An Education

I am perpetually running late. A fact that came to mind this morning as I read yesterdays Sun Herald this morning.

The headline SCHOOL FEES EXPLODE caught my eye. Posh Sydney schools are seriously expensive. $28,296 per year for example. How they come up with that exact number I do not know, but it is some serious dough.

When my sons were born, I also thought I would be a gazillionaire by the time they got to 12, despite the fact that I am a stay at home mum earning what stay at home mums earn which is a big fat zero with no chance of a pay rise. It did not deter me though and I enrolled the Woogettes in a fancy school and wrote about it in the post Woogies and Waitlists.

I went a fancy girls only boarding school on the North Shore. Although I should clarify that by saying I was enrolled, but really did not attend many classes. I did not feel the need to go to chapel twice a week so spent this time in a cupboard instead, apart from the time I needed some cash to go out. So I went one Sunday and cleaned out the giving plate at it went passing by, under the watchful eye of the nasty, obese, lesbian boarding mistress. I was subsequently kicked out for a week. And just to give my parents some extra grief, had another week long extra holiday the following year. Something to do with Vodka and an illegal sleepover.

My mum enrolled me in sensible girly extra curricular activities such as piano lessons and dressmaking. Come report time the comments would include “I am sure she would be really good at dressmaking, and I cannot wait to meet her of she ever shows up to class”.

To counteract my wicked ways, my two sisters excelled both academically and in all the leadership roles that presented themselves due to their all round perfectness. They were shining examples of what was expected from an (insert school here) girl. I was the black sheep at that little establishment.

Strangely though I loved most of my teachers there. They were really good teachers. Apparently. The ground staff were cool and generous with their cigarettes and I actually had short and steamy flirtation with one of them. The head of security Peter could always be relied on to drive me and one of my like minded mates to the TAB in Hornsby on a Friday lunchtime to place our weekend bets. And we even convinced him once to go through the drive through bottle shop on the way to a super daggy dinner dance with one of the nearby All Boys Schools where subsequent dance floor pashing occurred.

So for what my parents were forking out every year for this education, I embraced my talents and honed in on my skills of being street smart. I could almost talk my way out of any situation and bullshit my way though any problems that arose, including being busted underage in a pub by the police. At the time I was on weekend leave with the daughter of the most Senior Judge in Australia and who was, at the time, residing over the Police Corruption Enquiry.

Surprisingly, we were not charged.

So an education does not mean fancy schools, big marks and shining boaters. To be an (insert school here) Girl, you were to come out well rounded. Well I am well rounded, but not in the sense that they use in their marketing pamphlets. And all these years later, I can still roll a ciggie like a pro.

What were your teenage years like?