memories ....

Richard Swan and others have memories of Miss Leslie's French lessons ......

French and Stories of naughty children

When we were in first form (first year)  at Telopea many of us took French. I did not then or now remember anything at all about the French language. All I can remember is that the class was taught in those old classrooms with the folding doors in the same building as the canteen. What I do remember, does anybody else, was the teacher reading us stories?

It seems incredible now but I remember her reading in English, from a book which I think was called “Naughty Stories for Good Boys and Girls”.

My memory is that I sat at the back of the class, with some mate – can’t remember who – and while we were being read some story of a naughty child we snuck out the folding doors at the back. I think we wandered around the school for a little while and then came back into the classroom by climbing through the window. The teacher looked up puzzled, but did not react.  What a brat!

Response from Ian Barnes

Our French teacher in year 1 [?] was Miss Lesley and, indeed, she was hopeless at keeping control in the classroom.

I remember the incident that Richard recalls as follows:-

Miss Lesley's French class was held in one of the rooms in the same block as the canteen [did this room later become the 6th form common room?].  There were two or three rooms divided by movable partitions, so that the whole space could be opened up into a single room.  On the
day in question Richard and I arrived late for the class, and after a suitable apology to Miss Lesley, took our seats at a couple of desks near the back of the room.  Ten or so minutes later we left our desks, dropped to the floor, and crawled to the back of the room and out through a central gap in the partitions into the next [unoccupied] room.  After a suitable delay we, once again, entered the classroom [through the proper door], expressed our apologies to Miss Lesley, and went to our desks.  Miss Lesley looked slightly bewildered at this second appearance, but said nothing and got on with her lesson.  At the time we interpretted her response as evidence that Miss Lesley had no
clue as to what was going on in her class, but with hindsight, maybe she was just smarter than us and had decided to ignore our infantile actions!


I have a vague memory of people going out the window during French class???

We also pulled another stunt on Miss Lesley (Leslie?).  One lunchtime we recorded a French song we'd been learning, and then insisted on "singing" it during the class.  We lip-synched the whole thing, and again, she looked rather bewildered as our lips didn't match the noise that was being made.  She was very naive, poor thing.  Does anyone remember the incident which sent her into tears?  I remember her crying, but I can't remember why.


I remember various times when people got out of the classroom (I thought it was through the back windows) when Miss Leslie was teaching French, and then came back in again with suitable apologies for being late.  I always thought she never caught on, but perhaps she did and just didn't know how to handle us - she was such a timid, rather naïve seeming new teacher.  I remember she was most embarrassed when we found out her name was Annette (Mr Price gave the game away when he said good morning to her as we were all going up the stairs to a science class).

I also remember  the crying in class episode.  Miss Leslie had decided to tell us the story of Joan of Arc, and warned us that it was a very sad tale and we shouldn't get too upset. As Miss Leslie started the story, Christine Harris whispered to me "Watch this" and over the next few minutes worked herself into a state - sobbing loudly, crying copious tears and giving  an overall impression of uncontrollable grief.  It was an Oscar winning performance.  Miss Leslie went to Christine's aid to comfort her and gave in to tears herself.  The rest of the lesson was a write-off!

Funny how the important stuff sticks in your memory.

| BACK | TOP |