This book is about a girl, a school and a family in Australia in the 1950s and 60s...
In 1958, Jill left her home in the Victorian town of Kyabram to attend Methodist Ladies' College (MLC) as a boarder. In this coming-of-age memoir she interleaves her MLC story with lively vignettes of her early school years, the family newsagency, church, and country community life. This is a deeply personal account of teenage struggles with parental and sibling relationships and with MLC's discipline, study demands, tough living conditions and rigorous religious education. Jill's daily life as a school boarder, her rebellions, emotional highs and lows, and encounters with Dr Wood, MLC's charismatic principal and pastor, are described with honesty, hilarity and sharp critical insight.
Jill embarked on her memoir following the chance discovery of the letters that she and her sister had written from MLC fifty years ago:
I wanted to write a book about it: for MLC students, teachers and Old Collegians, to feed their sense of history and their remembrances; for other one-time school boarders; for young people struggling to grow through life's complexities; and for myself, to venture into a dark and musty corner of my soul and give it an airing.
Through the letters we learn about Jill's clashes with teachers and house mistresses, inspiration from learning and music, and her striving to come to terms with contradictoriness in a school that was "e;revolting and terrific at the same time"e;.
In a new rendering of the Australian classic, The Getting of Wisdom, School Days of a Methodist Lady is a universal story about school, growing up and the tender milestones that see us entering adulthood. It will appeal to adult and young adult readers, highlighting how school education has changed over the last fifty years and those things that remain the same. Its anecdotal descriptions of public and private school education in the 1950s and ?60s make it a valuable contribution to the cultural and social history of schooling in Australia.
School Days of a Methodist Lady
Wild Dingo Press
A Journey through Girlhood