61, Convent Avenue, part one, life changing

At the High School of Music and Art in the mid 70’s I was a student teacher in the field of English. ( which we call ELA today)

Normally, Music and Art only took one English student teacher a year. I needed that placement desperately as I was taking 20 credits a semester and working nights and was married and disowned by my family. ( they hadn’t spoken to me for three years and that time would continue for another five)

I needed to graduate fast; and continue working in order to live. Music and Art was in the midst/middle of City College at that time. Getting that student teaching placement would enable me to walk from my own study classroom to my student teaching classroom in ten minutes max.

I needed that placement badly.

So I applied a semester ahead of time and volunteered to work at M & A sorting their book room, which had no hands on it to count books for many years.

I thought this work and other bits would put me fast track for the one ELA teaching sport. Sadly, it didn’t.


The Supervising Teacher choose the applicant. Dr Paul Reich was a brilliant teacher, a master in and without the classroom. Watching him in action for six months only pushed my desire for the placement in a fever. He would make me a master teacher.

At the end of the interview process Dt Reich sat down with me and spoke bluntly,

“I can not consider you as my student teacher as I would find it unable to listen to you speak 5 hours a day.”

My Heavy New York accent had finished me. Crushed I left dejected knowing I had to return in the coming two weld to finish categorising the books, I briefly, momentarily consider quitting my volunteer work, but didn’t.

I would return….

To be continued as 60, part two


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