Friday, February 20, 2015

It's time that makes us tall (John Hanlon)

Neil Young again from Waging Heavy Peace:
Old memories are wonderful things and should be held on to as long as possible, shared with others, and embellished if need be.
Here's a memory that just popped into my head the other day:

Back in 1975 I was in the sixth form at school: Mt Albert Grammar in Auckland, NZ. 

In those days we had a bizarre system of getting University Entrance (U.E. fer short). Schools could accredit students who they thought would pass the formal written examination. Those who they thought wouldn't pass had to actually sit the exam.

That sounds simple huh!

Of course schools were sneaky about who they accredited so that they got a good pass rate. It was common knowledge that they would often make a few students sit who they knew would pass. These students were just above the cut off line for accreditation. 

Waiting to see who had or had not been accredited was a tense period in the school. It was especially stressful for me because I'd failed the fifth form exam (called School Certificate or School C fer short) - and had to have two years in the fifth form (1973 and 1974).

I'd had a good year in English but I was in the very average category in my other subjects. I knew by my marks that I was in the dodgy middle section of the sixth form boys. It could go either way. 

Accreditation was done at the end of the year, almost. Accredited boys always had a few weeks left at school and they had a great time. Boys who had to sit their U.E. were miserable by comparison.

The sixth formers were herded into the gallery area of the school hall. If you've ever been to M.A.G.S. you'll know what an impressive beast the hall area is. The gallery was where the sixth and seventh formers sat during assembly.

Ron Hemus, the senior master, came in and read through the names.

And you know what? My name was in the accredited list. I was in a daze. I'd finally passed something first time. Amazing.

I drove back to our Mt Roskill home after school in such a happy mood. I remember feeling so great.

When I got home I parked the car in the under house garage and went to walk upstairs when my mum appeared. I just remember hugging her and feeling such joy. She was mighty proud of me and that made that moment for me. 

The memory will live in my head and heart forever.

There you go Neil - I've shared it with you (without any embellishment needed).

Love and peace - Wozza

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