination to come into play. Einstein, when asked by parents how they could help their children become clever like he was, he replied ‘Read them fairy stories, and read them more stories’.

Later on they can develop critical thinking skills. Chess would be a good subject to learn. Schools could encourage the art subjects more and I read that this is being encouraged around the world in order to develop both sides of the brain. Each side enhances the other.

School days, reminiscences of Susan Scott

There could be more time for the playground, away from the confines of the classroom. They could learn to tend to a vegetable patch. They could see Nature in action more, e.g. the worms in the soil, or the ants, birds, butterflies and bees going about their business.

It is as well that schools have rules and regulations of which parents and children are aware. From this basis they can break the rules, when they have the critical skills to do so.

Schools should provide safe and secure places of learning where children have no fear of being attacked and bullied by fellow classmates and/or teachers.

There could be skilled social workers or psychologists on hand to attend to any child or teenager who appears to be suffering from problems at home and with whom the child or teenager feels safe in revealing their problems.

Quality education for all requires the support of government, schools, civil society, NGOs, families, communities and funders.

thank you for your participation

Thank you for sharing your reminiscences of school and thoughts about education in general, Susan. It’s been wonderful to have you here. I especially enjoyed reading about Nal’ibali, the national reading-for-enjoyment campaign. While I agree with the improvements you suggest for education, I am disappointed to hear that your schools days were not so enjoyable and that you were bullied in school. The situation that you describe existing in many schools is also something that none of us anywhere can be proud of when education should be universal.

Find out more about Susan Scott

on her blog: Garden of Eden Blog

Connect with her on social media

Facebook: Susan Scott – Author

Twitter: Susan Scott

 

Purchase your own copy of Susan’s books:

Books by Susan Scott

In Praise of Lilith, Eve & the Serpent in the Garden of Eden & Other Stories

 Aging & Becoming ~ A Reflective Enquiry

 

If you missed previous reminiscences, check them out here:

Charli Mills

Sally Cronin

Anne Goodwin

Geoff Le Pard

Hugh Roberts

Debby Gies

Pauline King

JulesPaige

D. Avery

Christy Birmingham

Miriam Hurdle

Robbie Cheadle

Marsha Ingrao

Ritu Bhathal

Joy Lennick

Darlene Foster

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

Coming soon:

Barbara Vitelli

Sherri Matthews

Mabel Kwong

Chelsea Owens

Pete Springer

Carol Taylor

with more to follow.

Thank you blog post

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

 

166 thoughts on “School Days, Reminiscences of Susan Scott

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  9. Christy B

    I particularly appreciated that Susan explained the positive impact of some NGO’s on education. Isn’t it interesting too how different people look back on their school years, some having overall happy memories while others do not. I’m seeing the trend of many of us in the series having a love for English 😉 Such a terrific series, Norah.

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  10. Erica/Erika

    Hi Norah, I am visiting here from Susan’s blog site. Thank you for the wonderful, engaging interview. I like how Susan says she is an “ongoing student of my own inner world and of that around me.” You have given me a lot to think about just reading the bio. I appreciate the candid, genuine answers describing some of the challenging years in the school system. Your thoughts about education in general were very insightful, thought-provoking and hopefully helpful. A great read!

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Erica/Erika, for popping over to read Susan’s post. I’m so pleased you enjoyed reading it and gleaned much of Susan’s wisdom from it. She has much of it to share.

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        1. Norah Post author

          Thank you so much, Erica/Ericka, and I have followed you. I love the name of your blog and its tagline. The joy and optimism you share in your ‘about’ statement is inspiring. Enjoy your blogging journey.

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  11. roughwighting

    This interview is fascinating, as, I can tell, is Susan. I feel so sorry for that little girl who was taunted and found school wanting. I kind of smiled at Susan’s honest feelings that she finds suspect anyone saying how much they LOVED school. I understand that. Attending school is challenging not just academically, but even more so, emotionally and psychologically. We learn in school that the world and its inhabitants aren’t particularly nice. That bullies exist and sometimes they seem to rule the world. But in the end, Susan has proven that the bullies were left far behind and she is extremely successful. Can’t wait to read her blog. And Susan, if you’re reading this, don’t wait too long between posts! (Although I know it will be hard with your move – good luck!)

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    1. Susan Scott

      Thanks Pamela for commenting. Yes, I guess it was an early learning experience and if anything it taught me awareness of bullying and NOT ever to be the perpetrator of such meanness. And hopefully to stand up to it when I see it in action towards anyone … so, from such experiences we learn!

      Thank you also for your recent comment on my very recent blog post. I checked you out and have subscribed to yours. Which is how I know your name is Pamela 🙂

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    2. Norah Post author

      I’m so pleased to have introduced you and Susan, Pamela. You are both very special people and I’m sure you will enjoy each other’s company. Her story about overcoming the harshness of the school ground and achieving the success she has in life is inspirational.

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  12. Book Club Mom

    Hi Norah and Susan! It’s great to see you here, Susan. Early school memories leave such an impression on us and I’m sorry you had some unhappy ones. I also believe reading with our children is very important. Even if they don’t become serious readers as kids or even young adults, the foundation is there and it’s a wonderful way to learn about other people – throughout a lifetime.

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    1. Susan Scott

      Thanks Barbara for coming by. I agree about the foundation being set from an early age, even if they’re not great readers later on. The discovery of reading is as you know a great one! I always enjoy your blog and reviews of books when I read them 🙂

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          1. Norah Post author

            Whenever you arrive, you’ll be most welcome, Susan. I wish you safe travels. (P.S. I have read your recent post in which you discussed packing up and linked to this post. I couldn’t comment as I read it on my iPad. I will get over and comment as soon as I can – I’m ‘late as usual’ too.)

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    1. Susan Scott

      Thank HEAVENS you didn’t say ‘my brother and me …’. 🙂 🙂 Both of you were such joys as children with your interest and observations of everything around you. You both still are joys in our lives …

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    2. Norah Post author

      Thank you for popping over to read the interview with your gorgeous mother, Mike. I’m pleased you are proud of her. And so you should be. You both had a lot to do with making her the wonderful woman she is today, of that I am sure. I know my children helped shape me. 🙂

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      1. Susan Scott

        That’s such a lovely thing to say Norah thank you. I’ll let Mike know of your comment so hopefully he will come by himself. Yes, being a parent is one of the hugest tasks in life … one which if done unconditionally, with full awareness of the responsibility, brings the greatest rewards to the parent. Which does not mean all is milk and honey. Our children do shape us – they enlarge our hearts for one thing –

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  13. Jennie

    I thoroughly enjoyed your in depth interview. You are right on all counts – parents reading from an early age, exploring nature, including more of the arts, and a safe place for children are critically important. I had no idea that SA spends the most worldwide on education and has such a poor record. It must have been awful to attend so many schools and to have been bullied. I’m glad you retain good memories of school. Thank you, Susan and Norah.

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    1. Susan Scott

      Thanks Jennie for coming by – SA HAS to get its education system working for the good of all and to utilise its budget properly. We’ve been alarmed about it for many years now. The fault is often blamed on poor teachers, but this also means that parents for too long have left all responsibility (not only teaching, but appropriate behaviour, rules, regulations) up to the teachers instead of being much more involved at home, where it all begins. My years at different schools were a learning curve par excellence!

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      1. Jennie

        I completely understand. My 35 years teaching preschool taught me early on that parents and families have to be involved. That fact alone is why I started to write, and I wrote to parents about everything that happens in the classroom, plus suggestions on what they can do. They really don’t know, and that is common across the board, from SA to America. This holds true today, and I teach the parents as much as I teach the child. Thank you, Susan.

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        1. Susan Scott

          Thanks for your further comment Jennie. Parents are clueless in many respects. They surely welcome your input and continue to do so. Norah’s blogs which are read by adults also go a long way in educating adults and in showing how their little ones can benefit from their input; and even advising teachers on how to make learning fun.

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        2. Norah Post author

          I agree with you about parent education, Jennie. It has always been a large part of my work. In fact, years ago I set up a playgroup alternative where I ‘taught’ parents how to play with their children and showed them how they could extend the learning in everyday situations. Had I been successful in setting up my own school, parent involvement would have been encouraged and expected, if their circumstances allowed. One of my dreams would be to set up free learning/play sessions for families in disadvantaged areas to help break the cycle of disadvantage. I just need a wealthy philanthropist to back me. 🙂

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          1. Jennie

            Yes! I would love to do that, too. I recommended to my school that we set up mini parent educations sessions, an evening or a morning to talk about different topics, from behavior management to nature to reading. A play and learn session would really be a wonderful thing. If I win the lottery… 🙂

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            1. Norah Post author

              We can both set it up, Jennie – you over there and me over here. I think the play and learn sessions work well because the parents learn what to do in a non-threatening situation and it is easy then to do it at home. It’s not so easy implementing something you’ve just been told about. You need to practise, hands-on, just as we do with the children. 🙂

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          2. Susan Scott

            May that wealthy philanthropist appear Norah or there be some other way of teaching disadvantaged families. If ONE person in the community were taught they could teach others in the community – I’m just brainstorming a bit …

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  14. Mabel Kwong

    Sorry to hear that you were picked upon in school for the colour of your skin and stuttering. I had similar experiences. The white kids at my school picked on me for my yellow skin, and they laughed at my stutter whenever I had to read out loud in class. You could say it was case of kids being kids when they came across something out of the ordinary, but really this is exclusive behaviour. Back then my teacher didn’t address these issues – probably just wanted to get on with running class with a roomful of noisy children.

    You bring up a good point in saying government schools tend to be more crowded. I went to high school in Singapore and there were around 30 to 40 students per class, which is a lot. Sometimes I wondered if each of my classmates got the attention they deserved.

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    1. Susan Scott

      Thanks Mabel for sharing your experiences. Where do children learn this exclusive behaviour? It’s awful to bear the brunt of it and I wonder how it shapes us. If anything I like to believe that it makes us just a little more aware and sensitive to this and that we learn that we ourselves will not perpetuate this kind of exclusivity … break the pattern so to speak. Have you got over your stuttering? I did, around the age of 16 or so although when I was a working woman I still stuttered, though not as badly, especially when stressed or tired. I do still sometimes 🙂

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      1. Mabel Kwong

        I’ve gotten over most of the stuttering, though like you when I’m stressed speaking can seem a bit daunting. Hope it doesn’t affect you much now 🙂 We can all learn to agree to disagree at the very least 🙂

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        1. Susan Scott

          Glad to hear Mabel! Though if I hear another person stuttering I’m concerned that when I answer or respond that I will stutter and the other will think I’m making fun … but this is a bit arrogant of me to do the other person’s thinking. I take a deep breath –

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    2. Norah Post author

      I’m sorry you were picked on in class too, Mabel. It is very hurtful and can be soul-destroying. I’m pleased you have developed into such a strong and vocal young woman despite, or in spite of, it.
      Thirty or forty students in one class is far too many. In my first year as a teacher, there were 40 students in my class and we were combined with 40 in another class, making a total of 80 students in one open area with two teachers. I don’t think it was good for anyone. Fortunately, since then, the government has mandated maximum class sizes. It is usually 25 in lower primary and upper high school (I think) and 30 in the years between. Most government schools try to maintain numbers as close to that as possible. However, in some private schools the number can be much higher as they do not have to meet the same requirements. I don’t understand why parents would pay to send their young children to schools for them to be just one in a class of 35. It doesn’t make sense to me.

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      1. Mabel Kwong

        Growing up I was used to 30-40 students in a class was normal to me. But looking back. I realised some students like the quiet ones didn’t get that much attention; the teachers were usually more focused on the rambunctious ones.

        80 is a lot of students in class. It would probably be hard for teachers to remember everyone’s names. Thankfully this is no more and there are a reasonable number of students in many Australian school these days.

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        1. Norah Post author

          It wasn’t easy for anyone, students or teachers, Mabel. Thankfully, class sizes have improved since then and there are more productive ways of organising students. There’s always room for further improvement though.

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  15. Frank Prem

    . Norah, I do apologize. I for some reason thought I’d linked back to Sally’s blog – I think I clicked a link via one of her shares.

    What a goose – so much for my reading skills!

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    1. Susan Scott

      Thanks Frank. That’s an interesting thought about early readers becoming writers. I kept diaries from a young age which I still have 🙂 I believe that journalling is a good exercise though I haven’t been doing much of that of late although I do note the days activities in a notebook.

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      1. Frank Prem

        Yes to Journal-keeping, as well. There are boxes being ticked here, Susan!

        I don’t keep one anymore, but my first poetry was in a journal, and when it was full, I would laboriously copy what I thought were the ‘keepers’ to make sure they weren’t lost.

        Goodness, the things we did as kids.

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        1. Susan Scott

          ha ha! I’m in the middle of packing for relocation down south and am in despair re old notebooks diaries and so on – will I miss them if I discard them to the trash? An existential question …

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          1. Frank Prem

            It sure is.

            I rewrote by hand one or two pieces several times, and then by typewriter.

            In the end, what I had been protecting so fiercely wasn’t actually good work, but I think that by the time I’d realised that was the case, it had served a different purpose in shaping me,.

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  16. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

    Fantastic interview thank you Norah and Susan. I went to Newlands Public School in Cape Town for two years when we were posted there in the early 60s. I loved it although I was a bit of an oddity with my English accent.. that soon disappeared by the end of the first term and you would think I had been born there! Enjoyed learning more about you.

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    1. Norah Post author

      I’m pleased you enjoyed Susan’s interview, Sally. I think you have attendance at multiple schools as well as schools in South Africa in common with Susan and Robbie. 🙂

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                1. Susan Scott

                  The Lord’s Prayer in Afrikaans? That’s impressive!

                  Vrek – I had to look it up. It means ‘perish’ though in its derogatory meaning, is ‘die’. Donnerd I also has to look up: ‘A rude word, it comes from the Afrikaans “donder” (thunder). Pronounced “dorner”, it means “beat up.”A team member in your rugby team can get donnered in a game, or your wife can donner you if you come back from a braai at three in the morning’.

                  So I guess it means bliksem! Which comes the Dutch meaning ‘lightning’ – so strike me down dead 🙂 🙂 🙂

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                    1. Norah Post author

                      I was introduced to the sausages by some friends from South Africa a few years ago. Our local butcher supplies them. Actually they supply a few international treats, including potato scones and soda bread of which my Hub is very fond. (Irish)

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  17. Jacquie Biggar

    Enjoyed meeting Susan through this post. Coming from the other side of the world, South Africa has always been a mystical place for me- it’s interesting to learn about the country through the people who live and learn there.

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  18. robbiesinspiration

    I read Susan’s post with interest, Norah. She is the only other South African I have seen featured in this series and I thought it was amazing that she too has attended so many different schools. The economic, political and social environment in Africa has been in flux for many years and that may be why although I know a lot of people who only attended two, or even one, school in South Africa. Susan has a lovely blog and I enjoyed learning more about her and her thoughts on schooling.

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    1. Susan Scott

      Thanks Robbie for your comment and your kind words about my blog. My boys and husband attended only two schools, prep and high. (Boarders at Michaelhouse for their high school). They’ve retained their school friends from both schools so this is good 🙂

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    2. Norah Post author

      You’re right, Robbie. You and Susan are the only two South Africans featured. I don’t think I follow any other South African bloggers. I, too, was intrigued at the similarity you shared in attending numerous schools. I’m pleased it isn’t so for all South African students. Susan’s blog is lovely. I appreciate her reflections on life. Thanks for popping by to read and comment.

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  19. Anne Goodwin (Annecdotist)

    Thanks for introducing us to Susan – I didn’t know there was another clinical psychologist in your network, Norah!
    Totally agree about reading with young children. Around the world, disadvantaged parents can find this difficult to achieve but it’s an extra obstacle if they can’t access suitable material in their own languages.

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    1. Susan Scott

      Thanks for coming by Anne. I agree kids need to learn in their home language and enjoy the ritual and symbolism offered by their own culture, and from there, with confidence in their home language, ‘graduate’ in learning an international language such as English …

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    2. Norah Post author

      I thought you and Susan were probably already acquainted, Anne, so I’m pleased to have introduced you.
      I agree with you on both points you make about reading.

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      Reply
  20. petespringerauthor

    Very interesting (as always) to read about the school experience of others. Susan has hit the nail on the head with the importance of parents providing plenty of reading opportunities for children. When children see their parents put a value on reading, they are going to see it as meaningful too. Reading with my son nightly until he was in seventh grade was one of my favorite times of the day.

    Liked by 3 people

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  21. Susan Scott

    Thanks Norah for posting this along with your lovely enhancing pictures and your additional comment about my personal experience of being bullied. Strange, I hadn’t articulated it as such but of course it was bullying. It’s probably why I am so keenly aware of it and how pernicious it is.

    Being the first commentator must be a record for me as I’m usually way behind 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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      1. Norah Post author

        You know, Susan. That happens to me sometimes too. I think I’m the first, then by the time I’ve finished writing, two or three others have posted in the meantime. I think I’ve also said I was first in a comment, only to find out I wasn’t. You can’t go back and edit a comment either! 🙂

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    1. Norah Post author

      It was my pleasure to host you on my blog, Susan. I very much enjoyed your responses to my questions, though I would have liked to give little Susan a hug and tell her that she’d be all right. She knows that now.
      Congratulations on being the first commentator.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply
  22. Chelsea Owens

    Amazing. I wish I lived much closer to you, Susan, and could listen to you talk more. 🙂

    I also experienced less than an ideal social upbringing in school; though not severe, I certainly felt isolated.

    And I agree with your observations and conclusions about improvements.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. Susan Scott

      Thanks for coming by Chelsea – when we have these sorts of feelings of eg isolation I believe it makes us just that little bit more empathetic towards those who have those experiences –

      Liked by 3 people

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  23. Darlene

    I was pleased to see you put an emphasis on reading, Susan. I too believe it is key to a child’s education and should start at home. It is sad that not everyone has good memories of their school days. Changing schools often can be hard on kids.

    Liked by 3 people

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