Thursday, September 14, 2006

My Education at Pretoria Boys High School

The High School that I attended in South Africa (between the years 1983-1986) has a website.
The school is located in Pretoria and is (and was) known for its strong academic and sports focus.

Pleasant Memories include:

1. The Friends I made (isn't that true of so many experiences in life?)
2. The School Wide Cross Country Run (always a hoot for the non-competitive).
3. History lessons with Roy Hoggan and Carol Turton. Best teachers I ever had.
4. David Wylde (an Oxford Don) dissecting Hamlet. Another wonderful teacher.
5. The School's open air production of Hamlet - (The Main building was well represented as Castle Elsinor).
6. Winning the School Wide General Knowledge competition and then placing 4th in the Nationwide Championships.
7. Table Tennis and Philosophical discussions at Lunch
8. Representing the School in an environmental research Competition.
9. The Final Graduation Dance.
10. Discovering a love for science in Ms. Skinner's Grade 10 Physics course. Up until then I was indifferent to the subject.
11. The School Tuck Shop
12. I didn't mind the Assemblies - We had one per day and they usually started and ended on a positive note. Being Jewish and having to listen to Christian School Prayer didn't bother me either. I was never forced to participate in any religious instruction.
13. Winning Academic Colours on a few occasions.

Unplesasant Memories

1. The high level of Anti-Semitism and Racism in the School (amongst students and some Staff).
2. Dealing with Bullies.
3. Consistently poor Math teachers for the most part. I excelled at the subject despite them.
4. Being Forced to do vaults in Gym.
5. Caning (I must have been caned close to fifty times).
6. No girls at the School - A downer. Indirectly fostered cult of masculinity.
7. The over emphasis on Rugby as the Sport of All-Sports
8. Fascist based hair cut requirements.
9. Military Cadet marches.
10. Poor English teachers from Grades 9-11 who weren't interested for the most part in showing one how to write an essay - Another skill that I finally learnt on my own and improved on in David Wylde's Grade 12 Course.
11. Having to study Afrikaans - a dreadful language.
12. Shooting - I was a lousy marksman.
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