Linwood High’s First Adult Student – Jenny Sutherland

In 1992 I did year 13 biology at Aranui High mainly for something to do while my kids were at school.  I wanted to do chemistry the following year but had heard scary stories about the chemistry teacher at Aranui. I was told that Linwood High was starting to accept adult students in 1993 so I promptly enrolled. I also enrolled in maths with stats although I’m not sure what my reasoning was for that. I did enjoy maths but balked at calculus, I think.

Even though I had been an adult student before I was still a bit nervous on my first day at Linwood. I was not sure how the teaching staff and pupils would cope with the change. I did not need to worry. I was welcomed as one of the class by everyone.  I was very impressed with how easily I was integrated, and I felt right at home there.

For maths with stats, I had Mr Parris. He was a great teacher who made maths fun. The day that sticks in my memory was when he had us work out the probability of winning lotto. I’m pretty sure that day cured us of becoming hooked on the idea of a big lotto win.

For chemistry we had Mr Walker another great teacher. He had a sense of humour and wasn’t easily fazed by the antics of some of the lads.  We had to sit in groups of 3 or 4 around island benches and I was with Dan and Dave. They were a hoot and didn’t seem to care that I was 20 years older than them.  They spent most of the class quoting Monty Python excerpts which was awesome for me having been an avid fan from my pre-teen days.

We did get some work done however and my year at Linwood helped to set me up for my future at university and ultimately a 25-year career in the biological sciences.  Thank you, Linwood High!

Jenny Sutherland


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