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My Education

This is part of me writting about my own history. The education part of the documentation of my life.

I have an education but next to no qualifications.

See what I wrote about Education in relation to Money

I did poorly, academically at school. In subsequent years I realised that it was because I had a mild learning disability, which I have learnt to overcome.

No doubt another reason I probably didn't do well academically is because I felt the education system with wrong and I was right, and I was stubborn.

Pre Formal

By far the vast majority of my education happened before any formal education. I learnt to walk, talk and whole lot of social attributes before I had any formal education.

I am told this is the time when we learn more than any other time in our life. Our ability to learn decrease from this point onwards. Yet in this time we don't have any teachers.

Perhaps I and everybody else would have learnt more if we have not been molded by the formal education system into obedience, conformity and acceptance of social norms.

Pre school

I can't remember if I went to preschool. As neither of my parents are alive I can't ask them. I remember the preschool/kindergarten location and I have a photo of my sister going ther.

It was the kindergarten in Dunkin Street Fairfield next to the Presbyterian Church.

Based on the above photo it appears to be still a kindergarten. Or at least it's still has playground equipment.


I went to Westgarth Central school. I'm not sure why, considering that Fairfield primary school was probably closer.

See also teachers I had at school


Year class Photo

I distinctly remember my first day at primary school. Mum took me there and I remember another student being dragged into the classroom yelling and screaming. I think it was Tony Merabelly. He later became a lawyer. I wonder if that event had any effect on my later education?

My prep grade teacher was Miss Whiteman. I'm not sure but perhaps I started school in June and only spent 6 months in the prep class. Because my birthday was in June I only just scraped in. I know a lot of the rest of my classmates, and friends I made were older than me. Albeit only 6 to 12 months.

I don't actually remember learning anything in prep. Though obviously I did.

My main recollection of the prep class was during one of the parent teacher sessions, whilst my mother was ther, asking Miss Whiteman, where my Glag and other things that Mum had brought on the first day, were. She told me they were all ok and stored in a cupboard. For some reason or other, I had already learnt about possessiveness, and was extremely concerned that I did not get to use my own items. That's my memory of it anyway. Perhaps I did get to use them but I did not know about it or I can't remember it. But I never got those items back.

A person that I met in prep was Neil Brown.

I remember approaching him in the playground and kicking his legs, because he had long legs and was tall. Obviously I had not learnt social interaction in those days. He must have taken it reasonably well because I was friends with him for many years afterwards. He had a brother John, who was in a higher grade than us. Years later I remember going to their place that was in Vaxual Road. They lived in a two story house. That was extra special in our days.

Neil and John Brown had older brother's as well. I remember going to their place one day and playing a game where we had pieces of paper with money amounts written on them. Pretend money. And we will go to each other and pretend to buy and sell things. Interesting that helped me now realise that money is created the same way as we did it in the game.

Another person I spoke to, but was not friends with until later years, was Michael McDonell.

He told me he had a Jiminy Cricket as a pet. And the Jiminy cricket used to ride on is electric toy train set. And I believe him 100%

Jiminy Cricket was a cartoon character created by Walt Disney in the film Pinocchio.

According to the class photo I was in grade 1D, and when I was in grade 1, I was in grade 1B. Perhaps they didn't call the prep grades prep those days.

Grade 1

Year class Photo

My grade one teacher was Miss Hope, she was old. I think I remember that she retired after teaching in my year. She was definitely old school.

The thing I remember most about grade one was having to write on a slate chalkboard the answers of simple mathematics. Most likely simple addition. I was sitting beside Neil Brown and he had finished his. So I said, here swap boards and you do mine for me.

Miss hope said Geoffrey Greig, bring your slate to me. Which I did, after swapping with Neil Brown. She asked me to put out my hand out and gave me a slap on the hand. A punishment. However I did not know what I have been punished for. Because she never explained it. She probably thought that I was cheating. See what have subsequent written about Cheating.

I did not realise and obviously Miss Hope did not realise that I was actually an entrepreneur, in those days. One of the attributes about an entrepreneur, is that they don't do things themselves, but get other people to do it for them. In later years I became an entrepreneur.

The other thing she did not realise is that I had not been aware that getting somebody else to do work for me in those days was regarded as cheating. I have a rough recollection of describing the event to my mother, and her explaining what the norms of society were at the time. To this day I still feel I was unfairly treated. It probably had some effect on my subsequent education, that I only realise now,upon reflection.

A similar incident. As I now realize, I am slightly dyslexic. I have trouble learning the way people normally learn. Hence I had a lot of trouble learning how to write and read. One morning I asked my Mother how to spell my name. She wrote it down on a piece of paper, which I put in my pocket. That day at school at the end of some sort of exercise we had to write our names on the slate boards. I was all excited because I knew I could get the piece of paper out to write my name accurately. My exuberance was obviously, So Miss hope once again said Geoff Grieg come out to the front and show me that piece of paper. I got another wack on the hand for copying my name, from that place for paper.

On reflection Miss Hope was a really bad teacher. She must have been old school and thought learning was all only about memory. After the entrepreneur era of my life I actually became a teacher, at TAFE, University and also to businesses. At one stage I did a train the trainer course and where I learn what learning was all about. I would imagine Miss Hope had no formal teacher training at all. I know it was very difficult to get any teachers in that era.

Another distinct memory I have of grade one was seeing the teacher, who may have been the person in charge of the primary school, but not the headmaster, presenting a group of students to the rest of the class, and stating that theses students have done very well in reading and as a consequence would have some elevated progress, in some way. I can't remember the details of what it was. But one of those people with David Bradshaw. Someone who later on became a lifelong friend and was the best man at our wedding.

Grade 2

Year class Photo

According to the Westgarth Central Facebook page a Miss Fitzpatrick was the teacher when I was in grade 2. But I can't specifically remember that myself. Grade 2 was the first class I had that was not in the old red brick building. There were two , no doubt demountable, classrooms in what originally must have been the playground.

For some reason or other we didn't have Miss Fitzpatrick for a period of time and there was a relief teacher. She would have been Mrs Huntly. She was David Huntleys mother. David was in that class. I think he took advantage of his mother being the teacher and didn't behave as he should have.

I think when in that grade l bought a vinal record at the school fete for a Halfpenny. I had haggeled with one of the older boys from an older class who was selling it. The halfpenny was all the money I had. of course when I took the record home, to proudly display to my parents what I had bought, probably the first non food item I ever bought, I discovered that it played so badly that I could not be heard. Having scratches all over it.

It must have put me off records because I have never bought a record since.

It probably also gave me a sense of value for money that I hadn't had up until then.

I got into trouble for something and when the teacher asked me why I did it, I said because someone else told me to. The Teacher said, if they told you to stick your head in an oven would you do that. Of course I said no and had learnt yet another lesson.

As Im writing this Im getting the impression that I've learnt more about how to socialise and fit into society, at school than I ever did about the academic side of things. Perhaps thats what schools are about.

Grade 3

Year class Photo

In grade 3 my teacher was Mr Heinz. He was the first male teacher I had. He was young, dynamic and strict. At least that's the way it came across to me. Perhaps because he was the first male teacher I had had, but that impression I got from him was because of the first day he arrived and he came into the classroom quite dynamically. Abrupt, confident and loud. Something completely different to the previous teachers I had.

I must have been away the day they took the class photo because I'm not in it. Thanks to Ivan Kobiolki, for giving me the photo of that year. That was the first year that I met Ivan because he hadn't been at Westgarth prior to that.

It was also the first-year I got the strap. The whole class was walking from the classroom to the netball courts for sports. I must have said something to one of the other students while were walking along. Being a disciplinalian, as most teachers were in those days we weren't supposed to talk. Mr Heinz say my for talking and also said I must be the one that's doing all the talking all the time. Which was not true because I was a quiet person when at school. Even though I describe that to him I got the strap anyway. Another lesson for me on injustices within the system.

For sport the boys played a simple form of basketball/netball. The girls played rounders.Because we are all to short to be able to throw the ball through the ring, I remember that all you had to do was hit the Pole to score a point. I think we used to play against the other grade 3 boys. I can't remember which way it went but either our class or the other class never scored. So one day Mr Hines grab the ball in the middle of play and through it at the Pole so at least one point was scored for that class for the whole year.

Grade 4

Year class Photo

In 1961 in grade 4 I had My King as a teacher.

According to what I've read on the Westgarth Facebook page he was a student at the school himself many years earlier. He must have taught at the school for quite some time, as his name comes up in multiple years on the Westgarth Facebook page.

He obviously lived very close to the school, because he used to go home for lunch, everyday.

He came across as a reasonably good teacher, to the parents anyway, because for any students that were struggling, he had special remedial classes after the rest of the school went home. Of course I was one of those remedial students. I can't remember if any of that remedial sessions helped me.

One thing I do remember about Mr King. He was sitting beside me and asked me to do a simple arithmetic. I pulled up my hand to help count on my fingers. He put my hand down under the desk so I couldn't see it. I then visualise my fingers and from then on realised I didn't need to look at my fingers I could actually visualise them in my mind. So thanks Mr King for making me realise that.

Years later when I became a computer programmer I have the ability to visualise complex database structures completely in my mind.

That was years that my younger sister Robin was born. I distinctly remember telling Mr King, my mothers had a baby.

At one stage I and a few other students had some remedial reading assistance. I remember it was basically rote-learning.

I had to read out something to another student and read it fluently very quickly. The other student was amazed how good I was. All i have done was memorise that package of text. It didnt help my reading ability

Grade 5

Year class Photo

Mr Goodwill was my teacher in grade 5. He was a drunk most likely an alcoholic. Remember him arriving one morning fully drunk. He was going off at the hole class. That morning we were supposed to go down for dancing practice for the school ball. A student from another class arrived and said that the headmaster had asked the Mr Godwill to bring his class down to dance practice. Mr Godwill said to the student, tell the headmaster to go get stuffed.

Can't remember the rest of the details but we did end up going to dance practice in the morning and when we got back Mr Godwill was not there for the rest of the day.

At sometime during grade 5 we had to have a emergency teacher because Mr Godwill had had a car accident and was recovering in Hospital. In those days drunk driving was more common.

In later years My friend, Michael McDonnell, told me that Mr Godwill would often get his ding car damage fixed, by Michael

A distinct recollection I have of grade 5 is my father telling me that he had met Mr Godwill at a pub. Mr Godwill told my father that I would never amount to anything.

Mr Godwill was 100% wrong.

From this I learnt you only take what people say based on your appreciation of the credibility of that person.

Even at that age I must have known that I don't pay any attention to what a drunk sais

My Uncle Norm gave me a Mr Esso man when I was in grade 5. I took it to school to show the other kids. I handed it to Terry Lesberg for him to look at. He then wouldn't give it back to me, even though I ask for it.

I didn't tell the teacher or anyone else that had happened.

Unfortunately that probably made me even more possessive than I had previously been. An extreme reluctance to lend or give anything to anyone else. But it made me appreciate what I had accumulated throughout my life and what I have achieved. Probably one of the things that made me materialistic and now I realise is probably wrong.

Grade 6

I dont have a school photo for grade 6. It would have been 1963.

Mr Ryan was our teacher I think he was the deputy principal. He was supposed to be one of the better teachers.

I remember one event that proved to me he was not a good teacher .

He was trying to teach us sentence construction. Which part were nouns,verbs, adjectives, pro nouns and the like. Most of us simply did not get it. His tact was to give each student that did not understand the strap. Of course that did nothing to help us learn. After he had given the strap to a few students, he gave up. I get impression he was doing what he was doing simply because of his frustration in not being able to teach. Taking our his frustration and anger on us.

To this day I dont understand sentence construction and have absolutely no desire to learn it. I dont feel its importance at all, and I will write and speak any way I want to. Same goes for spelling. See my take on spelng


Westgarth Form 1 an 2

I thought it was a real big deal becoming from primary school to secondary school. But for Westgarth students it was the same school. It went up to form 1 and 2. What they now call year 7 and 8. Wonder they called them forms?

Of course the big difference was you didn't have one teacher you had multiple teachers for different subjects. I remember getting a book list and having to travel into I think Elizabeth Street in the city to buy the books. I tried to buy as many as I could second hand but had to buy a few new. I don't know where the money came from to bi the books. When I got home I remember browsing through some of the books. My recollection was that was the last time I ever looked at them. It wasn't much use having books when you're a bad reader. In my case the books were complete waste of money.

In first starting in form one I remember a teacher who I don't think was there for long reading us a book about the Australian bush, and that the kookaburras would fly through the valleys indicating the start of the day. She was a very good reader and and put a hold lot expression into what year was reading. That was the first time I ever remember wanting to be able to read a book.

One morning I told Mum I needed a pen. She gave me a pen that required to be dipped in ink. Even though I knew at secondary school, they no longer had ink I didn't want to tell Mum that. That morning our English teacher Miss Kanat, ask everybody to write something. I said I couldn't because ther was no ink for my pen. Miss Kanat said, you should know we only use biro pens in secondary school. I wonder if it was because we couldn't afford to buy Biros and how many other kids familys were in the same situation.

For some reason rather one of the subjects we had was French. The only French word I ever learnt was La finatra, the window, because that's what I spent all my time looking out of. If I had trouble mastering English how did they expect me to learn French.

Assignments seemed to be a big thing at the time. We had a European person I think as a history teacher and I remember all the other kids would get big sheets of paper and write and draw their assignments on them. For some reason or other I cant remember ever doing one myself.

There was a situation where that same teacher gave us some homework to do which I had done but had left at home. I told her this and asked if it was ok to go home to get it. I hopped on my bike ride home got the homework and came back. She said to me when I got back I know you haven't gone home you actually went downstairs and did the homework. At that stage i didn't have the willfulness to stand up for myself. A few years later i would have.

I have no recollection of ever doing any sort of exams or tests at Westgarth. So I have no idea what was done for assessment. Except for Art.

One day one of my friends was helping the art teacher go through a whole lot of paintings that students had done. He held up one indicating it was mine. It was thown out. Sometime later we were asked to hand in for assessment the paintings we had done. Haveing been thrown out I had nothing to hand in so ended up getting zero for art. As I moved on to the next year I get the impression art was not part of the average that was calculated for your overall assessment.

Northcote High

Year Photos

Not long after I started at Northcote high we moved from Northcote to Watsonia. Having all my friends at Northcote high I didn't want to change schools. So I used to ride my bike, The Camel to school and back ever school day. That was 18 miles ?? Per day. It kept me extremely fit.

Did not no school was for learning I thought it was for fun

Not used to exams

Had to like most of the kids that came from Westgarth repeat third form. Even though I passed on all the subjects.

From 3 2nd Time

Year Photo

We had a maths teacher who also was our caoch for Baseball. Cant remember his name. He was doing some sort of study at I think Monash Uni that happened to have a computer that was used for teaching. Our maths teacher taught us to program in FORTRAN.

I can still remember the first program I wrote.

10 Let A=1

20 Let B=1

30 Let C=A+B

40 Print C

That was in 1967 and I was 15 years old.

We used to write the programs on pre perferate 40 column punch cards by pushing out the perferated holes with a straightener out paper clip. The teacher would take our programs on the punched cards to the Uni and we would get a print out of the results a week later.

Im sure computer programming was not part of the curriculum at the time. But thanks to that teacher, years later I became a self employed computer programer and created a successful business out of it. I most likely wrote 100s of programs over the years and in one year completely development probably over 20 complete systems all on my own.

Will have to write about that in my business history. FIXME



education_my.txt · Last modified: 2021/08/10 17:02 by geoff