Life Learning

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Good grades, fond memories and the legend of Dennis Rodman

John Costello

Published 02/04/2014 | 02:30

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Matt Cooper
Matt Cooper

His straight talking caused countless headaches for the Christian Brothers, but Matt Cooper had the last laugh after making a career out of speaking his mind.

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We talk with the Today FM presenter shortly after he returned from his trip to North Korea with basketball player Dennis Rodman.

So where were you schooled, dude?

I went to primary school in St Joseph's in Mardyke in Cork, and secondary school in the North Mon in Fair Hill.

What type of young whippersnapper were you back then?

I would have not been slow to speak up for myself.

But what about the grades, dude?

I was a fairly good student. With the exception of Irish, I always had good grades.

So was it just Irish or were all languages a problem?

Mainly Irish, but I was never great at French. The teacher accused me of speaking French with a bog accent, which was pretty rich coming from a Kerryman!

What's the worst trouble you got into at school?

There was one time I nearly ended up getting expelled six weeks before the Leaving Cert.

Tell us more?

It is too complicated to go into now, but all of my classmates stood up for me and supported me, which brought the class much closer together.

All's well that ends well, I suppose. So do you have fond memories of any teachers?

In secondary school, Vincent Healy was exceptionally good. He taught me French. [My primary] school was very small with only one class for every year. So it was a different experience going to the North Mon where there were 10 classes in first year.

Bit of a culture shock no doubt?

Because of the friendships I made I do have positive memories.

So, if Dennis Rodman had ended up as a classmate, would he have survived Cork or would Cork have survived Dennis Rodman?

[Laughs] The North Mon would have been known as a hurling academy, however the Mon was also a very good basketball school.

Sounds promising.

But one thing is for sure, an anti-establishment figure like him would have had a much tougher time than I ever had!

Yikes!

Listen to Matt Cooper week days from 4:30 on The Last Word, Today FM.

Irish Independent

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