Good Bye to PLC

Presbyterian Ladies College has always been in my mind a special school. Sometimes as a foil: when I referred to Mildred’s College for Christian Ladies and Our Ladies for Perpetual Properness, I had PLC in mind. It’s a weirdly proper school, very privileged and definitely not to everyone’s taste.

Apart from being one of those name schools, I’ve also had strong personal connections to PLC. I’ve known a number of teachers and students who were there, including ex-students of mine with whom I am now very good friends. Hilariously, I did my first teaching rounds at PLC, under the “this is ridiculous” supervision of an ex-student. I later did some relief teaching at PLC, which I enjoyed very much. The girls were beautiful, and the general culture of learning and respect, even in the pedestrian subjects I was allotted, was astonishing and refreshing. The religion was too thick for an atheist like me, but the Ministers were smart and friendly and human: the kind of guys to deliver a freezer (not a freezer-load) of food to a badly sick teacher.

When trying to choose a secondary school for our daughters, PLC was Ying’s and my first and impossible choice. It was our first choice because of the general culture, and specifically because of a phenomenally good mathematics teacher, and because of a phenomenally good, and unbelievably generous, Mandarin teacher. The choice was impossible because of distance and Melbourne traffic; once we ruled out buying a helicopter, we gave up and chose a school closer to home.

But, anyway, the school has changed. The mathematics teacher left a few years ago. Now, the Mandarin teacher has left.

So, good bye to PLC. I will not miss it.

7 Replies to “Good Bye to PLC”

  1. Im pretty sure in my olden days the choice of school was simply a consequence of the class of THE TEACHER. Mathematics teacher, that is. And it was worth it, as i see it after all these years.

  2. Thanks Marty
    This will have the teachers in your audience thinking of their maths teachers. In my case, I had several good teachers, but the first who comes to mind taught me both maths and Latin through my secondary student days. Always with clarity and good humour. I think our Year 7 class was the first he taught after being demobbed from the army, national service I guess? A quote of his I remember: “if you understand graphs then you understand maths”. Maybe why I convert all maths to pictures.

    It was only years later I learnt that he combined his teaching career with raising a severely damaged child.

  3. Two questions Marty (and feel free to refuse a public answer):

    1. Did you advise the school of the reason(s) for your changing to a new school?

    2. What did they say about this?

    1. “Good bye” in the sense that I no longer care about, or have any respect for, PLC. I only worked there briefly, in the manner indicated.

  4. I recently visited your ex-student at his current workplace – he has been busy but seems doing well. Look forward to catching up with you both at some stage…

  5. A bit late to the party here, but I can’t work out from this post whether you think PLC is a good or bad place….

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