I attended Te Awamutu College from 1979 - 1983. On the whole it was a good school, I got a good education and had a good time. Here's a few completely random notes...
Many teachers were quite concerned about the prospect of students showing independent thought. Our school had a dreadful grey uniform which seemed to sum up not only how we were supposed to look, but how we were to act as well. Any behaviour which was the slightest bit eccentric was pounced on and brought into line.
Mufti day must have been a bad dream for some teachers. I was reprimanded one mufti day for wearing "inappropriate" clothing - a pair of orange knee-length shorts (which I had made myself especially for the occasion), and an "old man's hat" which I had purchased from an up-market men's clothing store in town.
Richard was more unorthodox than I was - he was once sent home from school after having his hair coloured in a hair-dressing competition.
At the time, only senior boys were allowed to wear long trousers; juniors were restricted to shorts. Richard successfully campaigned to allow juniors to wear longs, arguing that juniors had less leg-hair, and therefore needed the extra warmth more than seniors.
I took French and German to School Certificate level. It would never have occurred to me to take Maori, it seemed so totally pointless. When I discovered that a Pakeha friend was taking Maori I really couldn't understand it.
Times change and so do attitudes. As things turned out French and German have been utterly useless to me and I badly regret not learning Te Reo Maori when I had the chance. I've since learnt a few basics from my mother and I do intend to learn more, but I'm afraid it will have to wait a while.
I'd never been a sporty person, which was unfortunate as this was a big part of school life. Eventually I came to enjoy physed (physical education) but was never really big on team sports.
Discovering cross-country running was great. I could participate at my own pace (which wasn't half bad, if I do say so myself), whilst still enjoying the feeling of being in a team. Our trip to the national cross-country champs in Taranaki 1981 was one of my school highlights (I came 52nd in a field of 350).
More to come later.