Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Minister is Pleased to Inform You

I received a letter from the Minister's lackey and my obedient servant  at the end of summer, 1963. Some time before I had received an eight-page brochure from the University of London listing those who had been successful in the "Examination for the Postgraduate Certificate in Education:June 1963." I don't know how many people had been unsuccessful. I think I should have, because all I remember of that year is playing the part of Ursula the Pig Woman in Ben Johnson's Bartholomew Fair, skipping lectures on "The History of Education", "The Philosophy of ditto"—oh, look, I wrote about this before.

I wasn't able to show you this somewhat tacky document. Once in a while I see important documents provided by important people and I realize what life was like before computers. The typing is uneven (and I am sure Mr. Simpson's secretary had her way with whiteout) and the whole document was copied crookedly on a Xerox.

I don't think I even looked closely at it before, because by this time I was getting ready to go to Los Angeles and the University of Southern California, but I see I was also qualified to teach in nursery schools, though I never knew a three year old anxious to translate Thucydides.

In LA I was a teaching Assistant. I loved teaching, and I think I was good at it. My original intention had been to return to England and become a teacher, but when fate decreed I was going to live in Detroit, I explored teaching here. I was offered a job across the river at the University of Windsor, but with no car (I couldn't even drive) and a succession of babies, that didn't work out. As for teaching in a high school, the State of Michigan required 50 or so University credits in Education. Too expensive, no baby sitter or car—well, that was not an option. To be honest, I never waved this document in front of them and asked if there was a short cut.

I have kept this letter "for future reference" and to remind me of what might have been.

1 comment:

Maggie May said...

There's nothing like hand written calligraphy, if you ask me!
Maggie x