Favourite Subject At School
What was your favourite subject at school? And why? Was it the teacher or the content? I am interested to know.
I had several favourite subjects, English, Biology, Ancient History, French, Geography, History of Art, and Architecture but the one I loathed was Mathematics. I was reluctant to even attempt to learn Algebra, it was like a foreign language to me, well actually, that is a poor comparison because I loved French! Thankfully I was able to drop this horrid subject in my Intermediate year much to the relief of my teacher. I remember writing in my mandatory weekly letter home from boarding school that I had come ‘top of the failures’ in Maths with a score of 49/100! This dismal result was an indication of my lack of commitment to the subject.
For my final two senior years at MLC in Sydney, I happily applied myself to subjects I loved. English had to be my favourite and the one I excelled at. My teacher was exceptional, but I’m unable to recall her name after fifty-seven years. I informed her that I was going to write a book one day and she encouraged me wholeheartedly.
My fascination with Literature was nurtured as we studied the classics. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens was a favourite. The vision of Miss Haversham and the cobwebs in her house gave way to great imaginative thoughts.
The Complete Works of Shakespeare became dog eared with pencil notes scribbled into the margins throughout, offering translation and clarity to the often difficult writing. Two pupils were encouraged to stand in front of the class in turn and act out parts, reading from our heavy book. As a shy student it was unusual for me to enjoy being in the spotlight, but I loved to throw myself into my part with enthusiasm and drama.
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austin drew me into another softer and more genteel world. Studying this beautiful classic led me to read her other novels, followed by;
Little Women, Good Wives by Louise M Alcott, and many more.
My passion for reading began at a very early age. As children we always had bedtime stories, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, Blinky Bill, and The Famous Five, but my absolute favourite was The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. I would sit in a large Jacaranda tree and wait for a cloud to come by and whisk me off to an imaginary land, but sadly this never happened.
As we grew older a weekly visit to our local Library to exchange our books and borrow another weekly supply was routine. Books were always given for Christmas and birthdays and were a constant companion. I became totally lost in the story and would read faster and faster to get to the end, but never wanting it to end. Oh, the feeling of loss! Followed by reluctance to begin another book as it couldn’t possibly be as good as the one just finished. How contrary…..then going through the same feeling again!
Luckily I enjoyed great teachers in all my subjects who inspired me to study and achieve good results. Ancient and Modern History fascinated me, but the ancient world intrigued me more. I wish I could remember the Egyptian Gods and Goddesses and what they represented, the Greek mythology, the Roman Emperors. Whilst travelling to the ancient cities and listening to the knowledgeable guides, I realise how much I have forgotten. My husband sweetly informs me that my ‘filing cabinet’ must be full!
My interest in Biology certainly helped with my nursing career and I remain fascinated by the body and the brain. Wow….what a computer we have been gifted. It just feels as though my hard drive is slowing down at a ripe age, but I will continue to ask it to deliver!
Geography was another favourite subject. Learning about this amazing world we live in and how it as formed intrigued me, and once again, I had a wonderful teacher.
I loved French and I do remember the teacher’s name…Madame Ballinte. I was lucky to sit beside a French speaking girl in class, (Caroline are you reading this?) who helped me with translation and expression. Caroline played an enormous role in giving me a love of the language and helping me to succeed and pass my exams.
All my favourite subjects have supported me in my life. Having informed my English teacher that I would write a book one day, I’m proud to have published two and another one in the making. It is a joy to help a grandchild with reading and share a love of books with family and friends.
What were your favourite subjects at school?
Do you have a favourite book or author?
Which genre do you enjoy most and why?
Have you thought about writing a memoir and leaving a legacy for your family? (I think you should!)
Until next time
Jenny Old AUTHOR
‘Innocent Nurses Abroad’
‘Back of Beyond’ Facebook