UPDATED: 16 FEB 2018
Copies now available!
International Schools a-calling
February sees me returning to work with three international schools:
I’ll also be making a presentation (as a parent volunteer) at a Careers seminar at NEXUS Int’l School, talking about the joys and challenges of running your own business based on your personal passion & skillset.
That’s 23,741 days old
(according to a year 4 student at the Australian International School where I was this week!)
Today (16 February) I received, out of the internet blue, an email asking if I was the same Roger V Jenkins who had attended Millbrook School in the US in 1971? Indeed I am. I was very lucky to have been given an ESU exchange scholarship which enabled me to spend Jan - May at the school, followed by two months of touring around the USA on a greyhound go-as-you-please ticket ($99 for three weeks unlimited travel!)
At that time I was an incredibly shy, introverted going-on-18 year old. I was convinced I was only given the scholarship because my school in UK was part of the programme and accepted two American boys every year; as I was the first and only applicant form my school in a decade, I’m sure the ESU was under pressure to send me, despite my woeful interview!
I remember hoping that my English accent would be a winner with the girls (didn’t happen: my accent quickly morphed into something more trans-Atlantic as I tried insecurely to fit in.) I was cast in a decent role in a play for the first time in my life (The Madwoman of Chaillot) and was asked, as the visiting Englishman, to give an address at the end of the year, when I read lots of contemporary UK poetry (McGough and patten and Lennon/MaCartney - a Liverpool fan even then!)
The school had a strong community service programme and I signed up for a weekly visit to a hospital for those with intellectual disabilities - I played chess with a young man prone to epilepsy: by accepting his rules (the Queen was no more important than a pawn) I was able to play many a happy game with him and he was a cheerful companion. I confess the other attraction for me (apart from getting off campus for an afternoon) was that I could stop off at a store and, having turned 18, could legally buy a couple of cans of beer which I would smuggle back to my room. Sorry, Millbrook.
Once the school year was over, I embarked on my travels and was blessed to stay with a couple of the guys - I remember an amazing few days in the Blue Smoky Mountains (which coincided with a Revival - I remember going to a service and feeling the full force of the pastor’s oratory) and a delightful stay in New Orleans with a guy whose Dad had a yacht and took us out racing over the ocean. In my two months I circum-navigated the States, from New York down to Miami, across to New Orleans, across to the Grand Canyon and Bryce (I met a couple who invited me to join them as they were hiring a car and we slept over in the desert, freezing in the car-park waiting for the park to open at sun rise.) On to LA/San Francisco, up the Big Sur highway to Seattle, crossed into Canada (big mistake as I couldn’t re-enter the US as my student visa was now no longer valid!) But I managed to get back in (different times I guess!) and visited Denver before making a 44 hour non-stop bus-ride back to New York to catch the plane home. I returned to UK a very different person - and certainly with a desire to continue travelling!