Grade 11, Mr. Darby & Lessons in Glam Rock!


Thinking a lot this week about how lucky I was to have so many amazing teachers growing up.

From Kindergarten all the way to Grade 13, there were at least one or two who made my time spent at school especially enjoyable.

High school was a blast for me but also tough.Social pressures to fit in, figuring out who the heck I was and desperately trying to be different from everyone else.

In 1986 a new guy came to Blakelock High School to teach us “Man In Society”.

Mr. Kim Darby was a young dude in his 30’s who loved to teach kids. He made connections with all of us in that class, but not because he was trying to be like us, or impress us.  He was his own dude with lots of life experience and he always exuded confidence.

I remember telling Mr Darby that I was a big fan of Roxy Music and he asked me which albums were my favourite.  I told him, Avalon of course.  He said, “that’s cool Monica”.

The next day I walked into class and Mr. Darby placed a mixed tape on my desk.  “Here Monica, this will make you even more of a Roxy Music fan” This magical mixed tape included songs like Love is the Drug, Virginia Plain, Do the Strand and Out of the Blue.  So edgy and different! I was blown away.

Mr. Darby had given me my first official lesson in GLAM ROCK!

I went home and listened to the tape over and over again.  I memorized all the songs and I could feel my Grade 11 coolness reaching it’s peak!

This soon became the tape that traveled with me everywhere! It was played in several friends’ cars, on my Walkman and on my Sony stereo in my bedroom.   None of my friends knew these tunes and I loved that.  I made them listen and it became “our music”.  It became a school year of Roxy Music for me and my pals.

Mr. Darby was a big Rolling Stones fan so he had lots more to share about how Jerry Hall dumped Bryan Ferry for Mick Jagger and how it destroyed Bryan Ferry.  Keep in mind, the 80’s were more mysterious, we didn’t have Internet access to all this stuff.  You needed a kick ass teacher like Mr. Darby to educate a young punk like me on bands and their secrets.

Needless to say, when it came time for Parent/Teacher interviews my Dad said to Mr.Darby, “I was waiting to meet the man who is making my daughter mixed tapes” ha ha!

My Dad always liked to get a rise out of the teachers, especially when he told my Grade 9 typing teacher that there was no way in hell she was going to fail me, but that’s another story.

By the way, if you are looking for tips to get on your kid’s teacher’s good side (like Wolfgang always did) my friend Jacqueline and I have a GREAT episode all about that on our latest “Drinks At Six” video…Click HERE to check it out.

So, for the month of June, as I continue to celebrate education and work with Halton Food for Thought to make sure that no student goes hungry, I raise my glass to my teacher and friend Mr. Kim Darby!

Kim, you have always been a great man in our society!

Monica XO




angus macgillivray

Mrs. Hall really fell of her rocker now she is with Rupert Murdoch now…Good blog Moni….

Barbara Crowder

Monica – Thanks so much for sharing about your marvellous COOL teacher! What a great time you must have had in his class! (No wonder you are So Smart!)

I was blessed once with a great teacher – Mr. Don Weir -in Grade 8. All of his students loved to attend his class each day as he was enthusiastic, kind, and so eager to explain everything of importance. I often wondered why he was especially kind & nice to me. Strangely, years later my Mother & Dad told me that at the end of the year, he could have sent me on to University (except of Math)…he thought I was that Smart. Too bad my parents hadn’t told me that special information.

Mr. Weir was what makes a teacher Wonderful! Just like your favourite teacher! Thank you for sharing.


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