Thursday, January 05, 2012

A bit of navel gazing (Not PAD for a change!)

I just wanted to splarge out some thoughts and thought this was the place to do it.....not sure how to start it but I'm having a bit of a personal epiphany.....

To put it into context.I moved around as a kid - A LOT - my Dad was (is?) a Diplomat and we moved countries and schools a far few times. I've been to every kind of school you can name - International, All girls, private, public, comprehensive....and Grammar....We went to a very oldschool (excuse the pun) Grammar School in Belfast, N. Ireland - when I was about 11 until 13. I hated it. Utterly. Not my kind of school. And I was bottom of my class and constantly on report and I had an evil teacher - I still remember his name and am not sure whether I should write it here - he was horrible. Constantly told me I was stupid, that I'd never amount to anything - he'd tell the boys in the class that if he ever saw them outside school he'd beat them up. He was horrific. (He was also shagging one of the 6th Form). Even though my parents constantly told me I was bottom of the TOP TEN PERCENT by being in a grammar school, I felt stupid.

I went, after this, to a fantastic public school and was put at the top of their A stream class but was totally confused about this. I was honestly shocked. I wasn't clever....my sister was the clever one. I was creative and loved English but still basically thought I was stupid. I chose a non-academic future - did 2 A levels and went on to do a degree in Performing Arts (and only managed a 2:2 but I put that down to discovering sex and freedom and messing around). Then I end up with a husband with the brain the size of a planet - he knows everything about everything. And deep down inside I think I thought I was still stupid. No matter what anyone else told me, I intrinsically felt it.

Three years ago, on a bit of a whim, I became a School Governor. At my first meeting I was utterly intimidated by the rest of the Governing Body - all of whom had quite high flying careers or experience. I told myself I was there as a typical parent and not to worry about it. I've become more and more involved with the school and recently sat on a Performance Management Review and a Pay Committee. Bear in mind that I've temped all my life, never really had a "proper" job so never had to do appraisals or anything. I've just bobbed along doing my thing.

I brought up a couple of what I thought were obvious (or stupid) questions and actually had made some very relevant points. I surprised myself. I've stopped and taken stock a few times of what I understand and am very slowly, in my 40th year of existence, starting to come to the conclusion that everyone else - NOT the idiot teacher in Belfast - is right - I'm NOT stupid....

Today I sat on the School's Achievement Review with the School Improvement Partner and found it brilliant but didn't feel like the stupid token member of the meeting, the way I think I might have felt a couple of years ago.

It was interesting to me - how much impact that one year of school had on me so many years ago. How it almost cemented my own self image as "stupid". I do have a very intelligent sister - way out of my league academically. But I am not stupid. I do have a very intelligent husband. But that doesn't mean I'm stupid. It's bonkers really - I'm only just coming to terms with the fact that I'm not! I'm not very aware of politics but I understand more than I give myself credit for. I don't tend to read newspapers so I'm not up on current affairs and some things confuse me. But I'm not stupid.

It's been a lightbulb moment really. So I'm writing this down to remind myself on days when I think I'm an idiot. I'm not. And that evil fucking teacher (who I really want to google now to hopefully find he's in prison or something) was wrong.

4 comments:

Kristyn said...

It is amazing how the hurts from our childhoods still effect us as an adult. You are not stupid at all and I am glad you are realizing that.

Tequilamonky said...

It's terrifying how one bad teacher can have such an awful effect :-(
I can't believe you ever thought you were stupid; you're one of the quickest, brightest, sparkiest people I know!

Tequilamonky said...

p.s. was he in prison?

Your mum said...

Wish we could have found a school in Belfast that suited you better - we tried very hard and visited several. We knew it was right for your sister but not for you, but the other choice was a secondary modern which would have been worse.

Very glad that you have (finally) realised how clever you are. Remember the results of your IQ test - that gives you a BIG clue!!