Music today from Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks — “Learning to Fly” … but I ain’t got wings …
Yesterday’s Juicy-Lesson was about an immature young man, an ex-student of about twenty-five, who so far has let himself and some of the people who care about him down. Today, I will tell you about another case, something completely different and much more uplifting.p
Thought I would employ this JL (238) to showcase one of my friends and his home up near Repentigny. As you will probably hear, this guy was my Sec. 4 history student in 1974, in Port-Cartier. He is French but his mother, a well-intentioned mom and a math teacher in her own right, moved him to an English school after he finished the French-schools component of his education in Grade 6**
**This occurred in 1971 or 1972. Today, my friend would not be allowed to attend English school since neither of his parents were educated in English in Quebec. Ah! The bad old days, prior to Bill 101. Da da da da da da.
Considering that his English was so weak at the time that he was forced to spend Sec. 1 and Sec. 2 getting simultaneous translations from an English friend of his, in retrospect Mom made a mistake as her son ended up not getting the university education that he was more than qualified for, intellectually that is, and for which he would have been a cinch had he continued in French school rather than switching to Riverview school in around 1972, at the age of about twelve.
Since he knew next to no English at the time he switched schools, it made the rest of his high school education a challenge, in the end leading to this guy dropping out after one semester of Sec. 4 – actually he was kicked out partly because of me.
One story shout a geography mid-term, an exam that took place in December 1974, just prior to his dropping out. If the truth be told, this kid was kicked out of school with his conduct on this geography mid-term administered by yours truly, playing the major role in his premature (not from a chronological perspective since he was already 17 yrs. old by this time in 1974) departure from high school but from the perspective of not having finished his high school education.
There were a hundred multiple choice questions on the geography mid-term which came in two different parts. Part I contained the questions, all multiple choice, one hundred questions.
Part II was composed of two sheets of 8 1/2″ x 14″ paper, the answer sheets, containing the numbers 1 to 100 with (a), (b), (c), and (d) beside each of the numbers.
I remember that afternoon as if it were yesterday. Jack was writing the exam by himself and I, his invigilator was the only other person in the room. No sooner had he been supplied with his test paper and the answer sheet, this is what he did: he turned over the answer sheet and without even taking a peek at the questions, he proceeded to fill in his answer sheet, randomly blackening in with pencil the letters (a), (b), (c), or (d) for each of the 100 questions.
It took him fifteen minutes to “finish his exam; he ended up getting 17 out of 100, seventeen per cent. I immediately went to the principal’s office, recounted what had happened and asked the following question: What the hell is Jack doing in school, aside from wasting his time, that is? Bye, bye Jack. See you around. Man.
Jacques spent the next couple of years causing and getting into trouble in Port-Cartier, and then with his girlfriend-soon-to-be-wife, left the Port and they both headed for Montreal.
He called me before he and Jill left the Port. He recalled me asking him a while back at that point whether he needed a place to stay and asked if my offer still stood. I answered in the affirmative and the two of them, Jacques and his sizzling hot girlfriend, Jill, moved in.
I was living in a small 3 1/2 at the time, on Prince Arthur, corner of Hutchison, in the McGill student ghetto. Imagine, the three of us, being forced to “co-exist” in a tiny apartment. But we got along great and not only that, every time I returned from work – I was in the early blushes of what turned out to be a 24-year teaching career at Bialik – something else was repaired.
In the end, this ambitious young man and his girlfriend moved out and after moving around a little bit, they ended up where they still are at the moment – take a look see.
Certainly appears that Jacques and Jill ended up on their feet, a tribute to dedication, intelligence and perhaps, above all, hard work.
Good karma also had a role to play too. Believe it.
Some Juice for the subject of yesterday’s JL to ponder.
On the road to visit Jacques and Jill:
Peace and lotsa love coming your way.