What could I do indeed? I had little formal education having left school in St Bride’s when I was half-way through grade seven – and no marketable skills.
At that time there were two women in my life, one a schoolteacher who later became my wife and her friend, a music teacher. When I told them about my growing dissatisfaction with my job they encouraged me to attend night classes to upgrade my academic standing. So for the next two years while I worked daily at the sawmills, I attended night classes summer and winter. When I commenced the academic programme I had no intention of continuing on to university, but when I graduated with a grade thirteen standing my teachers and my two women urged me to enrol in a summer course at the University of British Columbia.
By then I had spent seven years at the sawmill, my partner was long gone, the fog began to lift and the next summer I used my two-week vacation plus an extended leave of absence – without pay of course – to spend July and August at the UBC summer school studying English Literature and Anthropology.
The following summer I took Genetics and Physiology when I learned to decerebrate and dissect and study the nervous systems and the circulatory systems of the frog and the rabbit. That autumn I quit my job at the sawmill after nine years and enrolled full-time at the University of B.C. That was in 1955.
… part-time psychologist …