Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Who'd be a demonstrator?

Hearing all this talk of a strike and  peaceful demonstration by junior doctors reminded me of an incident from my school days.

The fourth and fifth forms had been gathered in the gym for a careers talk - I suppose it would be called a seminar now. I recall that I was sitting near the wall bars. The speaker - not one of our teachers - asked if we knew what a demonstrator did. I muttered to my friend that they marched up and down protesting; this was the 60s after all and we were living through flower power.

Unfortunately the speaker then picked me out and asked me what I'd said.

Now understand that I was a shy little thing who wouldn't open her mouth under normal circumstances. I'm shy now but then I was painfully timid and to be picked on in class let alone a room of 250 girls was my worst nightmare. I remember stuttering something like, 'they demonstrate,' for which I was further humiliated by the speaker for using the root word to explain it.

These things stick in one's memory.

Now I have to wonder why a careers expert was advising grammar school girls, some of who were undoubtedly Miss Brodie's 'creme de la creme', to aspire to the heights of hoover or food mixer salespeople.

I'm pleased to say that the only demonstrating I've done has been against a variety of wars. Unless you count the times in the kitchen when I've been 'Nigella' for the benefit of the imaginary camera. 

4 comments:

Nick said...

Your muttered comment was perfectly sensible given the endless political demos at that time and the rather obscure career option of being a demonstrator. In fact I can't remember anyone I've ever known who was employed as a demonstrator. Do you think there are any jobs demonstrating ice-cream consumption? I think I could handle that....

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

There are many demonstrators out there. Exhibitions are full of them. .Ideal home is one that springs to mind. Even saw them on a Market in France.

I don't get the impression you are shy. .­čśŐ

Liz Hinds said...

Let me know if you hear of any ice cream eating vacancies, Nick.

I am shy, Anne. Won't speak up in a crowd and generally if there's more than one other person!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I wouldn't have minded being a demonstrator , actually . A lot better than all the half-baked 'careers' on offer for girls in the '60s .