|Pinetown Boys' High School Recollections (1987)|
|Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, Republic of South Africa|
|You could still
surf on my hair.
|Standard 9H (11th grade)
My math was bad enough that I needed to repeat standard nine, but this delay allowed me to meet my good friend, Eugene Wolff.
This was the year that sex education was introduced into the curriculum. Needless to say, it was a mixed-emotion event. Several classes of students at a time were gathered into the large multipurpose room directly below the library, and a nurse (from somewhere) was brought in to further explain some of the "basics" after a short film was shown. In the process of explaining, the nurse asked a simple question about female anatomy. In an obvious attempt to show how astute and knowledgable he thought he was, one of the boys (who was known as a troublemaker, and thought more highly of himself than he should) responded—but with an astoundingly incorrect answer, highlighting his ignorance in front of all. Poetic justice.
This year was the start of a home-spun book called "Teacher Breacher." It all began when it occurred to me just how much personal information was readily available among students on most of the popular (read: female) teachers at the school. Teachers would often get side-tracked during class and share "juicy" tidbits about themselves such as their favorite hobbies or home life—sometimes even girlfriends or boyfriends. Over time, this resulted in a copious amount of personal information. I began talking to students, and gathering all kinds of information on about twenty PBHS teachers. Each teacher had a page devoted to them, with such information as:
I thought about making it public to other students, but never did for fear of getting into serious trouble.
Unofficially referred to by most students as "Abe" (short for Abraham Lincoln, as he bore a somewhat similar resemblance) or either "Piston Piet"/"Pistol Pete", Mr. Kelsall was a math teacher with the uncanny ability to draw perfect circles virtually all of the time. Rumor had it that anyone who could draw perfect circles was crazy. Disliked by some students due to his stern and outwardly-appearing lackluster personality, his favorite phrase was a gravely-voiced "Gentlemen...". To this day, I'm still not sure who he was referring to, as towards the end of 1988, he was sadly jeered and made fun of by a number of matrics in the back row during an assembly in the Tuck Shop quad.