The book title We Didn't Have No Internet is taken from the Kid Rock song All Summer Long.
"Splashing through the sand bar
Talking by the campfire
It's the simple things in life, like when and where
We didn't have no internet
But man, I never will forget
The way the moonlight shined upon her hair"
The inference being that, as Catholic boys attending a private Catholic school in the 1950s and 60s, we were told as facts many things that weren't true.
That would be much more difficult in the age of the internet, where the world's knowledge is available at the click of a mouse.
We were taught by the Irish Christian Brothers, an order of men dedicated to teaching boys. Their three vows on entering the order are shown on the blackboard on the book's cover.
Poverty. They owned nothing.
Chastity. They couldn't marry.
Obedience. They did what they were told.
This book is a collection of experiences as seen through the eyes of me and my schoolmates. I am grateful for their contributions.
I was the Head of English at a prestigious private school in a capital city in Australia. I have been a teacher all my working life but took an early retirement at fifty. I have one son and two daughters.
My son and one of my daughters are happily married and my younger daughter is in a stable relationship with her girlfriend following several temporary ones over the past few years. I have grandchildren.
My children think I am boring. I think my students admired me, perhaps some of them even loved me. They thought I was unadventurous.
My fellow teachers thought I was safe, dependable and conservative. Possibly sexless.
I am none of these things. I have done so much that my children, my students and my co-workers could not possibly imagine me capable of. I look at my children and think what safe, boring lives you have had. I cannot tell them what their mother has done with her life, but I don’t want to die with no record of it, as if it had never happened.
Sometimes I think I’m like that old lady in Titanic. You know, the one who turns out to have been Kate Winslett when she was young.
This is my story.