Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A friend's birthday...

Last Friday night DH and I went to a local sports' club to help a teaching friend of mine celebrate her birthday. Sue joined the staff at my first school in the mid seventies and we became mates due to both of us owning and loving cats! Her cat Tweety (?) had done 'country service' with Sue at Marlborough and they were both enjoying being back in the city. Sue looked almost nerdish and a bit straight laced but underneath, she had a wicked sense of humour and you are going to be horrified by what I say next....she lent me her 'Forum' magazines!!! Those of you who have never heard of this publication, let me just say that the term 'soft pornography' has been used to describe this magazine. However this term was used by its detractors and really doesn't describe the publication objectively. Sue lent me issues which dealt with 2 things that were the bane of my life then...cystitis and thrush. Admittedly  I learned about things I didn't know about before I read them, lol! Anyway I have digressed again...

THEN:Sue is at the righthand end of the front row; I'm the shorty in the back row hiding my 7th month pregnancy!

Eventually transfers in the early 80s meant we were no longer working together but we stayed in touch. Sue was a good friend...when my first daughter was little, Sue would let her sit at her piano and 'play'...not everyone would let a toddler loose on their piano.
Then in 1998 I took a teaching contract at an innercity school called K G. And of course the year 6 teacher was none other than my old friend Sue. We had a few changes of principal in those years and the last person appointed was quite formidable. This person's personnel management skills featured  variations that could be termed as bullying. My friend was one of the targets. I agonised about what to do and then one day decided to do something 'unMarialike' and speak up for my friend and the others. I wasn't alone...but it was to be an error of judgement . In this case doing what I felt was morally correct, resulted in a transfer to a less salubrious school. Seven people were transferred immediately and my transfer was 2 months later. The person who was bullying was rewarded with the acting position becoming permanent.

NOW: Celebrating a birthday at the Broncos Club

Four of the 70s  'Newmarket' gang! LtoR, Sue, Maria, Margaret and Carmel. (the latter 2 are behind the principal in the previous photo)

Sue retired a number of years ago but we've stayed in touch. At her birthday bash she made ID cards for each of us to wear.

This was mine...I don't like the term 'insubordination' but I guess that's a reference to when I tried to stand up to a bully. In the years directly after the 'incident' I'd ask myself whether I would do it all again...and suffer the consequences...the answer was always yes...nowadays I'm not so sure..
Sue leads a very busy life these days, with her choir , her work with a volunteer radio group as well as her new career of teaching English.

No comments: