My best teacher was when I was in my last year of school. That was lucky. It meant I worked.
Our nuns were “penguins” – Dominican Nuns.
I was sent to boarding school because of my wild leanings. I was happy at boarding school. It meant I was free to be me without my mother hissing down my back. My mother was “well-known” by that time and living in her shadow wasn’t easy. Everyone else thought she was marvelous. Somehow their adulation of HER reduced my self-esteem.
But Mother de Rici, my best ever “facilitator ” was a born teacher. She was big-boned and galumpy with a horse teeth mouth, huge nose.glasses and infectious sense of humour. She had a thrown together look,as if even her habit might be accidentally put on. She was a sort of Dominican Boris Johnson.
Her lessons – she gave lessons – started off on the ground floor of the stair well at which we were at the top, three floors up. By the time she had clumped up three flights, the whole class would be sitting in their seats with eyes swiveled to the door.
You never knew what to expect from Mother de Rici. But whatever happened , it was usually entertaining and informative.
Once, at the beginning of a biology class, she appeared in the doorway huffing more than usual clutching a complete flowering and fruiting maize plant, roots and all.
She believed in learning from the real thing.
She taught by being the foolish one. Chemistry lessons often ended with explosions predicted by her pupils who never afterwards forgot that a science lesson could end up with water all over the place including on Mother de Rici. Or what marble chips could do if dropped too violently into a glass U Tube.
One night she got us all out of bed. We marched behind her out into the night, all of us in our sleeping attire to watch a locust laying its eggs. Afterwards, we dug out the hardened egg sac and hatched the babies in our class room.
We had “adventures” with Mother de Rici. And all of them led to learning.