Category Archives: School

The Mozart Problem: Educating Exceptional Children

He was playing the harpsichord and the violin at the age of five, and writing little pieces of music.* Introduction Mozart’s father was a musician and realised Wolfgang was exceptional. Leopold home schooled his son, constantly expanding his musical frontiers. … Continue reading

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Failing Maths at Sir Philip Magnus school, 1958

In June 1958 our class was told about the annual mathematics examination. This didn’t fill me with enthusiasm. I feared exams and I especially hated maths. Our teacher, Mr Jones, a hard Welshman from the Rhonda, made the announcement with … Continue reading

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Thornhill Road School: my first day in 1949

My first day in infant school in 1949 wasn’t the best. I wasn’t used to being bullied by adults. My two older brothers had told me horror stories in our shared bedroom. “You have to obey orders straight away… if … Continue reading

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Len Deighton on Etonians

Eton, Oxbridge, Buddha class: sadistic, self-sufficient apparatchiks who controlled Whitehall by stealth, wealth and consanguinity and — no matter how friendly — inevitably closed ranks against intruders like me. Len Deighton. Hope (1995) (Kindle Locations 1945-1947). HarperCollins UK. Chris

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Drug addicts in San Francisco

San Francisco has more drug addicts than it has students enrolled in its public high schools, the city Health Department’s latest estimates conclude. There are about 24,500 injection drug users in San Francisco — that’s about 8,500 more people than … Continue reading

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Corporal Punishment at Sir Philip Magnus School, 1950s

Unfortunately, all schools throughout my childhood indulged in barbaric acts of sadistic punishment attempting to intimidate.  I’ve been subjected to some of these acts and I’ve witnessed all of them. At various times as a young boy, I was accused … Continue reading

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Books! Do you remember them?

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I don’t want to go to school

“I don’t want to go to school today mum.” “Well you’ve got to. And that’s that.” “The boys hate me and the teachers hate me. And I don’t want to go.” “Well you have to. And that’s that.” “But why?” … Continue reading

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American teachers learn how to shoot in a school situation

We continue training for three more days, eight to twelve hours a day. We will be taking the Ohio Peace Officer Training Assessment at the end of the course. It is the same test required for Ohio police officers, but … Continue reading

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Going to my first dance hall

In about 1959, I and four friends from the plumbing course at our senior school met regularly outside of school hours. David Day, Terry Stockbridge, Malcolm Murray and Mickey (Jumbo) James, were more like brothers than my own real family. … Continue reading

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