Texts Fof Written Discourse

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Contents 1. Doreen Pope 2. Education: Doing bad and feeling good 3. Dance cards 4. Language and literature 5. Inflation DOREEN POPE by Mary Loudon (The Independent Magazine, 20 August 1994) 1. Practically no one reading this will have heard of Miss Pope. Her greatness is not obvious and it has never been documented, but she is my hero nevertheless. This year she retires after a lifetime’s teaching, the last 25 years of which has been spent as a junior-school headmistress in Wantage, Oxfordshire. I was brought up in Wantage, and between the ages of eight and 11 I attended her school. 2. Miss Pope is a strong and wholesome woman. Tall, well-built and cosy with it, she was consistently cheerful without…show more content…
No camaraderie, and worst of all, no charm or imagination. The school was infused with a suffocating emphasis on the importance of conformity. Within the first few days I was beaten up twice by burly fifth formers and taunted for the baffling, small-town sin of being the doctor’s daughter, something which had quite rightly not mattered at Miss Pope’s. I had my ears pierced and dropped my t’s and h’s, but it fooled no one. “You stick out like a sore thumb here, you know” said my form teacher. “Fuck off, posh bitch,” said half the girls in my year, for about three years, until I grew a skin like a bullet-proof vest. 8. Miss Pope remained a quiet source of support through the awful transition from a sunny childhood to a dark adolescence. Cards would arrive at Christmas, and every summer, detailing walking holidays with Sheena and the abundance of wild flowers in Devon and Cornwall. “Don’t fret about what others think of you,” she wrote once. “Just work hard, remember that it’s all right to be yourself, and try to laugh at the bad bits.” Her teaching was sensible, solid and compassionate. The values she sought to instil sound old-fashioned, but they weren’t. They were simple, timeless and good, and they filtered gently into hundreds of lives, without fuss or ceremony. Word Study 1. Match the two columns: |1) |unobtrusive |a.

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