My Favourite Teachers

by Veronica on May 1, 2008

in Life

TopSchool Fundraisers is having a competition and they invited me to enter. The topic is ‘Your Favourite Teacher’. This post is written in repsonse to that.

My Favourite Teachers.


You taught me to tie knots that won’t come undone, showed me how to straighten a nail, how to use a hammer (without bashing my fingers), a drill and a level. How to tie a plumb line and how to mix mortar. Taught me to cook a ‘One Pot Wonder’ (lamb chops and layers of vegetables, with gravy, all cooked in one pan) and how to eat wallaby tails in a stew.

You showed me that any cut can be fixed with electrical tape and more work, even if it did really need stitches. (No, it wasn’t my cut, it was his)

Because of you, I can snare, kill and skin a rabbit ( I may possibly need a refresher lesson soonish though), I can bait a fish hook with worms (even if the worms do wiggle alarmingly), or grubs, or grasshoppers. I can land and gut fish (even if I excersise my right to have you gut them for me), I can cook them on an open fire and I can eat them without choking on bones (always a handy trait, that whole not choking thing) and the one time I did swallow the bones, you showed me that NOT freaking out is a good idea. (If you ever swallow bones and they get stuck, eat pieces of bread. The bread will shift the bones).

He taught me to tell when edges weren’t straight (by letting me pick faults with his building) and how to play the guitar (I really needed to practise more). How to put up a tent and split wood.

You showed me that life and death were intertwined as we raised animals for you to slaughter. I learned not to be a squeamish girl (I never got a chance to be one) as I watched you prepare animals for the table.

You let me hold the torch (very badly) as we went looking for possums in the trees and I learned that possums eyes flash red at night (and that all possums should die die DIE).

You even showed me that I wouldn’t melt in the rain (do you want to give Amy some lessons?) and that blackberry scratches will heal. You showed me how to spin for trout and how to carry the fish while it was still wiggling (your exact words? – DO NOT DROP THE FISH. You could have showed me the stick trick earlier, heh.).


Mum taught me to read and write (and then got exasperated when I pinched the books she was reading and spent all my time with my nose in a book, rather than doing my chores). She taught me to count and tie my shoelaces and grow radishes (in the shape of a big V). She taught me to make my scones light and airy, to make muffins from scratch, pancakes from flour and water, and a meal from nothing (all very handy skills).

She taught me to find and catch frogs and lizards, what wild orchids lood like and how to climb a tree. She showed me mud puddles and how to make a pinch pot from clay.

She found frogspawn and let me take some in a jar to school, even though it probably killed her to watch her babies diappear off to a school, where children could KILL THEM BY ACCIDENT. We got to watch the tadpoles hatch from their eggs and grow into frogs.

She taught me to budget and cook and how to be happy. She taught me to light a fire and to cook a meal on top of it.

She showed me how to raise a baby joey in a pouch (yes, we did have a pet wallaby for a while. Eventually she disappeared back into the bush of her own accord. Someday I will find photos) and how to perform basic first aid on an animal.

She taught me that it was indeed possible not to kill your children, no matter how annoyingly whiny they are being (teaching by example).

Thanks Mum.

I think at the end of the day, what I learned at home was so much more important to my life now, that anything I learned in school.

It was my mother who was anal about spelling and grammar and made me say perfect, rather than perfickt and ask rather than arks, my father who showed me what good maths can do (learned on a plank of wood, as we worked out measurements for the new bedrooms) and how to put it into a real life situation.

I learned so much from my parents. More than I ever did from inside a classroom (and I was a straight A student).

Taz May 1, 2008 at 5:15 pm

so very true..

i think most parents show you more than school ever will 🙂


Tazs last blog post..27 Weeks Old

river May 1, 2008 at 5:23 pm

What wonderful parents you have. My father taught me that I didn’t really need an education since girls only need to go to school until they’re old enough to leave, then work for a short time until someone wants to marry them. After that we (girls) stay home having babies, cleaning house and making sure the man has everything he needs. The man brings in the money and takes care of everything else. He also taught me how to fix a puncture in my bike tyre, but that was only because he didn’t want to have to keep doing it for me. When I went to live with mum at 16 she got me a job at the local cheese factory, then encouraged me to meet boys so that I’d get married off as soon as possible. Because that’s what good girls did. I was never raised to question my elders, always just did what was expected of me. Looking back now I feel so angry that I wasn’t taught to actually live, learn, experience things on my own etc. How the heck I managed to successfully raise 4 children who knew how to think for themselves and make their own choices as to education, jobs, lifestyle etc. I’ll never know.

Tiffany May 1, 2008 at 8:34 pm

What a wonderful tribute to two of the best teachers around!

Tiffanys last blog post..On being larger than life…

Lou May 1, 2008 at 10:31 pm

When I die, I want to come back as Nathan. Because you’re my kind of woman.

Lous last blog third of one lap

Bettina May 1, 2008 at 10:40 pm

This is such a great post!!

Lucky you to have such great teachers in your parents!

Bettinas last blog post..Hot Hunk Thursday

maiden53 May 1, 2008 at 11:04 pm

You are rich beyond any dollars.. to have such sharing and loving parents! Your post is a wonderful tribute!

Memarie Lane May 2, 2008 at 12:29 am

Your parents sound awesome. I asked my dad to teach me how to change the oil on my car, and after some half-hearted explanations he told me I should just take it to Jiffy Lube. He’s a GREAT dad in many ways, I just always wanted to learn how to do the boy stuff too, like he taught me brother, and he just didn’t want to do it.

Memarie Lanes last blog post..Big announcement!

Jenty May 2, 2008 at 3:33 am

This is such a lovely post!!
Your parents sound absolutely wonderful.

Jentys last blog post..Almost party time

Hyphen Mama May 2, 2008 at 4:45 am

What a great post! My parents taught me so many things I never even realized I should give credit to, until I read your post.

Hyphen Mamas last blog post..Pet Peeve Thursday–May Day Edition

anja May 2, 2008 at 8:12 am

Damn, if I haven’t told you before (and I’m sure I have) I will tell you now… you are one of the most outstanding writers I have ever encountered.

What we learn in school pales in significance to the lessons in life, death and survival your parents taught you.

We are the products of our upbringing, and your parents should be feeling mighty damn proud of what they have achieved with you.

You had damn fine teachers.

anjas last blog post..Hot Hunk Thursday.

imaginary binky May 2, 2008 at 8:38 am

You should totally be on that show “Survivor.” You would definitely win, and probably gross a few people out. Haha.

imaginary binkys last blog post..Shave and a haircut, two bits

Marylin May 6, 2008 at 8:34 pm

I only just found this one, what a wonderful post 🙂

Marylins last blog post..Inspiration Lost

Talina May 8, 2008 at 3:18 am

Just voted for ya!

Talinas last blog post..Reflections on past present and future.

Tony Onyema, Abuja, Nigeria May 9, 2008 at 6:11 pm

Simply wonderful. A masterpiece.

temecula October 1, 2008 at 5:12 am

great post ive been reading the last couple blogs and i cant wait to see the next ones!

Tracee Hegre November 23, 2009 at 10:10 am

I don’t usually comment on blogs but had to on this one. You have a very unique writing style. A lot of people don’t have that touch, they just drone on and on in the most boring way. But not you – thanks! I can’t wait to try out some of the recipes you have here (after a trip to the market to get the ingredients). Cooking is my favorite hobby. I don’t have time to read it all right now, I found this site when looking for something else on Yahoo, but I’ve bookmarked your home page and will visit again soon to see the latest posts. Click here if you’d like to check out my site. Thanks again!

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