When I first went to work in the country, I was a long way from anywhere. Australia is like that. You don’t have to go far to be between nowhere and anywhere.
We arrived in this small country town and settled into life away from family and friends but with the prospect of forming new friends and establishing a new home.
The first weekend there the man who was to be my immediate boss, my Head Teacher English, had us over for dinner. He used the opportunity to tell me about the school and the students who attended.
As this was a country area, the school drew from places near and far. One place, the next biggest town, was down on the border and so, further from anywhere than we were. It was a bit of a frontier town and came with its own reputation.
My Head Teacher shook his head at the mention of it and told me about the terrible kids that came from there. It was plain he didn’t like them or their parents.
So I started school with this notion that the kids from the town on the border would be terrible in the classroom.
Some of the kids from there did live up to that expectation, but the vast majority were salt of the earth beautiful kids whom I got along with well and who stayed friends with me long after they had left school.
It’s easy when you think about it for the prejudices of others, when you don’t know any better, to influence your thinking.
I’m glad I went through all that as it taught me a valuable lesson to not let the opinions of others colour your own perspectives. Find out for yourself.