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Inside Teaching : August 2010
Inside Teaching | August 2010 20 QUESTIONS 40 what made people tick, their psychology. It was like what I did at the river, alone. Did you ever feel bored as a child? Is it important for children to suffer boredom some of the time? I’ve felt bored on occasions. I think it’s important for kids to do so, so they can look inside themselves and be content. I worry about kids who are in constant search for stimulation through Nintendo, TV, computers. Did you have a book that was really meaningful in childhood? I really enjoyed George Orwell’s Animal Farm; it really fascinated me. It was about people and society, how we can have high aspirations but they can be contaminated by wealth and greed, so you become what you initially despised. It happens today with some of our leaders, Indigenous and non-Indigenous. You had an Aboriginal mother and an Italian father; what’s better, bush tucker or a good plate of spaghetti? I like spaghetti and like it well, but bush tucker I like too, especially fresh guava off the tree, as long as I’m not getting stung by wasps. Despite your Italian heritage, you reckon rugby league is the greatest sport, not football, aka ‘soccer.’ Why is that? It’s played in heaven. What you see is what you get: rough play, tackles; you’re seeing the truth. If the call had come to play professional league, would you have ditched teaching as a career? I’m still waiting for the call – the Cowboys or for New South Wales. In retrospect, if the call had come, absolutely. I’d have put teaching on hold for a couple of years. At the time it was important for me to focus on a teaching career and be a role model for others. Rugby league became second fddle. Were you a good student? Yeah, I was an excellent student but I didn’t realise it ’til two years after I left school. I was probably going through the motions, as were a lot of people around me. I had a teacher in Year 9 History, Mr Rimmer, who saw something in me and tried to push me harder, but I thought he was a bit strange for doing that. He was only one voice and I needed more. Did you ever bunk off from school? Famous for it. When I was in Year 7 we had a teaching principal and he set up partitions in the classroom and he couldn’t see me so I’d jump out the window and run round to the