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Mibbees Aye

I’ve niver thought o’ masel as bein any kind o’ rebel an I canny mind o’ a time when I rebelled against anythin. Mibbee I’m a wee bit “thrawn” as ma mither used tae say but then she always hud a front fur folk. Dinny be yoursel, behave, dinny show me up!  Repression wis her byword. Like when I wanted ma ears pierced when I was forteen an ma mither prattled on aboot “if the Lord meant you tae huv holes in your ears you’d be born wi them” and mair nonsense aboot it makin you look cheap.

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Miss Myatt, Rebel Teacher

This is the story of how a very unmotivated, naughty student became a teacher.

On my teaching course – my PGCE in Nottingham – I felt like the odd one out. I’d spent a lot of my school years doing anything other than studying. However, I felt my somewhat shady background would make me a good teacher. And it did. Former students – some now adults themselves – tell me so, anyway. I hope they’re right.

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More Than Just Paying Lip Service

“You’ve done what?!” Mum wasn’t happy, evidently. She had a good voice for being angry over the phone. “I told you that I didn’t want you ... oh, God, Colin.” Silence. Just for a moment. I quickly looked around the bus passengers - thankfully no-one seemed to be aware that this floppy-fringed, black-dyed, emo-punk was getting a row off his mum.

“You’ll need to take it out.”

“I can’t”

“Why not? Of course you can - you have to!”

“Been told to leave it in for six weeks till it heals.”

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Mr. Hamilton

He was hip. He wore crisp shirts and wide neckties. He had a Seventies mustache and Burt Reynolds hair. His right hand almost always held chalk. His left hand was usually in his front pocket. His Levis were so tight that to remove his hand from his pocket he had to put down the chalk, reach across his body and pinch a bit of fabric on his upper left thigh. In this way he would pin down the interior pocket and keep it from pulling inside-out as he removed his hand. This always left a spot of chalk dust on his pants that he would carefully brush off.

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Ms Kyle then my Cat

I was quickly overwhelmed in my school. Although as a youngster I had seemed to be bright, on entering secondary education I fell behind. Lost and struggling to focus, I emerged unprepared to begin adult life. My performance was reflected in how I came to see myself, and it was a long time before I felt in control, able to stand by decisions.

Socially, I'd grown apart too. I watched former friends mature whilst I chose to avoid gatherings and spent my time alone, playing video games.

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Mull, 1972

It rains a lot on Mull. It was pouring the day of my story. We’d just finished breakfast and our two young daughters, Avril and Jennifer, were doing puzzles in the window seat of our holiday cottage. Avril peered up the street through the curtain of rain and haar and said,

“There’s something funny happening outside the hotel.”

I came over to look. Sure enough there was a melee of men and dogs in the car park and I could hear voices raised in anger. The hotelier – a gentle, courteous man – seemed to be getting the worst of it. I called over my husband to watch.

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My great aunt

I never really had a grandmother growing up. One had died when I was small, one lived in Canada and was hardly spoken of. But I had my great-aunt, and she was enough. She was Miss Margaret Murray, to most of her acquaintance: she worked for forty years in the Department of Labour, voted Conservative most of her life, read the Daily Telegraph, and retired to live with her widowed mother. She went to the local Presbyterian Church on Sundays and grew roses in her garden.

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My Idea of a Rebel

This morning @ 9:25am

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gender, identity, real rebel

My Little Rebel

My little rebel, stand tall, brave and proud,
You’re unique and individual, don’t get lost in the crowd.
In a party full of Princesses, you’re a unicorn,
They have glitter and tiaras, you’ve a multi-coloured horn.
Make friends with the quiet, the lonely and the shy,
Speak up and have your voice heard, don’t let them pass you by
Destined to be rebellious, Aoife Malin don’t conform
The shipping forecast warned us, you were born in a storm
Climb mountains, read books, sing loudly, dance and twirl,

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My non-existent essay.

In my last few weeks at school, I was ordered along with the rest of my peers to write an essay on the theme of “The British Commonwealth” for a competition.

I hated my school. I particularly hated my headmaster. I hated competitions. I had no opinion that the Commonwealth was exclusively a force for good. And I utterly detested being told what to write. So I spent my time in the library, like the others. I read stuff, I have no idea what. I made notes, apparently.

I did not write the essay.

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