Learning the hard way how to be kind
Lay of the Land
Summer - when the living is supposedly easy - is well and truly over for the children in this country town, who are once more busy learning. But even if oversized bags weigh them down, at least getting thrashed by teachers doesn't feature on the timetable.
For such was the experience of education that many of their grandparents endured, back when teachers in this county were issued a leather strap, bamboo shoot or a ruler, along with some chalk and a duster.
As one local remembers: "It was common for pupils to leave school at the end of the day with bleeding hands or split lips."