Saturday, 1 May 2010

One for Anne

Oh dear.

My sister Anne is huffed with me, affronted that I posted the photograph she took of the Santa Maria on Fridge Soup, and not on Slow Lane Life. So here it is again. One cannot leave one's little sister in a huff. The consequences could be dire.

The big scary cruise ship is my little sister in a huff. There will be big guns hidden somewhere. The tiny but plucky guessed-at replica of the Santa Maria is me, ploughing humbly along in a tubby breathless sort of way, doing my best, hoping not to be capsized by sisterly wrath. BTW, I renounce any connection to slavery on my voyage of apology.

The photo was taken in pouring rain off Madeira during the recent great Volcanic Ash Extended Holiday period.

There you are, Anne. Your moment of glory.

Except.... she can do even better than that, and bring a host of other people into the limelight with her. Yesterday, one of her school drama groups received a prestigious Diana Award for their play about bullying.

If you want to:

a) see my lovely sister (who is going to kill me for this)
b) see the play itself - including the delightful "Realistically-Human-Hand-Controlled  Companions"
c) try your hand at understanding Glaswegian as it is spoken in Castlemilk

then have a look at this:

She emailed me today:

We had a delightful day at the City Chambers to receive our Diana anti-bullying award. Various councillors and the Lord Provost (the Lord Prophet according to one of my girls) made a big deal of us being given the honour of a ceremony in such a prestigious venue. 

The respectme director, a staunch socialist, said in his speech that, as a Glaswegian, he was also delighted to welcome everyone to "'oor hoose', because that's what it is - OOR hoose". 

It was all very haphazardly organised by very nice, very posh ladies who seemed in a permanent twitter. My weans couldn't understand a word they very sweetly said, so translation was needed as the weans gawped in fascination at these strange, alien creatures who spoke oddly but seemed to mean no harm. 

The award was a thrill because everyone told them all day how very special the 'Diana alumni' are and even if the kids didn't have a clue what an alumni was, they got the gist that it was A GOOD THING to be.
Much fun had by all.

(Translator's note: 'weans' - children, wee ones. Pron. 'wanes'.)

My sister has taught for countless years - since she was little more than a wean herself - at a school (once Europe's largest comprehensive; now half its original size) in one of Glasgow's most socially deprived areas. Her drama classes have had some resounding successes, ranging routinely from children being brought out of a tightly-confined housing estate to a wider, more diverse world they would otherwise never have seen, to some pupils going on to become professional actors. She has refused to be defeated by the effects on her pupils of inter-generational drug and alcohol abuse, poverty and despair, and somehow has managed to hold on to her early vision of what education should offer children in even the most difficult conditions.

She retires in July, when, instead of flying off to a Greek island as planned, I suspect she will dissolve for ever into a lake of tears. And she won't be alone; she will be greatly missed. Every school should have teachers with her dedication, care and commitment to their weans. I am enormously proud of her. 

I wonder if the Lord Prophet could give her an award too? 


BumbleVee said...

Well, somebody should.... she's obviously devoted years to her dream of making a difference in the lives of those kids.... er...weans..... good for you Anne!

Anonymous said...

WOW. I'm really glad you've made this tribute to Anne so we can all appreciate her and add our admiration, so I doubt she'll be really cross... When I was a probation officer the constant theme was that lots of crime wouldn't occur if people had 'words' to use rather than fists etc.

Bee said...

I admire teachers like your sister more than anyone. The mighty cruise ship is a good visual metaphor for her. Just think of all of the weans she has helped transport over the years.

elizabethm said...

What a great tribute to your sister. She sounds wonderful and so does your love for her.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'd like to bestow,from afar, a cyber-award for grit.
I know one or two teachers of her mettle;sadly, I know many more who couldn't hack it.
A lovely post.

Isabelle said...

Wow, that was really great. Very touching.

Your sister has a Scottish accent! Fancy that. But the kids were talking quite posh, I'd think. Real Glasgow would be much less comprehensible!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I've come across a few like your wee sister over the years and treasured each and every one of them . Glasgow needs them all .
In fact , we all do .

judy in ky said...

Teachers like your sister deserve more awards. My little sister is a teacher too. I tried it for three years, but I just didn't have the "stuff" for it.

Linda said...

I remember my teachers as a narrow minded lot. It was a small (450) girl's grammar, from which it was acceptable to go on to be a scientist or teacher. Flair, individuality, colour, spirit - all dirty words.
Teachers like your sister are worth their weight in gold.

rachel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marcheline said...

I, too have a younger sister who commands from on high...

Unfortunately, the video you posted does not show up on my browser. Anyone else unable to see it?

rachel said...

Here it is, for those who couldn't access it:

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