During the last week of school last year, I knew that Jessica was going to be over from Melbourne for our pre- Christmas Day lunch and to help Emily with her leavers dinner so a few months before that I rang Lisa the office lady at Scottsdale Primary School to organise a sneaky little surprise.
Lisa organised to change her teaching days at Glen Dhu so she could come and Collette drove up from Hobart and Jessica was staying at Mum's before catching the boat back to Melbourne later that day so we all were able to arrive at Scottsdale Primary School together and Lisa (office lady) snuck us in to an old classroom to wait until recess time.
It was so funny and we couldn't stop giggling as Lisa the office lady said Mum had been walking around everywhere all morning and they had been trying to distract her so they could sneak us in. Collette joked that Mum had been walking around pretending to look busy during her last week of work.
When the bell rang, Lisa came and got us and we walked into the staffroom with a big bunch of flowers and big smiles on our faces.
I walked in first and Mum just looked at me all confused and then when she saw the rest of her daughters walk in, she started to cry and hugged us all.
We had brought a cake but there was heaps of other yummy food too (I hear teachers like to have amazing morning teas at school) and we sat down with the rest of the staff and had a chat. It was really lovely to put names to faces of the other teachers Mum has been working with for the past 6 years. A few months ago, Simon and Flynn and I had gone on a day trip to the Scottsdale Police Station to pick up some things and we hung out with Mum for a bit at school and had lunch with her. We had a great time, except Flynn vomited on the way going around the sideling. I warned Lisa sitting in the back with Flynn that it might happen again but thankfully it didn't! (maybe because Collette doesn't try to drive like a rally car driver around the sideling corners) ;)
Collette too got to catch up with some of the teachers and introduce Toby from when she worked at the school in 2007 and 2008.
When the bell rang signalling the end of recess, Jessica and I both cracked up because all of a sudden the chatter and eating stopped, the teachers gave a collective sigh and all got up and walked out.
Mum then showed us around some of the areas of the school that had been upgraded with the Commonwealth Better Schools funding. Scottsdale got $2.4 million and Mum was on the team to help oversee what it was spent on. She showed us the new library, GP hall and new kinder playground. It all looked really good.
We had a beautiful morning with Mum and I am so glad that with the help of the office ladies, we were able to pull off this wonderful surprise. After teaching for 40 odd years, Mum has certainly had some wonderful career highlights.
They include doing her Bachelor of Education at the former TCAE (now the University of Tasmania)
teaching at Ravenswood Primary, Rocherlea, East Ravenswood, St Leonards, Norwood, Youngtown, Scottsdale, AST at Scottsdale, and Acting Principal at Bridport, doing a thesis on Preparing for Retirement, doing her Masters of Education, getting an award for Service in Teaching children with Special Needs - just to name a few.
Mum has instilled in each of us girls, a real love of learning and a thirst for knowledge. It doesn't necessarily make us wise lol but Mum's focus on making education one of the most important and valuable things you can have in your life, has taught us that having an education is a real privilege and using our formative years and beyond to really value the education we got and not take it for granted but to let it open doors and empower and enrich our lives has been an amazing life lesson that Mum has taught us.
We have all gone onto university studies and come out with two more Bachelor of Educations, another Masters of Education degree, a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Arts (psychology) and Bachelor of Law.
I remember in one of my first law lectures at the tender age of just having turned 18, first time away from home, looking around the Stanley Burnley Theatre at the other 300 odd students as the lecturer told us that by the end of the year there would only be 150 of us left.
I remember in my second year, we had a 60% failure rate for Contract Law for mid-term exams. (I just scraped through)
I remember failing my first tutorial assignment in third year Criminal Law, wondering if I had what it took to make it through this degree and then going on to get a distinction for that subject by the end of the year.
I remember 100% exams for Advanced Criminal Law in my fourth year and seeing the lecturer's fated words come true with people failing and dropping out. I remember completing my Bachelor of Arts at the same time and promptly forgetting everything I just learned as the final two years of Law loomed upon me with moot appearances in court before judges and magistrates and a million cases to remember.
I remember fifth year full of tax law, company law, criminology, succession, Remedies, etc and feeling that the end had to be close. I remember finally after 6 years of uni and living at the law library and blood, sweat and tears of finally finishing my degree... but then a further 6 months of post-graduate study to finally be admitted to the bar. By then our class of 300 had been whittled down to 100 who completed their degree, and then only 25 went on to do the post-graduate studies to become admitted to the bar for that year in Tasmania.
Standing in that court room being sworn in as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Tasmania, before Justice Underwood (who became my first boss) after 6.5 years of hard yakka, I only looked to one person to be proud of me - my Mum!!