|Photo by Betty Blue|
Approximately twenty percent of Australians between 15 and 47 are illiterate. That means we have 2,607,400 dumb people living in our midst. Most of these illiterate losers sit around thinking about maybe one day starting to maybe begin to learn how to read and write a little bit.
Meanwhile, others get out there and do it. Our friend Kevin had a childhood out of a fucking Dickens novel: shot in the back by his drunk father, forced onto a ship leaving England during the war, and sleeping in dank orphanages. And do you see him sitting on his fucking thumb doing nothing? Nope—he is learning how to make letters into words and then make those words mean something. Here's a piece he wrote for us (totally unedited) about his struggle to get smarter.
"Learning to read and write was the hardies for me because I had no school at all. How was the experience it was hard for me. No schooling at all.
And going to school at 21 it was a experience in it self. How was that for me it was the hardes thing for me. I was 21 and there was a girl she was 22 at South Melbourne Technical school. At 21 and going to school at that age I got some funny looks. Had to lean to spell.
I had learn maths because maths are a part of banking and for me I did not no math's. So I went to Fitzroy Learning Centre. There was too lady's. One was Mary and other was Anne. And other was a lady call Gleny's. She was my teacher in South Melbourne Technical School and at Fitzroy Learning Center. Two thing for me was learning math's and reading and finding streets. And reading maps. So I taut myself to find street. Taut myself to read maps. I went to the city library. They have big books on street's and map's and they have book's on math's and banking. For me these were the hardies things for me to learn—math's reading and banking and finding streets and reading. And writeing.
When I look back on this I had it rough in meny wayies. I no schooling at all. Not until I was 21. I should have bean working. Not goinging to school. In touse days goinging to school it was the hardis thing for me to do. You no help in the class room at all. And that was rough.
And now I look back and say I have bean there and doune that. All to three lady's at the Fitzroy Learning Center. And the lady's names are Gleny's and Mary and Anne Barabar Horne and Rounder Miller.
I would like to thank all there lady's for there help long the whey. And this is my storye."
(At press time Kevin's writing was already drastically improved. Within a few months, he'll be writing better than most music journalists.)