Moving On By John Walker

Where the children are today?

Lulu, about moving on.

Chris, about moving on.

Transcript for 'Lulu, about moving on.':

LF - I was in Ovingdean for 3 years at secondary school level and then I moved up to their FE years for an extra year; a total of 4 years. 

I went to Lewes College once a week. I was grateful to have gone to college with my peers from school and we stayed together as a group amongst many hearing students. I couldn't have done this on my own. I would have lost my confidence and panicked. It would have been scary if that was the case. 

When I finished my time at Ovingdean, I went back home and thought about what to do next. I refused the option to go to a mainstream college, it was too much for me to bear. I much preferred Doncaster College, I knew they had sign language there. My mother refused sternly, the level of qualifications expected from their students was too low. She wanted me to go to Mary Hare, which I followed through. I wasn’t happy there at all because it was so different from Ovingdean. 

Ovingdean was more laid back, easy going and more sociable whereas Mary Hare was more judgemental, aloof and more cultured (through reading); the two experiences jarred with each other. 

When I was 18, I finally went to Derby College and that was where my signing skills improved exponentially. When I could learn using sign language, I achieve so much more. My English improved and my general knowledge was wider.

In comparison, my earlier educational years were a waste. And they were a waste because of oralism.

Transcript for 'Chris, about moving on.':

JW - After Ovingdean, where did you go next?

CW - I went to a sixth form college called Cardinal Newman in Upper Drive. I was there for two years to study my O Levels, but I failed them all. I remember the Head Master telling me if it was worthwhile for me to stay on: "You failed, move on!" I replied that I actually wanted to stay on, which I did and I just about managed to pass.

JW - So, after that, did you go to work?

CW - When I left, I got a job as an apprentice mechanic, in engineering, for a firm in West Grinstead. I got a 3 year contract with them. Sorry, it was a 3 year apprenticeship to do engineering. It was good and I went to college for one day per week at the same time for the full three years.

Unfortunately, I had to give up the post because I started to develop dermatitis, it was a reaction to the oil I was working with. It went everywhere and I had to go to hospital to get it looked at. In the end, I was told that I was allergic to the stuff I was working with: "it won't improve unless you leave your job." So I left. 

Luckily, my friend's father had a company called Ringway and he offered me a job to work on the London motorways for one year to keep me busy.

This page was added on 26/09/2012.

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