Hoppo Bumpo (n): A children's game. Played by folding one's arms and hopping on one leg. Aim is to bump opponents, so that they lose their balance. Last person standing wins.

September 21, 2008

This is ... what I want to be when I grow up

I loved this week's "This is ..." theme from Cindy.  Something a bit retrospective and nostalgic, but relevant to the future too.

As a kid there were lots of things that I wanted to be when I grew up, but Teacher was always high on the list.

When I was in primary school, my second grade teacher allowed me to make a worksheet for the class.  I spent hours writing the whole thing in my very best hand-writing onto a stencil to be fed through the roneograph copier.  Ah, 32 fresh damp purple copies made for the class.  All smelling of - what I assume was - methylated spirit.  I loved that smell; it cemented my ambitions to be a primary teacher.

By high school I changed tack just a little and decided to be a secondary teacher.  Once I was in university, I did my "teaching rounds" at all sorts of places.  A notorious technical school, a school with an accelerated program for gifted students and a youth detention centre.  All amazing experiences.  But you know what? It was a bunch of flatulent 15-year-olds at a boys school that made me realise that it might less hazardous teaching adults.

So I graduated, found my feet for a bit and then worked in vocational and workplace  training.  I did it for years and had a ball.  Disappointingly technology had moved on and there was no longer any methylated spirits involved.  But I was paid to do things I absolutely loved: to learn and to help others learn.  I amassed skills and knowledge in new areas.  I travelled the world and lived in interesting places.  I met wonderful people.

But also on my list of things to be when I grew up was to be a Mummy.  So now I have the immense privilege to help two small boys learn.  There's not as much travel involved these days (unless you count the kindergarten run and trips to the park) and the pay, well we won't go into that.  But I have met two wonderful small people.

Some day I hope to go back to teaching, but in the meantime I've been thinking about what do while Argy and Bargy are young.  There's been a bit of casting around, but finally I've settled on the idea that it should involve a sewing machine.  When I grow up, I'd like to be (or dream of being!) a dressmaker like my Nan was.

Thank you to Cindy for the great theme this week and to Sharon at Handmaiden who is guest hosting This is.  To see more, look over here.


  1. Ahhh,, the smell of a duplicator.... and the cool, damp paper. I remember it well!!!

  2. I remember the smell and the sound of the machine, and the handle you turned... Wonderful. Wouldn't mind one of them at home....

    Great post, wonderful that you achieved your goals.

  3. I think you are a great teacher still...to your 2 boys and hopefully all of us watching yr stencilling adventures

  4. My Nan's my sewing inspiration too, they are the best! I hope you liked the this is theme. It came to me in the shower, which is about the only time you get 5 minutes to collect your thoughts.

  5. Oh how I remember that smell!

    It's so coincidental that we're both from the training field! I have to admit that I stumbled into it via science though and are in the process of getting my Cert IV in Workplace Training now.

    It must be wonderful to have children you can teach and learn from :)

    great post!

  6. gosh you bought back memories with the smells of the copies!! how times have changed!
    its great you can spend time with your boys as they grow & explore their little worlds!
    many happy moments with your sewing machine!

  7. Oh that smell ... I'm 10 again. Thank you!

    How lucky we are to be mums.

  8. Gosh - I had totally forgotton about that smell of the copier!

  9. It is so sweet because each year several of my students say they want to grow up to be a teacher. Recently I asked one why a teacher, and she said so I can tell everyone what to do. OH!
    I want to grow up to be a dressmaker also...
    Lovely post, as usual.

  10. I loved reading your post and I too can remember that smell! Glad teaching is still important to you and as a Mum you are teaching everyday of course-teaching and sewing go well together!

  11. I thoroughly enjoyed this post, I wanted a business of my own and to work for myself when I was little, my dad would let me hold a clipboard with a tally of purchase orders and I loved looking in the product catalogs that he had in his store, this post was a big memory jogger for me.

  12. I'm with you - I'd love to be a dressmaker just like my Nan was!

  13. WOW! I never knew you were a teacher. That's awesome.

    I remember clearly the smell of metho from those worksheets.

    I loved this post, evoked such great memories and thoughts about my own sweet wee ones.

  14. Just for fun, I've given you a blog award. Pop over to August Street to collect :)

  15. Those ditto machines. Yes, the smell but mostly I recall getting that &#^#% purple ink on your hands.

    As I read your career, I realized yet again that I like training rather than teaching. I also like short term which is more likely in training. You come, I work on a skill with you and off you go...next! ;-)


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