Jack is way behind with his guest post again, but – – –
Modern technology can be both a curse and a blessing, but this week it was a blessing!
I started my working life as an apprentice house painter and attended the local college where I discovered that I could also enroll for evening classes in English and Math which I had failed to achieve during my school days. As a result, some years later, I had all the qualifications to be employed as a lecturer in painting in the same college. I started in 1979 part-time temporary, but by 1986 I was not only full-time permanent but also head of the construction trades department.
During the early years as head of the painting section there were many students who stuck in my mind. The punk who always dressed in torn jeans, wore chains and a tee shirt with a provocative slogan, but handed in a five pound note he found in the corridor (he taught me not to assume things). Many more who either excelled or – not.
But on Tuesday I Zoomed with Jody and Trudi who were painting apprentices employed at the local naval dockyard back in the early 1980s. They were bright, intelligent and highly skilled and they both won the national apprentice competition more than once. They sailed through all their assessments and exams. I suspect (in fact I’m quite sure) that I had very little to do with their success at college or their later lives.
What we did have in common, though, was the Scottish college system which gave all three of us opportunities we might not have had.
Trudi is now a teacher in a special needs school and Jody is a senior manager in the Scottish prison service.
Back then young women were very unusual as construction apprentices so they were trail-blazers and they must have had to deal with a whole lot of stuff!
If I did anything at all to help them on the way onwards and upwards, then I’ll be happy to have that as my legacy.