The video reminds me of my Year 10 religion exam question, which was something like what would Jesus say and do if he came to our school. I at the time resented that school. For me it was filled with hypocrisy. It was a private and very expensive school and I came from a not so wealthy family, who strangely enough with a father who disliked a lot about the school himself as a boy attending, thought it a valuable place for me to go.
I wrote something like Jesus would come to the school angry at all the hypocrisy done in his name, that he wouldn’t set up a place that only likes kids who could kick a football well or get good marks on stupid and useless exams like this one I was doing. He wouldn’t be spending bucket loads of money on making the outside of buildings look good and making videos for parents that show a fake view of the school, while feeding the kids who lived there as boarders crappy food. I remember writing a lot of superlatives like fuck and bullshit throughout the essay. I knew I was leaving that school in a week or so, so only under those conditions did I have the courage to write what I really thought.
I was generally a quiet kid who kept to himself. My religion teacher at the time called me to his office. He threatened me with sending my exam to the principal of the school I was going to attend the following year because I don’t think I appeared too concerned when he mentioned he’d show the headmaster, Father Greg O’Kelly. I basically told him that I disliked the school and didn’t fit in and that’s why I wrote what I wrote. I remember him being somewhat understanding and kind after that.
My religion teacher’s name was Mr Peter Bohrsmann he was also the Boarding Master and he lived at the school. In 1997 he committed suicide after an alleged child abuse involving him while working at the school. I have no idea whether or not he did what he was accused of but whatever the case, I saw his humanity and an extension of his understanding displayed then. He bascially let my rant at his sacred cow be. He could have disciplined me with the strap, which was common in those days at Riverview, but he left it alone after a short talk. In my opinion, whatever happened it was clear he felt tied to the public façade of the school, it was as much his own identity as it was the school’s and perhaps he read what I wrote as something he fe;t to some extent, but could never say himself. That was the impression I got that day as a 15 year old anyway.
More on Peter Bohrsmann: http://disorderlyhappiness.com/2012/05/22/peter-bohrsmann-and-the-phone-call-from-his-friend/